To be quite honest with all of you… I don’t really care. Awkward, I know, but I am rather open-minded to both sides of the argument. The elephant in the room (or the airbus in the stadium if you prefer) is that of tradition.
Tradition can make us do crazy things like for example: fight a bloody Civil War, not allowing women to vote, or even drowning someone to see if they are a witch (if you drown and die, you’re not a witch). As extreme as these situations are, they are examples of how some traditions turn into tragedy and irrelevance later in time. (Editor’s Note: Subway Domer will have an article in the near future about Notre Dame and tradition in the near future… it’s gonna be a doozy).
Now back to the business at hand…
I guess I look at it this way: How would I design the field if I had to start from scratch? Basically, the field is gone (much like it was a few years ago, and it needs replaced) and I need to come up with the best solution for our turf needs.
1. Geography. South Bend is in one of those “Lake Effect” places. When it rains- or snows, it comes down with the fury of the Old Testament. Moisture is a big factor- if not the biggest factor in the life of ground surfaces.
2. Usage. Just how much wear and tear will be put on this field? With the current schedule format, 7 home games are being played on this field. 22 players are out their at once driving their cleats into the ground along with helmets and shoulder pads. (I’m sure the 100+ member marching bands don’t help either).
3. Season. Football is played in the fall. It’s a great time to plant grass and other plants, but it doesn’t grow well until the spring. As the season wears on, there isn’t enough help from Mother Nature to heal itself.
Using those three factors, I can only come up with one logical selection… Fieldturf.
As I understand it, the grass that lays in the stadium now is the same type of turf that is used at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That is all fine and dandy, but baseball hardly puts the same type of wear and tear on its fields as football teams do- plus, it is being used during the growing season. Fieldturf is the choice all over the Midwest by other Universities, and professional teams. Why? Because it is what works the best in the current conditions.
The Brawling Hibernian did make an excellent point, no matter the surface- both teams have to play on turf. So, there is no real “advantage” for our team to have one turf over another, The Fieldturf choice is logical, economical, and an easy fix.
As for the paint, I have this suggestion… Slashes in the endzones, throw an ND out in the middle, and go back to the smaller numbers. If I’m going to piss some people off, I shouldn’t “half-ass” it.