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Bills votes on NFL fields

The NFL Players Association released its annual survey of playing surfaces last week. This has become less of a huge issue now that there are no old-fashioned artificial turf surfaces in the NFL. The new artificial turf is "infilled" with sand and rubber pebbles.  

The Bills' turf was rated second worst among artificial infilled fields behind only Minnesota's. Indianapolis and the Meadowlands were rated the two best artificial infilled fields. Twenty percent of players leaguewide said weather is the biggest factor in the quality of an artificial infilled field.

The Bills' players - 49 of them filled out the survey - generally gave their own turf a good review. Four Bills (8.2 percent) rated the turf at The Ralph excellent. There were 32 Bills (65.3 percent) who rated the RCW turf good. Ten (20.4 percent) rated it fair. Two (4.1 percent) rated it poor. The league averages for all teams were 23.2 percent of players rated their own turf excellent. Players rated their own turf good at 50.7 percent. Fair got 18.9 percent votes on average per team. Poor got 5.5 percent. So 73.5 percent of Bills rated their turf good or better. The leaguewide average was 73.9 percent at good or better. 

The turf at the Ralph is Astroplay. The predominant infilled artificial turf is sold by FieldTurf, which got the best reviews in the survey. Most players say they prefer playing on natural grass than artificial infilled turf.

The worst grass fields were in Pittsburgh and Oakland. The best grass fields were in Arizona, Tampa and San Diego.

---Mark Gaughan

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