Bears Watch Grass Grow, Say No to Turf

Prez cites safety concerns

By Matt Bartosik
|  Monday, Jul 26, 2010  |  Updated 2:06 PM CDT
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MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: The Indianapolis Colts kickoff to the Chicago Bears after scoring in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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The grass in Soldier Field may not be greener, but it will definitely stay authentic.

The Chicago Bears declined the Chicago Park District's offer to replace the natural grass at Soldier Field with artificial turf, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Several players, both on the Bears and other teams, have criticized the grass surface. Most believe that an artificial surface would provide faster plays.

Turf would also be cheaper to maintain. Last season, the field had to be re-sodded twice during an 11-week period, according to the Tribune.

After all, Soldier Field isn't used solely for Bears football. It also hosts soccer games, special events, and concerts. The grass gets some major wear-and-tear.

But the Bears are hesitant on the switch because preliminary research indicates that artificial surfaces may have a higher rate of lower-leg injury than grass.

The Bears organization says it isn't willing to sacrifice its players for some new green, and it won't make the switch until it gets conclusive evidence from the study.

"The Chicago Bears will always put a premium on player safety," Bears President Ted Phillips said in a statement to the Tribune. "Each year we will continue to discuss the pros and cons of grass and infill surfaces, and then make a decision."

Perhaps Phillips should see how the Giants, the Jets, the Falcons, the Patriots, the Colts, the Lions, the Vikings, the Cowboys, the Saints, and the Ravens—all of whom play on artificial surfaces—feel about their "player safety."

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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