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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 23, 2024

The No. 3 Texas A&M baseball team took on No. 1 Tennessee Thursday at 1 p.m. at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama. Despite its...

Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

The NFL’s big turf narrative

Via Jonathan Moreau/Creative Commons

It’s time to put on the tinfoil hats.
The NFL is pushing a big turf narrative. I know it sounds pretty egregious, but the NFL continues to advocate for artificial turf while star players continue to have serious injuries on the same turf they endorse. Seriously, why advocate for a playing surface that your players are totally against?
The NFL and its teams want turf because the upkeep on artificial turf is way less than natural grass. The upfront cost of installing turf is more than grass, but it is cheaper over the long-term.
The league may start to change over to natural grass with the World Cup coming to the land of the free, but the biggest reason for change may be the recent injury to Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
I’m sure everyone remembers the injury to Rodgers. All the offseason hype and being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, just for Rodgers to tear his achilles on national television. Oh, and by the way, Rodgers got hurt on the infamous MetLife Stadium turf.
Rodgers’ injury might not have been entirely because of the playing surface, but it still reignited discourse over the issue.
Supporters of turf claim that it’s too difficult to determine whether an injury is due to the turf or is merely coincidental. However, I don’t buy it. JC Tretter, the NFL Players Association president, posted an article about the findings from the NFL’s injury data from 2012 to 2018, and the results don’t look great for big turfers.
The data found that there’s a 28% higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries for players when playing on artificial turf. Of those injuries, there’s a 32% higher rate of non-contact knee injuries and 69% higher rate of non-contact foot or ankle injuries for players.
There’s no way you can look at these stats and say that turf doesn’t have an effect on players. I get it, the NFL and some of its owners want to maximize profits. Not having to take care of natural grass every day is one way to do so. If you haven’t had to take care of grass before, it can be a pain.
Listen, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but the NFL has to be pushing a big turf narrative. Not only does the league take a weird stance in favor of artificial turf, but natural grass “failed” on the league’s biggest stage.
Remember this past Super Bowl when players had players change cleats because they were slipping?
Well, the game was played on a special grass called Tahoma 31. The newer breed of grass is a mix of two types of Bermuda grass and rye grass and was tested and studied all over the country until 2018.
Really sounds like the type of grass you’d want to play a game on, right? It was so good that the media covered how great the grass is. Business Insider even reported the grass cost $800,000. Unfortunately, the grass sucked. All the hype about it leading up to the Super Bowl, just for millions of people to watch it fail.
It just seems convenient that the NFL sides with artificial turf but spent a lot of money on natural grass just for it to suck.
Ex-NFL groundskeeper George Toma, also known as the “Sod Father,” told ESPN the grass was overwatered. Toma also told ESPN the NFL field director Ed Mangan didn’t let the grass rest in the sun long enough before it was rolled into the stadium.
It might’ve been a simple mistake by Mangan, but the NFL released a statement after the Super Bowl that stated the grass was in compliance with the NFL’s policy.
In the end, it’s just a theory. There might not be a turf narrative the NFL’s pushing, but it’s still baffling how players can suffer so many non-contact injuries on turf, yet the league won’t mandate grass for games.

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