Paul Friesen: “It was all the Packers who didn’t like what they saw. Jon Gruden just told reporters after the game ‘I don’t know what the trouble was, the field looked fine to us. You gotta ask the Packers.’ It was Green Bay that didn’t like the holes in the endzone. It wasn’t really a ‘hole’, it was covered with turf. It was where the old CFL goal posts would have been. They had to remove those which leaves a hollow tube underneath and the concrete which anchors the thing. They filled all that and covered it with turf, but I guess it wasn’t good enough because it was slightly raised and not stable according to the people we talked to. They debated not playing, they debated cleaning up one end and having both teams go the same direction, but they settled on shortening the field from 100 yards to 80.” (Full audio at bottom of page)
Winnipeg Sun reporter Paul Friesen joined The Jason Smith Show to talk about the NFL’s humiliating PR disaster Thursday night in Winnipeg, Canada, as concerns over the playing surface forced the game’s organizers to make the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers play on an 80-yard field.
CFL fields are 110 yards long with 20 yard end zones to make a field that is 150 yards long in its entirety. Unlike NFL fields, their goal posts are actually in the field of play. Stadium officials removed the goal posts, but there was a perceived problem with how they addressed covering up the holes, which happened to be in the back of both end zones in the American football boundaries.
Friesen says Jon Gruden and the Raiders didn’t have a problem with the field, but it was the Packers who demanded it too unsafe to play on, which ultimately triggered them deciding the playing surface was only going to be 80 yards.
Check out the full interview below: