Towards greener pastures

May 27, 2009, midnight | By Rose Wynn | 14 years, 10 months ago

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.

Rose Wynn. I love piña coladas, getting caught in the rain and the ladies of the Blair Pom Squad. More »

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