Bears players concerned about conditions at TCF Bank Stadium

Posted Dec. 16, 2010 @ 3:58 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — An NFL spokesman has said there are no plans other than to have the Vikings and Bears play their Monday-night game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, but some Bears players have serious reservations about the game being played on a surface that could be frozen.

"If I'm a Minnesota player or the organization, yeah, I would like to try to have my last home game in Minnesota," Bears CB Charles Tillman said. "But with that being said, at the same time, we've got this icy field that no one has played on for months, so is that right for their players, for us and our safety? No, it's not.

"This is the year we're cracking down on player safety and concussions and stuff like that, and you want to fine guys $75,000, but are we going to play on this frozen field? I don't know. It doesn't really make too much sense to me."

There was a report that the Bears were preparing to protest having the game played at TCF Bank Stadium, but the team's Players Association representative, PK Robbie Gould, said no such action is in the works.

"There's no protest," Gould said. "There will be no protest. The bottom line is, as players, we want to make sure that it's a safe environment. As long as the environment is safe and the conditions of the field are safe, then obviously the show must go on."

The Vikings have been displaced since the Metrodome roof collapsed Dec. 12. They played their last home game at Ford Field in Detroit, and the NFL still could adjust its plan for the site of the Bears-Vikings game later this week.

TCF Bank Stadium, which is home to the University of Minnesota football team, was covered with snow and ice earlier this week, and crews are still working to prepare it for Monday night.

Bears S Chris Harris mentioned his safety concerns, like everyone else, but added that the NFL is show business, too, and no one is coming out to see the Ice Capades.

"We're entertainers," Harris said. "At the end of the day, however you want to slice it, football players are entertainers. And I think we should be in the best surroundings to entertain. I don't believe playing on icy conditions is the best surface to entertain fans.

"Playing on ice is like me going outside and running in my cleats on asphalt. That wouldn't be too good."

Harris, though, delivered the zinger of the day when he was asked about the players voicing their concern to the league and the players' union.

"You don't have a choice," he said. "They tell you what to do in the NFL. Honestly, you don't have an opinion, you don't have a voice. It's a dictatorship, so you have to do what they say."