By Max Harper
I hate to beat a dead horse.
But the NFL fucked the Eagles more than the Chiefs with the condition of the field for last Sunday night’s Super Bowl.
It’s nice that Eagles GM Howie Roseman said both teams had to play on it.
But as NBC Sports Peter King points out, did he looked ticked off that his speed rushers on defense, including sackmaster Haason Reddick, looked like they needed skates, not cleats, to play on that field.
Only two things to add, and this comes from a groundskeeper in the NFL:
Rye grass is notoriously slippery, and when this turf was overseeded with rye to make the field green, lush and gorgeous, it probably increased the chance of slippage. And the fact that this grass was kept outside at night, with temperatures in the high thirties and forties in Phoenix overnight, could have led to more condensation from the cool weather when it was moved inside—even if, as Kilgore reports, the league dried the field when it was back inside.
Whatever the reason, the NFL better figure it out in the next 11 months. The field was inexcusable. Reddick was in on sacks in nine of his previous 10 games, and he had 19.5 sacks in 19 previous games this year. Though he hit Mahomes twice, Reddick wasn’t close to sacking him. Philadelphia had a league-best 78 sacks in 19 previous games, but got shut out against KC—the first time in three months that happened. Kansas City could gripe too.
By the way, there’s one other field in the NFL with grass that’s kept outside and wheeled in on trays for games: Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Super Bowl LVIII is at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.