Super Bowl 57 has been as electrifying as advertised, with the Philadelphia Eagles entering halftime with a 24-14 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs. One thing that has been hard to ignore is the frequency in which the players have had a hard time keeping their footing on the grass field at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
The new playing surface was installed two weeks ago, and so far the results are not impressive.
The NFL has spent two years preparing the grass for tonight's field at the Super Bowl.— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) February 12, 2023
The grass was grown at a local sod farm in Phoenix.
It was installed two weeks ago, and the field has been rolled out each morning for daily sunshine.
Total cost = $800,000 pic.twitter.com/Um8zZala2O
Throughout the half, players on both sides were slipping and either nearly falling or actually falling. Fans on social media have taken note of the substandard surface.
The NFL spent two years and the best part of a million dollars preparing a brand new perfect pitch and the players keep slipping over on the paint. https://t.co/ogNVaIRF1L— Kenny Stewart (@Kenny__Stewart) February 13, 2023
they like purpose-grew this specific field for 11 months in anticipation of this one game lol https://t.co/ByAZZjX0Bp— Arif Hasan, but NFL (@ArifHasanNFL) February 13, 2023
How has the NFL not standardized the perfect playing surface? How are players slipping on slick painted grass at the Super Bowl. Give players the best they deserve.— Zack Joerger (@CincySeabee) February 13, 2023
Gotta give it to the NFL to spend $800,000 and players just end up slipping all around the yard anyways https://t.co/X5BrffJLsn— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 13, 2023
Terry Bradshaw just slammed the NFL for ‘painting the whole field’ because all of the players are slipping on the field.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 13, 2023
“I don’t quite understand why.’
Jalen Hurts had to change his cleats (he switched from 11s to 1s)
Players were already slipping on this turf in the first half and now they are putting an enormous stage on the field— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) February 13, 2023
Former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli noted that the heavy painting of the field may be the main culprit for the Super Bowl slip-and-slide.
A lot of players slipping tonight - mostly in painted areas of field (not uncommon on grass). However, those #SuperBowl logos are HUGE & cover almost all grass between hashes from 17-yd line to 33-yd line Looks like much more paint than usual. Potential player safety issue? #NFL— Scott Pioli (@scottpioli51) February 13, 2023
One of the key moments in the opening half was Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s missed 42-yard field goal, which hit the left upright and doinked wide with the score tied at 7-7. While no slow motion replay was shown on the FOX broadcast, it looked as if Butker’s plant leg might have slipped on the painted Super Bowl logo as he made his kick.
It hasn’t been any easier for the Eagles. Kicker Jake Elliott slipped on a kickoff in the second half.
This field is bad. Jake Elliott slips on the kickoff. pic.twitter.com/6Xhf54oteR— Arye Pulli (@AryePulliTSP) February 13, 2023
The NFL’s grandest stage has a field that’s not ready for primetime. It’s worth noting that next year’s Super Bowl is in Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, which also uses a grass surface. Hopefully the investment has a much better result than what we’re seeing today.