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Thursday, February 3, 2011
Players speak out on NFL's turf

By Michael C. Wright

Earlier in the day, we noted that NFL players rated Soldier Field as the third worst playing surface in the NFL.

Soldier Field
Soldier Field's turf rated as the third worst in the NFL.
That same survey included an open-ended final question in which players can make anonymous comments.

Here are a couple of noteworthy comments from the survey:

• “We need a league-wide standard/regulation policy for every field if the NFL really cares about the safety of all players.”

• “If it’s grass, enough of the high schools, colleges and concerts playing on it the day before. If it’s a cold-weather grass field, these fields are battered to heck. The grounds crew can only do so much.”

Here are some of the players’ suggestions for improvement:

• “Artificial surfaces should be required in cold-weather cities.”

• “Cold-weather grass teams should have road trips late in the season to avoid playing on frozen surfaces. There should be no games played on grass fields the same weekend as another event.”

• “If it’s a multi-purpose stadium, mandate it’s artificial. If only one [field is] used by the NFL, then it can be grass. Force Chicago and Pittsburgh to go to turf.”

And for the killer:

“No more non-updated artificial turf that is hard and overfilled with ground-up rubber and cheap top-layer grass that you can pull off like a cheap tupae [sic] like Kansas City.”

We’ll assume he meant, “toupee.”