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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Last season, when Rams were falling one by one to the AstroTurf monster at the Edward Jones Dome, the outcry grew louder for a new surface. At least then, the rug at the Dome wasn’t the worst in the league.

    Starting this season, St. Louis won’t be able to make that claim anymore. The Indianapolis Colts, another team known for its high-octane offense and shoddy playing surface have made the move that many players, coaches and staff in the Rams organization have pleaded for: a new synthetic surface.

    It wasn’t so long ago that the turf in St. Louis and Indianapolis was seen as an advantage to the home team. Those teams were able to use their superior speed to turn games into glorified track meets. But when multi-millionaires start spraining knees, twisting ankles and tearing anterior cruciate ligaments, then track meets don’t seem quite so appealing.

    Indianapolis is finally taking the steps toward correcting the problem. When play in the 2005 season begins, the Colts will tear out the AstroTurf surface they play on now to a more user-friendly surface along the lines of the FieldTurf that is now used in many stadiums across the NFL. Other possibilities for the playing surface are AstroPlay and Sportexe Momentum.

    The move was unanimously approved Monday, according to a report in the Indianapolis Star. The Capital Improvement Board, which runs the RCA Dome, allotted $800,000 for the new surface and up to $900,000 for a hard top that would cover the turf when other events are held at the Dome.

    The change leaves the Rams as the only team in the league still using the outdated AstroTurf. During the season, team officials made it clear that St. Louis had interest in getting the surface changed and would do just about anything within reason to get the switch made.

    The official response from those in charge of the Edward Jones Dome is that there needs to be a surface in place that can be moved in and out easily to accommodate other events, such as monster truck rallies and boat shows.

    Indianapolis apparently faced many of the same objections with the RCA Dome, but it appears that the additional funding for a hard surface to cover the new surface would solve those types of logistical problems. The Colts’ surface was voted the worst in the league in a recent survey of NFL players. The team expects to have the new surface ready by May, but not in time for the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine.

    Pete Ward, the Colts’ senior executive vice president, told the Star that it had become apparent to all parties that a change was necessary.

    “It was a mutual agreement that the days of the (AstroTurf) that has been in the dome are numbered," Ward said.

    Meanwhile, the Rams are working to get their surface changed. NFL rules stipulate that St. Louis must adjust facilities within 10 seasons if they are not up to the league’s standards. If the turf at the Edward Jones Dome doesn’t meet those requirements, the league could step in and demand the changes.

    After watching running backs Steven Jackson and Marshall Faulk and numerous offensive linemen struggle with injuries related to the surface, Rams’ coach Mike Martz had had enough.

    “That surface really needs to be changed; it’s a shame to have all these great athletes playing on that hard surface,” Martz said. “It’s the worst one in the league.”

    With the alteration to the surface in Indianapolis, Martz’s in-season ranking is officially correct.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    This change needs to happen. Free agents (if they have not already started doing so) will avoid signing with St. Louis specifically because of the greater risk of injury.

  3. #3
    thoey's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    Hey, help funding by cutting the Astroturf into chunks and sell them off. I'd buy a 6" square for $10 as long as it came with a certificate of authenticity. I am sure some would be interested in a larger chunk...
    This space for rent...

  4. #4
    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    Whatever, they've been playing on it for 10 years. They'll change it eventually. I don't recall too many injuries that are a direct result. Do the Rams have more injuries than any other team?

    Last time I checked, this turf put the "turf" in the greatest show on TURF.

    Who cares.

  5. #5
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    Just another reason why the Rams could move back to LA. Georgia sells if the turf isn't replaced. LA offers grass and Seau signs with the Rams to play MLB (OK. Maybe it is a little late to offer Jr. a LB of weed to play for the Rams).

  6. #6
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    Quote Originally Posted by sbramfan
    Last time I checked, this turf put the "turf" in the greatest show on TURF.
    And it helped Indy have one of the best offenses last season, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be replaced.


    Quote Originally Posted by sbramfan
    Who cares.
    I'm pretty sure guys like Steven Jackson, who sustain knee injuries from this turf, care a great deal. So should we, if we value the health of our favorite team's players at all.
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  7. #7
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    out with the old in with the............Whatever they can get a deal on! :tongue:
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  8. #8
    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    It's no guarantee he doesn't sprain his knee on the other stuff. I agree, they should get the other stuff. But it's not 100% better. It's just a little better. It's still turf.

  9. #9
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    Quote Originally Posted by sbramfan
    But it's not 100% better. It's just a little better.
    ...are you a turf expert?
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  10. #10
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    Re: St. Louis Last Left with AstroTurf

    If the Colts can move from Baltimore at night, I don't doubt anything.

    However, the NFL should fine the Rams and force them to move to field turf.

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