Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Football should be played on grass, period.

Posted by sanityinjection on March 18, 2010

When artificial turf playing fields were first introduced they were hailed as a great breakthrough. They allowed sports such as football to be played indoors, or on fields that held up better in snow or rain, and promised to save money on field maintenance as well.

However, in the 80s and early 90s, it was alleged that these AstroTurf fields led to more injuries to players because of the hard surface and players’ shoes catching in the turf and sticking rather than ripping up a divot. The 90s saw a movement among NFL teams away from turf and back to natural grass.

Then a new generation of artificial turf was developed, combining a springy rubber surface with strands of artificial grass designed to behave more like a natural field. This “FieldTurf” also has been touted as being environmentally friendly because it can be made from recycled tires. Since 2000, it has been adopted for many football fields from high school up to the pros, including 9 NFL stadiums, especially for indoor facilities where grass was not a viable option. Again, the artifical surface promised to save money on maintenance.

But now the injury argument has resurfaced. After studying six years of NFL games,  an NFL panel has concluded that a particularly serious type of injury – to the anterior curcial ligament or ACL – is 88 percent more likely on FieldTurf than on grass. Also, serious ankle sprains were 32 percent more likely on FieldTurf.

Defenders of FieldTurf point out that there could be a number of contributing factors such as what type of shoes are being worn on the turf.  But if you ask the players themselves, their opinion is clear: Their 4 favorite NFL fields to play on are all grass – despite the widely shared view that a turf field facilitates extra yardage for offensive skill players.

Also, one of the main reasons for the development of artificial turf is disappearing. With modern stadiums that feature retractable roofs, it has become possible to maintain grass fields in an indoor facility, as Arizona and Dallas have demonstrated.

Of course, stadiums with FieldTurf are not suddenly going to rip it out and replace it with grass, at significant expense. But I believe that for a new stadium, or one that needs to replace its current surface, the arguments for grass are compelling. The sport began on grass and was played exclusively on grass for decades. Modern technology is better put to use making grass fields better and easier to maintain than trying to invent substitutes for what nature does best – growing grass.

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4 Responses to “Football should be played on grass, period.”

  1. Matt Moore said

    Dallas has artificial turf, dill weed. In fact they have 3 artificial turf fields they can interchange any time they want.

    Blogs like yours are ample opportunity for stupid people like yourself to prove it to the whole world.

    • I-love-things-that-sparkle said

      Yes, you are certainly showing yours. Actually, dill weed was voted “Herb of the Year 2010” and it is said that “the Romans considered dill weed to be a sign of good luck, and the ancient Greeks viewed it as a symbol of wealth.” So by trying to insult a highly intelligent person, you actually succeeded in making yourself look like a complete idiot. So please go forth and prosper with your dumbness. It gives us all something to laugh at.

  2. Thanks for the correction – I can’t keep up with all these new stadiums. I guess you have never misspoken in your life, well, good for you.

    Oh, and by the way genius, “dillweed” is one word. Have a nice day.

    • I-love-things-that-sparkle said

      I would take it as a compliment. 😉 His dumbness rubbed off on me and made me end my sentence with a preposition! The irony! ha ha

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