It does, which is nice for Rays fans, but so ends a mid-December rite going back years.
Every bowl season, college football fans tuned into the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl/St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's/Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl/Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl/St. Petersburg Bowl and jolted in horror at the sight of the Tampa Bay Rays playing surface:
One year, it even looked like this!
I couldn’t believe it!
Field at the Bitcoin Bowl looks like if you asked a kid to draw the grass on with marker and it kept running out— Peter Berkes (@peterberkes) December 27, 2014
The disturbing visuals were actually on the MLB team’s list of concerns with the old surface:
"Unsurprisingly, turf technology has evolved in the last five years," team president Brian Auld said, "and we think the new turf will be better for our players' bodies and play a little truer, and aesthetically will be an improvement on TV and in person."
The turf will be "a touch darker," Auld said, which the Rays hope will prevent it from looking washed out, especially on TV. It also features shallower fill, which should keep the blades standing up and create less "splash" when a ball hits.
So this is better for baseball viewers, Tampa locals, amateur horticulturalists, the team’s proud grounds crew, and athletes in various sports, but a loss for college football’s online jokes community.