Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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May 27, 2009

Towards greener pastures

by Rose Wynn, Online Sports Editor
Blazer field has been through some tough times: ferocious football tackles, lacrosse player scrambles, students trampling the ground during fire drills and pep rallies, geese populations loitering and leaving their waste. All this wear and tear has left a pitiful bald spot at the center of the field, accompanied by pathetic bare patches where grass will never grow. But the new artificial turf, which will be in place by next year, will lend a new and improved look to the ailing field – something healthy that will endure student stampedes and sports struggles while keeping the field looking fresh.

It\'s true that the field has served Blair faithfully as a playing area for years, but there are some fundamental problems with the grassy arrangement. One is that the fatal combination of live grass and rain creates a slimy surface of mud, where athletes often slip and slide as they attempt to reach their goals.

At one particular football game last fall, the sky opened up over the Blair stadium and a torrent of rain pelted spectators and football players alike. As the Blazers shoved down the field battling the elements, the rainwater saturated the field\'s dry dirt and created an unwelcome pool of slippery mud. The dedicated players were forced to dive into growing puddles of mud, running on an unpredictably slippery surface. The devoted athletes continued undeterred, but the red and white of their jerseys turned to a bleak brown as both teams became coated in a thick layer of mud. The Blazers were no longer distinguishable from their opponents.

Not only is this type of game unsettling (if not slightly disgusting) to watch, but the unfortunate athletes are forced to play on a slimy mudslide instead of dependable grass padding. The former situation does not offer any traction and could present a dangerous playing field for athletes. Although wet turf may not allow players maximum traction, it will at least relieve athletes of a sticky mud burden and the worry that they may not recognize a teammate among a sea of identically brown, mud-splattered players.

Even on dry and sunny days, a grassy field has its drawbacks. Blair\'s current field is spotted with bare patches, which create uneven ground for athletes. The dirt also offers less traction for quick stops and changes in direction. An artificial turf would provide level ground and a more secure surface for playing.

It is inevitable that Blair sports teams will rough up any field they play on, but the new turf will at least keep \"grass\" intact, eliminate the possibility of unwelcome mud fights and provide a reliable field on which Blazer teams will be able to safely thrive.

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  • Hi on May 27, 2009 at 9:22 PM
    I understand where your coming from but it is all a matter of perspective. To me, the games that are the most fun are the ones played in the pouring rain (Please note this is from the point of view of a player. It would be terrible to be a fan or parent in the pouring rain.). Usually games are canceled before they begin because it is raining or end once it begins because it is pouring so they don't occur very often. Mud is just a part of the game. The turf ruins one of the fun elements that comes with the game and is not exactly forgiving to fallen players.
  • Dirk on May 28, 2009 at 1:51 PM
    Don't forget the dust - when things are dry and the wind kicks up. No fun at all.
  • sophomore on June 8, 2009 at 10:06 PM
    Mud and rain is nothing to complain about. That's what makes sports fun. However, there is something to be said about the uneven ground possibly causing twisted ankles.
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