Gene Bleymaier goes into the Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame in October, and admittedly, it’s about danged time. Bleymaier, then the Bronco athletic director, had one of the best ideas within the history of selling. In 1986, with Boise State football in need of a replacement artificial turf, Bleymaier’s mind melded necessity and opportunity. Why not have the manufacturers make the sector blue? “It was genius,” said current Boise State athletic director Jeremiah Dickey. Love the blue turf or hate the blue turf — and there are legions of football fans on all sides — nobody can deny that Bleymaier’s instincts were correct.
The Boise State brand has soared due to the blue turf. OSU makes its first football venture into Idaho, playing the Broncos at 8 p.m. Saturday in Albertsons Stadium, and therefore the Mountain West Conference school is understood coast to coast for a spread of reasons. Hard-nosed football. The success that has three Fiesta Bowl victories within the last 15 years. which blue turf. OSU tailback LD Brown’s eyes lit up last Saturday when he was reminded where he’d be playing football every week later. “Really looking forward to the uniform combination we’re getting to have,” Brown said. He began politicking OSU equipment coordinator Justin Williams for the flamboyantly fashioned Cowboys to wear black in Boise.
“Want to ascertain what he’s getting to put us out there on the blue turf,” Brown said. “I want to see what the black seems like on blue.” Cowboy defensive Tyler Lacy’s interest was more personalized. “Wonder … if I look good on the blue turf?” Lacy asked. Football fans from everywhere stop by Albertsons Stadium throughout the year to see out the blue turf. Boise State’s athletic hall of fame is made into the southwest corner of the stadium. Visitors can access the hall of fame from outside the stadium, then on the opposite side step onto a plaza that permits fans to seem out over the blue turf. Thursday afternoon, three middle-aged men from Las Vegas were taking pictures of the blue turf. They said they were 20-year Boise State fans and had always wanted to ascertain a game there. Saturday is that the game.
“It’s a part of our identity,” Dickey said. “It differentiates us.” No doubt that. The blue turf has impacted football on every level. A few other schools have gone to non-green turf — Eastern Washington’s red, Central Arkansas’ purple, Coastal Carolina’s teal, Eastern Michigan’s gray — and therefore the National league instituted a rule against non-green turf. It’s called the Boise Rule. In 2011, the Mountain West ruled that the Broncos couldn’t wear blue jerseys reception . Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders understands the rule. “Yeah, that’s one’s getting to be weird,” Sanders said. “If they’re getting to wear blue jerseys, that’s getting to be a pain in my tail.”
The Mountain West rescinded the rule after one year, as Boise State mounted a significant protest. Perhaps the Broncos acknowledged that Mountain West members Colorado State and Hawaii have green as their primary colors, and last anybody looked, the Rams and therefore the Rainbow Warriors play on green turf. Dickey likens it to the scene in “Hoosiers,” when the Gene Hackman character walks into the historic fieldhouse with a tape and shows his team the edges are 10 feet off the bottom. Same as back home. The Boise State turf is that the same as artificial surfaces everywhere in America. Except it’s blue.
It’s tons of blue. Albertsons Stadium once had a track around the gridiron, therefore the sidelines are quite wide. Boise State expanded the blue turf to hide the whole grounds. One myth to dispel: ducks don’t crash into the turf, believing it to be water. a minimum of that’s what the locals say, though former coach Chris Petersen once claimed to possess found a failure on the sector . Around Boise, the stadium is just called “The Blue.” It’s a fit description. And Boise State — a comparatively new university; it had been a college until 1968 — has been lauded for its academic innovation. U.S. News & World Report a few years ago listed Boise State among the nation’s most innovative schools. Boise State’s catchphrase for that brand? Blue turf thinking. A little innovation couldn’t hurt the OSU offense, which has struggled through two games. The Cowboys trot onto the blue turf Saturday night, hopefully thinking not such a lot about how they’ll look on the blue, but how they’ll play.