September 17, 2010
In case you thought Eastern Washington was just kidding around or something when it announced plans to install red turf in its on-campus stadium in January, take note: The conversion to the "Blood Field" motif is very real, and its glory is upon us.
The Eagles, ranked 18th in the latest I-AA/FCS poll after last week's win over Central Washington at Qwest Field in Seattle, will officially debut the turf Saturday against perennial FCS powerhouse Montana, in the annual Palouse showdown for the Governor's Cup and the title of early frontrunner in the Big Sky Conference. They're bringing in bleachers to accommodate 11,000 people, almost 2,500 above the field's usual capacity.
Of course, "Blood Field" is only a nickname. Officially, it's now "Roos Field," after native Estonian, EWU alum and current Tennessee Titan Michael Roos, who donated $500,000 toward the installation. Judging from this photo gallery, the carpet is free of the surface glare that forced Boise State to replace its iconic "Smurf Turf" with a more cornea-friendly version this summer. If it works in Cheney, Wash., surely the revolution will spread. We're still waiting for someone to spring for the inevitable jet-black field of death, and the purple "Grapes of Wrath" turf at LSU. All in due time.