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Sunday, January 23, 2011
Soldier Field turf showing signs of wear

By Michael C. Wright

CHICAGO -- Both teams are warming up here at Soldier Field in preparation for the NFC Championship Game, and footing on the playing surface doesn’t appear to be any more of an issue than it’s been in the past.

A few inches of snow fell overnight and left the south end zone somewhat of a muddy mess. Groundskeepers appear to have painted over both end zones. In the area closest to the visitor’s sideline in the end zone, there are huge divots and chunks of mud from the Packers conducting pre-game warm-ups.

Still, the loose surface didn’t appear to cause any players to slip during warmups.

Just after removing the blue tarp covering the field, groundskeepers opened several bags of reddish dirt to spread in slick areas around the field, and into the divots on the field.

With kickoff approximately a half hour away, the field is already showing signs of wear, but it doesn’t appear to be significant enough to give either team an advantage.