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Cooper Kupp And ESPN Remind Us Again How Stupid It Is That Half Of NFL Stadiums Have Artificial Turf Instead Of Grass

The NFL is swimming in money, league revenue keeps exploding, and thanks to some new media rights/TV deals that will kick in this coming year, the salary cap is set to skyrocket.

So what the fuck is the holdup on making every single stadium a grass field, rather than artificial turf? Cheapskate owners unwilling to make the change? Creating, um, landscaping jobs and paying a little extra for the "hassle" of upkeep and maintenance? Is that so inconvenient? All I have are questions. Common answer is probably, one way or another "money" or "maximizing profit margins", "quick turnarounds for concerts/other sports teams/non-sporting events" etc...bad look. I'm not naive, I get it. Doesn't mean it's right or the way things should be done.

That's the thing. I don't feel like this is some wildly unrealistic moon-shot initiative. If the league truly gave as many legitimate fucks about player safety as they claim to, all 32 teams would be able to play at home with more peace of mind, on a far safer surface. Instead, we have half the league, 16 organizations/bazillionaire owners holding their dicks in their hands on this issue and refusing to budge as injuries pile up at a far higher rate versus grass.

What's the main difference between grass and turf, you might be wondering? In the most succinct way possible, let's dish it over to San Francisco 49ers star George Kittle in a tweet from February:

You'd agree that this guy is one of the toughest motherfuckers in the NFL, would you not? So it's not like he's being hyperbolic by comparing artificial turf to cement! That's what it actually is! The petition Kittle was plugging sought out 35,000 signatures. Check out an excerpt from their homepage that only begins to touch on how problematic turf is:

"Of the 32 teams in the NFL, 16 teams still play on artificial turf, despite the undeniable risk it poses to both players and the environment. It’s time to play smarter with Pennington.

The numbers don’t lie:

28% more non-contact lower body injuries.

32% more non-contact knee injuries.

And 69% more non-contact foot and ankle injuries occurred on turf.

Turf can get up to 60 degrees hotter than natural grass, increasing the rate at which toxic gases are released and ingested.

90% of NFL players believe artificial turf will shorten their careers."

I don't know if Change dot org petitions typically do anything but hey, I figure it can't hurt to mention it. 

By the way, later in the ESPN segment, of course Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy played the whole, "Not gonna talk about another man's money" card. Don't wanna ruffle Jerry Jones' feathers. LOL. We all knew McCarthy was a jellyfish already, right? Further proof here.

Coming back around to Kupp since he's leads the headline of this blog: He plays at SoFi Stadium. As indicated in Michele Steele's tweet above, that motherfucker cost almost $5 BILLION with a "B" to build. Oh but…couldn't be bothered to make the field grassy. That's where we draw the line to cut corners and costs on this historically expensive venue! 

Kupp enjoyed a Triple Crown-winning regular season last year, got to play the Super Bowl on his own field and won MVP honors in that game! Cool, right? Except his teammate Odell Beckham Jr., who caught LA's first TD, had to exit early with a blown-out knee. OBJ obviously hasn't played since then.

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As ESPN highlighted on, this past Sunday, on that same SoFi turf when the Chargers and Seahawks faced off, DK Metcalf, Mike Williams and J.C. Jackson all went down with injuries. All appeared to be surface-caused rather than violent football collision-caused. Metcalf might've made it out OK. Williams has a high ankle sprain. Jackson's season is over. Kupp's Rams face Kittle's 49ers this Sunday on SoFi's fake-ass field. Let's hope a similar, ugly scene doesn't unfold.

It's not even like a moral grandstanding/high ground thing. It's just ethics, logic and, uh, humanity. Take something out of that sweet, shared revenue pie if necessary, take out some loans, do whatever you gotta do. Grass playing surfaces for all 32 teams are feasible if a commitment is made. So yo, NFL! Commit to this! For fuck's sake, enough is enough.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok