Lipsher: Fuzzy logic on SHS turf field
Silverthorne, CO Colorado
“You biased bozos in the media are telling only one side of the story, as usual,” said the voice on the phone, which I immediately recognized as Fuzzy Froberg, my constant critic.
“What time is it, Fuz?” I said, as I tried to get my one open eye to focus on the clock that read three-something.
“It’s time for you lapdogs in the press to get a clue! Why aren’t you covering both sides of the turf war?”
“Yeah,” he said. “You’re always quoting the so-called ‘turf team’ about that stupid million-dollar artificial-grass albatross they want to build at Farmer’s Korner, but you never talk with us!”
I was about to tell Fuzzy that I believed the price tag was actually $1.25 million, and that they want to build two fields ” one in Tiger Stadium and one as a practice field ” when he interjected: “I am the official spokesperson of the Committee Against Replacing the Peat, and we’re opposed to this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Although much of the cost of the field is being collected through private donations, Fuzzy said that CARP takes issue with the $300,000 in public dollars committed by the school district and the towns of Frisco and Breckenridge and the county.
“Look, we at CARP don’t care if they want to put down artificial turf or Kentucky bluegrass or heated green-painted concrete or Tiff worthy of the greens at Augusta. They need to pay for it themselves,” Fuzzy said. “And they’d better not try to stick us with the replacement costs in 10 years. But you know by then that it’ll be considered the school district’s property and therefore our obligation to pay for it.”
The turf team, I noted, promises that replacement and maintenance costs will be covered by gate revenues from spring games, which we can’t host now, and, besides, having a field that doesn’t require water makes a certain environmental sense in the arid West.
“What’s so environmental about an atomic-green fake field standing out like a sore thumb when everything else is dead and brown in October?” Fuzzy blustered.
I mentioned that the parents whose kids are involved in spring sports like soccer and lacrosse claim they finally could host home games if they had an artificial-turf field, saving them travel expenses and keeping those kids in class more.
“Big hairy deal,” he responded. “If I had a kid who wanted to participate in surfing competitions, would you support building a heated, indoor wave pool on the taxpayer’s dime so that we could host home tournaments instead of taking a bus to Hawaii every Friday afternoon? It’s one of the costs of living up here! If they don’t like it, they can send their kids to school at Cherry Creek.”
I was about to point out that the surfer kids at Cherry Creek probably have to take a bus to Hawaii, too, but I thought better of it.
“Look, how many people will actually benefit from a turf field?” Fuzzy asked. “It’s not like they’re exactly building a new piece of the bike path over Swan Mountain. They’re dragging the rest of us into this for the sake of a spoiled few student-athletes.”
But when I mentioned that this is a real grass-roots effort, so to speak, led by parents, Fuzzy nearly lost his already tenuous composure.
“I can think of a zillion other things they should back instead! Have you seen the achievement gap between whites and Hispanics in our district? Where are the public-private collaborations to fix that?”
Before hanging up, Fuzzy mentioned that he intended to continue walking Daffodil, his snarling 220-pound Rottweiler-English mastiff mix, around Farmer’s Korner every morning, even if the field has artificial turf.
“She doesn’t know if it’s carpet or grass, so she doesn’t know what she’s entitled to do on it,” he said. “I’d encourage her to think of it as grass, if you know what I mean.”
Summit Daily news editor Steve Lipsher can be reached at (970) 668-4621 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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