Duke Blue Kills Thousands Each Year

Every fall, a variety of colors are applied to the nation's football fields, killing millions of helpless blades of grass. NC State researchers found that darker shades are harder on grass because they absorb a lot of the light the grass needs for photosynthesis.

In other words, Duke blue is the napalm of paint colors.

"In our research, darker colors like black and Duke blue absorb over 90 percent of light that plants need for photosynthesis," says Reynolds. "Wolfpack red and Carolina blue only absorb about half of that."

In terms of turf health, then, white is best, followed by yellow, orange, and the rest of the rainbow. The Pack and the Heels are in the middle of the photosynthesis pack, while the Blue Devils, Gamecocks and Seminoles lag far behind. "What is so exciting about our research is that it supports what ACC and NFL field managers routinely tell us regarding which colors impact their fields the most," says Reynolds.

Bet that grass in Wallace Wade's end zones thought it had life pretty good. Peace and quiet and no foot traffic to speak of. Then one day it wakes up to find it has environmental terrorism all over itself.

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