Big shoes to fill…
Today’s Super Bowl marks the final game that longtime groundskeeper, George Toma, will prepare the field for the biggest event of the year.
And when I say longtime, George has prepped every single Super Bowl field to date. ALL of them!
Remarkable in his job, George was selected for the first Super Bowl in 1967 and must have received winning marks on performance, because he has continued to be the selected groundskeeper for the coveted job each year since! He even earned himself the nickname ‘The Sodfather.’
In a recent interview, George shared that he has seen the budget for the grounds increase from a mere $500 the first few years to numbers over $750,000. The team that helps him get the field ready has also grown substantially in size since the ’60s.
Today’s face-off between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs marks George’s 57th big game.
According to George, both the match up and the grass itself are some of the best he’s seen in preparation for the Super Bowl.
And even though George is turning in his badge for the job and passing it on to someone else after a long and legendary career, he says he’s always been in it for the players:
“I’m here to give the players the best possible condition to play on a safe playing field and then some.”