TEMPE, Ariz. - For the first time in at least four decades, the Arizona State University football fields are getting new grass, and groundkeepers are making some new discoveries in the process.
Groundskeepers have been hard at work for a while now, prepping the practice fields here for the next football season. But as they dug, they kept finding concrete pillars, wires and sprinklers from who knows when.
Think back to the era of Whizzer, Curly and Danny White terrorizing college football in the maroon and gold - that's how long that same grass grew on the football fields in Tempe.
"At least 40 years," said ASU Athletics groundskeeper Brian Johnson. "I’ve been here 37 and it hasn’t been done in that time."
Johnson is the quarterback of the dirt. The well-respected groundskeeper makes the end zones shine on Game Day every year.
Now? The grass is gone and is being re-sodded for the first time in decades thanks to a large anonymous donation.
"The field hasn’t been draining that great, and now we’re finding out why," Johnson said.
Under years of cleats, workers found a rocky foundation.
"Finding large rocks. Old irrigation heads. A lot of speaker wire that wasn’t really running to anything," said Johnson.
People discovered old sprinklers lost to time.
"I could probably make some money at an antique store for those," the groundskeeper said.
However, the only thing of real value discovered so far is trash talk.
"Somebody made a joke - we’re not going to find any UofA Rose Bowl memorabilia out here," Johnson laughed.
Crews are still finding chunks of random things. It could just be rocks or wires, but the Territorial Cup went missing for decades before turning up in a church basement - so who knows?
What people do know, however, is that the field will once again be covered in fresh grass, ready to cover the next 40 years of unwritten history.
"Now we can bring recruits over here and players can practice here and have a lot of pride in their home," Johnson said.
Workers are still getting the ground leveled out. They hope to lay down the sod by this time next week so it can be ready for practice in the summer.
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