Research Position Paper- DoubleA

The NFL: Artificial vs. Natural Grass

From the grandstands, artificial turf fields look so good it’s hard to believe they could be hazardous. But down on the field, where the cleats meet the turf and the athletes twist against the surface to propel themselves or push back their opponents, looks are irrelevant. When their knees buckle and they’re down on the turf crying for the trainer, the last thing wounded athletes are thinking of is how green the field looks.

One of the leading questions critics and players of the NFL have is what to do about the significant amount of knee injuries endured during an NFL season, and the correlation the playing fields have on these knee injuries. With multiple knee injuries occurring to big name players every season the NFL has a problem on their hands.

Due to the increasing number of concussions players were suffering over the past couple decades the NFL has tried to make the game safer. With new safety rules the NFL has managed to decrease the amount of head to head contact during games, but by doing this has raised the amount of low tackles which causes low blow tackles to the players knees.

Paired with concussions knee injuries are one of the biggest problems the NFL officials face now a days. Every season some team is affected by injuries along the way, but knee injuries are the biggest blow because they can take anywhere from 6-12 months to heal with rehab. This past season big names like Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, JJ Watt, Jason Peters all had big knee injuries that affected their team tremendously

Turf fields do have a direct impact on the increase in injuries we see in the NFL. 13 out of 32 stadiums sport an artificial turf material and even with less than half the number of fields of grass there is still more injuries on turf. An article written about the statistics of injuries on turf and grass fields from all the games from 2000-2009 found that there is a 22% increase in knee sprains on turf and a 67% increase in number of ACL sprains.

With this being said what exactly is the material the players are playing on? Field turf was a huge hit in the late 90s and most teams sport it now a days on their fields. The catch is though that the traction is so good with the new technology cleats that it is even easier to get a cleat stuck in the turf when planting or cutting.

We saw a prime example of this in 2017 when Bears tight end Zach Miller went to just plant while running from a defender and his knee bent the completely wrong when his knee just got caught up in the turf. It sparked a huge debate about the traction that turf causes while playing because Miller almost lost his leg due to the injury.

A study done in the late 90s tested a number of cleats from manufacturers and found that most cleats cause a safety implication because of how good the cleats react with the turf. The study suggested that people where turf cleats but as we all know no football players where them they all wear football cleats. Maybe the NFL can work on new cleat technology but for now safety precautions should be in effect after horrific injuries like Millers’.

Knee sprains are caused by unnatural movements during physical activity. Sudden turns or pivoting can cause injury to your ligaments. When these players get that much traction and that much body weight on a cut in the turf their body and knees cannot handle the pressure and force, so they give in on them. It’s a tragic thing to see. It is almost like you can’t watch a game without being scared every play someone can get hurt and their season can end on one play.

In 2010 a doctor by the name of Dr. Geier was asked a question on his blog about knee injuries. The question was “My question for you is do you think playing on turf field compared to regular grass has an impact on injuries?”

“Our varsity football team practices on grass field and play more than half of their games on turf. We had 3 meniscus injuries on the turf fields. Two were medial and one lateral; all 3 were repair. Also had a tibia/fibula fracture without impact. When asking the injured kids what they thought about the turf they all said it feels like their cleats stick into the ground.”

This question and evaluation was brought in by a random blogger named Gino who must play high school football.

The thing about Gino is the answer he received from the doctor was that it was the same results we talked about earlier 22% increase and 67% increase. He used the same study from earlier. Here is what he said,

“In a study performed by the National Football League Injury and Safety Panel, published in the October 2012 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Elliott B. Hershman et al., reviewed injury data from NFL games played between 2000 and 2009.They found that the injury rate of knee sprains as a whole was 22% higher on Field Turf than on natural grass. While MCL sprains did not occur at a rate significantly higher than on grass, rates of ACL sprains were 67% higher on Field Turf.”

There is obviously a clear correlation between turf and injuries. Yes, it was 3 kids in high school games but, my point is that in the article Dr. Geier flat-out gives us the results from a study done by the NFL and there were increases in knee sprains to the ACL and knee sprains altogether. This being said, knee sprains and other major knee injuries are overlooked in the NFL and some players may have to get surgery done multiple times throughout their careers due to sprains and tears.

I for one encountered my own injury on turf during a game where I played on turf. Of course, the one play I get put in at running back to run a jet sweep at the receiver position I tear my MCL. I just see it happening all over the place. Football is filled with injuries and at all levels but at the NFL level there is no doubt an increase of knee injuries on turf because of the size and speed of the players their bodies cannot keep up with the field conditions and wear and tear.

There is an article written about the cause factors of these freak knee injuries. The article states,

“Independent variables such as weather conditions, contact versus noncontact sport, shoe design, and field wear complicate many of the results reported in the literature, thereby preventing an accurate assessment of the true risk(s) associated with certain shoe-surface combinations. Historically, studies suggest that artificial turf is associated with a higher incidence of injury. Furthermore, reliable biomechanical data suggest that both the torque and strain experienced by lower extremity joints generated by artificial surfaces may be more than those generated by natural grass fields.”

As we see there is a lot of factors that it could come down to for cause of injuries but, with biomechanical data it says that it is caused by the torque and strain on joints. This is because the shoe surface is so good on turf that the stress endured by players knees is unbearable for the players knees. The article also claims that indeed there is a higher incidence of injury on artificial fields.

There can be tons of factors involved in why these freak knee injuries occur so often on artificial turf but, the only thing that we know is that artificial must go. If the injury rates keep coming back year after year the same, then something must be done. It’ll just be another one of Roger Goddell’s flaws in his term as commissioner. Player safety is huge in the NFL now a days with players retiring after a couple of seasons in their prime because they must look into the future and see if they can really go through with the injury worries anymore. Being an NFL athlete is hard and it takes a tole on your body but, when you are playing on these dangerous surfaces it can cut your career way short than expected. Something must be done now.

Critics of natural grass playing surfaces like to cite the woeful condition of their neighborhood high school field to illustrate the danger to athletes’ ankles and knees. Granted, those fields suffer a lot of abuse, and playing on them after several home games in a row is hazardous. It’s even true that many school districts have replaced their grass fields with artificial turf because they can’t afford the high cost of maintaining perfect grass. But the NFL, for the sake of reducing player injuries, is willing and able to make that continuing investment.

Fans of artificial turf say that grass requires too much maintenance. They contend that keeping fields polished and playable throughout the weather conditions and the strenuous foot traffic of an NFL season requires an expensive professional grounds crew. But the same objection is not made about baseball fields, which are always grass, nicely kept to avoid dangerous patches. To be fair, field turf has to be maintained too, and uneven wear creates dangerous worn down areas that should result in its replacement.

People may also say that grass can get real cold in areas like Minnesota and Green Bay. Yes, this is true, and it is almost like the players are playing on bricks but in Minnesota they just installed nice turf and first game of the year top pick Dalvin Cook tears his ACL cutting non-contact on the turf. Injuries like this are popping up everywhere.

In an article written about the Houston Texans, Texans cornerback D.J. Swearinger talked about the awful field conditions at NRG stadium. They have turf square panels that get put in for every game. They essentially have seams in them as would Astroturf and everyone knows how awful Astroturf was to play on. Swearinger says in the article, “We actually said that the day before (the injury). If somebody was running right here and (they) plant, their ACL or MCL is gone just because of how deep the holes are.” Swearinger is referring to an injury that happened to top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney was running for a tackle and got his leg caught in a seam and twisted his knee the wrong way and tore his meniscus.

People may also say that grass can get real cold in areas like Minnesota and Green Bay. Yes, this is true, and it is almost like you are playing on bricks but in Minnesota they just installed nice turf and first game of the year top pick Dalvin Cook tears his ACL cutting non-contact on the turf. Injuries like this are popping up everywhere.

In an article written by NFL.com, they bring up the amount of ACL injuries that occur on turf fields. The number was staggering high when they found the results. The author states,

“The panel started to notice a higher rate of injuries on the new turf in evaluating the data that the NFL compiles each season, Hershman said. Once enough games had been played on the newer surfaces to do a scientific analysis, the panel found that anterior cruciate ligament injuries and a more serious type of ankle sprain occurred at a higher rate that is statistically significant.”

This panel was doing research from every game from the 2002-2008 season and how many ACL injuries occurred during these seasons. Their results were clear-cut and they came up with one result. That artificial turf causes more lower extremity injuries than natural grass fields. Their number is so staggering that they say that there is an 88% percent chance that you obtain a knee injury on artificial turf than natural grass.

Opposers may say that these results were too old to our times it has been ten years since they have conducted research on these fields. They also could say times have changed and that player safety is more thought about today and that they would have increased the quality of the fields in order to keep more players healthy. This may be the case but, in an article written in 2018 has stated the same results still occur today. The article says,

A variety of design factors have been hypothesized to play a role, including surface hardness, rotational stiffness, and release torque. These physical characteristics may interact with other environmental factors such as cleat design, surface moisture levels, and ambient temperature. Partially in response to these concerns, manufacturers have continued to refine these products to bring their physical characteristics closer in line to natural grass surfaces, but concerns among players, medical personnel, and the public persist.

The article furthers my point that artificial turf fields are still causing these injury bug problems to players now a days. Like the article says with all these risk factors it just makes the fields way more dangerous than the NFL wants them. It’s almost nerve-racking to watch your team play a game because you’re scared that your best players could go down in any play of any game because injuries are that common in the NFL. The biggest factor I see there in the article is rotational stiffness and release torque. I have seen these types of factors come up everywhere in other articles. The feel for turf is so good that people cannot cut on these fields properly and their knees bend the wrong ways and so much stress is being put on these ligaments they eventually just give out. With football players are the biggest and the strongest overall out of most sports so when you add these guys to these sketchy and unqualified fields long-term and career ending injuries could occur and that is the last thing the NFL wants.

There is no reason why teams can’t sport some nice Bermuda grass in a dome stadium. It doesn’t make teams cooler to have turf in their billion-dollar dome, what matters is player safety. Players all over the league past and present have questioned player safety with concussions. Knee injuries are the second most occurring injury in the NFL and they require surgery and months of rehab, the time to speak up is now.

To conclude, I think it is conclusive that there needs to be a change in the way turf fields in the NFL are kept and I think as this last season in the NFL teams got slapped in the face with the injury bug. I think that the NFL and team owners will discuss or should discuss ways on how to make the game safer for all players. Just like the concussion issues the NFL had endured I think it has to take a look at the knee injury numbers and truly come up with a conclusion as to how this is happening. To my estimation I truly believe that the turf fields are not helping this problem and I believe there might be a solution. Either teams convert to a universal playing field surface so teams are used to the surface or the NFL takes a look at the science between the traction of cleats and the turf to find a solution as to safer kinds of cleats that the players can play on and enjoy wearing.

References:

NFL panel finds some knee, ankle injuries more common on turf. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d816e77f1/article/nfl-panel-finds-some-knee-ankle-injuries-more-common-on-turf

NRG Stadium’s Playing Surface An ‘Abomination’. (2014, September 09). Retrieved from http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/09/09/nrg-stadiums-playing-surface-an-abomination/

6 – Risk of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury as a Function of Type of Playing Surface. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323389624000060

Is an ACL tear more common on artificial turf or grass? (2018, March 03). Retrieved from http://www.drdavidgeier.com/ask-dr-geier-acl-tears-on-natural-grass-or-fieldturf/

A Review of Synthetic Playing Surfaces, the Shoe-Surface Interface, and Lower Extremity Injuries in Athletes. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10

Hershman, E. B., Anderson, R., Bergfeld, J. A., Bradley, J. P., Coughlin, M. J., Johnson, R. J., . . . Tucker, A. (2012, 09). An Analysis of Specific Lower Extremity Injury Rates on Grass and FieldTurf Playing Surfaces in National Football League Games. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(10), 2200-2205. doi:10.1177/0363546512458888

 

Annotated Bibliography-DoubleA

Source 1: NFL panel finds some knee, ankle injuries more common on turf. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d816e77f1/article/nfl-panel-finds-some-knee-ankle-injuries-more-common-on-turf

Background: This article talks about the increase specifically in ACL injuries on Fieldturf surfaces. The article started off by saying that in an annual study conducted by the NFL that knee injuries on Fieldturf surfaces increased the rate of knee injuries by 88 percent. The study was conducted in the 2003-2008 seasons.

How I Used It: I used the statistics from the 2003-2008 seasons to talk about the increase Fieldturf fields had on the number of knee injuries.

Source 2: Turf Battle in the NFL: Natural vs. Artificial. (2017, March 11). Retrieved from https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/lawn-care-2/turf-at-nfl-stadiums/

Background: The article talks about the struggle of running a fantasy team with all the injuries that occur now a days on turf fields. It also names multiple key players that got hurt in the preseason due to turf fields.

How I Used It: I used this in my writing by talking about my own struggles in fantasy football from injuries. Every year big name players go down early in the season and it messes up owners entire seasons.

Source 3: Todd Neale Todd Neale. (2010, March 15). AAOS: Artificial Turf Injuries Still More Likely in NFL. Retrieved from https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/aaos/19020

Background: The article once again brings up the number that the articles brought up. I can continue to use the number of 88% more likely to get a knee injury on turf fields a lot.

How I Used It: This article also mentioned the 88% increase stat so I used both this and the first source in my writing almost to back each other up.

Source 4: BANSCH, J. (1993, Oct 17). Knee injuries call for abolishment of artificial turf fields. Indianapolis Star Retrieved from http://ezproxy.rowan.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/240088678?accountid=13605

Background: This article describes the moments in a game between the Eagles and the Colts where 3 separate season ending knee injuries occurred all on turf. The article quotes a trainer Otho Davis, a physical trainer for the Philadelphia Eagles. It quotes him saying that he normally does not take sides between turf and grass fields but this season has been something else to him.

How I Used It: I used this article to describe how bad turf can impact the season of a team. Also, the quote from the trainer was useful because it brought a first hand source who sees these injuries daily into my writing.

Source 5: NRG Stadium’s Playing Surface An ‘Abomination’. (2014, September 09). Retrieved from http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/09/09/nrg-stadiums-playing-surface-an-abomination/

Background: This article talks about the grass turf on Reliant Field home of the Houston Texans. The article talks about the square panels that the field uses for play. These panels are set up and when you get a cleat stuck in the side of a panel it can bend your knee the wrong way. This is what happened in Jadeveon Clowney’s first game where he planted in one of the seams and bent his knee the wrong way. According to his teammate Swearinger he also believes this is a problem because there has been a big injury bug around the Texans and knee injuries for years.

How I Used It: I can use the quotes from this article in a useful way in my writing. These players are playing on these fields every game so if one field is like this it may be the case for others. I used the quotes from players to decline the image of the artificial fields of play.

Source 6: Is an ACL tear more common on artificial turf or grass? (2018, March 03). Retrieved from http://www.drdavidgeier.com/ask-dr-geier-acl-tears-on-natural-grass-or-fieldturf/

Background: This article talks about a question Dr. David Geieir was brought. It was brought to him because a kid had 3 injuries on his football team all on turf fields away games. . When answering the question Dr. said that the best results were from this study made from NFL teams from 2000-2009 where the results showed that there was not an increase in MCL injuries on turf but there was a 22% increase in knee sprains altogether and a 67% higher chance of getting an ACL sprain on turf than grass.

How I Used It: I used the study Dr. Geieir brought up to bring up more statistics in my writing. I mentioned the “67% higher chance of getting an ACL on turf than grass” statistic in my writing.

Source 7: Hershman, E. B., Anderson, R., Bergfeld, J. A., Bradley, J. P., Coughlin, M. J., Johnson, R. J., . . . Tucker, A. (2012, 09). An Analysis of Specific Lower Extremity Injury Rates on Grass and FieldTurf Playing Surfaces in National Football League Games. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(10), 2200-2205. doi:10.1177/0363546512458888 

Background: This article is the results that Dr. G used in his answer to his blogger. The results are the same as stated above but it tells us what stats they used to find this data. The article says that they literally used every game from 2000-2009 seasons and made a graph and analyzed the data to find the results. The results were from 2680 games which is 5360 team games played so it is without a doubt a lot of data.

How I Used It: I used the statistics multiple times because there was a lot of games played throughout that time so there was a long period of important collective data.

Source 8: Iacovelli, J. N., Yang, J., Thomas, G., Wu, H., Schiltz, T., & Foster, D. T. (2013, August 01). The effect of field condition and shoe type on lower extremity injuries in American Football. Retrieved from http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/47/12/789.citation-tools

Background: This article talked about a 130 game span where they analyzed the lower extremity injuries. In this time the data was found that there was an increase in lower extremity injuries on turf but not during practice.

How I Used It: I would use this in my arguments by saying and proving that in game play there is an increase in lower extremity injuries and game play is where there is more injuries and higher intensity contact.

Source 9: 6 – Risk of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury as a Function of Type of Playing Surface. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323389624000060

Background: This article states how there is indeed an increase in the number of lower extremity injuries on the football field due to the playing surface. The article states a lot of causes though like surface hardness, rotational stiffness, and release torque. These physical characteristics may interact with other environmental factors such as cleat design, surface moisture levels, and ambient temperature. Altogether, these causes are what causes these  player to twist/turn their knees on the turf. It describes how the strongest evidence in field turf play injuries comes from football because of the size of players and level of play.

How I Used It: I plan on using this article to bring up the argument in my rebuttal argument that people may have problems with the fact that my evidence is from 2009. Also, this article brings up a lot of information on torque and the movement of players which causes the turf injuries.

Source 10:

A Review of Synthetic Playing Surfaces, the Shoe-Surface Interface, and Lower Extremity Injuries in Athletes. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10

Background: This article talks about how the versatility and durability of artificial playing fields but, are they really that safe. It states that research over time has shown an increase in injury on artificial playing surfaces and that biomechanical data suggests that both the torque and strain experienced by lower extremity joints generated by artificial surfaces may be more than those generated by natural grass fields.

How I Used It: This article is more of a recent article too and I also used this article to refute some points in my rebuttal argument. I used it to bring up the biochemical data that it describes in the article about torque to back up my other source.

Self Reflective Statement-DoubleA

Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

My work truly does demonstrate that I used stages of development, exploration, and discovery. In all of my writing and especially my White Paper I used multiple stages of research and rewrites. My professor started off by assigning the task of finding 5 sources based on my hypothesis. I took the assignment seriously because in the end I knew that I would have to find more than 5 sources. I started off by finding around 8 sources, but later found out that these sources were not acceptable because they were not academic sources. These sources seemed to be legit and I was content with the information they provided but after researching and talking to my professor they all provided the same statistics, so I had no diversity in my facts. To fix this problem I simply found sources using databases through the Rowan library and sites like google chrome to find academic journals. Once I found these articles I then found an additional 5 to come out with around 11 sources. I researched all my articles again to find every important piece of information possible and that information is what would help me write my 3 arguments and 3000-word essay. After all that was said and done I then found out that I had to write out what the article was about and the purpose it had to my writing. So finally, in my third attempt at my White Paper I was able to come up with a solid and useful bibliography full of sources for my academic and argumentative writing.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

In my writing I always try to think from the perspective of the reader and to lie hidden images and devices in my writing. The best kind of writing is the writing that makes people think. In my assignment on Stone Money it made me think of money as a completely different way of thinking. I was told one day in lecture that on a small island called Yap people literally use stones as their way of currency. They trade among themselves in stones. The weird part about it all too is that they don’t even take it with them they literally just leave it there and just put their name on it or just somehow the entire island knows that that stone is now his or hers. In my writing about Stone Money I tried to describe the relationship these people on the island of Yap have with each other. How could an island of people literally just trade rocks around it’s insane to think about? In my writing I described the situation between the people and their trading. In my everyday life I always use cash and carry purchasing and to think about people trading stones and not even taking them, it is very counterintuitive. The Stone Money assignment made me think differently about the world and it made me paint a picture of reality that people really do live differently around the world and it is amazing how the people of Yap can get along like that.

Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

Nothing shows core value 3 more than my rebuttal argument essay. To write my rebuttal essay I had to think about the arguments that people are going to have against your argument. I had to come up with an essay that refuted all of the arguments people could have against grass field instead artificial surfaced fields. I looked at my target audience, there are people who agree with me and people who totally disagree with me. That being said my target audience would be the people in the middle trying to be swayed by a single argument. If I could knowledgably argue the points against artificial fields and plead my own case respectively I could draw the people in the middle towards my side. In my Rebuttal Argument essay I looked at the arguments people could come up with against my claims and refuted them. By using sources, I was able to find valuable information to refute these claims and make my own writing look professional. Analyzing these sources was the key to my essay as I would draw the important information from these articles to back up my claims and make my target audience fall right into my trap to bring them to my side.

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

This core value is all about analyzing images and being able to think outside the box. I think I depicted this value mostly in my Visual Rhetoric assignment. I actually had two attempts at this assignment because I got the chance to rewrite it. My first time through we had to watch a video very slowly frame by frame and guess as to what would happen next. It makes you think a lot about little details like the background and the frame work the depth of the image. Something can be happening in the background that viewers had no idea about and suddenly, they’re in the picture and people are left gasping as to how that could happen. My second time through I looked at the same video, but I analyzed it in a more in-depth way. I paid close attention to all the people depicted in the frames and looked at their movements. I also noticed that a lot of information can be found by simply looking at the objects in the frame. In my assignment it was all about texting and driving and the video showed how one guys day could go from happiness to unsettling just from people looking at you on your phone. It is unsettling to people when they look over at the car next to them and the other driver is on their phone. I believe that this assignment made me look at text more carefully and the images and made me think about the “what if” factor. I could then apply this technique into my writing as I posed questions to my readers and even to myself.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

This value is the most simplistic but it the most important. My work should be my work, and nothing should be plagiarized from a source. Therefore, the most important part was citing my sources. I demonstrated this core value in my White Paper. In my white paper I have my sources and the details about the sources that I would like to use in my writing. Later this would come to be my annotated bibliography. Throughout my writings over the course I had to use these sources in order to write my argumentative essays. By doing this I would use quotes from my academic sources and once I used a quote from the source I had to cite it in my white paper. Once I had at least ten sources my white paper was said to be complete.

Grammar Exercise- DoubleA

If a primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward their child it increases the risk that their child will grow up hostile towards others. And it’s not just aggression toward others that results from child abuse, a large amount of children raised by abusive parents also harm themselves. The reason for this negative behavior is children don’t learn appropriate techniques for handling life’s disappointments. If children aren’t raised with coping skills, they’re more likely to act “inappropriately” then if they have developed more reasonable approaches. The effect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers” is that everyone gets the child they deserve.

 

Causal Rewrite—DoubleA

The True Cause of The NFL’s Knee Injury Problem

Turf fields do have a direct impact on the increase in injuries we see in the NFL. 13 out of 32 stadiums sport an artificial turf material and even with less than half the number of fields of grass there is still more injuries on turf. An article written about the statistics of injuries on turf and grass fields from all the games from 2000-2009 found that there is a 22% increase in knee sprains on turf and a 67% increase in number of ACL sprains.

With this being said what exactly is the material the players are playing on? Field turf was a huge hit in the late 90s and most teams sport it now a days on their fields. The catch is though that the traction is so good with the new technology cleats that it is even easier to get a cleat stuck in the turf when planting or cutting.

We saw a prime example of this in 2017 when Bears tight end Zach Miller went to just plant while running from a defender and his knee bent the completely wrong when his knee just got caught up in the turf. It sparked a huge debate about the traction that turf causes while playing because Miller almost lost his leg due to the injury.

A study done in the late 90s tested a number of cleats from manufacturers and found that most cleats cause a safety implication because of how good the cleats react with the turf. The study suggested that people where turf cleats but as we all know no football players where them they all wear football cleats. Maybe the NFL can work on new cleat technology but for now safety precautions should be in effect after horrific injuries like Millers’.

Knee sprains are caused by unnatural movements during physical activity. Sudden turns or pivoting can cause injury to your ligaments. When these players get that much traction and that much body weight on a cut in the turf their body and knees cannot handle the pressure and force, so they give in on them. It’s a tragic thing to see. It is almost like you can’t watch a game without being scared every play someone can get hurt and their season can end on one play.

In 2010 a doctor by the name of Dr. Geier was asked a question on his blog about knee injuries. The question was “My question for you is do you think playing on turf field compared to regular grass has an impact on injuries?”

“Our varsity football team practices on grass field and play more than half of their games on turf. We had 3 meniscus injuries on the turf fields. Two were medial and one lateral; all 3 were repair. Also had a tibia/fibula fracture without impact. When asking the injured kids what they thought about the turf they all said it feels like their cleats stick into the ground.”

This question and evaluation was brought in by a random blogger named Gino who must play high school football.

The thing about Gino is the answer he received from the doctor was that it was the same results we talked about earlier 22% increase and 67% increase. He used the same study from earlier. Here is what he said,

“In a study performed by the National Football League Injury and Safety Panel, published in the October 2012 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Elliott B. Hershman et al., reviewed injury data from NFL games played between 2000 and 2009.They found that the injury rate of knee sprains as a whole was 22% higher on Field Turf than on natural grass. While MCL sprains did not occur at a rate significantly higher than on grass, rates of ACL sprains were 67% higher on Field Turf.”

There is obviously a clear correlation between turf and injuries. Yes, it was 3 kids in high school games but, my point is that in the article Dr. Geier flat out gives us the results from a study done by the NFL and there were increases in knee sprains to the ACL and knee sprains altogether. This being said, knee sprains and other major knee injuries are overlooked in the NFL and some players may have to get surgery done multiple times throughout their careers due to sprains and tears.

I for one encountered my own injury on turf during a game where I played on turf. Of course, the one play I get put in at running back to run a jet sweep at the receiver position I tear my MCL. I just see it happening all over the place. Football is filled with injuries and at all levels but at the NFL level there is no doubt an increase of knee injuries on turf because of the size and speed of the players their bodies cannot keep up with the field conditions and wear and tear.

There is an article written about the cause factors of these freak knee injuries. The article states,

“Independent variables such as weather conditions, contact versus noncontact sport, shoe design, and field wear complicate many of the results reported in the literature, thereby preventing an accurate assessment of the true risk(s) associated with certain shoe-surface combinations. Historically, studies suggest that artificial turf is associated with a higher incidence of injury. Furthermore, reliable biomechanical data suggest that both the torque and strain experienced by lower extremity joints generated by artificial surfaces may be more than those generated by natural grass fields.”

As we see there is a lot of factors that it could come down to for cause of injuries but, with biomechanical data it says that it is caused by the torque and strain on joints. This is because the shoe surface is so good on turf that the stress endured by players knees is unbearable for the players knees. The article also claims that indeed there is a higher incidence of injury on artificial fields.

There can be tons of factors involved in why these freak knee injuries occur so often on artificial turf but, the only thing that we know is that artificial must go. If the injury rates keep coming back year after year the same, then something must be done. It’ll just be another one of Roger Goddell’s flaws in his term as commissioner. Player safety is huge in the NFL now a days with players retiring after a couple seasons in their prime because they must look into the future and see if they can really go through with the injury worries anymore. Being an NFL athlete is hard and it takes a tole on your body but, when you are playing on these dangerous surfaces it can cut your career way short than expected. Something must be done now.

References:

Is an ACL tear more common on artificial turf or grass? (2018, March 03). Retrieved from http://www.drdavidgeier.com/ask-dr-geier-acl-tears-on-natural-grass-or-fieldturf/

A Review of Synthetic Playing Surfaces, the Shoe-Surface Interface, and Lower Extremity Injuries in Athletes. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10

Hershman, E. B., Anderson, R., Bergfeld, J. A., Bradley, J. P., Coughlin, M. J., Johnson, R. J., . . . Tucker, A. (2012, 09). An Analysis of Specific Lower Extremity Injury Rates on Grass and FieldTurf Playing Surfaces in National Football League Games. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(10), 2200-2205. doi:10.1177/0363546512458888

 

 

Rebuttal Rewrite- Double A

Arguments Against Grass Fields in the NFL

From the grandstands, artificial turf fields look so good it’s hard to believe they could be hazardous. But down on the field, where the cleats meet the turf and the athletes twist against the surface to propel themselves or push back their opponents, looks are irrelevant. When their knees buckle and they’re down on the turf crying for the trainer, the last thing wounded athletes are thinking of is how green the field looks.

Critics of natural grass playing surfaces like to cite the woeful condition of their neighborhood high school field to illustrate the danger to athletes’ ankles and knees. Granted, those fields suffer a lot of abuse, and playing on them after several home games in a row is hazardous. It’s even true that many school districts have replaced their grass fields with artificial turf because they can’t afford the high cost of maintaining perfect grass. But the NFL, for the sake of reducing player injuries, is willing and able to make that continuing investment.

Fans of artificial turf say that grass requires too much maintenance. They contend that keeping fields polished and playable throughout the weather conditions and the strenuous foot traffic of an NFL season requires an expensive professional grounds crew. But the same objection is not made about baseball fields, which are always grass, nicely kept to avoid dangerous patches. To be fair, field turf has to be maintained too, and uneven wear creates dangerous worn down areas that should result in its replacement.

People may also say that grass can get real cold in areas like Minnesota and Green Bay. Yes, this is true, and it is almost like the players are playing on bricks but in Minnesota they just installed nice turf and first game of the year top pick Dalvin Cook tears his ACL cutting non-contact on the turf. Injuries like this are popping up everywhere.

In an article written about the Houston Texans, Texans cornerback D.J. Swearinger talked about the awful field conditions at NRG stadium. They have turf square panels that get put in for every game. They essentially have seams in them as would Astroturf and everyone knows how awful Astroturf was to play on. Swearinger says in the article, “We actually said that the day before (the injury). If somebody was running right here and (they) plant, their ACL or MCL is gone just because of how deep the holes are.” Swearinger is referring to an injury that happened to top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney was running for a tackle and got his leg caught in a seam and twisted his knee the wrong way and tore his meniscus.

People may also say that grass can get real cold in areas like Minnesota and Green Bay. Yes, this is true, and it is almost like you are playing on bricks but in Minnesota they just installed nice turf and first game of the year top pick Dalvin Cook tears his ACL cutting non-contact on the turf. Injuries like this are popping up everywhere.

In an article written by NFL.com, they bring up the amount of ACL injuries that occur on turf fields. The number was staggering high when they found the results. The author states,

“The panel started to notice a higher rate of injuries on the new turf in evaluating the data that the NFL compiles each season, Hershman said. Once enough games had been played on the newer surfaces to do a scientific analysis, the panel found that anterior cruciate ligament injuries and a more serious type of ankle sprain occurred at a higher rate that is statistically significant.”

This panel was doing research from every game from the 2002-2008 season and how many ACL injuries occurred during these seasons. Their results were clear cut and they came up with one result. That artificial turf causes more lower extremity injuries than natural grass fields. Their number is so staggering that they say that there is an 88% percent chance that you obtain a knee injury on artificial turf than natural grass.

Opposers may say that these results were too old to our times it has been ten years since they have conducted research on these fields. They also could say times have changed and that player safety is more thought about today and that they would have increased the quality of the fields in order to keep more players healthy. This may be the case but, in an article written in 2018 has stated the same results still occur today. The article says,

A variety of design factors have been hypothesized to play a role, including surface hardness, rotational stiffness, and release torque. These physical characteristics may interact with other environmental factors such as cleat design, surface moisture levels, and ambient temperature. Partially in response to these concerns, manufacturers have continued to refine these products to bring their physical characteristics closer in line to natural grass surfaces, but concerns among players, medical personnel, and the public persist.

The article furthers my point that artificial turf fields are still causing these injury bug problems to players now a days. Like the article says with all these risk factors it just makes the fields way more dangerous then the NFL wants them. It’s almost nerve racking to watch your team play a game because you’re scared that your best players could go down in any play of any game because injuries are that common in the NFL. The biggest factor I see there in the article is rotational stiffness and release torque. I have seen these types of factors come up everywhere in other articles. The feel for turf is so good that people cannot cut on these fields properly and their knees bend the wrong ways and so much stress is being put on these ligaments they eventually just give out. With football players are the biggest and the strongest overall out of most sports so when you add these guys to these sketchy and unqualified fields long term and career ending injuries could occur and that is the last thing the NFL wants.

There is no reason why teams can’t sport some nice Bermuda grass in a dome stadium. It doesn’t make teams cooler to have turf in their billion-dollar dome, what matters is player safety. Players all over the league past and present have questioned player safety with concussions. Knee injuries are the second most occurring injury in the NFL and they require surgery and months of rehab, the time to speak up is now.

References:

NFL panel finds some knee, ankle injuries more common on turf. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d816e77f1/article/nfl-panel-finds-some-knee-ankle-injuries-more-common-on-turf

NRG Stadium’s Playing Surface An ‘Abomination’. (2014, September 09). Retrieved from http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/09/09/nrg-stadiums-playing-surface-an-abomination/

6 – Risk of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury as a Function of Type of Playing Surface. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323389624000060

Visual Rewrite- Doublea

:01-:02- The video starts off with a well dressed male that looks in his late twenties. He is dressed very nice because it seems as if he is going to work. We can assume this because it is early in the morning and he is wearing a suit and a tie. He is eating what looks to be some kind of nuts but, this seems to not be the point of the video. The video pans out to show a nice kitchen that is very nicely decorated. It shows a woman sitting at the counter drinking orange juice and reading the newspaper but, she also seems to be irrelevant in this video up to this point. The director seems to have the well dressed male in the center of the frame so that all the attention can be directed to him. Also, the female that we can assume to be his wife is wearing just regardless clothes which also makes the male stand out.

:03-:04- Now that all of our attention is on the well dressed male we now have the focus that the director wants us to have. The video shows the male reach for the sink with a plate in his hand. We can assume that he may be washing the dishes and indeed he does. This now shows that he is a respectful man for washing the dishes so he doesn’t leave the burden on his wife to wash them. This is when the video moves to the wife and now we see her face. She gives the camera a big huge smile and seems appreciative. Now we have two characters will the rest of the video be about her or him. We can assume it is about him because in my guess at this point it is a video about going out of your way to help out others.

:05-:06- Another example to prove my hypothesis is the next two seconds maybe. We now pan out to outside his house and we see the neighbor’s yard. From a distance we see him going to his car and about to get in when he realizes his neighbor may need help. During this we see his neighbor who appears to be an elderly man fiddling with his sprinkler system or hose. You cannot really tell what he is fiddling with but water appears to come out. The well dressed man as he approaches his car waves to his neighbor and it looks like maybe they will engage each other in the future. The director chooses an elderly man maybe so that it shows that you should help others in need but, we still do not the purpose of the video so we can just make an assumption as to why there is an elderly man as the neighbor.

:07-:08- The assumption of the men engaging is correct as the next seconds prove. The video pans to a hedge that was in between the two mens houses. It appears as if the well dressed man is watering the hedges for the elderly neighbor. The elderly man in the background is smiling and looks pleased. The well dressed man could just be kind and helping out the elderly man or once again the video is just an ad to get people to help people in need. The elderly man is shown smiling so that he can show his appreciation for the man watering the hedges. So far we have seen nothing but nice gestures from the well dressed man so what can we expect in the rest of the video?

:09-:13- The video now changes scenes as we see a coffee maker. The coffee maker looks like the coffee was just freshly steamed as we see steam coming out the top. We can assume that the coffee is done when we see a hand reach for the handle of the coffee maker. We can assume that someone is pouring coffee for themselves. Will it be the male from the beginning of the video? Yes, it is but this time the video pans out and we see what looks to be an office break room. In the frame we see 3 people and the male. The fourth person to the right is irrelevant in the video but we can assume he has coffee as well because he already has a coffee cup next to him. The video is more focused on the male and his two what we could call coworkers. The one coworker to the right is sipping her coffee already and smiling as the male pours coffee to the coworker on the left. The male to the left gives a huge thumbs up and smiles. we can now assume that both individuals enjoyed the coffee. This shows another good gesture committed by the male. What could happen next?

:14-:15- The video now shows the male in a super market. The line seems to be very long as there is multiple people behind him. He appears to be next in line but, there is just one older gentleman behind him in line with just looks like to be a singular pineapple. The male gestures to the older male that he may get in front of him in line. We can now just assume that he is a great guy and that he is just full of good deeds. The older man seems very thankful and appreciative as he looks to get in front of him in line. It just seems like another tactic by the director to show how nice the gentleman is and how good deeds can go a long way.

:16-:18- The video now goes to a view of the male in his car driving. He seems to be very glued to the road but then you see him look down at the passenger seat. What is next to him? Well it is nothing more than a cell phone. On the cell phone we see that he has one message and we see his hand grab the phone. We can now assume maybe that he is going to text that person back while he is driving which would be his first act of doing something bad. In fact, he does reach for the phone and we see him looking at the phone and smiling as if the message he received was funny. So now we see that he is more attached to his phone because he stopped to look at it while he was driving. The director may have thrown this in here to get the viewers distracted from the male that did all the good deeds and change our perspective on him.

:19-:21- Now that we know for a fact that the male is on his phone the video pans to an upper angle and shows the males car. The car comes to a slightly abrupt stop. We can make the assumption that maybe he is not driving cautiously and that is because he is on his cell phone. The other does this because maybe the video is during the wrong way. It is showing all the good things but now showing all his flaws. The video now shows the car as it comes to a stop. The car is stopped next to another car and we see the driver of the other car. The guy in the other car is watching as the well dressed man is rolling up to a stop at the light. We get a quick glance at the man on his phone still and then it shows the other car again and the guy in the car has a mad look on his face like “really man you are on your phone right now as you are driving”. The director now seems to throw a whole curveball into this video but now we can assume that the video is going towards a moral of get off your phone while drivig=ng due to how mad and disappointed the other driver looked.

:22-:24- The video now goes back to the face of the well dressed driver. He is looking at the other driver for a quick second with his phone blatantly in front of his face. When he realizes that the other driver has a disgusted face he immediately loses eye contact looks down and then looks the other way. This shows that maybe he is embarrassed but just one person is not enough to get him to get off his phone. With the phone still blatantly in front of his face as he looks the other way we see an older black woman sitting on a bench. It does not look like a bus stop but it definitely could be. The woman does not look poorly dressed so we can assume either she is just sitting on a regular bench or waiting for the bus. The point is though is that the lady is quick to realize that he is on his phone while driving and her face immeadielty drops and gets filled with disgust. her face looks even more disgusted than the other guys. The director is doing this now that we can see two people’s perspectives about the phone issue and that we now know that people get very disgusted when they see other people on the road with their cell phones out.

:25-:30- Now that we know the lady seems very disgusted at the well dressed man driving he immediately puts his phone down and has a completely embarrassed look on his face. he almost feels sad and upset that he had his phone out now. The ad now seems to be an ad about texting and driving for sure. For the next couple of seconds the video shows the two people just looking back at each other and she seems to get even more mad as he seem to get even more embarrassed. Now at the bottom of the screen it shows words from the ad council saying stop texting and driving. The words stay there for the remainder of the video as the driver just sinks deeper down in embarrassment in his seat. The director does this so now people know not to be on their cell phones while driving. As the driver get embarrassed it shows that you should be embarrassed to have your phone out while driving it is a hazard and people will get furious and ticked off when they see you on your phone while driving.