There have been varying reports on the quality of the turf at Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50.
But it’s obvious that there were times it affected the quality of play.
In a video clip posted by Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer, Panthers left tackle Michael Oher appears to be on skates, unable to do anything but slide backward under pass rush.
To his credit, Oher kept the play blocked, allowing Cam Newton plenty of time to get a pass off.
But the extreme lack of traction he showed can only be explained by a few things. One of them — that Oher was wearing curling shoes — seems unlikely. The other — a surface not conducive to football — seems more likely.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera was playing nice in the aftermath, saying the surface was “outstanding.”
But Rivera is gracious like that, and saying that his team didn’t have any problems with the turf isn’t backed up by the image of Oher gliding gracefully backward like Dorothy Hamill.
Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib wasn’t afraid to call it “terrible,” and it’s likely that Oher would probably agree. The 49ers have had plenty of problems growing grass, and it appears the NFL isn’t faring any better there.