It looks like the controversy involving the field conditions at Super Bowl LVII isn't quite over yet. The NFL hasn't had much to say about the slippery conditions at the game, but privately, the league has apparently been saying a lot.
According to Pro Football Talk, owners have been asking the league why the playing surface was so slippery, and the NFL has responded by pinning the blame on players from the Chiefs and Eagles for not wearing the right cleats in the game.
It's an interesting stance for the league to take, especially since both teams felt that the field conditions were horrible. As a matter of fact, the field was so bad that Eagles pass-rusher Haason Reddick called it the "worst" surface that he's ever played on.
"I'm not going to lie, it was the worst field that I've ever played on," Reddick said after the game. "It was very disappointing. It's the NFL. You would think it would be better so we could get some better play, but it is what it is. I don't know, maybe the league will look at it and tell Arizona they got to step their stuff up."
In the video below, you can see multiple instances of players slipping on the field:
The field conditions during the Chiefs' 38-35 win also got a big thumbs down from George Toma. The man known as "The Sodfather," who has worked all 57 Super Bowls as either a groundskeeper or consultant,for overwatering the field and not sanding it enough. After seeing the final product, Toma noted that the field had a "rotten smell."
After slipping and sliding all over the field in the first half, several Eagles players actually changed their cleats at halftime, but that didn't seem to help much. If the new cleats were just as bad as the old cleats, that would seem to point to the field as being the primary reason for the slipping.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said theby the field conditions, as they held an Eagles defense that led the league in sacks without one in the Super Bowl. Following the report that the NFL was pinning blame on Eagles and Chiefs players, safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson -- formerly of the Eagles, now with the Lions -- also had a take.
"Man pre-game I went through 3 different cleats!!" Gardner-Johnson tweeted. "Even the studs wasn't working explain that please. Run that bowl back on legit grass, the Dline SMASH that Oline I'm sorry."
The Eagles and Chiefs both played in Arizona during the regular season, so they would have had an idea of what the turf was going to be like. The NFL did install a brand new playing surface for the game, but the turf was similar to what was there before. Also, the turf the NFL used for the Super Bowl is, so you would think the Eagles would be well aware of what cleats the team was supposed to wear on that particular playing surface.
That being said, one person taking the NFL's side is Danny Amendola. During an interview in February, the former Patriots receiver said that if any player was slipping at the Super Bowl, it likely had to do with their cleats.
"On that surface, you've got to switch the tires out and put the seven studs in," Amendola said on Chris Long's podcast. "I feel like you get a lot better traction. You don't feel like you can play as fast in them, but at the same time, you're chopping it up, you're gripping the turf. ... Anybody that slipped [in Super Bowl LVII], look at the cleats they were wearing. They were probably wearing the wrong tires."
On the other hand, Amendola did acknowledge the field in Arizona isn't always in great shape.
"When you play a night game in A-Z, for some reason the grass always gets a little dewy at night, and it's so slick," Amendola said. "I've worn seven studs on that field numerous times."
In the end, it could be possible that both sides are right: It seems plausible that several players had on the wrong cleats, but it also seems pretty clear that the field wasn't in the shape it should have been for a Super Bowl.