In case you missed it, Soldier Field's playing surface sucks.
And nobody seems to know what to do about it.
The problem is that Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Park District, not the Bears. Because the Park District has every right to use one of their facilities to generate as much revenue as possible, they do precisely that... at the expense of the turf.
A handful of players have been very public about their complaints, including Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher last year. Opponents have questioned the integrity of the field as well. On many late-season Sundays the past few seasons, the field has been among the worst in professional sports, and has absolutely been an embarrassment to the city of Chicago.
But it's August now, and the Bears are a week away from their first preseason game. Certainly the field should be in perfect, gameday shape... right?
On Friday night, the Bears were supposed to practice at Soldier Field for the first time. But they didn't.
The screenshot accompanying this piece is a tweet from Bears kicker Robbie Gould after the team got back on their buses and headed to Bourbonnais. The team took one look at the turf and didn't ever waste their time stretching.
Just a couple weeks ago, the field appeared to be in good playing shape when the Chicago Fire hosted Manchester United in a friendly at Soldier Field. But there have been a number of other events, including U2's Chicago stops, over the summer and the field has seen better days.
At some point, someone needs to fix this. There's no excuse for the biggest money-generating team in the city to be playing on a crap-tastic field every week. Maybe it's time the McCaskey family wrote a check so the 2012 season could (finally) be played on artificial turf like most other NFL stadiums.In fact, if the Bears need a price estimate on artificial turf, they could call any of the dozens of high school athletic departments in the Chicago suburbs that play on a better, artificial surface every week than the Bears do.
If that sounds pathetic, it is.