Turf issues at Levi’s Stadium have been well-documented. During the 2015 NFL regular season, the grass had to be re-sodded six separate times! Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker sunk into the turf while attempting a field goal, causing him to botch the kick. Understanding that footing issues during Super Bowl 50 could spell disaster, the NFL installed entirely new turf prior to the big game.
However, the field was still far from ideal. Take a look at Carolina left tackle Michael Oher trying to block DeMarcus Ware in the first quarter:
Despite Oher’s wide base and low pad level, Ware pushed him back as if he were wearing figure skates! It’s even more stunning when you remember that Oher weighs well over 300 pounds.
Several players on both Denver and Carolina elected to change cleats during the second quarter, so Oher wasn’t the only player hampered by the slippery conditions. After the game, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib said the turf was “terrible.” Players reported better footing after changing their cleats, but unless the game is played in the rain, sloppy turf should never be an issue during the Super Bowl.
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