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The good, the bad and the ugly … again

March 19, 2011 -  By

By: Ron Hall

The Ohio State University turf team has put together a very nice digital publication, “The Benefits of Turf.” This is something you will want to share with the management of the parks and sports facilities where you work. Athletic directors, coaches and other field users would appreciate it, as well.

Click on “The Benefits of Turf,” and I think you will agree that this is a keeper. It’s free, too.

By the way, I’m looking forward to the Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association Summer Field Day at the University June 8. Check with your state or regional sports turf managers association. Almost every one of them is planning field days this summer. Let us know about yours and we’ll publicize it.

Where’s my statue?

While the following has little to do with sports turf I can’t help but comment anyway. Specifically, I’m wondering if there’s something in the water in the U.S. Southeast, something that compels football programs there to bronze their mightiest weekend heros?

Florida this spring unveiled statues at The Swamp, its football stadium, of its three Heisman Trophy winners — Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow.

Not to be outdone, Alabama is giving the same treatment to coach Nick Sabans, apparently to memorialize his one national championship. A bronze statue of Sabans will be placed in the north plaza at Bryant-Denny Stadium along with those of Bear Bryant (winner of six national championships) and other ‘Bama greats.

Auburn is similarly immortalizing their Heisman Trophy winners, Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and one-and-done quarterback wonder Cam Newton at Hare-Jordan Stadium. Tell me if somehow all of this seems kind of silly, and especially for Newton, who took the money and ran after a single season.

My favorite bronze of a former players is of the late Bob Feller. It stikes a high-kick pose at the East Ninth Street entrance at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Not only was Feller, who passed earlier this year, the dominant Major League pitcher of his era, he served his country on a ship during WWII and often spoke at veteran’s events.

In fact, the last time I got an opportunity to get his autograph on a baseball (my third) and ask him a few questions was after he spoke at the Veteran’s Home in Sandusky, OH, maybe five years ago.

These t-shirts are hot at Michigan

Meanwhile, students at Michigan and other Big 10 universities are snapping up t-shirts poking fun at Jim Tressel, the football coach at The Ohio State University. Tressel is in hot water with the NCAA because he didn’t report questionable dealings by five of his top players at a tattoo shop last season. Although I’m a huge fan of Ohio State football and I like Tressel, I have to admit I find the shirts pretty clever.

If you got’em, don’t smoke ’em

Cities across the United States and Canada are instituting smoking bans in their parks and near their sports fields. The bans have created some controversy. For the life of me, I don’t know why. Ban the smokes in parks, I say. The same goes for firearms in parks and sports fields.

Is there a reason that spectators have to pack heat to watch their kids play soccer? And if a park area is so dangerous that you have to have a sidearm, should you be there anyway?

Turfgrass in the dome again

Finally, in the category of what’s old is new again, when the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup comes to Detroit’s Ford Field in June players will compete on a turfgrass playing surface. Remember back in 1994 when the Michigan State University turf team installed a grass field in the Silverdome for World Cup games? That’s when the MSU turf experts proved that you could install and play on grass inside a domed stadium — for a short while anyway.

Remember back in 1994 when the Michigan State University turf team installed a grass field in the Silverdome for World Cup games? That’s when the MSU turf experts proved that you could install and play on grass inside a domed stadium — for a short while anyway.

Grass needs light to grow. The first attempt to grow grass in the Astrodome 45 years ago demonstrated that. And grass that’s constantly stressed by traffic needs lots of light to grow and recuperate. Developing a grass that can be played upon regularly in such low-light conditions seems unlikely anytime soon. . . or perhaps ever.

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LM Staff

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