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  1. #1
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    Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    12/28/2004

    On Aug. 21, 2002, in a preseason game against San Diego, Rams fullback James Hodgins pushed off on the Edward Jones Dome Astroturf to make a block. At that instant, a bone cracked in Hodgins' left foot. He was sidelined for nine weeks.

    Recalling the incident Tuesday, coach Mike Martz said, "He didn't hit anybody, he was coming out of a start and was going to make a cut-block and ... his foot snapped because there was just no give to the surface."

    Martz used Hodgins' injury as a prime example of why he feels so strongly that the 10-year-old plastic field needs to be ripped out and replaced with a more modern version of artificial turf.

    "It's a completely different surface" than it was when it was installed, Martz said. "That stuff ages. It loses its spring. It's much less forgiving."

    For more recent evidence, he cited the bruised knees suffered by rookie running back Steven Jackson and the bruised shoulder that kept quarterback Marc Bulger out for nearly three full games.

    "It's embarrassing to have to ask a professional football team to play on that surface," Martz said. "It's like a parking lot. Whatever cushion used to be there is long gone. When you see Steven's knee hit that rock surface (Monday night), it's amazing he didn't blow his knee out."

    The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority was formed in 1989 to build the Dome. The Convention and Visitors Commission operates the Dome, which is the central part of the America's Center convention complex.

    The original design required that the field surface could be removed so that the floor beneath it was available for other convention concerns. The turf currently is rolled up, a process that takes three hours. Some of the newer surfaces, such as the FieldTurf at the Rams Park indoor facility, can't be rolled up; other methods of removing such surfaces are being examined.

    Martz, however, isn't interested in waiting. And he indicated that the NFL's patience might be growing short, too.

    "It's awful. I can't imagine the league allowing it to go much further, because it's way substandard," Martz said. "The organization has been pressing them for two years to get that done, and for some reason they refuse to do it. And it's just not right."

    Martz said the Rams have offered to pay for the installation and upkeep of a new surface. "They've just balked at it," he said. "I don't know what else they want us to do, I really don't. But it angers me, because it puts the guys I'm responsible for at risk, guys that are important to me."

    A. Williams goes on injured reserve list

    In a moved that could signal the end of his stellar NFL career, safety Aeneas Williams was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list Tuesday by the Rams.

    Williams has been bothered since training camp by what Martz described as a "severe arthritic" neck condition. Williams hasn't played since Dec. 12 against Carolina. He aggravated the injury trying to tackle Panthers running back Brad Hoover on a screen pass.

    The Rams thought about placing Williams on IR following that game but decided against it, partially in the hope that the injury might improve enough for Williams to return should the Rams make the playoffs.

    But with the injury not progressing, the Rams decided to place him on IR. The team probably will fill Williams' roster spot by adding a practice squad player, either from another team's squad or their own. Williams, who turns 37 next month, is an eight-time Pro Bowler and probable Hall of Famer.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  2. #2
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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Coats
    Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    12/28/2004

    "It's embarrassing to have to ask a professional football team to play on that surface," Martz said. "It's like a parking lot. Whatever cushion used to be there is long gone."

    "It's awful. I can't imagine the league allowing it to go much further, because it's way substandard," Martz said. "The organization has been pressing them for two years to get that done, and for some reason they refuse to do it. And it's just not right."
    Of all the things I have ever heard him say, this is the one I won't disagree with even in jest. Players should sue the stadium owners of both Stl and Indy and ask for punitive damages. Stadium owners have been on notice for years, if not decades, that those surfaces exacerbate the probability and severity of injuries. It is just reckless and willful negligence to keep those surfaces in play.

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    I can't believe that the forces that be have not made this a priority.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    I'd tell them to either replace it by next season or threaten to move the team back to LA. :mask:
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMMAN68
    ... move the team back to LA.
    Now there is an idea I could get behind.

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    We need to have that green concrete replaced, no ifs, ands or buts! I'm quite confident it will be during the offseason.

    No way any team will allow this overdue issue to remain on the ground. :tongue:

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    Quote Originally Posted by adarian_too
    Players should sue the stadium owners of both Stl and Indy and ask for punitive damages.
    Good Grief !!!

    Of course anyone can attempt to sue for just about anything these days - BUT GET REAL

    Like the players are being FORCED to sacrifice their bodies, on any surface, for millions of dollars to begin with?




    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    I guess I'm the only one who finds it ironic that this is the same "turf" that they are now famous for being the "greatest show on".

    Now, even the turf is not good enough??


    what'll they think of next.

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferter
    Good Grief !!!

    Of course anyone can attempt to sue for just about anything these days - BUT GET REAL

    Like the players are being FORCED to sacrifice their bodies, on any surface, for millions of dollars to begin with?
    Yeah, and soldiers aren't forced to volunteer for the military either. But that doesn't mean they don't deserve consideration.

    If you don't like whining players trying to protect their ability to earn a livelihood, then how about the teams trying to protect their investments?

    Regardless of who is doing the complaining, the stupidity of installing those types of fields should long have been over-turned.

  10. #10
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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    I'd tell them to either replace it by next season or threaten to move the team back to LA.
    Don't take my Rams away from me! They're all I got!

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    The thing that always annoys me is when announcers say that the fast turf helps the Rams because they are built for speed. That is just plain illogical.

    Let's say the Rams WR runs a 4.40 and the opposing DB runs a 4.50 on grass. If the turf lowers the time - say by 5% - then it stands to reason that it does so for both players, not just one. In other words, on turf, the Rams WR runs a 4.18, while the opposing DB runs a 4.275 - the margin is essentially the same (a difference of .005 seconds - favoring the slower player). So how, pray tell, does the turf aid the faster team while hindering the slower team?

    Utter nonsense.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -12-30-2004 at 01:51 PM.

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    Quote Originally Posted by adarian_too
    Now there is an idea I could get behind.
    well that would be the first time californians would get behind an NFL team

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAAAAA .........


    Hey only kidding dude :tongue:


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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez
    well that would be the first time californians would get behind an NFL team

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAAAAA .........


    Hey only kidding dude :tongue:

    That would be funny even if I were a californian ...

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    Re: Dome turf presents hazard, Martz says

    I'd like to see a team in California that has a "normal" owner. Between Al Davis, Georgia Rosenbloom and Eddie DeBartalo we've had some serious question marks at the owner level. I don't know too much about the Spanos' but they're more normal than the previous three that I mentioned. They seem to adhere to the Bidwell philosophy of running a team but I think in general, Californians have had very little to feel secure about when it comes to proclaiming allegiance to a team.

    I'm assuming we want to relegate this argument to the NFL and in that context I think fans have had good reason to be unsupportive of some, or all, of the NFL teams here.

    Speaking only of the Rams, I can only offer this bit of advice: as long as Georgia is the owner, Rams fans shouldn't ever feel completely secure. Kind of like dating someone that is involved or married to someone else. If they're willing to cheat with you, then eventually they will cheat against you. That's Georgia. Remember, it only took her 15 years to uproot an L.A. staple like the Rams and it's been 10 years in St. Louis...

    Come to think of it, I could see Georgia pulling an Al Davis. Leave L.A., milk a different community for hundreds of millions of dollars, and now L.A. is still looking for a franchise. They don't want to expand again and would prefer for a team to migrate. Georgia would get hundreds of millions more to move BACK to L.A. plus a new stadium. She'd have her cake and eat it too. Oh man, I can just imagine her pulling this type of stunt.

    The lack of quality free agents and depth, the team record slipping, more frequent absences from the playoffs, controversy, fan dissention, complaints about the stadium. We all saw this in L.A. ten years ago. I'm not predicting, I'm just sayin'...
    Last edited by moklerman; -12-31-2004 at 06:07 PM.

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