Hail, Hail Freedonia

 

New York Giants football team co-owner Steve Tisch has spoken out publicly against the National Football League’s (NFL) new policy of punishing teams which allow players to kneel for the national anthem, saying he doesn’t intend to punish any Giants’ players for exercising their First Amendment rights to protest police brutality. Mr. Tisch also criticized the current president of the country for weighing in on the issue, particularly since he appears to misunderstand the reason for the protests and believes the players are against the flag and the anthem, and therefore America.

 

Considering the Troll-in-Chief’s poor grasp of many issues, such as his recent characterization of the small Balkan nation of Montenegro as a place filled with “very aggressive people” who could involve the United States in World War III in order to come to their aid as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), it is possible he does not understand the true reason for the protests initiated by Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when he was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. It is equally likely he saw how many in the corporate media used the shorthand term “anthem protests” and how it caught on with much of the public who superficially skim news stories, a group of people which often includes his most loyal supporters, the Trumpkins, and he exploited people’s ignorance to mis-characterize the protests as disloyal demonstrations by spoiled, privileged athletes. There is deep irony in Chief Bone Spurs shamelessly dumping on black athletes as spoiled and privileged ingrates when many of them worked their way up from poor backgrounds to earn a lucrative spot in the limelight afforded to only a tiny percentage of those playing sports.

Stop Police Brutality - Governor's Mansion, Minnesota (27866556080)
On July 7, 2016, community members and Black Lives Matter activists gather outside the Minnesota governor’s residence in Saint Paul hours after police shot and killed Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Photo by Tony Webster.

The Troll-in-Chief knew very well his Trumpkins would eat up his slanders of the black athletes. Almost all the players kneeling in protest of police brutality were black, largely because unnecessary police killings have affected black people most of all, and as such the protests were in tune with the Black Lives Matter movement. What better way for the Trumpkins to vent their resentment against millionaire black athletes than to ignore the real reason for their protests in favor of slamming them as un-American? They don’t support our troops, who died for a colored piece of cloth and a song glorifying war! Actually, if anything, those troops died defending the right of the NFL players to kneel or stand for the national anthem. That’s a complex, abstract concept, however, and for the Trumpkins it’s much easier and more satisfying to howl hateful epithets at black players for doing something they don’t like, even though the players have a perfectly legal and moral right to do it.
Warning for police brutality
Warning: Police brutality! Clip art by liftarn.

The current president has harbored a grudge against NFL owners since the 1980s when they refused him membership in their club after his ill-fated stint as owner of the New Jersey Generals franchise in the United States Football League (USFL). He probably sees stirring the pot of the “anthem protests” as revenge. He likely couldn’t care less about the real issues involved. That’s the definition of a troll. In the 1933 Marx Brothers film Duck Soup, the leaders of a small Balkan nation named Freedonia exhibit equal parts comic ineptitude, corruption, ignorance of facts while manipulating lies, and demonization of imagined internal and external enemies as a way of distracting the populace and covering their own tracks. A superficial comparison with Montenegro might come to mind, though a deeper understanding of the satire in the film reveals a more apt match with the current leaders of our country.
— Ed.

 

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No Room for Argument

 

Instant replay started in 1963 as a way of enhancing television viewing of sports contests when the initial action might have been too quick for sports fans watching at home to catch, or if they had been called away from the television momentarily. In the 1980s the National Football League (NFL), always the most technocratic of the major sports organizations, adapted the technology of instant replay to the sidelines of games, where referees could review controversial plays and possibly overturn the call on the field. It seemed like a good idea at the time because fans had always enjoyed second guessing the calls of officials in all sports, and since fans had access to instant replay and the ability to validate their second guessing, it seemed only natural and right to make the technology available to officials in order to set things right on the field.

 

30 or more years and many thousands of humdrum hours later, has all the insistence on exactitude done anything to improve sports over what it was before the intrusion of technology? The officials are given the opportunity to rectify calls, but at the cost of slowing athletic contests down to a crawl and boring the casual viewer to the point of changing the channel or not attending a game in person ever again. Some percentage of viewers, perhaps a minority (it’s hard to say, since statistics aren’t available), are satisfied that the official calls are correct, and everyone else could not care less. Meanwhile, the progression appears to be for adoption of instant replay in the officiating of more sports.

Jeff Isom arguing with an umpire
In a 2012 minor league baseball game, Jeff Isom, then the manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, argues with an umpire over a close call. He was later thrown out of the game. Photo by Wisconsin Timber Rattlers team photographer.


“I Wish”, by Stevie Wonder, from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life, is about his childhood in the 1950s and early ’60s.

Video technology is a useful tool in areas that really matter in people’s lives, such as the interactions between police and citizens, but it’s overuse for trivialities like sports shows a lack of perspective in our society. Most people are casual fans and do not live and breathe on the outcome of an official’s call in a sporting contest that ultimately means nothing in their lives. For the sake of satisfying the fanatic interest of a minority of die-hard enthusiasts, the major sports leagues are choking off the interest of casual fans. The leagues seem to understand this, but are determined to milk as much merchandising income from their devout followers as possible and that means keeping them happy at the expense of losing peripheral fans. Major League Baseball (MLB), the most traditional of the sports leagues, must have known this when it discarded almost all daytime playoff games a generation ago, and with that decision discarded cultivating the interest of youngsters who couldn’t stay up until midnight to watch a game stretched out to three or four hours. Arguing with parents about bedtimes has for many young sports fans replaced arguing about the minutiae of the games with their peers.
— Techly

 

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A Good Backup

 

“I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. No Viet Cong ever called me Nigger.”
― Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), speaking in 1966 in protest of the military draft.

Nearing the end of another NFL season, it’s easy to see how important a quality backup quarterback can be to a team’s fortunes in making it into the playoffs. Sixteen games, some of them on short rest on Thursdays, takes a toll on starting quarterbacks, especially since teams have become pass oriented in the past thirty or more years. When teams ran more than they passed, which was generally the case until about 1980, quarterbacks didn’t take as much of a beating as they do now. The NFL, as it has too often done, tinkered with the rule book at about that time, changing it to favor the passing game and increase scoring. No more low scoring defensive slug fests, if they could help it. Air Coryell, named for Don Coryell, the head coach of the San Diego Chargers from 1978 to 1986, became the model for a new style of NFL play.


The NFL has allowed greed to take the upper hand and has over saturated the market. Player protests against police brutality are the least of its problems, much as league officials would like to blame the protests for all its problems. Slipping in the television ratings started several years ago, before the protests began. The league’s real problems begin with a rule book as complicated as the Talmud, and the rigorous application of all its tenets can slow games to a crawl,  along with all the artificial television timeouts taken to cram in over an hour’s worth of commercials into each game. The game has become a technocratic bore.

JohnnyUnitasSignAutograph1964
Johnny Unitas signing an autograph at the Baltimore Colts’ Westminster, Maryland training camp in the summer of 1964. Unitas, the starting quarterback for the Colts from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, was often hurt, but his backup many of those years, Earl Morrall, was probably the best in NFL history. Photo by Joel Kaufman.

Speaking of the protests, it seems there is no one around in the media to speak up for the players the way Howard Cosell spoke up for controversial athletes in his day. Mr. Cosell lent a real world perspective to sports that is missing today. Yes, he was bombastic, but the bombast was always mere showmanship, and most people understood that. Some were so irritated by Mr. Cosell that they couldn’t see past his bombast and arrogance, all of it done with a sly wink, and therefore they tuned him out, missing his points about keeping a realistic, adult perspective on sports in the larger world.

Comedian Billy Crystal tells a story about Howard Cosell in this 2013 appearance on David Letterman’s late night talk show.
Howard Cosell was a good backup for his viewers against the more real and destructive bombast and arrogance of NFL owners and marketers, as well as other authority figures in sports and in the politics surrounding it. He would have backed up the players protesting police brutality now similarly to the way he backed up Muhammad Ali when Ali refused to comply with the draft. The league doesn’t always look out for the players’ best interests when they make rules changes and schedule expansions out of greed, and it appears no one in the current media has the stature and integrity Howard Cosell had in the late twentieth century, and will as he did back up athletes when they exercise their constitutional rights as citizens.
― Vita

Howard Cosell guest starred as himself on a 1972 episode of the television situation comedy The Odd Couple, with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Ironically, Mr. Cosell was at the height of his fame then largely because of his broadcasting duties on Monday Night Football, which started in 1970, inaugurating the bloat of the NFL into the ubiquitous bore it has become today.

 

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Forget Me Not

 

Saturday, November 11, is Veterans Day, a day that an older generation remembered as Armistice Day from its origins in World War I. Not really a celebratory holiday like Thanksgiving Day later in the month, and a little more than a historical marker like Columbus Day several weeks before, in October, Veterans Day has become a day for honoring the service of veterans, living and dead, in war and peace, in the front lines and in the rear echelon. For all that, the day means different things to different people.

 

Public Reactions, The March on the Pentagon - NARA - 192602
Veterans for Peace contingent in anti-war March on the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 21 October 1967. Photo by White House photographer Frank Wolfe.

In the last twenty-five years or so, and especially after 9/11 and the endless wars it spawned, Veterans Day seems to have become a way for civilians who never served to either express gratitude honestly to veterans or to salve their own guilt by obsequiously expressing gratitude. None of that is necessary. More and more stores and restaurants offer discounts on merchandise or free meals to veterans or active duty military on Veterans Day, as well as other times of the year. Those are nice, well-meaning gestures, and are no doubt helpful to down on their luck veterans, but overall they are yet another sign of the American citizenry kowtowing to military culture, an inclination dangerous to liberty.

Fifty years ago at about this time of year, in Washington, D.C., tens of thousands of demonstrators marched on the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. It was the beginning of the flower power non-violent movement against the war and the glorification of military power and its culture. Among the marchers were Veterans for Peace and members of the Lincoln Brigade who volunteered to fight against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Forty years later, in Seattle in October 2007, there was another march against another war, again including a contingent from Veterans for Peace. The scale of that march was far smaller than the one in Washington, D.C., in 1967. Ten years further on, in November 2017, there is hardly anything to be heard in the land but “Thank you for your service.”

 

27 Oct 2007 Seattle Demo - Vets for Peace 02
Veterans for Peace contingent in anti-war march, Seattle, Washington, 27 October 2007. Photo by Joe Mabel.

The wars haven’t stopped; peace hasn’t broken out. Meanwhile, citizens choose to get upset over some football players and others kneeling during the National Anthem in protest against police brutality toward minorities, though what a lot of those citizens are really upset about is their misconstruing of the protests as being against the Anthem, the Flag, and members of the Armed Services, something that was strongly suggested to them by Supreme Leader. NFL owners and administrators are upset that customers are turning against their product on account of the protests, the top administrator of the league saying that fans don’t pay to see protests.

True, but can the NFL have it both ways? The NFL has for years wrapped itself in the Flag, put the Anthem front and center as part of each game’s introductory ceremony, and had a nearly symbiotic relationship with the Armed Services, including military color guards and fighter jet fly overs as part of its pageantry. All the patriotic trappings were good for marketing to its clientele, some of whom enjoy a good jolt of jingoism with their spectator sports. The NFL owners and administrators neglected to clamp down on players’ personal, political displays in contract negotiations with the players’ union, however, and now they are caught in a bind between some of their more principled players and the sunshine patriot fans angry that plantation politics is intruding on their football fun.

 

It’s a certainty the military/NFL partnership will be on full display at the games this Veterans Day weekend. Some of those same fans who howl with hatred at the players kneeling to express concern about the abuse of human rights in this country will quite likely take time to say “Thank you for your service” to someone in uniform or to a veteran. It probably won’t occur to the fans to examine any of that. It’s why the football stadiums are often filled to capacity, now more than ever, but not many folks are interested in marching in the streets against war, injustice, and the brutality of establishment enforcers. Hardly anyone understands placing flowers in rifle barrels anymore, but most everyone can say “Thank you for your service”, and without needing to understand it very well at all.
― Vita

Coccinella on Myosotis
Ladybird beetle perched on Forget-Me-Nots. Photo by Yvette Thiesen.

 

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Pushing Buttons

 

The television remote control is a wonderful device, allowing a television viewer to turn the channel, adjust the volume, and even turn the television off altogether, all from the comfort of a chair or couch across the room. As entertainment components have proliferated in the home, innovators have kept pace with the implementation of the universal remote control to control all of them. The universal remote control of today is to the basic television remote control of yore as wonderfulness squared and then some.
Vietnam War on television
In the old days, a television viewer had to get up from a chair and cross the room to change the channel or turn the TV off in order to avoid unpleasant scenes such as this obviously taped-on picture of Vietnam War footage. Photo from the February 13, 1968 issue of U.S. News & World Report Magazine by Warren K. Leffler.

When the beginning of a National Football League game comes on the television then, and some of the players are kneeling during the National Anthem as a way of protesting police brutality and institutional injustice towards black people, and some people in the home audience are offended by the players’ exercise of their First Amendment rights, there is always the option of using the wonderful hand held device at their side and either turning the channel or turning the television off. For offended people in the stands at the game, the options are different of course, including turning away from the offending sight and riveting their attention on Old Glory, or taking the occasion to visit the food concourse or the restrooms. For our purposes, we will be concerned with the home viewers who vastly outnumber the people willing to put up with the rigmarole of attending an NFL game in person.

Let us suppose that the home viewer has discarded the options of turning the channel or turning the television off using their wonderful remote control, perhaps because the fate of the western world depends on their viewing of the game at hand, and so is left with the spectacle of highly paid professional athletes, many of them black, kneeling during the National Anthem. Never fear!

Firstly, remember that the protest itself is against the police and the judicial system, not the revered Anthem and the Flag, much as Supreme Leader would like to pervert the understanding of the protest to push white America’s jingoistic buttons. If, realizing this, the kneeling is still offensive, remember that the Constitution was written in large part to protect unpopular minority (meaning less than majority in this case, not necessarily differently skinned) expressions from the tyranny of the majority. Yes, it’s in the Constitution that they can do this! God bless America!

Secondly, remember to stand at home during the National Anthem and either salute or place one hand over your heart. Just because a football fan is at home viewing the game, that is no excuse for not showing due respect to Flag and Country during the National Anthem if that is what is so important to them that they are eager to publicly shame others for not doing the same. If you don’t have a flag displayed at home (and you really should), stand and face Washington, DC, or whatever direction indicates the position on the globe of Supreme Leader at the moment. He could be in South Korea just across the line from North Korea, childishly taunting his rival in idiocy, Kim Jong-un!


Heitech Universal remote-3225
The Heitech Universal Remote, one of many wonderful devices available on the open market which, with sage usage by the discerning consumer of entertainment, should shield that consumer from offensive content such as the free exercise of Constitutional rights by black athletes. Photo by Raimond Spekking.

Lastly, remember to take pictures of yourself standing at home for the National Anthem and pass them around for the scrutiny of your friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers. You must pass muster! What use is your sunshine patriotism if no one else notices it? It’s all well and good to be in the stands at the game and boo the kneeling players and berate your fellow citizens who side with them, but for the stay at home football fan there has to be a more influential option than firing off angry emails to the league and the local paper. Take pictures and post them on your social media accounts. Burn your NFL merchandise in the front yard. Lynch Colin Kaepernick in effigy – oh, wait, that’s a little too Ku Klux Klan for the suburbs. Too many echoes.

Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk in 1965’s The Great Race understood the importance of pushing buttons on mechanical devices to achieve desired results, though their efforts didn’t always work out as planned.

You get the idea. There’s one technological hurdle that the wonderful remote control device can’t overcome, and that’s answering the question “Why?” Why, for instance, do grown men (and some women) get so emotionally invested in a game that they have blown a simple political protest out of proportion and selfishly, narcissistically claimed it has ruined their fun? Why is it no one refutes the silly argument about “pampered millionaire athletes”, when after all it was all of us who made them rich, with our misplaced priorities that reward hundreds of jocks with millions of dollars while thousands of talented schoolteachers and others who provide vital services scratch to make a living? Who are we then, after elevating them, to tell these athletes to shut up and play, and why do we think it’s important that they should? Why do the rest of us allow the childishly insecure and testosterone poisoned among us to set the agenda and bully everyone else to follow their foolish commands? Too bad we can’t point a remote control at ourselves for the answers. Meanwhile, if the protests bother you so much that you get your knickers in a twist about them, push a button on your remote control and read a book instead.
― Techly

 

 

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My Way or the Highway

 

While infrastructure in the United States crumbles from neglect and is starved of public funds needed for its repair, the owners of sports teams seem to have little trouble extracting public funds for what are ultimately private facilities. Most new stadiums, arenas, and ballparks are financed with a mixture of private and public funds, and when a municipality refuses to throw taxpayer money into the pot, team owners threaten and cajole until they either get their way or successfully shop their team to another municipality that will contribute financing to their liking. It’s a corrupt bargain, and the benefits of a new facility for the municipality are not nearly as great as city and team officials would conjure when they are selling the plan to taxpayers.

 

Colosseum in Rome-April 2007-1- copie 2B
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy, at dusk in April 2007; photo by Diliff. The ancient Romans had their bread and circuses, too, but they built things to last.
The National Football League’s Raiders, after long negotiations with Oakland city officials in which the city was prepared to bend over backwards to keep the Raiders, but refused to contribute taxpayer money for a new stadium, will move sometime within the next few years to Las Vegas, Nevada, where city officials bent over backwards and kicked in taxpayer money to help build the team a new stadium. Once the new stadium is built, it won’t be named for the good people of Las Vegas, or the Raiders, or even the team’s owner, Mark Davis, but for a corporation, in the form of advertising sold as naming rights. Tickets and concession stand items for a family of four can cost over two hundred dollars for an afternoon or evening of entertainment. Add to that a higher tax bill for years to come to pay off a luxury with nebulous benefits for the fans and the city, all of it ultimately benefiting a handful of team owners and banks, and it’s a wonder ordinary people put up with it.

 

But put up with it they do and, remarkably, mostly without complaint. People are so rabidly engrossed in their sports team affiliations that they allow greedy team owners and craven city officials to raid the public treasury to finance luxurious private facilities, the revenues from which will mostly go to others, and little to the taxpayers. The ordinary people allow this while they themselves depend on roads, bridges, water supplies, and public facilities that are neglected, derelict embarrassments. They point with a kind of perverse civic pride instead to the new, billion dollar plus stadium or arena or ballpark in their city, a facility which isn’t even their own, despite having helped pay for it. Why do they care a great deal about something that means little, when all about them meaningful things crumble to dust?

 

Through the middle years of the twentieth century, Americans built the great hydroelectric dams and the major roads, including the interstate highway system we rely on still today. In those years, three of the four major sports – football, basketball, and hockey – were peripheral to the lives of most people. Only baseball took a central place, and even it wasn’t the enormous business it is today, with billions of dollars at stake. What changed all that?
Aqueduct of Segovia 02
Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain; photo by Bernard Gagnon.

 

Television and mass media played a part, starting in the 1950s and gathering momentum and power through subsequent decades. The NFL Super Bowl, inaugurated in 1967, is now annually the most watched television event. The next day at work, people buzz with their co-workers about the Super Bowl commercials. Another factor is the lack of civic involvement people feel, particularly in big cities. The 1950s and 1960s gave rise not only to mass media, but mass man and woman as well. Faceless cogs in the corporate machine. One person’s lonely voice doesn’t matter. You can’t fight city hall, and the Chief Executive Officer of your company is out of reach.

 

Via appia
Remains of the Via Appia (Appian Way) in Rome, Italy, near Quarto Miglio; photo by Kleuske.
But you can sing your team’s fight song from your seat in it’s sparkling new stadium, the stadium you may have grumbled about having to pay for, but in the end you didn’t speak up and object. It’s your team, after all, one of the few things you have left to cling to in this uncertain world. Try taking your enormous foam hand with the forefinger raised in a “We’re Number 1” gesture and going to a nearby highway overpass, one where the concrete has crumbled away in spots, exposing the rusting reinforcing bars, and sit underneath that bridge on the sloping concrete revetment, with your enormous foam finger in your team’s colors, and start pointing out to passing motorists the decay all around you, and see where that gets you.
― Ed.

 

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Light the Way

“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” ― the Rev. William L. Watkinson*(1838-1925)

The nonprofit organization Fight for the Future has set up a website called Comcastroturf which allows people to check if their name has been used surreptitiously to file anti net neutrality comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC had recently opened up a public comment period in anticipation of rolling back net neutrality regulations, and within a short time they were inundated with anti net neutrality comments which appeared to be generated by Internet Service Provider (ISP) astroturfers from hijacked subscriber lists. Comcast threatened Fight for the Future with a lawsuit, from which they have since backed down after it appeared obvious even to them that it was a tone deaf public relations debacle. They blamed the company they outsource their brand defenses to for excessive vigilance.


Let there be light
Let there be light; photo by Flickr user Arup Malakar, taken in the Kamakhya Temple, a shakti temple on the Nilachal Hill in the western part of Guwahati city in Assam, India.

 

It’s clear from new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s remarks on net neutrality that he does not support the FCC net neutrality regulations adopted in 2015. Since the rest of the now Republican controlled board of commissioners will most likely go along with him when they vote on the regulations in September, the public comment period appears to be a mere formality. That apparently hasn’t deterred the ISP industry from feeling the need to generate a phony campaign to support the anti net neutrality commissioners. Perhaps they were concerned about the pro net neutrality campaign of John Oliver. Now Comcast and other industry giants have egg on their faces, and Chairman Pai has not escaped squeaky clean either, as he has declined to question the validity of the astroturfed comments, while distracting the attention of the public by complaining about mean tweets.

 

There are customers of Comcast who complain endlessly about the company’s high prices and lackluster, even adversarial, customer service, yet those customers do little or nothing to explore alternatives to Comcast. They sit grumbling in the dark and won’t lift a finger to light a candle. Such people do a disservice to themselves, but since they seem to be satisfied with that in a masochistic way, the rest of us are left having to listen to their grousing while they do nothing to improve their situation. That shouldn’t be a problem for those of us who can get out of earshot, though in the broader perspective it is those dissatisfied but immovable customers of Comcast who grant the company its monopolistic power in the marketplace, and that’s a problem for everyone because it limits affordable options as smaller companies struggle to establish themselves when confronting the obstacles thrown at them by industry giants and the legislators and regulators they have in their pockets.

 

Comcast and companies like it might behave better if they started experiencing mass defections. Comcast has been losing subscription television customers, while increasing broadband customers. Cord cutting does not affect Comcast’s bottom line if the customers doing so are merely moving their dollars from one part of the service to another. City dwellers and suburbanites have more options for internet service than people in the countryside, and so they have fewer excuses for continuing with Comcast even while they dislike the company intensely. Ultimately the choice comes down to a decision about what to give up, at least in the short term. Even without streaming video, life goes on. For the majority of the Earth’s inhabitants, the whining of some Americans about how to get along without access to each and every National Football League (NFL) game over either the internet or subscription TV, or the latest “must see” TV series, must appear ingloriously obtuse and selfish. These companies have too much power because we have given it to them. It’s like being abused in a relationship and not working to free yourself because you can’t imagine life any other way. Who knows, life untethered from the Comcast umbilical cord could be better than you think.
― Techly

 

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Fresnel
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, south of San Francisco, California; photo by Diedresm.

 

 

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Green Grows the Grass

 

Winter dormancy is settling in on lawns almost everywhere but the pampered ones in National Football League stadiums. The groundskeepers who maintain stadium turf have an especially difficult job this time of year because they are staving off the natural tendency of grass to retreat into dormancy and turn brown and stiff as winter approaches. Not only does that look unappealing on television, it is difficult for the players who have to compete on it. If the ground becomes frozen hard, natural turf can be as dangerous to players as the old artificial turf fields which had insufficient cushioning beneath them.

Preparing the pitch at Stamford Bridge
Preparing the pitch with grow lights at Stamford Bridge, London;
own work by TheBlues

Modern NFL stadium natural turf stays green into December and January because groundskeepers take measures to prolong its growing season, from heating systems underneath to grow lights overhead. They effectively keep the grass in a condition most homeowners have not seen in their lawns since September. The “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a memorable phrase evocative of the hard knocks of winter football outdoors in the upper Midwest, but it hardly applies any longer to the actual playing conditions considering modern turf management techniques.

For the average homeowner who looks out at a brown lawn throughout the winter (when it’s not covered in snow), the remedy lies not in trying to replicate the green turf of NFL stadiums. That would require an enormous input of money, time, and effort equivalent to what an NFL franchise invests, albeit considerably scaled down. Better to let the grass go to sleep for winter, but to tuck it in with some lime, some compost, maybe a light application of preferably organic fertilizer, and then a last mowing at a short setting to mulch the last of the fallen tree leaves. For the rest of December and January it’s time to settle into a comfortable chair in the warmth indoors and watch the football games on TV play out on the greener grass of early fall, maybe with snow falling on it for added dramatic effect.
– Izzy

View of Lambeau Field
View of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin;
own work by JL1Row

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