Bernstein: Another Blizzard Game? Seriously?

By Dan Bernstein

Vikings’ punter Chris Kluwe – never one to avoid offering a thought – called tonight’s TCF Bank Stadium surface “unplayable” after yesterday’s walk-through.

His series of Twitter posts included “The field is as hard as concrete an hour and a half after they took the tarp off, and anyone that hits their head is getting a concussion. I can only hope, however unlikely, that no one gets catastrophically injured at the trainwreck that’s about to take place.”

Well, OK then.

NFL officials and stadium workers are confident that the field will be fine, as they have placed heaters on top of the infill surface, underneath the tarp. But, as Kluwe noted, “The problem isn’t heating it. It’s retaining the heat.”

What may end up being the story tonight, other than the Bears’ attempt to clinch the NFC North by beating another third-string quarterback, is how the weather forecast has changed since initial models last week called for single-digit temperatures and possible flurries. The latest hour-by-hours actually call for temperatures to rise steadily throughout the day to 25 degrees by evening, and for the snowfall to be significant: 2-4 inches during the day, and another 1-3 starting around kickoff. A half-inch per hour is expected during the game.

I am not a landscaper or a meteorologist, but what concerns me is the possibility of a strange confluence of factors that results in an unplayable surface for unanticipated reasons. Here we have a swath of plastic grass filled with bits of rubber, unheated from the bottom but kept warm from the top under a blanket. Depending on when the tarp and heaters are removed, a layer of snow meets a warm field, melts and quickly refreezes. Then, more snow.

Kluwe may end up being right, after all.

Even though the Bears appear to have a decided advantage against first-time starting QB Joe Webb, a bizarre playing environment only adds uncertainty and randomness to the affair. The Patriots proved last week that blocking, tackling, concentration and execution prevail regardless of weather. But do any of us trust these Bears to hold it together as professionally and tightly as the New England operation did?

It looks like another round of slips and slides, falls and flops, skids and bounces and gusts of wind, and another weird game in a weird season.

Get the win, get the playoff spot, don’t get hurt, and get the hell out of there. Enough of this, already.

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    I am really afraid of an injury to Cutler on this surface.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    I’m not sure how many more days this week Bernsie will blog, so that I don’t get shut-out I just want to take a moment to wish everyone here a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays if you don’t celebrate Christmas) and a most joyous, prosperous and healthful New Year.

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      Happy hooolidaaaays….

      • NotChicago

        Haaapy Hooolllllidddaaaaayyyyssssss

  • R Woo

    Frosen field turf, frozen ground , thawed ground , is it a big difference when being slammed to the ground several times a game or more. Any studies on the impact of different surfaces?

  • Toby Gullion

    Was there any reason that they couldn’t of played the game in Detroit again? I know Lucas Oil Stadium offered but were turned down because of the distance to Chicago.

    • Denver Smeghead

      Because the Vikings are having an Anniversary Team celebration this weekend, and they’re supposed to attend the game. That’s the #1 reason – with lost revenue a close 2nd – as to why they didn’t want the game moved out of state.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I think the problem was that The Vikings selected this MNF game to celebrate their 50th Anniversary as an NFL franchise..and they are flying in many past players etc. So they wanted to lock-in playing the game in the Twin Cities area.
      Going to Detroit, St. Louis or Indy would have been great just as a tv game, but the home team had its special reasons to want to keep the game local. The NFL has bent over backwards to grant their wish…even though I believe they should have had no say in this when they couldn’t deliver their home stadium…let them reschedule the celebration is what I think.

  • Mike Ocksmall

    Don’t count the Buccaneers out just yet. They still have a great shot at the playoffs and they’re as good as any team in the NFC. Oh and I hope the Vikings win tonight. The Bears are frauds and don’t belong in the playoffs

    • Scott

      The Bears are frauds? Yet the Bucs lost to the lions. Your a fraud, and the Bucs are done. Think before you speak.

  • Denver Smeghead

    I think games should be played in the elements – Bernsie loves to point out the fact that he has no sack – but the playing surface itself is a legitimate concern.

    There’s a reason that heating coils beneath fields were invented: because it’s just plain smart to not play on an ice rink if you can help it.

    And it truly is hypocritical of the NFL to thump their chest over player safety and then force the game to be placed on a tundra.

  • who am I

    I wish everybody would just SHUT UP. Play
    the game already.I never seen such a bunch of
    cry babys.They never played football in the cold
    and snow before.

  • Joan John

    I bet one million dollars the bears get beat tonight ! They are more worried about the weather then the game !

    • Denver Smeghead

      While your comment is pretty worthless – the Vikings punter, Kluwe, has also made comments about the weather, so both sides are apparently more worried about it than the game – the Bears getting beat wouldn’t shock me.

      I didn’t watch the Packers/Pats game last night, but a backup making his first start nearly leads his team to victory in New England? Don’t give me that ‘trap game’/letdown garbage: this it the NFL. Any given Sunday.

  • BearsFanInHoustonTx

    Lets ask Da Coach his opinion…back in the day of no heaters and worries about frozen tundra playing fields. Please, spare us the worries…your paid to play! and rewarded very well too! Get your butts out there and WIN at all cost!

    • Spoon

      Funny you mention frozen tundra, since Lambeau has had a heated field since 1967, but dont let facts get in the way of being a meatball…

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    Yeah in weather like this, anything can happen! But the Packers, and Bucs lost so we are in the drivers seat for the playoffs, and divison title. I woiuld also like to wish everyone ‘Happy Holidays’.

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    What did everyone think of the Zack Grienlke to the Brewers deal? As a Cubs fan I was disapointed, but I think its a good move the Brew Crew

    • AT3374

      Whose’s going to score enough runs for that good pitching to matter , unless Fielder is resigned

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      As a Cubs fan I’m hoping this means the Cubs can take the Yankees to the cleaners for Zambrano. I mean, who else is left? Matt Garza?

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I agree that it’s a good deal for the Brewers.
      If Prince has a good year, I think they win the NL Central.
      Then in the playoffs, who knows.
      I still think the Phillies are the class of the NL, but we never know who will be injured etc.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    Booyah is now saying there will be up to 5″ of snow today at the U of Minn stadium.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    Rick Pitino has been named the Coach of the Puerto Rican national team.
    Maybe he can help “turn the tables” for them.

  • bronzo

    Enough about the weather already….Both teams have to play in those conditions …BIG weekend for the Balckhawks they looked very good Friday and Sunday. if he hasn’t already Crawford solidified his #1 goalie status this weekend in my eyes.

  • meesohawnee

    -Ill have what Rick Morrisey is smokin.

    -Somehow id like to believe Tom Ricketts was cringing up in his ivory tower last night when Meredith Whitney got on 60 Minutes (your welcome corporate nipple) and stated that there will be many muni bond defaults next year. Now i dont understand the correlation, one cant think the shots of Chicago while being stated couldnt be very good. Tom is either completely clueless or just trying to hoodwink? And trust me Whitney is pretty credible in the land of the grand ponzi scheme.

  • bronzo

    what it means meeso is that a lot of cities are on the brink of bankruptcy due to massive pesion and health care bebefits that these politicians gave out to many of the unions that serve cities. Cook county alone is 4 HAS BILLION in pension payouts that hthey just don’t have.

  • bronzo

    that’s massive pension benefits…soryy for the typos

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I agree with bronzo and meeso.

      California has been in deep doo-doo for a few years now, IL is not far behind.
      Indiana only has black ink because of all the cash from hocking the Toll Road.
      And the cities and counties are also in horrible shape (not to mention school districts). Meredith Whitney was very sobering.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    (post: to be continued in parts)

    alright… here’s what i think chet…

    i have said for weeks on this blog since the season started that vince carter and rashard lewis are bad and needed to be traded, and they have been… now, it wasn’t the trade i was hoping for, what i was hoping for was a trade to send a package to denver to get carmelo anthony, but unfortunately for us, that didn’t happen, here’s the deal… Otis Smith (orlando magic GM) is a top 5 GM in the league, here’s very much like kenny williams, he doesn’t sit back and take B.S., and before these 2 trades, he was VERY patient, then, after the flu-bug got off our team, he went on the magic’s west coast road trip, he said that if he saw a change in play, that he would feel confident moving forward that this team was a contender, obviously… we sucked on the trip, so Otis went into ‘trade-mode’.

    here’s the deal, carmelo didn’t want to be traded to orlando, rumors were that if Otis put together a good package, denver would accept & carmelo would go to the magic, under one condition… carmelo would have to sign an extension, which was rumored that he wouldn’t take from orlando, so the bottom line is, carmelo didn’t want to be in orlando, denver was the only team wanting to accept a trade from the magic because of our good players we have to offer. so… carmelo will not join the magic anytime soon.

    so… Otis, being impatient, decides to swing a couple deals. Otis has known gilbert arenas since he was a teenager & they have a good relationship, to me… that deal was inevitable, and i LOVE the move to get that BUM lewis off the team, his contract is the worst in the NBA, and while we’re taking on another giant contract with Gilbert, it doesn’t bother me because Arenas is still a good player! lewis is past his prime and was a huge liability for us, and i’m very satisfied with the lewis-arenas swap.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      Thanks for the analysis.

      • Jon, Montgomery

        i had alot more ‘analysis! but they won’t let me post them!!! it’s nothing vulgar and i shortened it so it would fit, but it won’t work! i had a ton of good reasons why this was good for orlando, but this score website is not letting me post them! THIS IS TOTAL (insert expletive) SCORE! YOUR (insert expletive) CENSORSHIP IS (insert expletive).

    • Beardy McBeardington

      GO BUCS!!!!!!

    • AT3374

      I agree , good move for Magic , though Boston will still beat them this weekend . But in the long run they will be much better with Bass at 4 and Arenas playing some 1 with Jameer on the bench or at 2 alongside Jameer . They are offically in the top four best teams in the east ( Boston , Miami , Chicago and now Orlando ) unless Melo heads to NY and the Bulls are out

  • Jon, Montgomery

    surprisingly, the buccaneers are still in the playoff race, even though we lost to the lions, my gosh how do you do that? detroit had lost 26 straight roadies going back to 2007! wow

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      Bucs were physically all beat up before the game started.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    this blog won’t let me post my other thoughts about the magic’s trades! this is so frustrating. it’s long! buyt nothing vulgar! c’mon score! why do you do this???

    so, if i can’t finish my original thought, i’ll just say, i like both trades and it makes the magic better.

    but i had alot more in depth thoughts, and it blows that it won’t post them. :(

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    Blog is acting-up today.
    For the past hour or so I have not been getting e-mail about new posts.
    It was working fine before.

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      On the plus side, the new threaded (indented) comments make it easier to tell what’s a response to another comment and what’s a new comment.

      • Chet's Inflated Ego


        But because this is the CBS corporate national website style for all their stations, I would have expected better.
        The Score had a much better website when it was doing its own before May of this year.

      • Jon, Montgomery

        yeah, one (insert expletive) step at a (insert expletive) time, eh?

        still the website is garbage. i think the score owes me for all the censorship i’ve gone through.

        you know my e-mail address score if you wanna make it up to me and let me write a blog.

    • Jon, Montgomery

      i’m just so (insert expletive) off because i had typed a whole boatload of thoughts that WERE NOT vulgar about the magic’s trades over the weekend and i shortened them into parts so they would fit the character count, so i don’t see any (insert expletive) reason that they shouldn’t post. and now i will never be able to share them.

      i was really excited to talk about the trades but once again score you (insert expletive) it up because of your (insert expletive) website is garbage.


  • Jon, Montgomery

    where’s that guy who would talk to the posters about the podcast issues? i’d love to give him a piece of my mind.

    by the way, sorry if i’m (insert expletive) off, but i’m angry as you can tell. but i’d still like to wish everybody here a merry christmas :)

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      HA HA LOL Jon.

      You are like, “Merry effing Christmas.”

      • Jon, Montgomery

        i’m still a nice guy :)

        and you’re right about the old old website, every day i come here to post i wish that it wasn’t this piece of (insert expletive) it is now, but the score is too corporate to go back now, they don’t give a (insert expletive) about us chet, it’s sad.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    what are the royals doing? trading greinke for that sack of (insert expletive)? WOW. brewers stole that deal.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego


      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        I just read Joe Posnanski on and he does a great job describing the sack of sh!t that KC got in return.

  • BearsFanInHoustonTx

    Hey India turn off the auto refresh…it is a pain in the butt

  • Jon, Montgomery

    how about the bulls-clippers game saturday??? WOW. vinny walks into the UC and takes only their 2nd road win back to LA. can’t believe rose missed that FT, if you want him to be MVP, you gotta make clutch FTs, and i think rose is going to use that tough loss to build himself up, that’s the kind of kid rose is, and i love watching him play.

    by the way… how’d you like the blake griffin show? that kid is a (insert expletive) MONSTER. he’s my favorite player to watch right after derrick.

    • AT3374

      It’s sad that Griffin ” can’t take his talents to South Beach ” and is stuck in Clipper Land . Cousin Vinnie gets another one against old GarPax

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      You said it, Griffin is a friggin monster…even if he reminds people of my age of Howdy Doody.

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