2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Air Force players familiar with Boise State’s unique field

Published: September 11, 2013, 3:10 pm, by Brent Briggeman

Boise State’s blue turf has become an important part of the football program’s brand, making it as instantly recognizable to a TV viewer as the midfield star at Cowboys Stadium or the Green Monster at Fenway.

The fan base is also clearly passionate about its playing surface (see the comments section in a column by my colleague David Ramsey if you doubt that.).

So, what does Air Force think about it?

“It kind of hurt my eyes,” is what offensive tackle Jerry Henry recalls from a trip to Boise during his sophomore season.

That trip marked Air Force’s only meeting with BoiseState, a game the Broncos won 37-26 on Oct. 22, 2011.

“It’s really the same as green turf,” running back Jon Lee said. “I thought it was going to be brighter or something, but it’s the same as playing on green turf. It’s just the Smurf turf.”

Coach Troy Calhoun has no problem with the blue and, like so many other things, found a way to spin the situation into something relative for his future officers.

“Truth is, we’re going to have to do jobs where either you’re going to work on ground that’s brown,” Calhoun said. “Or you’re going to fly over a desert that’s gray. You’re going to fly over areas where it’s blue. You’re going to fly over grass or forests or jungles where it’s green. I don’t think it hurts.”