Chicago Sun-Times

A week after messy footing conditions, tarp covers Soldier Field

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A week after the Bears played on one of the worst surfaces at Soldier Field the team has experienced in years, the team and the Chicago Park District had the playing surface tarped over night.

A crew is just beginning to remove the tarp now for pregame warmups. The decision last week to leave the field untarped was made the by the team and the park district. The field took on about 1/10 of an inch of rain nine hours before the game, and a team official explained there was little wind to dry the surface. Team PR director Scott Hagel said tarping the field, in that instance, might have led to the surface being even wetter because of condensation that would have built up under the tarp.

At any rate, the field has a massive sheet of blue over it now and it should be uncovered in the next half-hour or so.

Poor footing troubled the Bears and the Detroit Lions last week with strong safety Mike Brown slipping when he came out of a break and pulling a calf muscle. Brown didn't blame the field for the injury that knocked him out of the game just before halftime (he's expected to play today), but other players were critical of the field.

``It was terrible,'' tight end Desmond Clark said. ``That is the worst footing for a non-rain game that I ever played in in my life. They definitely have to do something about it. You're slipping when you try to block. When you're trying to dig in, it's almost like you're in quicksand because you are digging and you're just throwing up grass the whole time.

``The second half of the season it's always a problem. I don't know what the deal is. I don't know what can be done for it, but something has to be done because the playing conditions today were bad for a great day.''

Check back for pregame updates as we lead up to kickoff.

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For a defense built on speed and quickness good footing is critical. I have never understood why the Bears and the Chicago Park District don't just put in a new 'Turf' field.

Even our High School field has turf this year, Booster club paid for it not the School Board. A synthetic field is practically a requirement to host a post season game for either football or soccer. Time for Chicago to join the big leagues.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on November 9, 2008 9:00 AM.

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