Super Bowl LVII: In ripe old age, 'Sodfather' George Toma tends to the Big Game grounds one last time
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Somewhere in State Farm Stadium is a legendary groundskeeper who has seen it all.
94-year-old George Toma has been responsible for prepping the field for each Super Bowl, since the first one back in 1967, and his legacy in the big game makes one final stop in Glendale.
"Every Super Bowl's been the best Super Bowl," said Toma.
Toma is known as the ‘Sodfather,' and some call him the ‘Sultan of Sod.’
Sod, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is "a layer of earth with grass growing on it." For the first 27 Super Bowls, however, sod was not involved, as the grounds were seeded.
"We had a seed, and from seed, I used to get the field ready in five to 14 days," said Toma.
Nowadays, it takes about 30 people on the grounds crew to get a field ready, and Toma said it costs $750,000.
And super bowl 57's field already ranks in the top two behind super bowl 41
"This is the new Bermuda grass, Tahoma," said Toma. "It's so good, and this field, I believe, will be the second-best field, besides the one in Miami."
30-plus hours of rehearsal for the halftime show is in the works, but the crew preps the field to handle such a beating.
"I hate to say this, but sometimes, the halftime show is more important than a game," said Toma.
Toma's Super Bowl journey may be coming to an end, but for him, it's about the people he's worked with each year to make the gridiron in the big game a reality.
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