February 18, 2014 // Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Planted in Turf War

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Notre Dame Stadium - Turf or Grass?

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Mid-February has historically been a dead period for Notre Dame football. With the previous season and national signing day in the rearview mirror, and spring practice still several weeks away, all is usually silent on the South Bend front. However, this off-season has been far from ordinary thanks to athletic director Jack Swarbrick announcing a historic partnership with Under Armour and an impending stadium renovation. While such news made major waves within fan circles, the true buzz stems from what has yet to be announced.

Notre Dame is on the verge of potentially bucking 84 years of tradition with a decision on a subject that has been so controversial that it seemingly pits even the closest of Irish fans against one another. Should Notre Dame Stadium continue to utilize a grass playing surface – as it has since opening its doors in 1930 – or switch to synthetic FieldTurf?

Let the bedlam amongst ND fans begin.

Would the switch truly be so terrible? FieldTurf isn’t your father’s artificial surface. It’s not the AstroTurf made famous from the early 1990s that was mostly glorified carpeting and singlehandedly exploded the knee of Penn State star and most hyped NFL draft pick of the decade, Ki-Jana Carter, on the third carry of his professional career, an injury from which he would never recover. No, FieldTurf is taking the football landscape by storm. As of 2012 66% of NFL teams played on FieldTurf, and even those organizations still utilizing a grass playing surface at least possessed FieldTurf practice facilities.

But is the craze warranted? Notre Dame has never been one to join the majority simply because it’s popular. Elite high school recruits may enjoy Oregon’s turf track show and the Ducks’ preference in seemingly changing uniforms at halftime for every game, but Swarbrick and Irish head coach Brian Kelly will need more compelling arguments to forego longstanding tradition.

How about performance? It’s been presupposed by college football fans that FieldTurf automatically equals a faster playing surface, but is it true? According to a 2010 study published by The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it is. The study found the straight ahead sprint speed of athletes on FieldTurf is similar to natural grass, though change of direction and agility are significantly better on FieldTurf. Athletes competing on FieldTurf experienced a 3% faster agility time.

The report concluded, “The lack of difference in 40-yard dash times was somewhat surprising—since field turf produces less slippage between the shoe and surface, it might have been expected to produce faster sprint times.  The results could be affected by differences in the shoe sole and stud configuration used for the tests, Gains and coauthors suggest.”

If FieldTurf’s inability to produce better straight ahead speed in comparison to grass surfaces is dependent upon the traction capability of the shoe worn, Notre Dame may be in luck. According to a study conducted by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, which tested the traction results of different shoe types on FieldTurf, Under Armour’s Highlight MC was one of the very best performers (though, ironically enough, the shoe with the best test results was made by Adidas).

If FieldTurf can produce improved agility and, with the assistance of Under Armour’s high-performing shoes, straight ahead speed capable of providing Brian Kelly with the explosive offenses that made him famous, it should be a no brainer to forego Notre Dame’s grass playing surface, right?

If only it were so simple.

Player safety is a growing concern, and the safety record of FieldTurf is up for debate. The NFL recently released a study which recorded a much higher rate of injury on FieldTurf surfaces, though researchers are quick to note that nothing specifically can be attributed to FieldTurf – merely that the higher rate exists. The report found ACL sprains were 67% more common on FieldTurf than natural grass.

Another growing safety development is the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement on Christmas Day of 2013 that the health organization was backpedalling on its original stance that FieldTurf is safe for usage, instead calling for further study. The appeal for further analysis has been prompted by concerns regarding potential exposure to chemicals found in shredded tires, a key fixture in synthetic surfaces. The chemicals used in shredded tires include lead, arsenic and mercury, all problematic for football players being routinely tackled face-first into the playing surface.

Tradition against progress. Performance against safety. The University of Notre Dame has a difficult decision looming, and one that will assuredly provoke cries of outrage from one camp of the Fighting Irish’s divided fan base.

What Notre Dame intends to do is anyone’s guess. But given athletic director Jack Swarbrick’s track record since arriving in South Bend, whatever decision made will be the right one.

Scott Janssen is a blogger for the Huffington Post and has authored several nationally-featured articles, including an appearance on MSNBC as a sports contributor. He talks football 24 hours a day, much to the chagrin of his fiancée. Scott can be reached at scottjanssenhp@gmail.com.

Comments to this Article

  • bj commented on February 18th, 2014 at 8:43 am

    field turf is a joke, its another swarbrick idea that destroys the core of the program, its not about real estate, uniforms, toys or equipment, its about tradition and tradition is a sacred thing, if he goes this route find me annother ad, one with a soul and understanding of what nd is and has been.
    it might as well be a video game

    [Reply]

    Not bj replied on February 18th, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Swarbrick is the best thing that has happened to ND in the last 20 years. Find another team, this AD isn’t going anywhere. Destroys the core? It’s fucking turf. Read that one more time, It’s fucking turf.
    Tradition is not a one size fits all catch phrase for all things ND. If field turf had existed when the stadium was built, we’d have field turf.
    Were you also upset when the boys stopped taking trains to Southern Cal in favor of air travel?
    Bottom line, this is not your call as a fan. You’re, well, you’re out of your element. CFB is supposed to be fun. ND fans’ idea of fun seems to be bitching about everything that doesn’t align with their idea of Catholicism or their delicate sense of tradition.
    FOOTBALL IS FUN IF YOU LET IT BE FUN.

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on March 8th, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    A not bj exists?? Why didn’t I think of that?
    Well done sir!

    [Reply]

    Sean replied on February 18th, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Idiot.

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    HURLS replied on February 18th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I agree, Seanb. “bj” is an idiot. If we want top-calibur recruits to come to ND, we must have top-calibur facilities. o all your studies and junk, but kids’ll see the latest thing as the best thing. And that means kids’ll see field as better than natural turf. Plus, we are ND. We think beyond the present to the next phase and we prepare our students. NFL USES FIELD-TURF.

    [Reply]

    HURLS replied on February 18th, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Forgive my Hasty Pudding hasty posting. “I agree, SEAN.” And “DO all your studies…” I also forgot to mention that as well as the NFL using field-turf, most big-time high schools do, too. CHAMPION PROGRAMS SHOULD NOT ATTRACT KIDS WHO WANT TO REGRESS.

    HURLS replied on February 18th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Plus…I’m a soccer player. NOTRE DAME SOCCER IS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! Keep the field surface out of the game and make the game about athleticism and coaching.

    Jack replied on February 19th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    bj,

    This is where we will disagree. That field is a mess, ND lost three starters because of that horrible turf. Look at stadiums north of the Mason Dixon line, they are a mess. The middle of the field is crap. Even that hybrid stuff they put in Green Bay is a mess. I feel field turf is needed at that field to correct this problem.

    “Those who are beholden to the past will never move forward” If we followed your philosophy the “Gug” wouldn’t have been built and ND would have fallen a step behind. ND got an edge in the late 80′s by getting a TV deal which was unheard of, it’s time for them to make some changes and show the college football landscape the way of the future instead of copying others. Field Turf won’t kill tradition, just make a better playing surface.

    [Reply]

    HURLS replied on February 19th, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Bravo, Jack.

    [Reply]

  • Frank commented on February 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am

    The natural grass in the stadium, for all of the traditionalist’s views, has always been terrible late in the season. I saw my first game in ’44 and spent ’56-60 getting my degree. Despite playing only 4 home games a year (not 5-6 like today), the grass in Nov/Dec was terrible. We lost two stars with year-ending injuries (QB George Izo and RB Red Mack) when they slip on poor sod.
    It’s time to change unless there is a new natural grass, along with an effective sub-structure, that is available than the grass is as good late in the year as it is in August. If not, change to turf. Last year was embarrassing.

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  • IrishPollack commented on February 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    ouch, tell us how you really feel bj. so trying to optimize performance and safety by weighing options and making an informed decision is a joke? you probably would have been the guy calling for knute’s job after the first forward pass. im glad you werent around.
    if they go field turf, thats great, i played on it for 4 years in college, and it was really nice; more than anything, it was a consistent surface. the article posts a lot of great counterpoints in favor of grass however, some of which i didnt even realize (the chemical element of the rubber, which now seems kind of a no-brainer, but nonetheless). and yes, there is the dirt-on-your-pants ethos of old, which could give us an advantage on home games, as more and more schools are going to the artificial stuff.
    in any event, i have confidence that mr. swarbrick will make the best decision availible, with the best information availible. while there are many several traditions at Notre Dame, one of the biggest is… winning. if one surface gives us a better chance to win, then we would be preserving one of the most sacred tenants of irish football.

    GO IRISH!

    [Reply]

  • Ron commented on February 18th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Winning cures all ills. I don’t care if they play on cement. Just win baby!

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on February 18th, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Player safety should always be top priority.
    Followed by performance, appearance, utilization, and cost.

    I think everyone would agree, an incredible looking natural grass field in Notre Dame stadium is what people have come to expect and want.

    But with the added seats above the original bowl now in place, along with bigger press boxes, in a stadium that runs north and south, the playing surface now has a significantly reduced amount of sunlight that the natural grass can absorb.

    This has contributed to the degraded field quality.

    The real joke was last year’s field. It was one that had to be replaced more than once. That approach is unacceptable. It was unsafe, and unsightly.

    The original stadium desperately needed to be expanded and upgraded. There was no way around that.
    But along with that expansion comes other issues, like maintaining good field conditions.

    Is there a natural field that can be installed, grow, and hold up in an environment of reduced sunlight and shorter growing season? I don’t know.

    While we would all like to have our cake and eat it too, sometimes the reality of the cost of progress is compromise.

    [Reply]

    Michael the Archangel replied on February 18th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Right on the mark, Shaz.

    I’ll leave this call to those who know more than I. Your priorities of safety and performance are the key deciders. And like Irish Pollack said, the most important tradition to preserve is . . . winning. The most beautiful sight on game day looking in from the seats is the scoreboard with ND having more points.

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  • jimbasil commented on February 18th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    BJ: I’m sure there are season ending injuries on FieldTurf too.

    I have never been one who feels the need to yell “ND needs to change their field” nor have I been one to yell “tradition” and so on.

    I have said, football should be played on grass and outdoors.

    The fields become chewed up by seasons end and knowing that replacing areas of the field with fresh sod the players then have difficulty making their cuts. Why replace chewed up grass on the field; it is only making playing more hazardous.

    With regard to FieldTurf – Reading just now that it’s made from old tires automatically says to me, why would you want to play on that?

    If you’ve ever been to an auto race, Nascar or Indy racing on any day but on a hot day especially, as the cars build up the heat on their tires to help stick to the track better, the tire also breaks apart (in very tiny pieces) almost in a liquid – those who go the races know how awful that stuff is to breathe in. What happens when teams like TX continually play on FieldTurf? Is there any harm to the respiratory system? We are told not to put very hot items in to plastic containers because the toxins in plastic leech out from percolation by the hot item into the food we ingest. Wouldn’t FieldTurf be doing a similar thing when sitting open in the hot sun?

    Grass is the way to go, maybe not using sod to make the field look pretty to the fan on TV because as we know, it doesn’t hold up well with players and cleats running on it.

    [Reply]

  • Rich commented on February 18th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Interesting topic! How about this? We make the playing surface vegas gold,
    the lines navy and the end zones green. At the 50 yard line we put the Irish Logo and the numbers would be white outlined in navy. In the end zones, at one end Irish, the other end Notre Dame. At the start of each game the band will play the Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Bros. theme song.
    There is some thing to say about tradition and ND has cornered the market on it. It is the college football capitol of tradition. The question is will a turf field really change that tradition. I seriously doubt it! It is kind of like the new uniforms they were once a year. They are good for one game but to wear them all year…….I do not think they should!
    I guess if I had to make the decision I would go with good old green grass.
    Go Irish! Instead of wasting money on a new turf field, how about fixing the wooden benches that are in the stadium, a lot less money and I’m sure the people sitting in those archaic hole filled seats would appreciate it more!

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  • David Fahey commented on February 18th, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    ND plays on field turf in many away games. Has it caused injuries? Better play?

    [Reply]

  • GL commented on February 18th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Why not try the hybrid turf fields that are being used at rugby stadia such as Aviva (Dublin), Twickenham (London), Forsyth Barr (Dunedin, NZ – a covered stadium with glass roof), or Newlands (Cape Town)? They use grass reinforced with artificial fibres so that it doesn’t tear up as easily. This could provide the compromise of having a field that looks like grass but has some of the durability of artificial turf (Field Turf is a brand, not a type, of turf).

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  • Joe commented on February 18th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    What about trying a hybrid turf field like they are starting to use in rugby stadia? Aviva (Dublin), Twickenham (London), Forsyth Barr (Dunedin, NZ – a “glass” covered stadium), and Newlands (Cape Town) now have this type of field installed. It is a grass field with reinforced artificial fibres. It looks and feels like a grass field and has much (but not all) of the durablity of an artifical turf. It might be an easier sell since it will look like grass but should not tear up like the current field does. Then if it doesn’t work, NC can switch to an artificial surface (FieldTurf is a brand, not a type, of artificial playing surface).

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  • Beej commented on February 18th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Grass or fieldturf…? Shouldn’t matter as long as ND outscores the opponents on average of 10 times a year. Tradition is overrated anyway. Adapt or die.

    [Reply]

  • Mary Janssen commented on February 18th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    STAY WITH GRASS!!

    [Reply]

    Kevirish01 replied on February 19th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Are you from Colorado or Washington, Mary? ;^)

    [Reply]

  • Damian commented on February 18th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I agree with Shazamrock. If it was just tradition vs being flashy, then yes, I’d agree, tradition should win out at ND.

    But player safety and performance (with the highest emphasis on safety) should win out. Whether that’s natural or turf, I’ll back whatever meets those 2 demands. That has to be top priority.

    I think Swarbick is handling this exactly right. He’s analyzing it from both angles and is not making a judgment either way until he has more information.

    [Reply]

  • BJ commented on February 18th, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    i think we are smart enough to grow grass, but the ad never thinks through all the ramifications of what he does. “But with the added seats above the original bowl now in place, along with bigger press boxes, in a stadium that runs north and south, the playing surface now has a significantly reduced amount of sunlight that the natural grass can absorb.” swarbrick only sees the money not the soul of the program, lets pay em, play on artificial turf and call it the blue and gold video game, another kevin white, cant thay ever make it work.

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  • brandon commented on February 18th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Who cares what surface we play on? Let’s get a Jumbotron. That interests me way more

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  • duranko commented on February 18th, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Frank, thanks for sharing your input. But the game on field condition changed significantly from ’94 on, when we started the stadium expansion, and then capped it with that Massive press box. It sits on the West side, and quite literally blocks out the sun. South Bend is pretty far north, and as autumn wanes, the sun, simply, is blocked from shining on the football field. This is Notre Dame football. It ought be about football, and not about groundskeeping gymnastics. I could just imagine Rock and Leahy walking out ONCE in November and seeing a torn up cow pasture for their lads to play on!

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  • BJ commented on February 18th, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    ask the biology department how to grow that grass, or some experts, you guys are dying to quit

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    Ron Burgundy replied on February 19th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    How about a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff. Here, I’ve got pounds of this.

    [Reply]

  • BJ commented on February 18th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    http://www.proschoice1.com/downloads/WP_Football.pdf

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on February 19th, 2014 at 9:37 am

    According to the recent release of the proposed $400 mil campus improvement project, new buildings are designed to be built around the
    existing football stadium allowing it to become a more multi-functional facility and a renewed university focal point.

    The stadium, which once sat on the outskirts of the campus, will soon be fully incorporated within the growing campus.
    I believe part of the idea is to create a fan, student, and university closeness that will only enhance our home field advantage during games.

    The University of Notre Dame campus is already considered one of the most admired university’s in all the world.
    It’s original European style architecture, along with historic religious influences, combined with tasteful modern additions, makes for
    impressive diversity and a truly unique campus.

    I think it’s foolish for anyone to really believe that with all the time, money, planning, and construction investments centered around the stadium,
    that when game day arrives, the Irish football team is still going to sloshing about on an inferior field.

    [Reply]

  • Irishroch commented on February 19th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Either way you go the status quo has to change. The current field is a joke by the end of the year. Re-sodding 3 or 4 times a year is not the answer. My vote is fieldturf and a legit video scoreboard while they are at it. It won’t be the end of the world. The sun will rise tomorrow…Notre Dame will still be an outstanding University and football program.

    [Reply]

  • clubgitmo commented on February 19th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Tradition is one thing and a horrible playing surface is another.

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  • BJ commented on February 19th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    ITS ALL ABOUT SCIENCE, THE WILL TO MAKE IT HAPPEN AND AVOIDING THE EASY WAY OUT,THERE ARE LOTS OF STRONG GRASSES THAT DO GREAT IN THE SHADE, I KNOW I LIVE ON A HORSE FARM, AND HORSES, THEY ARE BIGGER AND TOUGHER ON THE PLAYING SURFACE THAN OOTBAll PLAYERS,YOU GUYS HAVE MADE LOSING A BAD HABIT.

    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.

    Vince Lombardi

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on February 19th, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Im a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. Thats what kind of man I am. Youre just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. Its science.

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    Jack replied on February 20th, 2014 at 9:32 am

    bj,

    Ohio State has the best turf school in the country and they went to field turf. If there is a way to make grass grow OSU has the best dept for it. As much as I hate OSU, Jack has made it into the premier turf school. Temperatures are just to cold up here for it to recover, its like the difference of using Bent andBBermuda grass

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on February 20th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    @Professor BJ-

    Wait,
    Let me get this straight-
    If someone’s opinion is that they like the idea of turf over grass, they are a “quitter”, and have made said quitting and losing a habit.

    Wow, that’s quite a hypothesis you got going there.

    Ron is going to punch you in the ovary, right in the baby- maker. And I want to watch on pay-per-view.

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on February 20th, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Knute Rockne was a visionary, an innovator, and a free thinker.
    All traits that made him a great leader and very successful.

    The ND stadium is called “The house that Rockne built” because of Rockne’s understanding for its immediate need in order to keep pace with other college football programs, and his close involvement in its design and construction.

    Knowing the man as we do now, I’m willing to bet that if artificial turf had been available back in 1930 when the stadium was built, that same innovator and free thinker would have selected the cutting edge technology as the playing surface for his new stadium.

    Rockne was the type of man that if there was something out there that might give his team an advantage, he was willing to try it.
    And we are all (at least most of us) eternally grateful for it.

    Fortunately for ND, we are lucky enough to have an Athletic Director who embodies many of those same traits.

    [Reply]

  • bj commented on February 20th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    man everybody wants to quit, it takes guts to find the grass that grows in the shade and in cold whether, but its done all the time, any guy who raises horses can grow great, deep grass, it takes dedication, science/brains. i want grass, i want a national championship, i want a coach that doesnt flirt with the gd eagles, i want a defense that doesnt bend, but breaks the other guy down and scores points, did you guys go to nd or smc. unbelievable. postscript using player injuries and rockne are below the belt. no one wants player injuries. and rockne always played on GRASS!

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on February 20th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    “and Rockne always played on GRASS”….. except in November when all the grass was dead and gone… then he played in mud!

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    Ron Burgundy replied on February 20th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Take 22 of your horses and put them on a 100 x 50 yard plot of land and let them run around on it for 3 months in late fall and report back to us how it looks.

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    JDH replied on February 20th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    @BJ:
    And the Minutemen always used muskets against foreign enemies! But that wouldn’t probably work out to well today would it?

    P.S. You certainly are demanding for someone who has no actual blood, sweat and tears inside of the program.

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on February 20th, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Brian “Wide Shoes” Johnson: I want a hamburger… no, a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake…

    Judge Smails: YOU’LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT!.

    [Reply]

    DKNiGHT replied on March 9th, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Spalding!

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on February 20th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I love how people are so nuts over tradition. Knute Rockne could have given two craps about tradition. He was the P.T. Barnum of college football. He is the reason football became popular. He was the first to travel anywhere any place to play someone. Also, he wanted to join the Western Athletic conference, (Big Ten), but a anti-catholic Fielding Yost barred them. I bet if he was alive today and running ND, he would have tried to get into the SEC to play the best competition and win. He was about winning and didn’t care how it got done. ND needs to stop seeing history with rosey colored glasses on and see it as it was. bj, at times you are to beholden to the past and tradition.

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on February 20th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Agreed and well said. Traditions are absolutely important. The map to our past can help us plot our future. But the past is generally looked upon as being flawless, especially by ND fans. The truth is much more complex and varied. Tradition should be respected and acknowledged, but not at the expense of establishing a WINNING present and future.

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    Jack replied on February 21st, 2014 at 11:31 am

    JDH,

    My point is that ND in the past was the innovator. They have stepped away from that, and need to become the innovator and not the copier. What works at FSU and other big State U’s does not work at ND. ND needs to find ways innovate in their way and not follow what’s cool. What makes ND who it is, is the fact that they find ways to make themselves the leader of college football. I think they have gotten away from that and need to go back.

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    JDH replied on February 24th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Jack I agree with you. Tradition and innovation are always in a tug of war and the answers/decisions will never satisfy everyone. My point is that honoring tradition does not equate to never changing anything. ND indeed needs to remember their traditions while leading with innovation. They are not mutually exclusive. One suggestion would be to stop managing the “ND brand” like it’s the world’s biggest bank. They’ve lost their way in that regard, IMHO.

  • John K commented on February 20th, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    bj, you, and people like you are a part of the problem with Notre Dame’s fan base, especially the older generations. You want everything to be “how it was” because of “tradition”. You know what happens if Notre Dame does that? They get left in the dust in the college football landscape. Things change, the game changes, recruiting changes, it happens. You know what hasn’t changed since the 80′s? The number of Championships Notre Dame has. So open your mind, embrace some changes and hope for the better. If ND wins a championship soon will it mean less to you if their home games were played on field turf? If so, I recommend becoming a Cubs fan if you aren’t already one. And one more thing… Quit yelling at me to sit down at home games. You sound like just the type that would do that. And then wonder why we have no home field advantage anymore. Notre Dame stadium is literally a mausoleum. The average fan’s age is deceased. The place is very quiet with few exceptions (Bush push USC game ’05 and Stanford overtime ’12). People are there to kick back, sight see, meet up with old friends and to bs. The actual game is secondary based on what I see except for the student section. Teams love to come to South Bend.

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  • duranko commented on February 20th, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    What’s intriguing about Rockne is his “path” to get to Notre Dame, which was anything but traditional, and the path of one Gipp, George, which was
    anything but traditional. And Notre Dame Stadium, our “tradition” looks like it does because Rockne saw Michigan’s, and demanded that we copycat it on a smaller scale or he was threatening to leave.

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  • Ron Burgundy commented on February 20th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past.
    -Lewis Mumford

    [Reply]

  • bj commented on February 20th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    not a traditionlist, but i always learned that when you change things there are unanticipated consequences, they never figure it out until its too late, what will the new real estate development do to the stadium, view of touchdown jesus, the grass, its all a huge ego trip, the focus was never on oc, dc, the best special teams coach, renewing our relationships with the catholic prep schools that produced our teams for years, if you cant even grow grass how are you going to be national champs

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on February 20th, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    “if you cant even grow grass how are you going to be national champs”

    Perhaps the greatest quote in the history of quotes!

    Thank you bj, you bring joy to an otherwise mundane Thursday.

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on February 25th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    It reminds me of Zoolander:
    “How can the children learn how to read, if they can’t even fit inside the building?!”

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  • VicPaul commented on February 20th, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Play the game on the type of field you practice on. These boys are finely tuned athletes wear timing is everything. The QB and his receivers practice day after day on FieldTurf and have their timing down to a science, why take that away from them on game day?!?!?!

    [Reply]

  • VicPaul commented on February 20th, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    *Where, damn auto correct

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  • bj commented on February 21st, 2014 at 11:16 am

    ron burgundy always makes me laugh.

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  • HURLS commented on February 21st, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    FACT #1 – Field turf SHALL happen at ND.
    FACT #2 – It’ll be easier to incorporate into our superiority the sooner we get it.

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on February 22nd, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Hey if we go with field turf, let’s paint it gold and have a gold field, hahaha. In all seriousness, the natural grass field has taken a real beating and as pointed out by earlier posts, there is a legitimate concern about sun blockage which contributes to the poor condition. If field turf helps promote better play, appearance, and safer field environment, then it’s the way to go I think. Evolving is part of the game, even at ND.

    Go Irish

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on February 22nd, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Storespook, sometime check out the field at Eastern Washington. It is red. I kid you not.

    I would mildly amend your last sentence to say “Evolving is part of the game, especially at ND. The knockoff of Michigan Stadium, the travelling
    by Rockne, the consecutive games at Yankee Stadium, the institution of the USC rivalry as the first true intersectional rivalry, the box formation, the shock troops, Leahy’s shift away from the box formation, the adherence to independence, the sunday morning replays, the NBC contract, and many other things underline that Notre Dame’s tradition is organic, dynamic evolving excellence. Notre Dame’s Christ-centric environment is its strongest tradition, made it despised by Yost and the Michigan folks, and still produces THE ESSENTIAL CATHOLIC/CHRIST-CENTERED TRADITION that is so powerful, that Ernest Jones, having been fully NotreDamized, had to leave UConn.

    At Notre Dame we major in majors.
    We don’t major in minors.

    [Reply]

  • ripperduck commented on February 22nd, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    When I saw that Jimmy Claussen needed two hands to throw a massive divot back into place during a game, that was all that I needed to know that whatever the hell it is we have now, doesn’t work. The test comparisons between synthetic/real mean nothing because there have been no comparisons between ND field with synthetic. ND’s grass has been replaced in mid season, it’s that bad, so whatever synthetic product that can be used without in game maintenance by the players, must be better than what’s capable of being grown….

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  • Bruce johnson commented on February 22nd, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Swarbrick has not done his home work. See http://www.proschoice1.com, or http://www.dessosports.com. The article wa biased and only talked about field turf. This stinks. The fix is in. Another decision like the one where he picked Kelly in ten days. This guys like to do deals but doesn’t understand or care about the tremendous ramifications if what he does. No professional objective outside advice, instead a rigged deck with one competitor?

    [Reply]

  • bj commented on February 24th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    i am for innovation, try something new, better grass, better ideas, but there are many better ideas than artificial turf

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on February 24th, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    What are these other options? Isn’t it just grass or turf?

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on February 25th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    It’s pretty obvious to most of us that Jack Swarbrick has thus far done an admirable job.

    Securing an agreement with the ACC for all sports except football where our independence is remains assured while positioning us for inclusion in the Orange bowl is an amazing accomplishment.

    Now having said that, our men’s basketball team, which is now part of the ACC, is 5-10 in ACC play this year, and just 14-14 overall.

    We are going to have to do better than that.
    ND should never be the preverbal door mat in any sport.

    If there is one area that I think Swarbrick has fallen short it is with the men’s basketball program.
    He needs to find a bright, energetic young coach, who can put together a solid staff, recruit, teach, and breathe life back into
    a program that has been sadly disappointing for decades.

    Do that, and someday they will erect a statue in honor of the man.

    [Reply]

  • bj commented on February 25th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    read my links ron

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  • Bruce johnson commented on March 9th, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I read that Florida had the best special
    teams in the country last year. Did Cody Riggs play on their
    special teams? If so maybe he could be an inspiration for our special teams guys. Is Kelly thinking outside the box?
    We wil need every every advantage to deal with the upcoming brutal schedule,
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on March 9th, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    So you want to emulate the 4-8 Gators?

    [Reply]

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