MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 15: Heavy machinery removes snow from the field as TCF Bank Stadium prepares for a potential Monday night football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears on December 15, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Preparations are due to the collapsed roof at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)
Monday night's game is planned for TCF Bank Stadium, and Minnesotans are doing their best to get the stadium ready in time.
For $10 an hour, workers are shoveling the massive amounts of snow out of the stadium. They've even been offered a meal from Tinucci's, the same restaurant that Randy Moss railed against on his way out of town. (You can even watch the snow being shoveled via a webcam.)
But all the shoveling in the world isn't going to keep the ground from being frozen, a problem for player safety. Chris Harris took to his Twitter account to question how safe the conditions would be for his team on Monday night.
"With the league concerned on player safety how could they entertain playing a game on a surface that could be as hard as asphalt ... let me clear one thing up. I don't care about the weather. I care about the safety of the field ... Players have concerns of traction and the impact of falling on surface that could be as hard as asphalt. What if your head hits it?"
The University of Minnesota has a plan to heat the field to remove the ice and snow that has accumulated there since the Golden Gophers had their last game on November 27, but any Chicagoan knows just how hard frozen ground is, and how long it takes to thaw. TCF Bank does not have heating coils underneath its surface, a common feature in cold-weather, outdoor football stadiums. The weather won't help, as snow is predicted and the temperature will not top 21 degrees.
The Bears have a bigger concern than just the natural instinct to keep its players safe. Chicago has -- knock on wood throw salt spit twice -- remained healthy in the homestretch of the season. With the playoffs in the offing, they can't afford to lose a player to bad field conditions.
It's completely understandable that Minnesota wants to keep its final home game at home, but they don't get to put that priority above player safety. Thanks for offering your nice-enough-for-college-ball field, U of M., but you're just not ready for the big leagues.