A big tip o' the cap to Rip Jersey for inspiring this entry and for pointing me in the direction of several of the links used below. This post would not have happened without his insight.
At 11 a.m. CST today, Reliant Stadium hosted the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (congrats to the Aggies on the win). At noon CST tomorrow, Reliant Stadium will host the final game of your Houston Texans' 2011 regular season. Why would the Texans allow a game at Reliant to be played less than twenty-four hours before they host a game of their own? Why compromise the field like that? Why leave so little time for the field to recover and/or be repaired?
The answer, presumably, is money. More events at Reliant Stadium means more revenue for the people who run and own Reliant Stadium. That's all well and good, but is it worth the risk to the Texans, who are the primary tenant of Reliant Park? I watched a good portion of A&M-Northwestern today, and the field looked horrendous, even at the beginning of the game. Plus, it's not like there hasn't been a history of complaints about the field at Reliant.
After Wes Welker suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final game of the 2009 regular season at Reliant, Bill Belichick wasn't shy about sharing how he felt about the natural grass pallets that form the field at Reliant Stadium:
“The turf down there is terrible,” Belichick told the radio station. “It's terrible. It's just inconsistent.
“It's all the little trays of grass and some of them are soft and some of them are firm and they don't all fit well together, those seams … some of it feels like a sponge, some of it feels real firm and hard like the Miami surface. One step you're on one, the other step you're on another. I really think it's one of the worst fields I've seen.”
Perhaps at least partially in response to complaints like this, Reliant Park was reportedly considering purchasing artificial turf to use for non-Texans events. They still haven't taken that step and, to make matters worse, they're chosen to go full speed ahead with hosting other football games on the Texans' grass, with less than a day for the field to be repaired or to recuperate.
What's it going to take for the Texans to address this issue? A season-ending non-contact injury for a Texan caused by the field conditions at Reliant? I'd hope not, but at this rate, I'm not sure there's an answer to that question. The only thing I do know is that the Texans are playing with fire.Titans vs Texans coverage