From NFL Stadium Sports Turf to … Potato Chips?

Bags of Lay's Golden Grounds chips in NFL team colors

What’s an NFL team to do when remaking the surface of the field on which it plays?

With the 2021 regular season behind us, there’s a lot of that going on. Stadiums across the country are primping and preening to look their best in the runup to World Cup organizers making their choices for 11 sites to play host to soccer’s 2026 return to the U.S. (Canada will contribute two sites and Mexico three in the North American competition).

Whether an NFL team plays on real grass (16 of them in 2021) or on some version of artificial turf (the other 16), the dirt that lies beneath is getting moved, replaced and upgraded with growing frequency these days. 

Among the teams considering having their stadiums transformed from turf to grass to be able to bid to serve as World Cup sites are the Giants, the Cowboys and the Patriots. 

In past stadium field makeovers, teams might sell off small chunks of grass or turf to fans of the team or donate or sell larger amounts of the surplus. 

But, hey, it’s the new Roaring Twenties, and we’re looking for new ideas. Sometimes the new ideas are out of the box, like this one: The folks at Lay’s are taking portions of that soil and turning it into potato chips. 

The project is Lay’s Golden Grounds, NFL team-branded potato chips. The project is part of Lay’s plan to jump back onto the Super Bowl advertising stage after an absence of 17 years. They’ve had their farmers grow potatoes in some of the soil from 29 of the 32 NFL teams’ stadiums –- the Broncos, Bengals and Browns didn’t take part –- and those crops are being offered as new team-specific chips. 

New England Patriot mascot shoveling dirt into a bag.
Frito-Lay Photo

Are the Chiefs better than the Rams? The 49ers better than the Titans? These types of questions will always follow the NFL. Now these teams can be judged on the chips grown from the soil their teams play upon and not just on the results on the field. 

The idea was to sprinkle a little of the soil from each team onto separate potato-growing fields in Texas to make the chips team-specific.  

Potato field in Texas with NFL team turf marked by team banners
Frito-Lay Photo

Mind you, the oil and the salt and the other ingredients that go into making your favorite chip don’t have home team ties, but a Patriot potato chip and a Seahawk potato chip and a Cowboy potato chip –- each version gets its own team-specific bag, right down to the team colors –- will taste a little different.

While the chips go through the usual growing and chip-making processes, those who wind up tasting them will have the chance to consider that the potatoes grew in dirt that members of your squad ran over, sweated on, fell onto and spiked the ball into. There’s more than a little aura in that. 

There were only 200 bags of each team’s chip produced, so we wouldn’t suggest your planning on seeing these chips as the centerpiece for your Super Bowl shindig, They’re being handed out as part of a nationwide promotional campaign.

On the other hand, this promotion gives rise to the thought that if you can get your hands on some of the turf that teams occasionally make available, you could use it as the centerpiece of your garden, growing potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peppers, basil, garlic, zucchini or carrots. 

Or you could grow all of them and see just how a Bears-based ratatouille or a Chargers-based gazpacho might taste. 

Just a thought. 

Main Photo Credit: Frito-Lay

John Hickey

John Hickey

John Hickey, contributing writer at LawnStarter, has been around sports as a writer and blogger since the earth was young. He's worked at the Oakland Tribune and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, for AOL/FanHouse and Sports Illustrated. As he writes this, he looks out his window and sees a lawn badly in need of mowing.