BOISE - Boise State University started a sensation of sorts 25 years ago this fall when it played a football game on a field that wasn't the traditional green.
Outgoing athletic director Gene Bleymaier decided that with the turf in Bronco Stadium due for replacement, it was time for something new. Something different. Something… one-of-a-kind. So Bleymaier put in an order for 57,600 square feet of crisp blue turf (including end zones).
In the years since, that "one-of-a-kind" label has fallen away as imitators have sprung up. The Red Inferno at Eastern Washington. The purple & gray strips (yes, really) at Central Arkansas -- even another blue field at a high school in Alaska.
Now another high school is hoping to surf the blue wave, and has laid down a navy blue field with yellow accents and a big O in the middle. That O stands for Oxford High School in Oakland, CO Michigan outside of Detroit.
Boise State is actually OK with the somewhat similar-looking blue field. But the school isn't OK with anyone calling the blue turf the Blue Turf unless they are talking about the original blue turf. Got that? The Oakland Press reports Boise State's General Counsel reached out to the school and asked them to avoid using the words "blue turf" when describing their shiny new blue field.
"They just said ‘We recognize that you’re doing a blue field and we just want you to know that here’s what you can do and what you can say and what you can’t,'" Oxford Athletic Director Mike Watson told the Press.
True Blue Turf? OK. Oxford Blue Turf? No problem. Blue Turf? There's only one of those - and it lies just south of the Boise River, home to the Boise State Broncos.