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Panthers May Find Shoddy Sod at Lambeau Field

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RALEIGH — A steady rain and cold temperatures hadplayers digging holes in the sod during the last game at Lambeau Field.The Green Bay gridiron is in rough shape and now the race is on to get thefield repaired before the Panthers and Packers meet in Sunday's NFCchampionship.

According to two experts at N.C. State, the weather will be a majorfactor in determining the field conditions Saturday.

"From what I understand, they're going to do two to three inches in depthsod in big rolls and, from what I understand, they're going to do 10yards at a time," said NCSU Athletic Fields Supervisor Ray Brincefield.

Each roll of sod that covers Lambeau Field is 42 feet long,three-and-a-half feet wide and weighs a ton. Grounds keepers will likelysecure all 85,000 cubic feet of sod with stakes, then mash it down withgiant rollers.

The weather is once again the main obstacle, however. If it rains, the newsod could become mud again. If it's too cold, everything freezes.

"If that soil is frozen and they put this sod down on a frozen surface,then that may create some problems for them in that area," said NCSU plantpathologist Leon Lucas.

To help keep the field in shape for the game, Lambeau Field has heatingcoils in its center that run from end to end and keep the sod at about 65degrees. Lucas said the coils and a plastic cover should protect thefield, but will leave the sidelines at the mercy of the elements.

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