Well, I just don't know what to say about this. Eastern Michigan is reportedly changing the color of the their turf to gray. Why? I simply have no idea.
The Detroit Free Press reported it this morning and the good folks at SB Nation took it a step further and created their own mockup of just how drab a gray field will look (see below)...and unfortunately at this time we can confirm that Eastern Michigan is going gray.
Update from EMU:
Eastern Michigan was kind enough to reach out to us to share with us their thinking in going Gray...and honestly it's a pretty good read. From EMU:
Toughness. Pride. Resilience. These key words have come to describe first-year Eastern Michigan University Head Football CoachChris Creighton’s program as they prepare for the 2014 campaign. They are also terms befitting the proud residents of southeastern Michigan and their hard-working demeanor.
Inspired by this region of the state and the student-athlete’s own backgrounds, the team has challenged itself to be “E Tough,” committed to great effort, sacrifice and triumphing in the face of adversity. In this spirit, the team has nicknamed Rynearson Stadium “The Factory,” a place where coaches and staff will go to work each day to help “E Tough” student-athletes become scholars, leaders, champions and impact men. “The Factory” will be highlighted by Division I Football’s first gray FieldTurf playing surface for the fall season.
Since taking over reigns of EMU Football in December 2013, Creighton has rallied the program to "close the gap" between its current status and the pursuit of its true potential. He has studied the school, its surroundings, recruiting base and the current student-athletes. The one common thread throughout has been an uncommon ‘toughness’ that permeates the program.
"We are proud of who we are, where we are from and what we represent," Creighton added. "We know that being a part of the Eastern Michigan football team requires a great commitment. We will train, practice and play with an uncommon intensity. The bonds that form the team are incredibly deep. Game days will be an expression of this powerful experience and that is why we will play with such deep passion and resolve."
In this spirit, the program’s E Tough mentality represents:
Obsessed with getting better
Unwavering in adversity
The concept of the “EMU Gray” field was born during one of the squad's notoriously intense winter workouts in 2014. Ron McKeefery, Director of Sports Performance, challenged the team to an outdoor practice on the snow covered Rynearson Stadium field rather than the warm confines of their indoor practice facility. True to their E Tough demeanor, the team accepted the challenge. Throughout each drill of the bitter cold practice Creighton delivered the message that EMU Football has the will to compete against "anyone, anytime and anywhere… even on a parking lot covered with broken glass." Inspired by his team’s toughness and commitment that day, Creighton’s idea of an “EMU Gray” field was born and soon shared with administrators.
The new look within Rynearson Stadium, and moniker, “The Factory,” will serve as visual and name recognition for the program’s ideals. They are a constant reminder to the student-athletes that being E Tough means coming ready to roll up their sleeves and to never give in or let up.
"Our colors are green and white but our collars are blue," said Creighton. "The Factory is where our coaching staff goes to work and our players develop. It is our home and one that we will protect. When opponents come to the Factory we want to make it known that they are in for a 60-minute fight. Our goal is to make it one of the toughest places to play in the Mid-American Conference."
Here's what they say the finished product will look like: