The Chicago Bears have a long standing tradition of one of the most respected organizations in all of the National Football League, as well as throughout all of the major professional sports leagues. They are loved by many, hated by some, but respected by all. Fans show up in droves to support the Bears, free agents love coming to Chicago and the team remains one of the most feared in all of the NFL.
But as much as the players love playing in front of the fans at Soldier Field, they are certainly getting used to the poor field conditions. They are speaking out about it as well.
A couple of years ago, Jay Cutler called the turf at Soldier Field ”one of the worst fields in the league” during a press conference toward the end of the 2010 season. Last year, Brian Urlacher called the turf “a disaster” and pushed the team to implement Field Turf prior to the 2011 season.
Now, Robbie Gould is taking his shots at the field and the grounds crew in general.
Gould was on the air with “Football Night in Chicago” with ESPN 1000 on Tuesday night, discussing the difficult conditions the Bears had to play through in their loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. For those who missed the game, suffice to say, the conditions and weather were less than ideal.
“For some reason this season, and I don’t know whose job it is, and I love our guys in the Chicago Bears organization that takes care of our fields, but I want to know this year who decided to keep the field so soft that it’s been tore up the entire year,” Gould said on the show. “Let’s put it to you this way: If I were a grounds crew superintendant, I think I would keep a little bit of an eye if they were calling for rain for six straight days, and I just might roll a tarp out on the field before the game. I don’t know, maybe that’s common sense. Maybe that’s too tough to get done. I’m just saying I would do it. I would do it.”
Common sense, perhaps, but it did not happen. The rain continued to come down for days on end, and the field conditions were a mess. Gould was still able to hit two out of his three field goal attempts, although his 48 yard miss in the third quarter was a big one, as it would have cut the Texans lead to just one point. The Bears lost the game by seven.
This is not the first time this season Gould has questioned the field conditions at Soldier Field, He called the grounds crew into question following a win over the Carolina Panthers, and while he has missed just three field goal attempts in the 2012 season, they have all come at home at Soldier Field.
The players have been pushing for a change for years. What more will it take until a change to the field is made?
Perhaps, a last second loss in the NFC Championship Game due to poor conditions?
Bears fans hope it will not come down to that, but it may be the only thing monumental enough to warrant such a big change.