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Vikings players are concerned about frozen field, too

Metrodome Collapse Football

We’re starting to get the feeling that the Bears and the Vikings won’t be playing at TCF Bank Stadium, after all.

The condition of the field presents a real concern, given that no system was installed by the University of Minnesota to keep the Field Turf from turning into Field Tundra.  (In fairness to the U of M, they shut the place down in November.)

And it’s not just the Bears who are complaining.

I just hope it’s a safe environment to play in,” tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said Wednesday, per Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  “That it’s not going to be hazardous to the players when it comes to field conditions.”

The hazards are footing and, perhaps more importantly, cushion.

“It can be a potentially dangerous situation, but because historically in the past games have been played on frozen fields . . . and there is probably not enough evidence to say, ‘There’s a 60 percent chance of a player getting hurt or whatever,’” linebacker Ben Leber said.  “This machine has been going too long and too hard for anything to throw a wrench in it during the week of the game.  It’s a valid question, but I don’t think anything could be done.”

The union has remained silent on the issue, but the Bears reportedly will be lodging a complaint about the decision to play the game at TCF Bank Stadium, given the potential field conditions.  And that may not go over well with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, who seems to be downright giddy about taking the team back outdoors for its first open-air home game since December 20, 1981.

“A lot of people are working very hard to get it done, but we want to assure the fans in the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota that we’re going to have a game in Minnesota,” Wilf said, per Zulgad.  “I look forward to being back outdoors the way I was always used to watching games and enjoying games.”

The prevailing thought is that, if the game can’t be played in Minnesota, it would be moved to Atlanta, since ESPN will be there to televise the Week 16 game between the Saints and the Falcons.  A decision likely would need to be made by Saturday at the latest, since it will take a day or two to properly wire the stadium for the game and to physically get the cast of thousands (as Chris Berman calls them) to the site of the game.

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33 Responses to “Vikings players are concerned about frozen field, too”
  1. peytonwantsaflag says: Dec 16, 2010 2:07 PM

    O-M-G

    Are you frickin kidding me? The Bears and Vikings are complaining that the field is going to be frozen?

    Rush is right- the chickification of the NFL is now complete.

  2. ebaus says: Dec 16, 2010 2:07 PM

    Only fair place to play game is at Lambeau! Only place Minnesota will actually have a home field advantage because the Packers NEED the Vikings to win to keep playoff hopes alive.

  3. importantpftcomment says: Dec 16, 2010 2:11 PM

    This is a non issue!

    Does anyone really think that the Vikings (not to mention the NFL) didn’t think of this before they started the clean up efforts?

    If anyone has paid attention, there are chemicals that can be put down to unthaw the field, there are plans to put a blanket down over the field with heaters underneath.

    Game will be at TCF Bank Stadium, bank on it!

  4. jutts says: Dec 16, 2010 2:15 PM

    You can bet the Vike players want to play inside, so do the vikes fans. Baby, its cold outside…

  5. mnviking says: Dec 16, 2010 2:16 PM

    I’d be worried if i was the Bears since they are looking to playoffs. Injuried players probably mean short stint in playoffs.

    By the way Toughen up!!!

  6. FinFan68 says: Dec 16, 2010 2:16 PM

    I can see how the field could be dangerous, but I don’t think Soldier Field, Lambeau, or Metropolitan stadiums had the field heated back in the day. If they can fix the field in time, they should play there…in Minnesota. Can’t they tarp it and pipe some heat under the tarp to thaw it out?

  7. jibs2525 says: Dec 16, 2010 2:21 PM

    Ponder this, they constantly remove the fieldturf from the Metrodome for different events, why couldn’t they remove the turf from the Metrodome and install it at The Bank? I know you still have to get the fieldturf up from The Bank but at least the Metrodome turf wouldn’t be frozen stopping any frustrations with the chemicals possibly not working and drying out The Banks fieldturf. Just a thought

  8. anarchopurplism says: Dec 16, 2010 2:22 PM

    @ ebaus says: Dec 16, 2010 2:07 PM
    Dec 16, 2010 2:07 PM

    Only fair place to play game is at Lambeau! Only place Minnesota will actually have a home field advantage because the Packers NEED the Vikings to win to keep playoff hopes alive.
    ******************************************

    I hadn’t thought about the Pack’s desire for the Vikes to win.

    Lambeau is tied for my #2 choice for sure now. FargoDome would be pretty unique too, although the seating is more limited.

    Great idea……………….

  9. rcali says: Dec 16, 2010 2:22 PM

    Outdoor SuperBowls up North huh? Good luck with that.. The league has forgotten what some of these players have become.

  10. pioliforprez says: Dec 16, 2010 2:23 PM

    if you can’t handle playing on frozen tundra, you don’t belong in the NFC north

  11. jamie54 says: Dec 16, 2010 2:26 PM

    Come on NFL, just look at your history in playing at stadiums 40-50 years ago. There were no chemicals to apply or tarps to lay over the fields. They had those wheeled flame throwers thawing out the tundra, that’s it, and guess what the players survived. Cripes. Put a few more pads on and man the heck up if you’re so tough.

  12. grandsonofcoach says: Dec 16, 2010 2:35 PM

    Was the old Met stadium heated. Did the Packers and Dallas not play a historic game on the frozen tundra of Lambeau? Heated fields are only a recent development. I do like the idea of relocating to Lambeau tho. Would never happen… But Packer fans would certainly cheer for the Purple. Maybe even old man Favre musters the strength to play and gets his rightful cheers heading into retirement.

  13. ryansdirtytrailer says: Dec 16, 2010 2:38 PM

    Ha, Like Wilf is really going to watch the game outside. Pfft.

  14. hobartbaker says: Dec 16, 2010 2:40 PM

    It’s possible to thaw the field, but officials are reluctant to take that step. Local residents have been using the stadium as a dog walking park for the past month and a half. “You know how it is in the spring when the snow melts…..”, stated one official with a grimace.

  15. finfanbernie says: Dec 16, 2010 2:46 PM

    peytonwantsaflag says:
    Dec 16, 2010 2:07 PM

    Rush is right- the chickification of the NFL is now complete.

    Hey “didohead” say your breathe and political propaganda for FOX news. There is enough politics in football already. Rush is just mad because they wouldnt let him in!

  16. jimmy1smith says: Dec 16, 2010 2:58 PM

    Ziggy should be exploring stadiums in Southern California right now. The good news is the turf will not be frozen, the bad news is the fans will see just how bad the Vikings are which will hamper season ticket sales in 2012.

  17. mataug says: Dec 16, 2010 2:59 PM

    what’s wrong in using Lambeau Field ? I believe the Packers are visiting Pats on Sunday night and Wisconsin is right next to Minnesota. Having Minnesota’s game in Atlanta just sounds ridiculous.

  18. kimcon22000 says: Dec 16, 2010 3:02 PM

    Rush is right- the chickification of the NFL is now complete.

    —————————————–

    Hey “didohead” say your breathe and political propaganda for FOX news.

    ————————————-

    By quoting Rush Limpig, your point is automatically mute – tool.

    And it’s “ditto-head” and “save” knuckle-head.
    Get that GED!

  19. bigdawgy54 says: Dec 16, 2010 3:16 PM

    This could be a very dangerous situation. The UM field was winterized and has not been tendered to. It could very well be frozen three feet down.
    I agree with the players on both teams. They indeed play in very cold temperatures and are not being wimps.
    A frozen field that has not been cared for and cannot be thawed a bit, has to be a big danger for concusions when heads hit the ground. That’s not even to mention the footing.
    I think the game should be moved. Unless the Vikings owner wants to play in the game himself, take the game to an alternative site for safety.
    Accusing these guys of being afraid to play in cold weather is ludicrous! This has to do with field safety….period!

  20. favreflavoredwaffles says: Dec 16, 2010 3:36 PM

    grandsonofcoach says:
    Dec 16, 2010 2:35 PM
    Was the old Met stadium heated. Did the Packers and Dallas not play a historic game on the frozen tundra of Lambeau? Heated fields are only a recent development…. __________________________________

    Way to do your homework, grasshopper.

    Actually the “Frozen Tundra” at Lambeau had coils running under it at the time. They were installed in the summer of 1966, but they failed to work during the “Ice Bowl” against the Cowboys. In fact, there’s old video around of Lombardi firing up the system back in the day. Alot of people think the Packers purposely left the system off or had it on during warm-ups and then turned it off to screw with the Cowboys during the game.

    BTW…I would go if they moved it to Lambeau.

  21. contract says: Dec 16, 2010 3:49 PM

    “Only fair place to play game is at Lambeau! Only place Minnesota will actually have a home field advantage because the Packers NEED the Vikings to win to keep playoff hopes alive.”

    That would be hilarious!

  22. jdcheesewright says: Dec 16, 2010 3:58 PM

    Playing an ice-bowl probably isn’t terribly great from a financial standpoint, if you look at the investment in the players alone. Seems like a big risk. Didn’t the Vikes lose something like $4.5 million in gate receipts by moving to Ford Field last weekend? This whole thing is a financial disaster for the team. Throw in a couple of hihg-priced players whose heads hit the frozen ground hard and sustain concussions as a result. Could be bad for everyone involved. I am so glad I don’t own that team!

  23. vikingsven says: Dec 16, 2010 4:25 PM

    Oh please…first, Duh Bears are worried about “safety”? What a pile of……. Let’s see, is the crappy natural turf at Soldier Field heated, so their little toes won’t get cold? Man up! It’s football, it’s Minnesota….and I go back to the Metropolitan Stadium days….aka huge advantage for the current wussy players in Chicago.

    Oh by the way….fed up with the comments from LA LA land saying that the Vikings are heading out to the land of bankruptcy! Ain’t gonna happen! The MetroDome roof collapse is REALLY going to kick a new stadium drive into high gear! Better look to San Diego, Buffalo or Jacksonville to “steal” your team. And one more thing, speaking of stealing….give us back the “Lakers” name that was kept after you stole our NBA team. The Minnesota Vikings have a huge following and a lucrative NFL market……good luck on your search LA!

  24. jimmy1smith says: Dec 16, 2010 4:37 PM

    jdcheesewright says: This whole thing is a financial disaster for the team.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    As if paying Favre a million per game is a bargain? How about Col Klink’s contract, Ziggy will be paying that for years to come. Jared Allen is getting $70 million to have teams run directly at him, Berrian is being paid $44 million not to catch anything other than a cold and the whole team payroll, in excess of $120 million this year for a 5-8 record when they were one play away from the Superbowl last year can hardly be called a good investment. Losing a few million because the Metrodump was poorly constructed is the least of the Viking’s financial problems.

    The Vikings are yearning for the good old days of the Loveboat and Whizanator. Sure it made them look stupid (not that they needed any help) but at least it didn’t cost them millions while doing it.

  25. kolbfan says: Dec 16, 2010 4:42 PM

    Geez just a few years ago playing at the Vet was worse than this. Now crybabies everywhere.
    Shut up and play ball

  26. bigdawgy54 says: Dec 16, 2010 5:01 PM

    Some just don’t get it.
    It’s easy to say it’s football and look back on your ol’ days.
    You must remember, those fields of old were still kept covered and insulated when not in play. It only took some hot blowers to losen up the surface turf.
    This is not about manning up playing like the old days. Good grief! This is about a stadium that was winterized and the field has not been tendered.
    If they can at least thaw the surface with hot blowers then ok….go ahead and play the game in Minnesota. This isn’t about outside cold temperatures. it’s about a field that’s been ignored and may not be ready by Sunday to play on it.
    Get real people! Enough of this good ol’ days crap. The field has simply not been tendered since being winterized.

  27. cwvegas says: Dec 16, 2010 5:01 PM

    Many of you are using the word turf interchangeably to describe both field types, and there is a significant distinction to be made: The ground under a natural grass field takes months to become truly frozen and winter isn’t officially here. Snow atop a natural surface tends to insulate the ground beneath it from the bitter air above. The wear and tear during a game on a natural grass field will provide some cushion and far better traction than would an artificial surface that hasn’t been properly heated. This isn’t an issue of players being soft, especially in this division, but rather it’s truly an issue of player safety. You can’t compare the stadiums of 40-50 years ago with those of today any more than you can compare the players in leather helmets with players since that era. I grew up in central Illinois and I remember well the harsh winters of 40 years ago and what it was like to play on snow-covered grass fields. There’s no way would I trade that for playing on a rock-hard artificial surface.

    I’m a lifelong Bears fan and I love those days when playing outdoors was more the norm than the exception; there was nothing like it. However, you can’t deny the injuries that occur and the need to minimize them as much as possible.

  28. rick1922 says: Dec 16, 2010 5:29 PM

    ICE BOWL GREEN BAY 1967 these players are a bunch of Wimps. Shut up and go out and play you are a disgrace to the history of the NFL.

  29. granadafan says: Dec 16, 2010 5:37 PM

    It’s 60 plus degrees here in Los Angeles and mostly sunny. None of your players would have to complain about the frozen surface (traffic maybe). Cheerleaders could still be scantily clad and not bundled up like the Miss Eskimo Pageant. Think about that Ziggy.

  30. mikelovesfootball says: Dec 16, 2010 6:39 PM

    importantpftcomment says: Dec 16, 2010 2:11 PM

    If anyone has paid attention, there are chemicals that can be put down to unthaw the field, there are plans to put a blanket down over the field with heaters underneath.

    ______________________________________

    Did you seriously just write UNTHAW? Are you aware the opposite of thaw is to freeze? Regardless, you’re just making up words. And as far as “If anyone has paid attention…”, perhaps you should have in English As a Second Language class.

  31. jdcheesewright says: Dec 16, 2010 9:06 PM

    Paying Favre a million a game is in the budget. I guarantee you the team bean counters are not liking what’s going on here.

  32. cliffcla says: Dec 16, 2010 10:45 PM

    Um Hello, Any ten year old who has played backyard football after school can tell you the solution. Leave the Snow on the ground it buffers the impact. Just clear away the snow by the yard markers. “Thaw the ground” sheesh.. Thats like trying to thaw out a lake to go fishing. Any good Minnesotan can tell you that the best way is to drill a hole in the Ice.

  33. mikelovesfootball says: Dec 18, 2010 2:26 AM

    “better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought an idiot than open it and remove any doubt”

    Damn wireless keyboard needs new batteries.

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