Why Can’t the NFL Get Its Playing Surfaces Right?

The biggest game of the year for the NFL, and one of the largest days in sports all year. All eyes are on the Super Bowl, whether it’s for the football or Rihanna. So how did the league manage to provide yet another blatantly horrible playing surface so bad that the fans and even the commentating and camera crews made constant note of it?

The playing surface for Superbowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona took two years and $800,000 to grow. The NFL painted Super Bowl logos that stretched from the 17 to 33-yard lines on both sides of the field, right between the hashmarks, to make matters worse.

Everyone was slipping, from quarterbacks to running backs, defensive backs to kickers. Field conditions were appalling at a time when player safety is at the forefront of football conversation.

It was noted by the commentary team that Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, along with many of his teammates, changed cleats at halftime to adjust to slippery field conditions. On the field goal attempt that Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker missed, it looked like he slipped on one of the large, painted Super Bowl logos. Eagles Kicker Jake Elliot very obviously slipped while executing a kickoff; thankfully he was not injured.

It is unconscionable how the NFL continues to get it wrong, and make a mess on the biggest stage it has. As if the conditions weren’t bad enough on their own, after breaking down the field-length set used for Rihanna’s halftime show, the broadcast showed a sizeable field crew replacing divots before the second half. What will it take to get it right? Statements directly from the players? Players on both sides were asked post-game about field conditions, with all having similar answers. Eagles LT Jordan Mailata said the field was “terrible, like playing on a water park.” Eagles LB Hasson Reddick had this to say after the game:

As well as this from Chiefs DE Frank Clark:

The league will get it eventually, right?

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