New blue turf installed without bizarre bird deaths

Cameron Smith

Earlier in June, Prep Rally wrote about the most recent addition to the legion of technicolor football fields, with West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade High deciding on a blue turf field that will be almost identical to the famous one at Boise State when it is fully installed. Well, according to the Los Angeles Times, the turf should be fully installed by Thursday or Friday, and Prep Rally can happily confirm that no birds perished as a result of the new field's installation.

Wait, what?

Don't worry, you read the final sentence of that first paragraph correctly. According to Chaminade athletic director Todd Borowski, unintentional bird deaths were a significant concern raised by members of the community when the school announced it was installing blue turf.

Borowski told the Times that the concern over bird welfare dated back to Boise State's initial blue turf installation, when a handful of birds were confused by the new field's blue hue, thinking it might be a body of water. As one might expect, when they dove full speed into a concrete based artificial turf, the animals met with a rather untimely -- and grisly -- end.

Now it appears that similar consequences on Chaminade's new field aren't in play. Borowski said that the school was comfortable it would be in the clear in relation to wildlife welfare as soon as the installation was complete.

"People were making comments that we were going to find dead birds on the field every day," Borowski told the Times. "Our school president Jim Adams actually called Boise State and asked if [the fact that birds dive bomb into blue turf] was true, and that is a false statement.

"When they were first installing Boise State's field, it had rained and it wasn't tied down yet and there was puddles, and birds came and unfortunately slammed into the field. But once it got stretched out and laid down good, they haven't had an issue since. We don't anticipate having any issues, and look forward to having a unique and blue field."

To be fair to the birds, those fields do look awfully blue ... and might even be mistaken for a small lake from a far distance. The illusion would be all the more convincing before the white field lines were painted on, too.

Whether the rest of us will be able to be OK with the bright blue turf as quickly as the birds is another question. If you plan on taking in a game at Chaminade in the near future, don't forget to bring your shades.

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