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In the wake of ‘Sodgate,’ former New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola revealed how Bill Belichick was one step ahead of the poor field conditions. He made his players wear a specific type of cleat at State Farm Stadium back in 2015.
As soon as the big game got underway between the Eagles and Chiefs earlier this month, the turf immediately became one of the biggest storylines of Super Bowl LVII. Players were slipping left and right, and it played a bigger role for Philadelphia than Kansas City.
Considering that the NFL spent two years growing the field, it shouldn’t have been an issue.
Super Bowl LVII was not the only game played in Glendale, Arizona this year that saw issues with the field. As did the Fiesta Bowl a month prior.
Needless to say, there is a theme. State Farm Stadium has a field problem.
And it’s not a new thing. And it’s not a secret.
During a recent conversation with Chris Long on the Green Light Podcast, Amendola spoke to the history of turf concerns. He said that, unlike Nick Sirianni or Andy Reid, Belichick mandated a certain type of cleat.
Bill Belichick was one step ahead.
Patriots players weren’t necessarily thrilled with the ordinance, because seven-stud cleats are heavier than others, but New England won the game!
When you play a night game in AZ, for some reason the grass always gets a little dewy at night, and it’s so slick. I’ve worn seven studs on that field numerous times.
Bill made it a mandatory seven-stud game. We were all bitching and moaning, but we didn’t have too many slips. On that surface, you’ve got to switch the tires out and put the seven-studs in. I feel like you get a lot better traction. You don’t feel like you can play as fast in them, but at the same time, you’re chopping it up, you’re gripping the turf. Anybody that slipped [in Super Bowl LVII], look at the cleats they were wearing. They were probably wearing the wrong tires.”— Danny Amendola, via Chris Long’s Green Light podcast
It sounds like Philadelphia may have benefitted from a similar cleat requirement earlier this month. Belichick is always one step — or in this case, eight years — ahead!