Tonight I caught part of the season opening game for the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome on my big screen TV at home. While not a huge sports fan in general, the games usually look great on the big TV. But this game was a clear exception. From my point of view there was something seriously wrong with the turf on the field in the Superdome.
At first glance I thought maybe I was watching an outdoor game on real grass that had all dried up in a drought somewhere, but then I realized this was the Superdome. Then I thought about Hurricane Katrina and how badly damaged the dome had been following that catastrophe. But Katrina was five years ago. Surely the Saints have repaired the field by now. But it sure didn’t look like it. Really! It actually looked that bad.
The turf in the field was all gray and looked like an old weathered concrete surface that might once have been painted green, but had long since faded away to expose the gray concrete underneath. I considered grabbing my digital camera to take some pictures of the TV screen. Then I realized, I wouldn’t be able to publish them due to copyright infringement. But surely I’m not the only one out there who noticed the deplorable condition of the turf in the Superdome.
Since the game was not really all that fascinating and now I was intrigued by the bizarre appearance of the Superdome turf, I had to go do some quick internet research. Apparently the turf is brand new! In an article dated Aug. 18, 2010, James Varney of the Times-Picayune describes the “new turf” in the Superdome which is replaced every year. Varney describes the turf as “a thicker version of the old that has the crushed black rubber mixed with the green blades.”
While the new turf may have felt great in to the players on the field apparently nobody bothered to test what it would look like on nationally televised broadcasts. I suspect that if you were actually standing on the Saint’s field the turf might look fine to the naked eye. But on a television screen the turf was more gray than green and it looked old and worn. Clearly, the Saints didn’t get what they paid for with this year’s new turf.
It looked so bad I wondered if maybe something was wrong with my television. But I was soon relieved when the network showed some clips of other games and those fields looked just fine on my big screen TV. I even tried watching on another television in the house and the field looked just as bad, though on a smaller screen it was not quite as ugly.
While the turf was more gray than green last night it didn’t appear to bother the New Orleans Saints who still managed to score a 14-9 victory against Minnesota in their season opener. While I may be the only viewer out there planning to tune in to future games just to see if they fixed the field, I have to wonder if the Saints have even realized there’s a problem yet with the turf. Is it just me?
“New Orleans Saints get first look at refurbished Superdome,” James Varney, Times-Picayune, Retrieved from: