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Urlacher lobbies for turf, calls field snafu “a joke”

Brian Urlacher AP

Yeah, the Bears aren’t done taking heat for canceling their “Family Night” at Soldier Field because the field wasn’t properly watered.

The Chicago Tribune called the episode an embarrassment.  Linebacker Brian Urlacher echoed those words.

“It’s a joke,” Urlacher said via ESPNChicago.com. “I don’t understand how you can’t have the field ready. It sucks for the fans because I’m sure it was a pain in the butt to get down there with all the traffic. I think Coach [Lovie Smith] did the right thing not letting us practice on that stuff. It’s just too bad it had to be that way.”

The longtime Bears captain has a solution, and hopes ownership is listening.

“I don’t understand why we don’t have FieldTurf yet,” Urlacher said. “We’re a fast team, we play fast on FieldTurf. The injury issues aren’t as bad as they used to be, they’ve gone down a lot in the last few years with the way they’ve made the turf and stuff. I don’t understand it. Use our speed. We can run, let us go out there and run.”

Fellow linebacker Lance Briggs called the whole episode “annoying” because the Bears bused down to the city, only to turn around.

The bush league ordeal adds another down point to a weird couple weeks for the Bears. The offensive line is full of questions, and the two big free agent acquisitions were Roy Williams and Vernon Gholston.

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50 Responses to “Urlacher lobbies for turf, calls field snafu “a joke””
  1. mathsimillion says: Aug 6, 2011 3:34 PM

    maybe they should have made Field Turf one of the CBA demands :).

  2. prplpuzzetrz says: Aug 6, 2011 3:35 PM

    Speaking of Roy Williams, they stole him! I think with the right team and coaching he can be a huge asset to the team! I was hoping the Purple would have made a play for him.

  3. tqurashi786 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:40 PM

    Dude has a point. People have been saying it for years. This should be a non story. Shame on the Bears Mgmt for not addressing a clear and pressing safety issue.

  4. hobartbaker says: Aug 6, 2011 3:42 PM

    Officials promised to cover the field with a tarp the next time they hold a rodeo there.

  5. vikinganswer says: Aug 6, 2011 3:44 PM

    Because FOOTBALL is meant to be played on GRASS. Thank you to all the teams who still have it!!!

  6. wawa33 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:45 PM

    Ditka still calls him “Urlicker.”

  7. mad5555 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:46 PM

    Watch what you ask for Urlackly. That piece of crap field, in that piece of crap stadium, in that piece of crap city is why you even made it to the playoffs. I highly doubt your team will be making a encore appearance with or without a new crappy field.

  8. mocheese1921 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:49 PM

    couldn’t they set the sprinklers on a timer so that way nobody forgets to water the field

  9. bison4me says: Aug 6, 2011 3:50 PM

    I seem to remember growing up, that the Bears played on artificial turf. The grass field always seems to look in disarray by Halloween. The harsh cold weather of Chicago doesn’t make it conducive for natural grass. I think the new FieldTurf that Urlacher is talking about is perfect. With all the different ways players can get hurt in a game, the one thing you don’t want is for it to come by the field.

  10. nomoreseasontix says: Aug 6, 2011 3:50 PM

    I don’t get it. It’s either too cold for grass or it’s too hot for grass.
    I’m thinking they need new people in charge of the grass.

  11. johnnycash19 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:52 PM

    I can’t take a guys opinion seriously when he asks “what did Gale Sayers ever do?”. Urlacher just STFU and do your job.

  12. upperdecker19 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:52 PM

    I think the turf was in pristine condition.

    Regards,
    The Vet

  13. tv426 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:52 PM

    The fields in Chi and Pitt are a joke. Someone is going to get killed on them, especially late in the year.

    Go to FieldTurf. If you have never been on it before you’d be amazed. Feels like a high quality grass – without the holes, divots, dead spots, etc.

    Lastly – Gholston? LMAO!!!!!

  14. robf2010 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:53 PM

    The only field in the NFL that’s worse than Soldier Field is Wembley. If the Bears need the sloppy field, the ice, the snow, the wind, the groundskeeper, or the sprinkler system to help them, they should join another league.

  15. thephantomstranger says: Aug 6, 2011 3:54 PM

    Best of luck to the Bears, but doesn’t it seem like it’s shaping up to be one of those seasons? They aren’t often good two years in a row.

  16. hobartbaker says: Aug 6, 2011 3:55 PM

    Soldier Field’s front yard is so poorly maintained it is driving down real estate prices in the neighbourhood.

  17. ytsejamer1 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:56 PM

    Didn’t they just spend a good chunk of change renovating the stadium a couple years back? And after all that, they make them play on that garbage field?

    The Pats kept grass as long as they could…Belichick thought it gave them a small advantage. The NFL stepped in and told them to replace it. It was replaced over a bye week.

    The Bears can do it just as easily…get it done.

  18. medtxpack says: Aug 6, 2011 3:58 PM

    worst place to play a game in sure, worst place to watch a game , i can say that. sad.

  19. theripster30 says: Aug 6, 2011 4:00 PM

    field turd outdoors is the easy way out. just take notes from the packers on how to maintain a field. bears are far from great.

  20. hobartbaker says: Aug 6, 2011 4:00 PM

    After seeing their rivals win a Super Bowl, the Bears wanted to make things more like Green Bay. So they let the grass die in the yard and scattered some used tires and rusted auto parts around.

  21. hobartbaker says: Aug 6, 2011 4:04 PM

    Groundskeepers say it’s really not that bad until the wind picks up and the dust starts flying. Then the field is obliterated for the people sitting in the upper sections.

  22. tqurashi786 says: Aug 6, 2011 4:05 PM

    mad5555 says: Aug 6, 2011 3:46 PM

    Watch what you ask for Urlackly. That piece of crap field, in that piece of crap stadium, in that piece of crap city is why you even made it to the playoffs. I highly doubt your team will be making a encore appearance with or without a new crappy field.

    @mad5555
    The issue isn’t the grass. The issue is the lack of maintenance of the grass.

  23. hobartbaker says: Aug 6, 2011 4:07 PM

    At least Urlacher thinks it’s a joke. I wonder what name he posts under here?

  24. juliusanonymous says: Aug 6, 2011 4:09 PM

    As a lifelong Seahawk fanatic, I feel bad for Chicago fans. Tim Ruskell destroyed our team, set us back for years with his horrible free agency deals and trades. He let Hutchinson go to the Vikes to try to save 500k, and never replaced him, which destroyed Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck’s careers, and forced Mack Strong into early retirement – all of whom were key pieces in Seattle’s SuperBowl run. Ruskell then paid top dollar and gave up draft picks on aging free agent WR busts like Houshmandzadeh, Branch and Burleson. None of those guys did squat for the Seahawks, and we ended up paying Douchemandzadeh $7,000,000.00 to go lose a playoff game against the hated Steelers!! Awesome dropped pass, Housh!! You completely suck and so does Tim Ruskell!!

    The worst thing about Ruskell is how awesomely efficient he is at destroying offensive lines. He loves old undersized offensive linemen who are injury-prone. Will never draft a lineman before the 3rd round. Good luck with that, Chicago.

    Grass or turf is the least of your concerns now that Tim Ruskell is in your front office.

  25. jimmysee says: Aug 6, 2011 4:11 PM

    hobartbaker says:
    Aug 6, 2011 4:00 PM

    After seeing their rivals win a Super Bowl, the Bears wanted to make things more like Green Bay. So they let the grass die in the yard and scattered some used tires and rusted auto parts around.

    ————————————————————

    Forgot one thing there from your list, pal — ” … and 13 league championship trophies, including 4 Super Bowls, in the case.”

  26. herlies says: Aug 6, 2011 4:13 PM

    Green Bay’s field is immaculate even in December. Synthetic fiber is woven into the sod. They use a euro-soccer lighting/irrigation system that only covers 1/3 of the field at a time, but it obviously works well. Just do what they are doing.

    Seriously this is the same climate. It is ridiculous that Green Bay’s field is treated like Augusta while Chicago’s is treated like a sandlot.

  27. woodyg says: Aug 6, 2011 4:18 PM

    Da Bears were caught napping when the lock-out ended thus their anemic showing in free agency …..

    Now this …… I’m starting to think it may be better for the Bears to exit the North Division & move to L.A. ……

    It’s getting embarrassing …….

  28. achap39 says: Aug 6, 2011 4:25 PM

    Loved the Pats game last year where the Bears said the field conditions were so horrible, and the snow and cold + field made it impossible to play on…and then the Pats rolled up 475 yards and 36 points on them.

  29. edonovan23 says: Aug 6, 2011 4:43 PM

    this is the reason the eagles why the eagles lost to the bears last year. The entire eagles offense revolves around their speed and when you have a field like this it completely takes that advantage away and with the eagles defense being awful they really had no chance.

  30. dd393 says: Aug 6, 2011 5:05 PM

    hobartbaker says: Aug 6, 2011 4:07 PM

    At least Urlacher thinks it’s a joke. I wonder what name he posts under here?

    I think he’s hobartbaker.

  31. johngaltwho says: Aug 6, 2011 5:13 PM

    Yeah, it really is a shame that the Bears and the Cubs are such pathetically poor teams with inane management. Here in Wisconsin, we used to enjoy the good natured rivalry but now we have to look to the Cardinals in baseball and perhaps the Lions in football for a rivalry. Chicago teams unfortunately no longer merit scorn, just pity.

  32. cobrala2 says: Aug 6, 2011 5:19 PM

    $10 says it’s some unionized workforce that requires some significant compromises before firing the staff. Hate all you want but do you have a more plausible reason why the Bears’ fields suck so bad? Somebody’s got ‘em by the short and curlies because it’s been a horrid situation for MANY years and the streak is rolling along quite strong.

  33. chadman128 says: Aug 6, 2011 5:25 PM

    Just remember folks the Chicago Bears don’t own Soldier Field nor are they in charge of the turf. Thats been the problem for decades. The Park District owns the stadium and maintains the field. If you want to talk crap talk crap on the joke they call Chicago City governement!!!

  34. tlaw21 says: Aug 6, 2011 5:26 PM

    @edonovan23

    “this is the reason the eagles why the eagles lost to the bears last year. The entire eagles offense revolves around their speed and when you have a field like this it completely takes that advantage away and with the eagles defense being awful they really had no chance.”

    Why don’t you look at the post above yours before you start making excuses for your team…..the pats put up 475 yards and 36 pts on the same field so if your team is so awesome then why didn’t they? And don’t tell me because it’s the pats and Tom Brady

  35. drshankenstein says: Aug 6, 2011 5:34 PM

    At what point does the NFL step in and stop this !?!?!? As a Bears fan it total BS ! But other teams have to play on that garbage too ! Enough is enough ! Cheap is one thing, this is quite another !! Shame on Virginia McCaskey !

  36. thomasreilly says: Aug 6, 2011 5:41 PM

    There is no money to be made in grass, so you don’t see people lobbying for it. There is LOTS of money to be made on Field Turf, so people do lobby for it. All of the studies suggest that fewer injuries occur on grass, so Urlacher’s comments are confusing.

  37. thomasreilly says: Aug 6, 2011 5:42 PM

    Soldier Field might need to improve their field, but Turf is not safer- THAT should have been an issue for the CBA…

  38. FinFan68 says: Aug 6, 2011 5:49 PM

    Sounds like a political bribe will fix the issue…the Chicago way

  39. edonovan23 says: Aug 6, 2011 6:09 PM

    @tlaw21

    I said because the Eagles whole offense is about speed. the patriots have better all around offense that doesn’t need their speed

  40. kalispellmt says: Aug 6, 2011 6:16 PM

    1. Tear out sod.

    2. Dig up the soil.

    3. Replace it with better soil (might even throw some ‘miracle grow’ in with it).

    4. Replace with sod approved by the WhiteSox grass dude, or anybody in any sport that has maintained a grass field for say, ten years.

    5. Have said person train the jackass ChicagoParkDistrict how to maintain it.

    6. Play ball!

  41. catchhester23 says: Aug 6, 2011 6:27 PM

    Nothing wrong with grass its from all the concerts and stupid soccer games! It is a FOOTBALL field so cut all the other crap out. Grass is safer than turf but turf is faster. Nobody has ever blown out a knee or anything since lovie has been there.(on there home field) Rather see a big chunk of grass fly up on a route than a acl or mcl get ruptured!! That is why the bears want to keep it grass. Plus they don’t own it people. Just get somebody that can grow grass, fertilizer and water do wonders!!Btw eagles fans thought your team has grass for a home field so nice excuse d-jack is a d-bag!! Plus they call it d-fense here in the nfc north. Should try it some time.

  42. greg0737 says: Aug 6, 2011 7:00 PM

    I ( herd) they hold cattle auctions at Soldier Field and that it is perfect for that!

  43. drgfri says: Aug 6, 2011 7:04 PM

    I can see the Dr. Urlacher is well versed in turf sciences, “and stuff.”. What a moron.

  44. greg0737 says: Aug 6, 2011 7:06 PM

    I also heard the Monster Jam truck series likes putting on shows there, because they don’t have to do much to the field for their show compared to the other places they go.

  45. jutts says: Aug 6, 2011 7:37 PM

    Maybe George will hear all this and make some sense…

  46. mmmpieyummy says: Aug 6, 2011 7:51 PM

    As Urlacher was quoted as saying:

    “My toe stuck in seam get. Me tackle go not quarterback so good.”

  47. jcg23 says: Aug 6, 2011 8:18 PM

    Perhaps he could call Obama up. He can organize the community and get that Field Grass down pronto.

  48. MichaelEdits says: Aug 6, 2011 8:42 PM

    He’s probably right, but he mouths off in the media too much about how the team should be run. That makes it harder for the Bears management to “save face” if they upgrade. (I’ve lived in Asia for 12 years. Face sucks. Grow up.)

  49. impact42 says: Aug 7, 2011 9:57 PM

    Can we please take up a collection for horrid piece of carp that called a “field”. They spend 120 million a year on talent but can’t figure out to have a decent field? C’mon now..

  50. martylaughlin says: Aug 8, 2011 2:21 PM

    Chicago Bears have the 2nd worst ownership/management in football. Second only to the lowly Bungles.

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