Yes, I’ve probably written too much about FedEx Field’s playing surface. But this feels like a sort of seminal moment for that expanse of painted dirt. After months, if not years, of fans wondering why it looks the way it does, the issue suddenly gained traction, to use the exact wrong word. And now everyone in the country seems to be writing about it.
“You care about us, but we play on that field last week that was like, ‘Really? Really?’” Seattle fullback Michael Robinson told USA Today. “That should be illegal. That’s like working in a sweat shop to me.”
“It was probably the worst field I’ve ever played on,” Seattle defensive lineman Alan Branch told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “They painted the dirt green so it looked like grass. It was like dried chunks of dirt that was flying everywhere. When you get to playing you definitely block it out, but it’s a huge topic before the game. [We were] bringing extra sets of cleats just to see which ones are the best footing for you. I mean, you do have to play to the elements, and whatever the field is at. We got the notice [from trainers], but a lot of us were watching that Dallas-Washington, and it was evident there, so we definitely already knew about it.”
“It was pretty bad,” Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin told Seattle’s KJR. “You could see it on TV, but we take precautions for that. There’s different type of cleats we can wear in types of conditions, so most of the guys had their detachable cleats. They’re actually screw-ons, and they’re a little bit longer than the molded cleats, and that just helps us get more traction on a field like that. So it wasn’t too bad. But obviously fields like that can cause injuries, that’s for sure.”