Football: New playing surface at Waterloo doesn't necessarily mean ... but remain optimistic

It is important not to read too much either way into the announcement it is laying down FieldTurf Duraspine PRO ("the latest in artificial turf technology") at Warrior Field.

Does it automatically mean the football Warriors will return in 2011 just because the university's press release includes an illustration of a field with football markings and the Warriors crest at centrefield? No. Does it mean, as some of us tinfoil hatters surely snarked, "They sure do cover their tracks, eh?" No.

Waterloo received the funding to put in FieldTurf "through the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program in Ontario (RinC)." A program requirement is to "begin and materially conclude construction before March 31, 2011," the end of the federal government's fiscal year. That seems pertinent, even if it was gleaned from a 10-second Google when there wasn't time for 30 seconds.

That might explain why the bulldozers were still rolling days after the announcement. The work had to be done. Athletes in other outdoor team sports that require a large field such as field hockey, rugby and soccer, each of which is enjoying some growth, could surely use the space. Amateur football teams could also use the space. That is the case with the turf fields at Carleton and Ottawa; the resurrected grid Ravens are planning to play at the new Lansdowne Park.

On the other hand, yes, football could be returning at Waterloo. It is, on sober second thought, entirely possible that shutting it down for this season was just a way to keep a lid on a negative story and look all law-and-order until David Johnston had moved all his stuff into Rideau Hall.

Screwing up the football program beyond all repair for a decade is a small price to pay in that regard. However, just to self-report BS, it is not necessarily one and the same with the university looking to discontinue the sport.

The only surprise, really, would be if Waterloo is competitive again before Johnston moves out of Rideau Hall. A governor-general usually serves for five years, so where does that put us, 2015?

Meantime, receiver Nick Anapolsky, running back Steve Lagace and D-back Brett MacDonald have found football haven with the Guelph Gryphons. The Waterloo Region Record notes this is "making the best of a bad situation."

Yay, someone reads us!
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  1. It's now fair to say that many student-athletes only came to Waterloo to play football, which I have no problem with, but I do hope this realization will shatter the "athletes can't get into 'smart' schools" myth forever. It's not that hard to get into university, and with all due respect to my friends in Applied Health Sciences, "rec and leisure" is not nanotech engineering.

  2. Latest on where 2009 Warriors will play in 2010. There are 5 more waiting for ok by registrar at various shools before committing.

    Warner to Mac
    Zender to Laurier
    Nicolson to Laurier
    Roney to SFU
    Wicks to X
    McGarry to Laurier
    Squires to Acadia
    Korol to Mac
    Forsyth to Mac
    Heeley to Laurier
    Anapolsky to Guelph
    McDonald to Gueph
    Legace to Guelph
    Hickey to X