Q&A with the SA Editors: March 31, 2000

Marcus Pelletier San Jose, Calif. In response to Mike Woitalla's field-wear comparison (March 28 Q&A with SA Editor): It is pretty obvious that football is worse on a grass field than soccer. Just look at the MLS fields that share with a college or NFL football team (just about all of them?). Year after year, nearly an entire MLS season goes by with no notable change in field conditions until the football teams start using the fields. Then they turn ratty (or into artificial turf, in New JerseyÆs case). Mike Woitalla: Indeed, Marcus, the evidence keeps piling up. And the issue over soccer vs. football on grass does bring up an MLS achievement that we may have already started taking for granted. There is no excuse in the world for artificial turf on professional sports fields. Fake grass is just plain wrong -- in addition to the fact that it most probably results in more injuries. Among the great things MLS has done -- besides bringing pro soccer back to the USA and giving us a sport on TV that is uninterrupted by commercials -- is fight for real grass. MLS has always insisted on real grass, and has delivered, except in Giants Stadium, where the football people wanted the fake stuff. Even there, MLS spent millions on temporary grass that was hauled in and out of the stadium. Finally Giants Stadium, the only place where MLS games -- in late season -- have been played on artificial turf, has acquiesced and will make the move to permanent real grass. Now if we can just get rid of those football markings that show up near the end of the season. (If you have a question for a Soccer America Magazine editor, click "Q&A with SA Editors" in the left column of the home page under "Interactive.")
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