Monday brought our first controversy of this year's Super Bowl in the form of an allegedly shoddy practice facility. Yesterday reports emerged that the San Francisco 49ers were not at all pleased with the state of the UNLV football field they're supposed to be practicing on in the lead-up to Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs. Specifically, team officials felt the field is too soft for San Francisco to safely practice on and they are considering other options. The Chiefs do not face this problem because they get to practice at Allegiant Stadium which is being very carefully curated for the Big Game on Sunday.
Such tomfoolery this early in the week means there's plenty of room for takes, and Craig Carton delivered by claiming this is proof that the 49ers are already working to build in excuses in case they lose on Sunday.
Just to be clear, as Carton suggests, the NFL does in fact check the field before sending the team there. That's why Roger Goodell got so defensive when asked about this situation in his press conference yesterday-- he had representatives from the Players Union and the league test the grass and go through the process they presumably go through every Super Bowl. So when Carton asks "Wouldn't the NFL go to UNLV and be like, let's just make sure the turf up to standard?" that is literally what they do.
Anyway, while the field did get cleared by those in charge of such things the problem appears to be the rain that is pounding the West Coast and managed to hit Las Vegas. The 49ers probably have a legitimate bone to pick but it would be with the weather and not the league.
Pretty shoddy excuse to build in if Carton is right, though. Having a bad practice field definitely makes the injury risk higher but in theory shouldn't actually affect the quality of their practices very much as long as nobody gets seriously hurt. It seems unlikely at this juncture that they'll actually practice on the field and this will all be moot, but it makes for a silly subplot for Super Bowl week. And ultimately during this time of year, the content is all that matters.