- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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You don't make money as a modern-day sports owner by spending money on your own stadium. You sucker the taxpayers into doing it for you. Why is the Washington Redskins' home field a sandy, slippery fiasco? Because it would cost money to fix it and it's really never been this big an issue before. The FedEx Field turf Sunday was in the same condition it was in for the home opener in September and the seven games the Redskins played on it in between. There are enough events there, year-round, that it's impossible for them to keep the field pristine. This is no secret. The difference Sunday was that 38 million people happened to be watching as two players (including Redskins franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III) shredded their knees on it. This has prompted an outcry, as so many things do these days, and as you can see in that link above the NFLPA is interested in knowing what the Redskins plan to do to upgrade their playing surface.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan sounds open to suggestions, on everything from resodding midseason to switching to artificial turf. Whether team owner Dan Snyder is on board remains to be seen, since Snyder doesn't talk anymore, but Shanahan did manage to get an indoor practice bubble built last year even though no one ever thought that would happen, so it's possible he could get this changed too if he insisted.
Bad things happen in life, and especially in football, and the injuries to Griffin and Chris Clemons obviously fall into that category. But if some positive improvement can grow from those unfortunate circumstances, then they aren't a total loss. This is a significant enough outcome and story that it should be able to get the needed changes made. Whether it's FieldTurf or just better real turf, I wouldn't be surprised if the playing surface at FedEx Field underwent a significant upgrade sometime between now and September.