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NFL says Soldier Field grass is in good shape

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A day before the NFC Championship Game is to be played on the much-maligned grass at Soldier Field, the NFL is insisting that the Packers and Bears will have a perfectly acceptable playing surface.

“Game Ops folks say Soldier Field is in good shape,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote on Twitter.

Aiello said the field is currently covered with tarp, with hot blowers under the tarp and heating coils under the field.

Although the playing field has patches that look like nothing better than dirt, Aiello insists that it’s all grass, although he acknowledges that some of the grass is brown.

Soldier Field was re-sodded on December 1, and since then the only events to take place there are Bears games.

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41 Responses to “NFL says Soldier Field grass is in good shape”
  1. discosucs2005 says: Jan 22, 2011 4:51 PM

    A lot of people will say that horrible conditions favor the offense because the WRs know their routes and the DBs lose their footing trying to keep up with unknown direction changes. But, the offensive line is the group that gets the real advantage. Under bad footing, all the DL can really do is bull rush or go single move.

  2. iwishiwasindc says: Jan 22, 2011 4:52 PM

    Warren Sapp said it’s sometimes like “painted dirt”. True or false?

  3. jc1958coo says: Jan 22, 2011 4:56 PM

    so they’re going to play on heated sand? this isn’t the last time the nfl was blowing smoke!

  4. JimmySmith says: Jan 22, 2011 5:01 PM

    The Bears are trying to make this an issue to try to throw the Packers off their game.

    Either way, no excuses, both teams have to play on that slop of a field. It has been consistently one of the worst fields in all the NFL and for what reason? Its the local governement that’s in charge and as usually the case, any time the government gets involved, its twice the cost for half of the results.

    But if the NFL announces its in good shape, just remember, they burned the Spy-gate tapes because there was nothing to see.

  5. wryly1 says: Jan 22, 2011 5:02 PM

    Umm, sod doesn’t take root in 45 days during the growing season, let alone Dec-Jan in Chicago, Il.

    Field conditions are going to be slow, slick and rough, as RB Matt Forte admitted this week. Longer cleats, on necessarily heavier shoes, on a frozen turf, means you can neither move as quickly, nor cut as sharply.

    Same will be true in Pittsburgh.

    We’ve heard some fans inaccurately and unrealistically opine that a frozen field is ‘faster’.

    Perhaps they should consider why the sport of Track & Field doesn’t hold their sprint events outdoors, on frozen grass, in single digit temperatures. Duuh!

  6. bigbear12 says: Jan 22, 2011 5:06 PM

    It’s football.
    It’s not meant to be played on artificial surfaces.
    Bic*hy whiners.

  7. scytherius says: Jan 22, 2011 5:06 PM

    Well … good! This is too good a match-up to be left to shi**y field conditions That’s different than just bad weather.

    Still, they need to do something about this field.

  8. ckacv111 says: Jan 22, 2011 5:07 PM

    Now if only the NFL can insist on the refs being ‘perfectly acceptable’.

  9. wegogreenbay says: Jan 22, 2011 5:07 PM

    My gut is churning with excitement, I need a Fast Forward button! Go Pack!

  10. echoplex89 says: Jan 22, 2011 5:30 PM

    translation:

    it’ll look nice on tv but it will feel like crap to walk on.

  11. dempsey63 says: Jan 22, 2011 5:34 PM

    They could always transfer the game to the University of Minnesota’s stadium.

  12. saberstud75 says: Jan 22, 2011 5:37 PM

    At this point, what else are they going to say!?

    Ironicly named Soldier Field, because this game will be a battle.

  13. nokoolaidcowboy says: Jan 22, 2011 5:37 PM

    I heard that NFL commish Goodell went long, dove and bounced off the turf with the ball in hand and spiked it! “Yeehaw” he was heard yelling.

  14. deiong says: Jan 22, 2011 5:42 PM

    if the nfl has games at the minessota college field, then nothing can be that bad. not even grass at soldier stadium

  15. radrntn says: Jan 22, 2011 5:44 PM

    what else are they suppose to say, that it will be the same as playing on green colored asphalt?

  16. commandercornpone says: Jan 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    packers did worse on grass at road games than inside / turf.

    advantage bears.

  17. footballrulz says: Jan 22, 2011 5:52 PM

    I just hope no major injuries occur to either team. I want the winner to be able to put a competitive team on the field for the SB.

    I hope it’s the Pack but this game could easily go either way.

  18. didiwags says: Jan 22, 2011 5:58 PM

    Bunch of crybabies!!! Though field conditions is the reason I do not understand why Northern teams want outdoor stadiums…. snow and cold does havoc on grass!

  19. crefan says: Jan 22, 2011 6:02 PM

    Yeah it’s acceptable if you don’t mind playing in a cow pasture.

  20. greenbaysucks says: Jan 22, 2011 6:06 PM

    The true root of the problem here lies with the Chicago Park District.

    If the Bears were to switch to artificial turf, that would take away a lot of dollars from the Park District and you know the city isn’t going to let that happen. They want grass in there so that they can continue to hide under the guise of “We create jobs!” instead of them acknowledging they are actually just stealing money from the Bears to “maintain” the field.

    The sod has ALWAYS been terrible at Soldier Field (thank you horrible Chicago Park District), just ask Cap Boso.

  21. JohnnySinns says: Jan 22, 2011 6:37 PM

    they shouldn’t published cr*p like this. Cause if you are Joe Q, and having trouble with your heater..you are bound to be p*ssed.

  22. shiftyshellshocked says: Jan 22, 2011 6:45 PM

    let me guess, Jimmysmith played football on soldier field so now he’s an expert in that department too. Geez Jimmy I’m shocked your not the G.M. of the Pack by now. Dork.

  23. Deb says: Jan 22, 2011 6:51 PM

    Football being played on grass and dirt?? Perish the thought!!! :roll:

  24. sowcrates says: Jan 22, 2011 6:59 PM

    @Saberstud75

    It’s not ironic, it’s just coincidental!

    http://benderirony.ytmnd.com/

  25. beastofeden says: Jan 22, 2011 7:01 PM

    The field condition a perfect burial plot for Aaron Rodgers and his legion of C*ck Riders

  26. mrcmos says: Jan 22, 2011 7:11 PM

    Let the darn game begin!

    No matter what team wins, I am hoping the Pack,
    both teams can consider this a great season. For the Pack, overcoming all the injuries. For the Bearse, the fact that no one had any confidence in that team doing anything this season. Even Ditka picked the Pack to go to the Super Bowl.

    Now, however, Ditka and Waddle are picking the Bearse. I guess they have to being Homers and all.

    Let’s hope that is a good game and no BS ref calls on either team to cloud the outcome.

    Go Pack Go!

  27. beerndonuts says: Jan 22, 2011 7:26 PM

    You mean that a grass surface in Chicago, in January, isn’t pristine? Color me shocked!

  28. ErikW65 says: Jan 22, 2011 7:34 PM

    “Umm, sod doesn’t take root in 45 days during the growing season…”

    Umm, sod has roots when you buy it, (obviously), and when they touch wet warm topsoil, it starts to take root *immediately*.

  29. hobartbaker says: Jan 22, 2011 7:44 PM

    Says Aiello, “All the grass is green or brown and all the green is grass.”, but cautions, ” the brown may or may not be grass. If you must slide, slide in the green”.

    In any case, the grass will always be greener on the other guys side of the field. That’s just how it was rolled.

  30. hobartbaker says: Jan 22, 2011 7:53 PM

    Outside observers think the perennially dead grass may be tied in some way to the fact that you have to stir the Chicago air with a stick before you can breathe it.

  31. emossome84 says: Jan 22, 2011 7:58 PM

    deiong says:
    Jan 22, 2011 5:42 PM
    if the nfl has games at the minessota college field, then nothing can be that bad. not even grass at soldier stadium
    ———————

    Really? Have you been there? I had season tickets and that field and stadium is A) brand new and B) a looooooooooot nicer than most stadiums. Not to mention what does the Bears dead grass have to do with the Gophers brand new state of the art stadium anyways?

  32. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Jan 22, 2011 8:45 PM

    Both teams will play on the same surface.

    It’s not like when the Pats brought out the snow plow to give only themselves an advantage before kicking the winning field goal.

    Karma Pats fans, Karma. Enjoy another early start to the off season.

  33. somisseagle says: Jan 22, 2011 8:54 PM

    These players have become so wuss-ified, it’s unbelievable. Shut up and play the game and quit crying. It’s pathetic.

  34. packfannchitown says: Jan 22, 2011 9:09 PM

    Bad field conditions are as irrelevant as the bad officials.

    Tomorrow Aaron Rodgers going to hoist the Halas trophy over his head in the middle of Soldier Field.

    Bear fans can take solace that their team won a playoff game against the worst team to ever enter the playoffs, there’ll be a little comfort in that.

  35. 1historian says: Jan 22, 2011 9:15 PM

    It depends on which Cutler shows up. If he plays well it’s gonna be a good one. If he screws up GB by 14 at least.

  36. insertnamehere2 says: Jan 22, 2011 9:21 PM

    Ditto!!! I beleive the field to be tarped and heated all week so nobody cries about a frozen hard field.

  37. tprt2 says: Jan 22, 2011 10:15 PM

    Let’s see if Big Mac continues his streak of being significantly out-coached in big games. The thought seems impossible, considering Green Bay’s superior talent level.

    We’ll find out if team chemistry trumps talent yet again in the NFL.

  38. abninf says: Jan 22, 2011 11:06 PM

    Old school football players must be laughing when reading just the title of this article.

  39. johnnyshore says: Jan 22, 2011 11:26 PM

    Well if the NFL said it then it must be true. Now they just need Andy Reid to say it! “Donovan Mcnabb will be our quarterback.” “Kevin Kolb will be our quarterback.” “Sean McDermott will not be fired.” Within days, Reid did the exact opposite of what he said in all of these statements, and I feel that we should believe Aiello and the NFL execs just as much as we should believe Fat Andy.

  40. aaronitout12 says: Jan 22, 2011 11:54 PM

    Ricky Williams can provide some Green Grass.

  41. homebruer says: Jan 23, 2011 9:18 AM

    Ericw65

    Its northern Illinois…IN JANUARY. its going to be a high of 20° today .there is no “warm wet field”.

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