Soldier Field groundskeeper says turf is ready for playoff game

January 15, 2011

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(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
A member of the Soldier Field groundscrew paints the Bears' logo at the 50-yard line on Friday

The head groundskeeper at Soldier Field says the turf is ready for Sunday's Bears playoff game.

Soldier Field is one of the last in the NFL to use real grass instead of artificial turf. Add to that hard surface the fact that Soldier Field is open to the air and not in a dome, and you have a recipe for players to complain about the conditions of the field. Earlier this season, Bears' Quarterback Jay Cutler said Soldier Field was one of the worst football fields in the NFL.

Groundskeeper John Nolan jokingly said he tried not to let the criticism get to him.

"My steering wheel gets beat up a few times when I'm driving," Nolan said. "But normally it comes with the job so we deal with it."

Nolan said the turf is as playable as it can be for the middle of January. He said it's been completely re-sodded in preparation for Sunday's game.

The Bears face off against the Seattle Seahawks at noon.