Who is to Blame for Slips and Blunders; the Football Player or the Football Field?

Every Sunday millions of Americans turn on their TV's, head out to sports bars and the stadiums to watch some good old American Football. We scream and cheer at the television, hoping that our voices can somehow penetrate the tube and reach the players on the field. And when someone from our favorite team slips or misses a field goal, it can be a devastating blow to the final outcome of the game. Many fans, commentators, and players blame the field when blunders occur. But is the field really to blame or is it up to the players to figure out the proper footwear and maneuvers to make?

During this year's Bowl Championship Series (BCS), broadcast commentators made mention of players slipping because of a newly sodded field. In fact, the reason why many football players slip on newly installed sod is not because of the sod itself but because of improper footwear. Most cleats are designed for dry synthetic surfaces which do not work as intended on fresh sod. In the case of BCS players, they are only allowed to wear cleats limited to 1/2" in length (Pro's can use up to 1" inch cleats). Add to this the fact that most fields are mowed at 1/2-3/4", the cleat cannot penetrate the surface of the field to "lock-in" to the soil or root zone. THIS is what causes slips on the field, not the sod itself. Now in contrast, if players were to use a cleat designed specifically for real grass fields, the slipping would be minimal.

The other factor that comes into play is weather conditions. For example, many times, the games are scheduled at night to increase TV ratings. Night time games bring higher humidity, resulting in dew setting on the turf. This makes for a surface with less friction. It is when you combine the wrong type of cleats with unfavorable weather conditions that you run into problems with football players slipping on the sod field. This is why it's important for the players to use the right type of shoe for the game.

Blaming the sod for football players' blunders is just not sound reasoning. The sod being installed on these college and professional sports fields is the best sod in the world! It's like blaming the controller when you lose a Nintendo video game. Ultimately, it's up to the football players to familiarize themselves with the field and wear proper footwear.

Evergreen Turf recently re-sodded the University of Phoenix Stadium in preparation of the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl which took place on January 1, 2014. With 65,172 people in attendance, it was an exciting game that ended with UCF winning against Baylor 52 to 42. The University of Phoenix Stadium is home to the Arizona Cardinals, and Evergreen Turf has been a proud partner of the team, providing fresh sod for the field for years.

If you're in need of fresh Tucson sod for your lawn, leave it to us! We specialize in residential and professional sod installation across Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Got questions? Talk to one of our Tucson sod specialists today or visit www.EvergreenTurf.com.

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