Rihanna's half-time show blamed for 'embarrassing' $800m Super Bowl farce
The pop star's performance is being blamed for the 'terrible' state of the playing surface at State Farm Stadium.
Rihanna's half-time performance at the Super Bowl has been blamed for the poor state of the field at State Farm Stadium, after a number of players were seen slipping and falling during the game. The quality of the playing surface has come under fire in the wake of the Kansas City Chiefs' win over the Philadelphia Eagles, with Aussie star Jordan Mailata describing it as 'terrible'.
The Eagles tackle said after the game: "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.
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"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."
The NFL reportedly spend 11 months preparing the playing surface for the showpiece event and spent US$800 million on it. But their preparations fell spectacularly flat as players were seen slipping and sliding around at a number of key moments.
In the latest development on Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the grass was even more slippery in the second half after Rihanna's performance. The pop star performed for 13 minutes on a raised platform that sat above the playing surface, however dozens of dancers performed all over the field.
“The half-time show, which basically spanned the entire field, it pressed the grass, it heated it up and got it slick,” Rapoport said on 'The Pat McAfee Show'. “It basically increased the moisture in the grass because it didn’t allow it to breathe because it pressed down on the grass. Then you take the half-time show off the grass and it’s a little bit wetter, and in the third quarter everybody was sliding around.”
McAfee labelled the slippery conditions an “embarrassment" for the NFL on the sport's biggest stage. Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick said the field was the worst he’s ever played on.
“Y’all watched the game, y’all saw it, there was a lot of slipping all over that field,” Reddick said. “It didn’t even matter, I changed my cleats, still had seven studs and was still was slipping so, I don’t know.
"You know, I don’t want to use it as an excuse, I’m not that type of guy, I’m not going to make excuses. Still props to them, they still won, they’re champs, they should enjoy it.”
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The grass for the field was reportedly grown at a local sod farm in Phoenix. It was installed at State Farm Stadium two weeks before the Super Bowl and rolled out each morning.
However the NFL's decision to cover a large majority of the playing field with advertising and logos also contributes to the slippery nature of it. Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Piolo tweeted: “Those Super Bowl logos are HUGE and 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?”
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in the first half, but was able to return for the second stanza and lead his side to victory. Eagles counterpart Jalen Hurts also slipped over a number of times, while Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker missed a 42-yard field goal attempt after appearing to slip as he kicked the ball.
The @NFL can put Rihanna on a window washer platform at halftime but can’t get a decent playing surface. 🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️
— Skip Foster (@skipfoster) February 13, 2023
The field conditions at the Super Bowl were an issue and frankly embarrassing considering the magnitude of the game. These are just some examples. pic.twitter.com/Qd7Wjk8WgS
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) February 13, 2023
The NFL should be ashamed for this joke of a field for the SUPER BOWL. pic.twitter.com/GgnyYc09M4
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) February 13, 2023
This field is absolutely atrocious
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) February 13, 2023
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