Tonight the Chicago Bears will take on the MInnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium, whether the players like it or not.
The much-maligned home field for the University of Minnesota has been cleared of snow -- 30,000 cubic yards of it and will remain under a tarp and heaters until pre-game warm-ups.
"Serious time - All respect to the people that cleared the field and got it ready, you did an amazing job. That being said, it's unplayable. The field is as hard as concrete an hour and a half after they took the tarp off, and anyone that hits their head is getting a concussion. I find it interesting that the NFL can claim an emphasis on player safety, and then tell us the field is fine. It's beyond hypocritical. I can only hope, however unlikely, that no one gets catastrophically injured at the trainwreck that's about to take place tomorrow night."
The perception that the field is unplayable is not going to be helped by the weather expected at game time. Minneapolis should be wrapped in single-digit temperatures and a half-inch of snow per hour during the game. To get ready for the cold, hard FieldTurf, the Bears headed to Northwestern on Saturday to get a feel for the outdoor, artificial surface.
There is one bright spot to the venue change -- the Bears won't have to play at the Metrodome, where during the last six games there, they went 1-5. Not only that, but the last time the Vikings won an outdoor game in December in a northern climate was in 2005. With the playoffs on the line, Chicago should want to be anywhere but the Viking-friendly confines of the Metrodome.