A Second Life for Grass
It's looking as if the Lions' new downtown stadium, which is scheduled to open in three to five years, will be domed. If so, Detroit could have the first indoor venue with a full-time grass field. "It's not a pipe dream anymore," says Tom Lewand, the Lions' director of stadium development. "From an agronomist's standpoint, we're almost there. We're going to try to design a facility with sufficient translucency in the roof to let in enough light, and we're trying our best to get a roof with at least partial retractability."
Indoor grass first surfaced during the 1994 World Cup in the Lions' current home, the Pontiac Silverdome. But after rolling the grass in and out for three weeks, the turf and the 6,500 pallets on which it was stored were rotting. So the Lions and grass experts at Michigan State are trying to develop a strain that can last five months indoors.
What a welcome relief that would be to players, who have long complained about the toll artificial turf takes on their bodies.
Stat of the Week
In its first four games, the Broncos' punt-coverage team has allowed five return yards on two kicks and forced six fair catches.
The biggest reason Steve Young didn't heed the cries to retire was his consultation with a top Bay Area neurologist, who examined Young, studied his history and then told the quarterback, "If you were my son, I'd tell you to play."
...The Saints lost their first three games by a combined 91-37, but their telecasts averaged an amazing 55 share in the New Orleans metropolitan area—meaning that 55% of the televisions in use were tuned to their games....
One owner who canvassed his peers last week said that while dissatisfaction is rampant with the league's soft salary cap, there is no strong movement afoot to change it. In 1996 the collective bargaining agreement was extended two years, to 2002, but until Dec. 1 the players or the owners can void the extension....
The league should force the Oilers to play at 41,448-seat Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville next season. That only 17,737 attended Sunday's 36-10 loss to the Ravens in Memphis should show club officials that they made a colossal mistake in choosing the Liberty Bowl as a home field while their new stadium, scheduled to open in 1999, is under construction.