The Sport of football is all about action, not excuses.
It didn’t take Long for things to get Rocky between the SDSU Aztecs and the Boise State Broncos, who are new conference-mates in the Mountain West starting this coming season. On Tuesday new San Diego State head coach Rocky Long fired off the first shot knocking the “unfair” advantage of the the blue turf in Boise.
“I think they ought to get rid of that blue turf,” said Long “I think it’s unfair.”
At first it appeared some of the reporters on the Mountain West conference call weren’t sure if Long was just kidding about his comment. But when he was asked a follow up, he made it clear he was serious.
“It takes the visiting team a quarter or two to get used to that different field,” said Long.
The Aztecs head coach is hardly the first to complain about the oddity of the iconic blue turf. Others have as well. Some coaches have gone to great lengths to prepare their teams for the different feel in Bronco Stadium.
After all, who could forget this comical video after Oregon State head coach Mike Riley had his practice field painted Blue to simulate the color of the field at Boise State. In the end, it’s doubtful the painted field made much of a difference, as the Broncos still came out victorious against the Beavers winning 37-24 in the 2010 contest.
The complaints about the blue turf, and whatever advantage it provides the Broncos, usually pave the way for a few laughs as was the case after Boise State head coach Chris Petersen poked fun at the Beavers’ new paint job.
“Perfect, we’ve got them right where we want them if they’re going and painting their field,” Petersen laughed and jokingly said.
The Blue, as most Boise locals call it, has been around for some time (since 1986) and it has added some notoriety to a program that just keeps winning. In fact when the differently-colored turf was first installed, it was jokingly referred to as “Lake Bleymaier” in reference to Boise State athletics director Gene Bleymaier – who is still there in the same position today. And no, ducks don’t crash land into it and die – that’s just an urban myth.
The Broncos typically wear mostly blue uniforms at home, but it’s not as if the players become invisible…
…Or do they? This photo was tweeted by a Boise State fan, mocking Long’s overtures of an unfair favor for the home team due to the color scheme of the gridiron.
Coach Long, are you sensing the sarcasm? As the comedian David Spade once said in the classic comedy Tommy Boy, “I hope so, because I’m laying it on pretty thick.”
The Broncos busted out all-orange uniforms for the November 19th showdown with Fresno State in the 2010 season. Following the 51-0 beatdown of the Bulldogs, I asked several members of the team about the so-called advantage of the blue uniforms and if that played any role in the choice to wear all orange at home on the Blue.
“Maybe now they’ll complain that we’re hiding in the end zones (which are painted Orange) I guess, since we’re wearing orange,” said former defensive end Ryan Winterswyk. “But other than that, I think you can see us pretty good out there.”
It’s also worth mentioning several coaches who have faced off against the Broncos over the years have never given that claim much credence either. The only advantage it may provide is making life more difficult for opposing coaches breaking down game film. From an above angle you might have to watch more closely.
When on the field the opposing players better not be looking down. They should keep their eyes forward looking across the plane, as the walls are not blue. I have watched the last four seasons-worth of games at field level, and I never had any problem keeping track of the Broncos players… And neither will the Aztec players.
You certinaly do not hear that much about coaches whining about teams that are wear green uniforms on green turf. So maybe it is best to just accept the color and get over it.
As I said in the beginning, the game is about action – it is not about complaints. Besides, SDSU doesn’t even play at Bronco Stadium until 2012.
There is plenty of time to prepare, coach.