Just when we thought the Levi’s Stadium field could only get better, Super Bowl 50 added another sod chapter to its sad history.
For nearly a month, NFL field director Ed Mangan assured anyone who would listen that, barring extended rain, Levi’s would be ready for Super Bowl 50 despite all that went on there with the 49ers this season. But despite favorable weather conditions on Super Sunday, in front of more than 115 million television viewers, it didn’t live up to the talk in the biggest sports event of the all.
Before the game, members of the grounds crew hurriedly replaced dozens of divots on the field. In the first half, players on both teams still were slipping, falling and complaining about the conditions.
On one play, quarterback Peyton Manning slipped to his knees, quickly scrambled to his feet and threw an incomplete pass. The original call was reversed to a sack after the Panthers challenged the call.
Greg Olsen was among several Panthers who switched shoes in the first half.
Now it’s the Niners and the NFL that need to get a grip.
CURRY GETS ANOTHER ASSIST: Stephen Curry still is a 50 percent shooter.
The Warriors’ star predicted a 24-10 victory for his Panthers in the big game, but he didn’t leave empty-handed. He banged their ceremonial “Keep Pounding’’ drum as he had done prior to their home opener last fall.
The drum has been part of Panthers’ tradition since linebacker Sam Mills succumbed to cancer 10 years ago. Mills began their run to the 2003 playoffs with a plea to “keep pounding” while he battled the killer disease.
In honor of the team, Curry wore a pair of custom-made Under Armour shoes in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Oracle Arena on Saturday night.
ONLY LIVE ONCE: Concession prices were a super ripoff, but you only get to see Super Bowl 50 once, right?
Vegan Dog $8
Garlic Fries $10
Souvenir Premium Draft Beer $15
Chicken Sandwich $18
According to Balls’ estimate, it took the average Panthers fan about 120 bucks to get drunk enough to forget the final score.
SEE REGGIE RUN: The FBI has widened its investigation of accused drug and gambling ringleader Owen Hanson, a former USC tight end. His many NFL acquaintances included former teammate Reggie Bush, who sat for the 49ers this season.
Last month federal prosecutors charged Hanson and 21 others for their roles in a multimillion-dollar operation called ODOG Enterprise, which stretched from Los Angeles to Brooklyn to Australia. Ex-Niners running back Derek Loville was among those busted.
Meanwhile, Bush says he plans to play next season if anyone will have him.
“I’m not retiring,” Bush said Sunday. “I’m still playing. No, I’m not done. And I would never — knock on wood — I never want to end my career like that, going out with that.”
Bush said the would have preferred to remain with the Detroit Lions rather than become a free agent last summer. And after they paid him $2.5 million to play in five games, the Niners probably feel the same way.
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