Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) slips while chasing Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo
PHOENIX, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles players criticized field conditions at Super Bowl LVII, which resulted in many slips and falls. The NFL said maintenance on the grass "met required standards."
Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick called the natural grass at State Farm Stadium the "worst field I've ever played on" when he met with reporters after the 38-35 loss Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata called the field "terrible," and he compared it to playing in "a water park."
"It was hard," Reddick told reporters. "I beat my man a couple of times trying to turn the corner, and was just was slipping."
Players from both teams were forced to adjust to the lack of footing throughout the first half. Many of them eventually switched shoes in favor of longer cleats for better traction.
NFL officials told UPI last week that 22 months of preparation went into hosting Super Bowl LVII in Glendale.
"The State Farm Stadium field surface met the required standards for the maintenance of natural surfaces, as per NFL policy," the league said Monday. "The natural grass surface was tested throughout Super Bowl week and was in compliance with all mandatory NFL practice."
NFL field surface director Nick Pappas said crews installed nearly 1 million pounds of natural grass, grown locally in Scottsdale. The league had more than 500 rolls of sod, measuring about 3 1/2 feet wide by 40 feet, trucked in and installed over three days in January.
A swarm of NFL groundskeepers flocked back onto that surface after Rihanna's halftime show performance. They scrambled to repair divots left by temporary platforms and dancers. But kickers, pass rushers and ball carriers continued to slip throughout the game.
"Around the logo area, I saw a lot of the young players slipping early, and I tried to nudge them and tell them, 'Hey, you might want to look at changing [cleats],'" Chiefs defensive end Carlos Dunlap said.
"A lot of guys changed [cleats] on the sideline. You probably saw it, but I didn't have any issues personally. Just had to keep good balance and keep my feet up under me."
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates with the the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LVII 38-35 over the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on February 12, 2023. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo