clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How does a '$12 billion league' screw up a preseason NFL game?

2016 is going to be a great year for the NFL.

That's a football field!
That's a football field!
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It's August 8, a month away from the start of the regular season, and the NFL is already embarrassed. This time it's because of paint, specifically the paint on the field at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which congealed into something like tar and forced the league to cancel the very first preseason game of the year.


According to reports, the first layer of paint, the wrong kind of paint, wasn't drying fast enough, so they used heaters on it. That melted the rubber in the field turf and turned it into tar. Then, they tried putting paint thinner on it. And that stuff had a warning on the label about burning people's skin off. Basically, they made it worse with a series of missteps to cover up the initial screwup.

It's not entirely Tim McGraw's fault the NFL cancelled the Hall of Fame game. Field conditions at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium were trash before McGraw played a concert there Friday night. But the festivities and a rain storm probably didn't make it any better.

It's hard to understate just what a huge debacle this was for the NFL. Preseason or not, it was supposed to be a nationally televised game. Officially, it was the paint used on the field, the stuff that turned into tar, that forced the cancellation of the game, but the field at the Hall of Fame stadium has been an issue in the past.

Jim Irsay was pissed about the game. The Colts owner asked the most valid question of all: "Hey you're a $12 billion league. How could you not have a field out there ready to go?"

People want their money back ... and then some. I'm sure the NFL will make them jump through some hoops first.

Oh, and today is the 10th anniversary of Roger Goodell being named the commissioner. Fitting.

* * *

HALL OF FAME SPEECHES: Saturday night's Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony was not a debacle. It was great, filled with touching moments and great speeches, capped off by Brett Favre going off script and delivering a moving tribute to his father.

EXCEPT ... The league couldn't pull that off without a hiccup, either. The NFL removed the part of Orlando Pace’s speech where he thanked St. Louis. The uploaded version of Pace’s Hall of Fame speech left out one big part. The NFL said it was a "technical error."

ESPN broadcasting legend Tom Jackson said goodbye this weekend. Jackson has been a fixture of ESPN's football coverage since being hired back in 1987. His last night on the air was Saturday and he got an emotional sendoff.

TOUGH BREAK FOR THE BEARSThe Bears lost their starting center. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Grasu is done for the year with a torn right ACL, after the center was carted out of Soldier Field on Saturday with a non-contact injury to his right knee.

ANOTHER BILLS ROOKIE HURTReggie Ragland has partially torn ACL, second opinion Monday. The Bills already lost first-round pick, Shaq Lawson, and now they could be without their second-rounder.

THE CHARGERS STINKJoey Bosa's mom: "Wish we pulled an Eli Manning." Negotiations between the Chargers and their first-round pick are not going well. The team wants him to defer most of his signing bonus until next year AND keep the offset language in his contract. Neither side seems any closer to budging.

NOT A DONE DEALStephen Tulloch to the Eagles reportedly isn't imminent. A report emerged on Saturday evening indicating the Eagles and Stephen Tulloch are involved in "heavy negotiations."

GOOD NEWS FOR GREEN BAYAaron Rodgers hopeful that Jordy Nelson and Jared Cook will return from PUP list next week. Could Green Bay get two of its injured receiving options back in the next few days?

SEABASS RULESIn his 17th season, Sebastian Janikowski has renewed focus on keeping career alive. After 16 years of being the most unique and laid back kickers, Sebastian Janikowski is getting serious.

FIGHT! Kelechi Osemele, Mario Edwards kicked out of Raiders training camp practice for fighting. Osemele and Edwards twice got into it and got the boot.

ALL HYPE TEAMThis week's NFL training camp All-Pro team. Two weeks into training camp and a handful of players are already practicing at really high levels, creating unrealistic expectations and feeding the 24-hour hype machine. Let’s honor those players.