Jordan Mailata lashes out over 'terrible' farce after loss in Super Bowl

Aussie tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jordan Mailata, has slammed the Super Bowl surface the NFL spent 11 months preparing.

Philadelphia's kicker slips during the Super Bowl on the left, with Jordan Mailata pictured in a press conference on the right.

Aussie NFL player Jordan Mailata has joined a chorus of criticism directed at the playing surface for Monday's Super Bowl, which was likened to a 'water park' by observers. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles struggled on the surface at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, which had been specially prepared by the NFL for 11 months prior to the season finale.

The excessive amount of painted logos was honed in on as a culprit, with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts even changing cleats at half time in a bid to find more traction. The surface was noticeably torn up towards the end of the game, with fans chiding the clearly troublesome turf on social media.

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The NFL had gone to extreme lengths to prepare the surface for this year's Super Bowl, starting 11months ago. A turf-grower in Phoenix was entrusted with getting the ground ready, with the entire field kept on a metre-deep tray that could be rolled in an out of the stadium.

A key moment came when the Super Bowl was tied at 7-7, with Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker missing a crucial 42-yard field goal after appearing to slip as he kicked the ball. Eagles counterpart Jake Elliott also had a similar moment in the first quarter.

Mailata was among many to criticise the playing surface, describing it as a 'water park' after the match. With criticism coming from both sides however, Mailata had to concede it was just as big an issue for the Chiefs as it was the Eagles.

“It was terrible,” the Eagles’ offensive tackle said. “But the Kansas City Chiefs had to play on it too and to be fair, they said it was terrible too so I’m sure we were on the same page.

“I’m not a grass expert. It was slick, you couldn’t anchor. You had to get your whole foot in the ground, if you tried to use your toe, it would slip. You saw the receivers (slipping). It was like a water park out there and we’re playing on grass."

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NFL great Terry Bradshaw was also unimpressed by the field dished up for the biggest game of the NFL season, slamming the league for 'painting the whole field'. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes went down in the first half with an ankle injury, with many speculating that the surface had a role to play.

Despite the injury, Mahomes came back on in the fourth quarter with the scores locked at 35-all. He was able to engineer an incredible final score, with the Chiefs winning their second Super Bowl with Mahomes, the final score 38-35.

Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Piolo was another to point out and criticise the massive amount of painted space on the field. Pointing out that slipping on painted areas was 'not uncommon' he raised the quality of the surface as a potential safety issue.

“Those Super Bowl logos are HUGE and cover almost all grass between hashes from 17-yd line to 33-yd line,” Pioli wrote on Twitter. “Looks like much more paint than usual. Potential player safety issue?”

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is handed the Super Bowl trophy.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes overcame an ankle injury and a slippery playing surface to win the Super Bowl. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The winning field goal was set up by a big Mahomes run, and the drive was kept alive by a controversial defensive holding call against the Eagles. That allowed the Chiefs to mostly run out the final two minutes on the clock.

Mahomes threw three touchdown passes in the game and was brilliant in the second half after a slow start. Before halftime, there was considerable concern for Mahomes when the Chiefs QB was trying to evade pressure on third down. T.J. Edwards tracked him down from behind and spun him to the ground by the ankle.

The league's MVP got up gingerly from the tackle, before limping his way to the sideline. Close-up shots of Mahomes showed the Chiefs star wincing in pain as he made his way back to the bench, where he looked to be in a fair bit of discomfort.

Replays of the tackle on Mahomes showed his troublesome right ankle bent back sideways, before he lay on the turf in agony. Fans immediately took to social media in reaction to the injury, with many amazed he was able to come out and play through the pain in the second half.

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