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FieldTurf Looks Better than It Tastes

The Redskins will get another up-close look at Field Turf with a rare indoor game Sunday at Ford Field (they played one, at the Metrodome, last year, after playing three in 2006).

Almost all athletes prefer natural grass, although they will quickly tell you that Field Turf is a million times better than the original surfaces that were all the rage in the 1970s and '80s. Those AstroTurf fields had about as much cushion as a driveway, tore up knees with stunning regularity and made turf toe a household word (okay, two words, but you get the drift). Still, there are definite drawbacks to the state-of-the-art FieldTurf, which relies on scores of tiny rubber balls under the grass-like surface to provide some give.

"That's some weird stuff," running back Rock Cartwright said. "It's ...chopped-up rubber, like from the tires from Ford and GM, and we'll see how it goes. I hate it. It gets all in your teeth. You go in to shower and get out and you still catch yourself with stuff all in your teeth and ears and stuff. But it definitely gives a lot more than AstroTurf, and from what I remember Cincinnati has the worst FieldTurf. It doesn't give a lot and it catches a lot. I don't want to play on that."

Guard Pete Kendall said: "It's not always pretty. It gets in your ears, head, scalp. It gets everywhere. I mean it's way better than the old stuff, but there's no substitute for good grass. All the old AstroTurf was was just a pad on concrete. That's what they thought of us. That's how much they cared about us."

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 24, 2008; 9:30 AM ET
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Posted by: mikeysuperdons | October 24, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

wait for TCCLs
wait, I have not figured out what is that yet. Somebody explain to me please?

Posted by: wydaaa | October 24, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

TCCLs = Tom Cruise Couch Leaps

Posted by: johnvandermyde | October 24, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I say Portis & Rogers should get TCCL's today.

Posted by: joeblazin | October 24, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Amazes me how the NFL is always cracking down on player hits like the Hines Ward block but then allows their players to play on inferior surfaces. Sounds like these little pieces of rubber could get in someone's eye and it can't be good to be in your ears. Sure, it's an upgrade over AstroTurf (where Philly had the worst!) but it's still a whack surface and I'm glad the Skins only play a handful of games on it each season.

Posted by: redpitbull98 | October 24, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

And London Fletcher deserves a few too.

Posted by: redpitbull98 | October 24, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if everyone has seen this but it's worth another post.

Mr. Yoder's leg...

Posted by: executivesource | October 24, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: craig2 | October 24, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

38-12 Skins

Posted by: FAB88 | October 24, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: dealer1 | October 24, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I deserve 20 Tom Cruise Coach Leaps

Posted by: marleyb313 | October 24, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Field Turf is as good as or better than grass. (And, no, I don't work for a Field Turf company).

I have had alot of experience coaching teams on Field Turf and it has big advantages over grass. First, it has much more 'give' than grass; just walk on it and you can tell a big difference. And, while being tackled on grass is OK in September, once the temperatures plunge to freezing grass is not much softer than concrete, but the Field Turf stays nice and cushy. And it drains very well (if installed right) even in heavy rains.

As far as the little bits of rubber... c'mon guys, toughen up. It's absolutely no danger to anyone's eyes or ears any more than those chunks of grass that get caught in facemasks. If it really bothers you, wear the visor. Seriously.

There is a reason that every high school, rec & parks department and college is going to Field Turf. It's softer, safer, easier to maintain and allows for more play in more types of weather, year-round. In another 7 to 10 years, most NFL players will have played on Field Turf either exclusively or more than grass and you won't hear any of them moaning and complaining about it.

Posted by: TS_Alfabet | October 25, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

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