Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos has slammed the league and his own team for the state of the field during their recent preseason game.
Preseason is a time for everyone that’s involved in an NFL team to fine-tune everything that they need in order to get ready for the new season. Whether it be a quarterback who is getting used to a new offense, or a head coach that has to implement their schemes, there is a lot of work that needs to be done so that the team can hit the ground running.
And being prepared is something that goes on throughout the organisation and isn’t necessarily restricted to the playing staff. Concession workers need to get used to the speed of things, equipment staff need to make sure that the players have everything the way they like it so that they can be comfortable on the field, and the field itself needs to be ready for the months of heavy work it’s going to go through.
Although it appears as though the grounds crew for the Chicago Bears didn’t get the message as the Soldier Field turf was far from acceptable for their game this weekend just gone.
Turf having a tough time
The Bears played host to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday in their first game of the preseason, and whilst they were able to topple Patrick Mahomes and crew, that wasn’t the biggest talking coming out of the encounter.
The field at Soldier Field was in a very bad state for the game, with a lot of the blame seemingly being put on the Elton John concert that took place back on the 5th of August:
This is not photoshop. This is what the field actually looks like today. pic.twitter.com/NCtRAJxYWK— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 13, 2022
That Elton John concert last week destroyed the turf at Soldier Field. pic.twitter.com/fx4ey5CbV2— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) August 13, 2022
There was more than a week between the concert and the game, so you figure there must have been enough time for the crew to get the game to a manageable condition, but clearly not, and the backlash from it has been rather fierce.
The players fire back
Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Santos was far from happy when it came to talking about the condition that the field was in for their game:
‘‘I think it’s reckless that we have a product of the league out there, big-time players on both teams out there, and it’s too bad if the field becomes an issue where there’s an injury and that star of the league is out for the season. And that can happen. It’s a reckless thing that they’re not taking care of it to the standards [of the players].’’
This message could easily be seen as something of a warning to the team that they need to get the situation under control, but there are a number of events going on between now and when the Bears next play at home when they take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 on the 11th of September, so the grounds crew may have to work double time to get it into an acceptable state.
And if they don’t, then you imagine that the complaints might get louder and louder from the players afterward.