Fooch’s update: An interesting theory related to the smoke.
When I’ve been in severe smoke conditions, it leaves a film over everything. Part of it is ash, part is chemical. So I think that might have been part of the issue.— Stuart Wexler (@jomolungma) November 14, 2018
Since opening in 2014 Levi’s stadium has been getting marred by its problems. A fan died of heat exhaustion, those heat problems can’t be fixed, and at the forefront of it all is the field itself.
Like, really bad.
The 49ers have done everything they can from replacing the turf to the way they grow the grass and all it’s done is make things not as bad. But still bad.
The proof is on Monday Night in the 49ers 27-23 loss to the New York Giants. One of the main story lines was the field itself and how the Giants simply couldn’t get footing on Levi’s slippery turf. 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens stumbled early in the game and Giants running back Saquon Barkley fell in the backfield several times before he could get any momentum. Something very un-Saquon Barkley like.
They were mentioning on the broadcast that the Giants were switching out cleats because of the footing, but in the final minutes of the game, you could still see some slippage.
It’s been almost five years. This shouldn’t be happening.
Not only is the slippage infuriating for players, but it’s also dangerous. In 2015, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker slipped and could have twisted his ankle after stepping into a sinkhole during a kick. Given that the 49ers are dealing with enough injuries to make a full roster difficult, this could prove even more difficult in later years.
How important are field conditions for player safety? Well, so dangerous that next week’s Monday Night Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, a game originally scheduled to be played in Mexico, is being moved back to Los Angeles. Why? Field conditions.
If teams don’t have a choice when they have to come to Levi’s for away games, you can wonder if free agents are going to want to risk their ankles and knees on a slippery surface like this. Especially when it’s been almost five years and the 49ers still don’t have a solution.