Brett Favre says he played on worse field surfaces than the one in Canton, Ohio, which was deemed unplayable and forced the cancellation of Sunday’s annual Hall of Fame Game.
Favre, one of the most recent inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, told the Akron Beacon Journal artificial turf NFL teams played on for years in places like Philadelphia, Houston and Chicago was way worse than what he saw in Canton.
According to the Canton Repository, the field itself should have been NFL-worthy as it was brought in from the Superdome in New Orleans and was last used for the Sugar Bowl game in January.
Saints owner Tom Benson, for whom the stadium is named, donated $10 million for construction of the new Hall of Fame stadium. Plans are for a new playing surface to be in place for next year’s game.
This year’s exhibition game between the Packers and Colts will not be made up.
“I know had I been playing in this, I would have been disappointed,” Favre said. “There is no game, and I hate that for the young kids because some of those guys need this extra game. Obviously, the fans would have loved to have seen this. That’s unfortunate, but it has been a great week. We got in Thursday, and this was an amazing experience. The people of Canton, the parade, you name it, has just been outstanding. What a great celebration.”
Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck was scheduled to start and even though he was only going to get in a series or two, Luck said he was excited about getting back into a game situation.
"I thought it was a joke at first, honestly,” Luck told the ESPN crew forced to fill when the game was shut down. “Sort of like a pull-your-leg, preseason type of a joke. I understand that someone had to make a very tough decision, and I respect that. But I know I'm disappointed. I wanted to get back on the field.”
The reason the game was canceled was because paint reacted adversely to the new artificial surface at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
Players complained of the paint at midfield and in the end zones turning the fake grass into cement as cleats weren’t able to penetrate into the turf.
According to Hall of Fame president David Baker, Favre told him he would have played Sunday night.
Said Baker: “When I talked to Brett Favre earlier he said, ‘Huh, I would have played on this.’ And there are a lot of guys who would have played on this, but if one guy would have gotten hurt on this, it’s a difficult game enough without us making it more difficult.”