By now we have all heard the various complaints about the surface at Fed Ex field for the Redskins vs Seattle playoff game last Sunday.
The Seahawks in particular were not fond of the field at all. Many were led to speculate on whether or not that terrible surface led to Chris Clemons tearing his knee up.
The NFLPA called for an upgrade of the playing surface, and via USA Today, Seattle fullback Michael Robinson pointed his finger at the league. Robinson said the playing conditions at Fed Ex field were” like working in a sweat shop.”
“The commissioner, and I know it’s a tough job, but he doesn’t mandate mouthpieces. You care about us, but you don’t mandate mouthpieces. You care about us, but we play on that field last week that was like, ‘Really? Really?’
“That should be illegal. That’s like working in a sweat shop to me.”
The NFL seems to have blown this one all on their own. According to NFL guidelines, the playing surface is checked 72 hours before each home game, and then checked again the day of the game.
NFL Guidelines: Within 72 hours of each home game, all clubs that own or lease their stadiums are required to certify that their fields are in compliance with Recommended Practices for the Maintenance of Infill and Natural Surfaces for NFL Games. If any parts of the playing surface are not in compliance, it must be remediated in accordance with the applicable manufacturer’s recommendations at the club’s expense. The playing surface must be retested and certified as being in compliance prior to game day. Failure to comply is considered a competitive as well as a player safety issue and will be subject to disciplinary action by the Commissioner’s office.
Impact Hardness Test – The playing surface should produce a g-max of less than 100 g measured by the Clegg Hammer impact tester in locations as stated in the Recommended Practices for the Maintenance of Infill and Natural Surfaces for NFL Games.
Synthetic Infill Depth and Evenness – The infill depth of a playing surface should be measured by using the Floortest FT 50 to calibrate the thickness in locations as stated in the Recommended Practices for the Maintenance of Infill Surfaces for NFL Games.
Visual Inspection – The playing surface should be free of any defects or foreign objects through the visual inspection methods as stated in the Recommended Practices for the Maintenance of Infill and Natural Surfaces for NFL Games.
For each home game, clubs are responsible for having the field manager and his staff available to address any playing surface issues.
The same NFL that talks about protecting the shield, is now responsible for Chris Clemons and Robert Griffin III’s knee injuries.