Dolphins owner Stephen Ross recently dumped $500 million of his own fortune to upgrade the NFL stadium he owns. He should now consider investing more in the condition of the playing surface.
It’s continuously been a mess this year, due in large part to the fact that the Miami Hurricanes play college football games there, often the day (or night) before a Dolphins game. Even after the latest resodding of the field, it looked rough and arguably unsafe on Sunday night.
Phil Simms of Showtime’s Inside the NFL called the field quality in to question on Tuesday’s edition of the show, saying that the Dolphins were “lucky that somebody didn’t get hurt.”
“Did you watch the Sunday night game down in Miami?” Simms said, via SportsBusiness Daily. “Those are professional football players. Did you see the field conditions? It really bothered me. There were guys like Ndamukong Suh, players out there that could have really been hurt because of the condition of that field. . . . In this day and age, you can’t have a great surface for all these guys?”
He’s right, primarily because that’s one of my own personal pet peeves. Even if the owners don’t care about players as humans, the owners should care about them as investments, since a torn ACL or other calamity results in a guy being paid a lot of money to not play.
The league and the NFL Players Association should demand better. Until they do, fans and the media should.
It would help if the players did, but few want to be perceived as whining about conditions that affect both teams equally. Still, to the extent that plenty of players don’t hesitate to gripe about Thursday football for safety reasons, they should be willing to draw attention to the fact that too many owners spend too little money to ensure the best and safest possible field conditions.