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Swarbrick on the playing surface for 2014

by Brendan ? @, The Chemical and Oil Refinery State, Thursday, December 19, 2013, 13:04
edited by Brendan, Thursday, December 19, 2013, 13:32

Excerpted from B&G's pay article - full text is here:

“We are now in the process of evaluating our options both to go in and tear that thing down to the very, very subsoil and build it back up and stay with grass or go to a synthetic surface,” he said. “We’re sort of in the middle of that evaluation right now. … Whichever we’re going to do when you come out of the winter for, you’ve got to be prepared to execute on, whether we’re completely rebuilding the field as a grass field or doing a synthetic field, probably have to make that decision in the next 60 days so we can implement it come March 1st or April 1st.”

A system similar to that of the Green Bay Packers’, which uses a surface that combines natural grass and synthetic blades, will not be used because of its cost, Swarbrick said.

“The Packers’ system is really interesting. It seems to work very well for them, but it’s very expensive,” he said. “You’re essentially creating a growth environment throughout the fall in this part of the country. You go online and see a picture of their system covering the field and it’s a massive undertaking. That’s probably not an expense that makes sense for us. Probably not where I’d put our resources.”

On the first point about evaluation and timeline, I take him at his word. I think anybody who thinks the university isn't really doing due diligence on this wears a tinfoil hat. On the second point about the Packers' system, duh. Still confused as to why some people think that's a good option.

EDIT: Something else occurred to me about the turf question while reading up on the Packers' solution. An article in the New York Times about the system closed with this:

For teams like the Giants, there are plenty of things to combat during a January visit to Green Bay: quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews, the likelihood of cold weather and an energized crowd among them.

The notion of the frozen tundra, despite the constant reminders, is one thing they can try to forget.

Sure, that's talking about the visitors, but it obviously applies to the home team too. The Packers, with their innovative system so touted by Notre Dame tradition ideologues*, have actually provided an excellent example of when it makes sense to break with tradition. The "frozen tundra of Lambeau Field" was a brand equity item for them; read in Facenda's distinctive voice it's undoubtedly the most famous line in the entire library of NFL Films. And yet they identified it as an issue not worth dealing with from a player comfort and safety standpoint and did something innovative to fix it. Hmm.

*Note that when I say "tradition ideologues," I don't refer to anyone who prefers grass. I refer to anyone who prefers grass by any means possible with no thought of the impact on the larger university mission - for example, pouring multiple millions into a grass-growing system that could instead go into a scholarship fund.

Listen to the voice of Life, and you will hear Life crying, "Be!"

swarbrick, field


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