NFLPA “emboldened” to challenge field conditions after Hall of Fame debacle

Getty Images

Last night, the NFL went a perfect six-of-six in the key statistical category of games attempted. A week ago, anything other than perfection was taken for granted.

Even if there’s never another congealed paint debacle like the one that happened in connection with the Hall of Fame Non-Game, the decision to scuttle the preseason contest between the Colts and Packers in the name of player safety raises the stakes when it comes to staging regular-season and postseason games.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL Players Association now feels “emboldened” to raise concerns regarding field quality, thanks to the new committee that gives the NFLPA a seat at the table regarding whether fields are safe.

If there’s a question about field conditions and if the NFLPA makes a public stink about it in the hours leading up to kickoff, what will the NFL do? Proceed despite the concerns? Or err on the side of caution and postpone the game?

It’s one thing to ditch the Hall of Fame Game or any other preseason contest. It’s quite another to press pause on a regular-season game, given the logistics involved with getting games in and getting teams ready for their next game. What if the field conditions at Soldier Field are unacceptable on a Sunday and the Bears play on the road on Thursday?

The one good thing (if anything) that came from Sunday night’s debacle is this: Everyone with any responsibility for getting a field ready now understands the importance of ensuring that all i’s are dotted and all t’s are crossed each and every week. Otherwise, the consequences could be a lot more significant than the cancellation of the 65th preseason game.

46 responses to “NFLPA “emboldened” to challenge field conditions after Hall of Fame debacle

  1. The NFLPA was never “emboldened” to protect the game from child abusers, women beaters, or cheaters, but field conditions are critical lol. Do every NFL fan a favor and zip it, you have no credibility, and you actually damage the game…. And get your priorities straight because your leadership iis a failure

  2. So Mike, we fans should prepare ourselves for weekly NFL and NFPLA battles over field conditionns? Now the NFPA has the power they can hold hostage type conversations with the NFL, if their conditions aren’t met, they will pull the players?

  3. yeah, that’s a good idea NFLPA. Start refusing to play because of field conditions, THAT will get the public on your side.

    SOLIDARITY

    -how stupid can you get?

  4. The players should be out a game check if a game is cancelled just like the league is out the revenue. It is important for there to be consequences to both sides so that cancellation if ever done is bona fide.

    Both the players and league could then pursue damages against whoever is responsible for the cancellation.

  5. The wussification of America continues………thanks liberals……….everyone looking for their “safe space”.

  6. Part of the popularity of the NFL is that it ties in well with gambling. ( Fantasy, 1 day fantasy, pick’em leagues, knockout leagues, and straight up bets ) If games are cancelled
    or postponed, it will screw up these activities,
    Which could hurt the popularity of the league. Don’t go poking that Golden Goose.

  7. We’ve seen repeated situations in the late regular season and playoffs the last few years where the fields were in lousy condition.

    Just another thing the league doesn’t care about unless they get sued over it. The league could care less about field conditions, player safety or anything that doesn’t effect their bank accounts in a negative way.

  8. When did it become imperative that NFL fields must be as pristine as the fairways at Augusta?

    Personally, I always liked watching kickers work the Lake Erie end of Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.

    I also remember the Browns getting no traction (or TD’s) in the “gym shoe” game at Minnesota. Field was so frozen, the cleats did more harm than good. Vikes switched over to sneakers around halftime, and won in a blowout.

    I also think that muddy/slippery fields actually REDUCE injury risk by forcing defenders to square up and tackle properly, or risk slipping if they try to “blow up” a runner or receiver.

    On the other side, offensive players had to expect the field to “give” when they made cuts, so there were fewer of the knee-popping moves you see on current fields.

    It’s time for NFL to repeal its ban on mud.

  9. funny how nfl players will whine about a little slippery paint while hockey players will literaly play on the slipperyest of all surfaces, ice. these guys could really learn a thing by taking a page or 2 out of the hockey guys book. not that most of them could probably read it anyways!

  10. If Chicago doesn’t want to build a modern, indoor stadium then the Bears should move somewhere that has one.

  11. the NFLPA should be emboldened to stop using literally millions of dollars going to the highest courts in the land holding up rightfully deserved punishment for various felons

    the PA is a wreck and it’s nowhere near getting fixed or getting it’s priorities straight

  12. It would be interesting to see the checklist they go through to determine if the field is “safe”. Another thing for the NFLPA and NFL to haggle over.

  13. “funny how nfl players will whine about a little slippery paint while hockey players will literaly play on the slipperyest of all surfaces, ice. these guys could really learn a thing by taking a page or 2 out of the hockey guys book”

    Sooooo, you want football to be played on skates now?

  14. trailerparkking says:
    Aug 12, 2016 1:07 PM
    The NFLPA was never “emboldened” to protect the game from child abusers, women beaters, or cheaters, but field conditions are critical lol. Do every NFL fan a favor and zip it, you have no credibility, and you actually damage the game…. And get your priorities straight because your leadership iis a failure
    ___________________

    As opposed to the ‘guardians of the game’ at 345 Park Ave?
    The NFLPA is hardly the only part of the equation with questionable priorities.

  15. How in the world did THIS topic get politicized. People need to find something else to do besides reading right-wing propaganda.

    I think the answer is easy – if the field isn’t playable, nobody gets paid, not the team from ticket sales or the players. Everyone has an incentive to ensure field conditions won’t be an ongoing concern.

  16. Lol @ games attempted stat. I hope BSPN steals that and tries to work it into QBR somehow.

  17. As opposed to the ‘guardians of the game’ at 345 Park Ave?
    The NFLPA is hardly the only part of the equation with questionable priorities.
    ________
    Nice logic. Your argument is irrelevant. The NFLPA has tried to stop the NFL for suspending players who commit crimes on society and crimes against the game. The bottom line is they simply don’t get it. They don’t even have the sense to make compromises for the good of the game or understand how the good of the game of the directly affects their players. There’s no NFLPA if there’s no NFL, and the health of the game dictates the health of the NFLPA. How much money have they wasted defending scum?
    They are a terrible union and because you don’t like Goodell you’re blind to their incompetence.

  18. The article brings up an interesting question. But will they address things beyond bad field surface to inherently unsafe? If this had been in place 20 years ago, would they refuse to play at the Philadelphia Stadium with its hideous issues? Or how about the Texans field with the stupid boxes of turf? I know Heinz field used to have huge chunks coming up but I dont know if they were ever the safety issues that existed in Philly and Houston.

  19. Shoot, we used to play tackle football, no pads no helmets, on fields without a blade of grass they were so muddy. The next week it might snow 6′ and we’d play again. The next week it would be frozen solid and lumpier than a cow pasture. A little ice burn was about the worst injury anybody ever got. Conditions dictate how fast a track you’re playing on. Figure it out.

  20. What would happen if there was a major snow like dec 8 2013 lions vs eagles, they were playing in about 4 inches of snow couldn’t see yard markers, etc. Would that game be played today ?

  21. Didn’t the Vet have a cement floor painted green for a field? Where was the NFLPA then?

    DeMaurice is the small dog who barks at people from the safety of a fenced yard. Bold (or a form) isn’t a word I would use.

  22. So now the NFLPA has a little power of their own they can lord over the NFL. Even abuse it at their discretion to make points. It’s not like the NFL would do such a thing from their end? Right? So if the NFL is going to throw its power around for political agenda the NFLPA will do the same in a game of tit for tat that has no winner. Meanwhile the fans will be the loser.

  23. NFLPA coming for the Raiders right now…gonna say playing on the dirt infield is dangerous.

  24. Snow has never been and never will be an excuse to cancel a football game.neither has -30 degree temperatures. football was meant to be played outdoors in the elements.

  25. sherry4002 says:
    Aug 12, 2016 3:39 PM

    What would happen if there was a major snow like dec 8 2013 lions vs eagles, they were playing in about 4 inches of snow couldn’t see yard markers, etc. Would that game be played today ?
    ————————

    Good grief. Of course it would.

    Do you people not know that there are stadiums around the league that have terrible playing surfaces? Every year 2 or 3 players get screwed up on those stupid trays that hold the grass they have down there in Houston. Then there is that field that has nothing but concrete around the edges.

    The NFL is a multi-billion dollar organization, and the owners are billionaires and hundreds of millionaires, so they need to fix the problems, so that players don’t get hurt simply because the owners were cheap asses.

  26. coachglove says:
    Aug 12, 2016 4:00 PM

    NFLPA coming for the Raiders right now…gonna say playing on the dirt infield is dangerous.
    ————————–

    Vegas will solve that problem.

  27. One can only imagine the chaos that would result if Goodell, Troy Vincent and Kensil were responsible for the swimming venue and other playing surfaces at the RIO Olympics!

  28. Let’s face facts here, both the Colts and Packers were less than thrilled to play 5 pre season games when the other 30 teams get to play only 4. That was the real underlying reason the game was cancelled, the paint job gave them a convenient excuse.

  29. .
    The career of Steelers kicker, Shaun Suisham, ended at the Hall of Fame game last year due to poor field conditions. The guy was a good kicker too.

  30. whatjusthapped says:
    Aug 12, 2016 4:48 PM

    Let’s face facts here, both the Colts and Packers were less than thrilled to play 5 pre season games when the other 30 teams get to play only 4. That was the real underlying reason the game was cancelled, the paint job gave them a convenient excuse.
    ————————–

    Seems like it would be better for a team to play an extra preseason game. Gives them another chance to try out all of the fringe players.

  31. NFL continues to be the worst run management in American pro sports. A monkey could generate billions for the NFL and this organization continues to shoot themselves in foot everyday.

  32. harrisonhits2 says:
    Aug 12, 2016 1:55 PM

    “funny how nfl players will whine about a little slippery paint while hockey players will literaly play on the slipperyest of all surfaces, ice. these guys could really learn a thing by taking a page or 2 out of the hockey guys book”

    Sooooo, you want football to be played on skates now?
    ============================================
    Harrison might have it…….
    A new Sport….Bears and Lions on ice.. Foorball on ice…. watch out for those QB slides tho….lol

  33. unoduotres says:
    Aug 12, 2016 4:27 PM
    One can only imagine the chaos that would result if Goodell, Troy Vincent and Kensil were responsible for the swimming venue and other playing surfaces at the RIO Olympics!

    —————————-

    They were showing one the news tonight how the diving pool in Rio has suddenly turned green.

  34. realtruthteller100 says:
    Aug 12, 2016 1:30 PM
    funny how nfl players will whine about a little slippery paint while hockey players will literaly play on the slipperyest of all surfaces, ice. these guys could really learn a thing by taking a page or 2 out of the hockey guys book. not that most of them could probably read it anyways!

    Dumbest…..analogy……EVER. Ummmm, DERP, why do golfers stop when it rains? Swimmers compete in the wettest conditions possible, Derp Derp!

  35. How about we just guess what each teams records should be and then crown a champion with whoever has the most wins? This way, nobody gets hurt. No company gets sued because their chin strap didn’t prevent an injury, and we don’t have to have kick-offs.

  36. binarymath says:
    Aug 12, 2016 1:25 PM
    When did it become imperative that NFL fields must be as pristine as the fairways at Augusta?
    ^^^^^^^This. +1

    With a slight delay, that game could have been played. They could have washed/scraped the stuff off early and played the game. They didn’t because they needed the logos/branding on TV and tried different tactics to get it right and wound up screwing it up worse.

    The problem with the premise in this story is that the NFLPA WILL use it as a political power play. They can say something is ‘unsafe’ and if anybody disputes that then those people will be painted as being against the safety of the players.

    The main issue I see here is that the standards have been changed dramatically. This is football. Unless there are rocks/metal scattered on the field, suit up and get it done. The way things are going, they may say it is unsafe to play an indoor game if the air conditioning goes out. Under today’s preferences, the ice bowl would have been cancelled. I seem to remember less injuries happened during muddy games. The last one I can recall was Ricky Williams in Pittsburgh during the game where the punt did not bounce. (In fairness that was his first game in about 2 years and would probably have been hurt in a dome as well)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.