Report says ours will be the first NFL version to have brown rubber pellets instead of black. Not only do we get fake grass, we get fake dirt too!: http://www.projo.com/patriots/content/projo_20061117_pats17.32103c8.html Dream field is coming together The installation of the FieldTurf surface is progressing quickly as crews work round the clock at Gillette Stadium. 01:00 AM EST on Friday, November 17, 2006 BY SHALISE MANZA YOUNG Journal Sports Writer FOXBORO -- Last Sunday, Rob Delmonico was sitting in his usual seat at Gillette Stadium, on the mezzanine level of the south end zone, the rain coming down, and the Jets beating the Patriots. The wet field -- the one that had been re-sodded only two weeks earlier -- was not holding up well. And in the second half, when franchise quarterback Tom Brady slipped, his knee bending awkwardly, Delmonico knew he'd be getting the phone call. John Chaffin, watching the game at home, also knew that his phone would be ringing soon enough. First thing Monday morning, the calls went out. The Krafts could fight no longer. Though the first family of the Patriots had every intention of having natural grass in their stadium, and through no fault of field superintendent Jon Bengston, the New England weather coupled with the massive men who took the field had the grass overmatched. They would install FieldTurf. Immediately, if not sooner. That's where Delmonico and Chaffin come in. Delmonico and his brother, Derek, run R.A.D Sports, which specializes in sports field construction, and Chaffin is regional sales representative for Northeast Turf, a FieldTurf distributor. Normally, it takes five to six weeks to install a FieldTurf surface from beginning to end. The Patriots needed it done in less than two weeks. Derek Delmonico arrived at Gillette at 5:30 Tuesday morning, and as of 1 p.m. yesterday, had not yet left the site. The accelerated installation meant three crews would need to work around the clock. But with so many New England fans on the payroll, it was easy to find guys willing to put in the extra effort. "This is a dream job for all of the men; it was not a problem getting men to volunteer for 24-hour duty," Rob Delmonico said yesterday, as the final work on the bed of crushed stone was being completed -- a day ahead of schedule. "The Patriots organization has been incredible, feeding the men and helping them get sleep." Today, the 15x238-foot-long strips of "grass," which Chaffin calls yarn, will be laid over the width of the field, sewed together with special machines and glued to the concrete shelf that rings the outermost edge of the field level. The Patriots are getting FieldTurf's newest yarn, a monofilament fiber that has a "spine" running vertically through the center of each fiber, giving better bounce-back ability, no matter how many 300-pound linemen land on it. In company testing of the new fiber, it is showing to have greater durability than previous yarns, meaning the Gillette Field will likely last longer than the 10- to 12-year life expectancy for older fields. Once the fibers are sewn up, the infill -- 10 pounds per square foot -- will be laid down. The fill is a mixture of washed silica sand and cryogenically processed rubber, which is frozen to minus-130 degrees, shattered, and any steel removed by going through a series of magnets. But while nearly every FieldTurf project has black rubber, New England is paying to have special brown rubber in its infill, giving the turf an even more natural look, Chaffin said. The Patriots will be the first NFL team with the brown rubber-silica infill mix; Marquette University is the only other field to have it. Given the field's area of 94,000 square feet, nearly one million pounds of infill will be used. The turf at Gillette will initially be all green, but machines developed just for the fibers will make it easy for the stadium crew to easily change the field lines from football to soccer or lacrosse -- the stadium is hosting the NCAA men's lacrosse Final Four in 2008. With the drainage system already in place under the stadium, the rock bed and infill, Chaffin said the new field will be able to withstand up to 50 inches of rain per hour before puddles become a problem. That's a far cry from last Sunday, when one bad slip in the mud could have cost New England its Franchise. It's an added bonus that Brady is 19-1 in his career on the surface.