Last night’s NFL preseason curtain raiser between the Packers and Colts, the annual Hall of Fame game, was canceled because of unsafe playing conditions. Apparently, the paint used for the logo and end zones turned sticky, and congealed into a hard mass. Considering the weather was normal and that thousands of football fields across the country are painted with no problem, you’d think this particular assignment would be easy for the stadium crew.
You would be very, very wrong. From NFL.com’s Michael Silver:
According to several sources familiar with the field preparation, things went awry after the subsequent painting of logos in the middle of the field and in the end zones on Sunday. Improper paint may have been used, and when it did not seem to be drying quickly enough, someone apparently made the dubious decision to heat the field in an effort to dry it — thus melting the rubber pellets inside the FieldTurf and creating a slick, sticky and (in Baker’s words) “congealed” effect.
At one point about 2.5 hours before the game, stadium workers applied a substance that appeared to be paint thinner in an effort to remedy the issue. However, according to a Packers source, one Green Bay employee noticed a label that warned of severe burns when exposed to skin and took a photo of it, showing it to others after the teams later retreated to their respective locker rooms.
So to recap, it sounds like some jamokes put house paint on the field; busted out hair blowers to try and dry paint that was sitting on top of small, rubber, easily meltable pellets; and finally tried to clean up the mess with a toxic and skin-melting chemical that was to be imminently rolled around upon by short-sleeved men.
Smart, very smart.