Some of college football’s most daunting homefield advantages come to mind pretty quickly. The Big House at the University of Michigan. Happy Valley at Penn State. Owen Field at the University of Oklahoma. Visiting any of these venues, and many others across the nation is no easy task. The sheer decibel level of fan support for these schools is enough to make opposing offenses quiver at the thought of going into a silent count.
But perhaps the most unique home-field advantage literally has to do with the playing surface itself. The Boise State Broncos play their games at Albertsons Stadium, on a blue field. According to its website, they were the first school to have a field that was not green in the country—they made the switch in 1986.
Whose idea was it to do something that no one had ever thought of before? Gene Bleymaier, who was Boise State’s athletic director in 1986, didn’t want his school to follow in the footsteps of every other program, and came up with the novel concept of a blue field.
“I was just thinking everybody knows that it’s artificial turf; there’s nobody that thinks it’s grass,” Bleymaier reasoned. “They know it’s not grass, so there’s really no reason it needs to be green. Why not do it on our school colors?” Via Coloradoan.com
Despite his confidence that this would be a great idea, Bleymaier was a little nervous about how such an idea would be received by the general public. The decision was kept under wraps until the timing was right to tell the world.
“I knew people would think it was crazy and there’ll be a lot of critics. I wanted to call a press conference quickly and announce it and make it clear the decision had been made and there wasn’t going to be a debate,” Bleymaier revealed. Via Idahopress.com
As it turns out, Bleymaier was set to be inducted into Boise State’s Athletics Hall of Fame this month, but the ceremony was postponed, to be rescheduled for a later date. His claim to fame is a special one, and will be linked with the program for generations to come.