Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Kluwe: TCF Bank field is unplayable

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Vikings players, Chris Kluwe, Leslie Frazier, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: December 19, 2010 - 1:59 PM

Chris Kluwe often likes to have fun on his Twitter page but after Vikings players got a look at the field conditions at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday during their walk-through the punter turned very serious in a series of posts. Kluwe termed the field that is scheduled to play host to Monday night's game against the Bears as "unplayable."

Here are Kluwe's tweets regarding a field that has no heating coils in it:

"Serious time - All respect to the people that cleared the field and got it ready, you did an amazing job. That being said, it's unplayable. The field is as hard as concrete an hour and a half after they took the tarp off, and anyone that hits their head is getting a concussion. I find it interesting that the NFL can claim an emphasis on player safety, and then tell us the field is fine. It's beyond hypocritical. I can only hope, however unlikely, that no one gets catastrophically injured at the trainwreck that's about to take place tomorrow night."

Kluwe followed it up with these tweets at www.twitter.com/ChrisWarcraft.

"To everyone - that was a totally serious post on the field conditions. It is like walking on concrete. They took the tarp off at the same...time they'll take it off before the game. The problem isn't heating it, it's retaining that heat."

Kluwe's final tweet on the situation:"I've been asked not to tweet anymore about the field so as not to distract teammates [who were there] and I will honor that."

Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe was a bit more optimistic in his tweets but admitted that "there are random patches of hard and slippery field. ... I just hope that the patches of hard slippery turf is gone by [Monday] night so we can battle."

Backup linebacker Erin Henderson added: "The field looks pretty good. Rock hard but I guess that's [to be] expected. They [are] still workin on it [though] so we'll have [to] wait [and see]." 

There was no media access to coaches or players today, but coach Leslie Frazier did talk to Mike Wobschall of the Vikings website.

“A great job by the people that have worked on it all week long,” Frazier said. “It really seems to me that there are going to be safe conditions. It’s not something that our players have to be concerned about. We can just go out and play football, so it should be good for both teams. ... It’s going to be great for our players, great for our fans,” he said. “First time having an outdoor game here in 29 years for the Vikings. I think our players will embrace that as the game goes on; they’ll be into it.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail that, "Our information from the groundskeepers there is that the field is in good shape."

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