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Robbie Gould apologizes, but threatens to leave over grass

Robbie Gould AP

Bears kicker Robbie Gould issued a statement of apology to the grounds crew at Solider Field, but not before suggesting he might leave Chicago on account of the grass.

Gould was critical of the conditions during a driving rainstorm that dumped two inches of rain during last week’s loss to the Texans, saying the grounds crew didn’t have a handle on the weather, and should have pulled a tarp before the game.

Gould then issued a tail-between-legs statement.

I need to apologize to the grounds crew at Soldier Field and our grounds crew for my recent comments regarding the field,” the statement said. “I have since learned a lot more about the NFL’s policies and the measures that are taken at Soldier Field to ensure a reliable and safe playing surface. It was my mistake to speak prior to having a full understanding.

“That’s not why I missed a field goal on Sunday, and it’s not why I’ve missed the other field goals this year.”

But prior to the statement, he said the field conditions would have an impact on his future with the team. He’s under contract through 2013, but said he’d think about leaving if things didn’t get better.

“If those are the [field] conditions we’ve got to play in, I just have to adjust, and obviously those are the type of situations you look for in re-signing with teams,” Gould said, via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I have a year left on my contract. I hope to stay a Bear. And those will be situations that I’m going to take into [consideration]. I don’t know if I want to deal with that as I get older as a kicker.

“But at the same time, I’d love to retire a Bear. I’d love to be here. I’ve got a year left before we start talking about that, but those are things that guys like myself in my position think about.”

Gould has every right to pursue perfect conditions to kick in when he becomes a free agent. But he also chose to sign a six-year contract in 2008, after having kicked at Soldier Field for three seasons. So it’s not as if he was surprised that the field is traditionally among the worst in the league.

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27 Responses to “Robbie Gould apologizes, but threatens to leave over grass”
  1. panamon says: Nov 15, 2012 10:10 AM

    Him only stating reality isn’t an actual threat, but I guess things like that don’t matter in sports reporting.

    People here will insult him but he’s a great kicker and his loss wouldn’t mean nothing to the Bears, I wouldn’t want to kick there either and he’s good enough to have a choice.

  2. CKL says: Nov 15, 2012 10:12 AM

    Chi does have a crap field. So does Pitt. Both teams own players have complained about it in the past. I understand wanting to keep the field grass, Kraft did too. Grass even with many many replacements lasted a little over 4 years in Gillette.It just didn’t work, and doesn’t work in some climates. Maybe there are teams who can do it successfully, but it’s tough.

  3. tommccrossin says: Nov 15, 2012 10:17 AM

    The way these rookie/2nd year kickers have been kicking I wouldn’t be getting too picky there Robbie

  4. oilcandroid says: Nov 15, 2012 10:18 AM

    He’s probably just fed up with it – as are the fans. It’s an embarrassment.

    Payton played all of his home games at Soldier Field on turf, so making a change wouldn’t be without precedent.

    Make it happen, Chicago Park District.

  5. benh999 says: Nov 15, 2012 10:19 AM

    Is there any other NFL stadium that’s field is maintained by a municipal parks department?

  6. blackfootkiller says: Nov 15, 2012 10:22 AM

    The reason they don’t have field turf in Chicago is simple…
    The Chicago Park District maintains the field…
    They are union…
    If they put in field turf they wouldn’t need 30 union guys coming in and hanging out everyday…
    It’s how Chicago ‘works’…Or doesn’t.

  7. tdk24 says: Nov 15, 2012 10:34 AM

    Robbie is a good kicker. That said, i’ve never heard Janokowski complain about playing on the A’s infield dirt for the first part of the season. And he’s only missed one kick this year.

  8. admface says: Nov 15, 2012 10:34 AM

    Maybe the Arena League would suit him better.

  9. louiespoon says: Nov 15, 2012 10:46 AM

    Get in where you fit in, dude. You are a kicker, can be replaced by a 7th round pick or similarly by an undrafted free agent. Shut up and play, cryptic contract statements are for impact players….

  10. krazytrane says: Nov 15, 2012 10:59 AM

    is this guy playing his Terrel Owens, Chad Johnson and Randy Moss cards thjs early in the game? hey bears, Ryan Longwell is available.

  11. tharoostah says: Nov 15, 2012 11:01 AM

    Hes right the field is crap, and he is a pretty good kicker. That said, nobody care what you think Robbie. You are a field goal kicker, if they do fix the field it’s not because of you threatening to leave. Your a kicker please I do not want to hear you speak just do your job, you have no input on anything. Even though your a pretty good kicker nobody would care if you left we would just get some random guy like Nate Kaeding and he would do your job just fine. Let some air out of that head, I know you get a lot of props around here, but you are a kicker, and one who has missed some very makeable kicks this year.

  12. brownmud says: Nov 15, 2012 11:07 AM

    This might be the one thing my Browns do good, field conditions. Don’t think I have ever heard Phil D complain about it. Go Browns!

  13. kabasaman says: Nov 15, 2012 11:10 AM

    Who are you kidding Robbie?.. We all know its all about the cash…. Give me a break, money talks and BS walks. You aren’t going anywhere as long as the money is right.

  14. greymares says: Nov 15, 2012 11:14 AM

    It’s bad enough we have to hear all this whining from athletes now we have to hear it from kickers too.

  15. sm423 says: Nov 15, 2012 11:26 AM

    although it’s the Chicago Park District that runs Soldier Field, it’s the Bears who want to keep grass. The Park District said they would be in favor of changing to a fieldturf or hybrid surface. The Bears seem to still be haunted by Wendell Davis’ freak injury at the Vet, and Rex blowing out a knee at the Metrodome.

  16. bigks77 says: Nov 15, 2012 11:28 AM

    Just kick the ball or we will find someone who will!!!

  17. ibreathefootball says: Nov 15, 2012 11:29 AM

    Statistically speaking, he hasn’t done better at home than away since 2007. 5 Straight years of shanking kicks at Solider Field!

  18. willyalistentothis says: Nov 15, 2012 11:33 AM

    Lots of kickers prolong their career by moving off the grass and to a better pure kicking situation. Gary Anderson in Minnesota, Adam Vinatieri in Indy and John Carney in New Orleans to name a few. Look how long Morton Andersen lasted by being a dome kicker. Gould could kick until he is 42 in a place like Atlanta. He would be nuts to deal with the grass and elements of Chicago much longer.

  19. techieluddite says: Nov 15, 2012 11:37 AM

    Still don’t understand why they couldn’t have put a tarp on it and pulled it off right before gametime unless they thought the slop would hurt Houston more than the Bears.

  20. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Nov 15, 2012 11:38 AM

    Kickers are a lot More important than most people will give them credit for. They are kicking because your offence has sputtered and thay are trying to keep your team in the game.

  21. bigdaddydooko says: Nov 15, 2012 11:43 AM

    He should come to Pittsburgh. The ball doesn’t even bounce when it rains at Heinz Field.

  22. wolfpack152 says: Nov 15, 2012 12:09 PM

    Serious question here: Does the local team have control over whether or not they cover the field – the conspiracy theorist in me wants to hypothesize that perhaps they wanted the field soaked to slow down the Texans speed advantage over the Bears and the fact the Texans would not be used to a wet sloppy field. The grass did look exceptionally long also… Just saying.

  23. larryboodry says: Nov 15, 2012 1:40 PM

    wolfpack152 says: Nov 15, 2012 12:09 PM

    “Serious question here: Does the local team have control over whether or not they cover the field – the conspiracy theorist in me wants to hypothesize that perhaps they wanted the field soaked to slow down the Texans speed advantage over the Bears and the fact the Texans would not be used to a wet sloppy field. The grass did look exceptionally long also… Just saying.”

    Chicago Park District has control…No evil conspiracy by the Bears.

  24. chi01town says: Nov 15, 2012 3:14 PM

    The Chicago Bears can solve all there problems at one time. Build a stadium with a DOME. THE CHICAGO WIND DOME sounds good to me. The city owns the field they play on now and Chicago has a lot of OLD MONEY because they Dont spend it. Buy your own stadium and add about 45,000 seats thats how you get the Superbowl.

  25. tundratommy says: Nov 15, 2012 4:22 PM

    Hey Robbie….. Peyton Manning thinks you’re an idiot.

  26. blackandbluedivision says: Nov 15, 2012 5:11 PM

    So why is it, the last opposing kicker to miss a kick was Adam Vinatieri in week 1. While you’ve missed at least one kick per home game since week 2.

  27. oldlineman says: Nov 16, 2012 5:19 PM

    Best thing all around for fans to see a good game, as well as player safety in bad weather, would be a new Field Turf surface over heated coils. I just don’t get an NFL franchise, Chicago and others, who let their pro’s play on a field similar to a high school….

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