That the turf at Solider Field is bad for kickers is not breaking news.
But after two inches of rain fell during Sunday’s game and left the track a mess, stadium officials said they were going to replace the sod on the middle of the field.
Stadium general manager Tim LeFevour told Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune the middle 40 yards would be removed Thursday and replaced with new sod Friday. It was resodded six weeks ago prior to the Notre Dame-Miami game, and they hoped to hold off on another new layer until the playoffs. But the swampy conditions made it a necessity this week.
Bears kicker Robbie Gould complained about the conditions during an interview with WMVP-AM, wondering why the field was not covered in the hours prior to the game.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” Gould said. “This year our field has been really bad. It’s been tore up. There have actually been some places on the field where some portions of it have actually sunk to a new low level, and the other spots are high. . . .
“But it’s been really interesting to watch this year how bad our field has really been. I know we have talked about this every single year. . . . Can we please get somebody in there that watches a news report?”
LeFevour shrugged off the kicker’s criticism.
“Those are ridiculous comments,” LeFevour said. “He doesn’t know what he is talking about. The field has not been an issue all year, and we haven’t heard anyone else complaining. . . .
“He is never satisfied.”
Of course, Gould said Wednesday that if they were resodding now, it was clearly a problem.
Putting aside the fact it’s a bad idea to anger people who work with power equipment with spinning blades, Gould’s complaints don’t elicit much sympathy.
Given a choice, kickers would always prefer to kick off the fairways at Augusta National, with each individual blade of grass nibbled to a clean edge by a soft baby bunny right before they take the field.
But growing grass in Chicago in November is harder than it looks, and Gould of all people should know that, after having kicked there since 2005.