Super Bowl LVII: 'Sodfather' says State Farm Stadium field was overwatered
GLENDALE, Ariz. - George Toma, a 94-year-old man who has been responsible for prepping the field for each Super Bowl, is weighing in on the controversy surrounding the slippery grass at State Farm Stadium during Super Bowl LVII.
Toma, nicknamed the "Sodfather," told ESPN that he believes the $800,000 field was overwatered. He says it was watered outside on Wednesday morning before the game, then immediately rolled back into the stadium, where it remained until the Super Bowl. The "Sodfather" believes the field should have been kept outside to dry before being rolled back in.
The turf at State Farm Stadium sits on a tray that can be rolled in and out of the building so that the grass can get exposed to sunlight.
Toma also said the field began to rot underneath tarps that were put down to protect the turf during rehearsals for the pregame, halftime, and postgame performances.
Players from both the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles had a hard time keeping their footing during the game, leading to several having to change their cleats.
"It was like playing on a water park," Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata said.
State Farm Stadium has a history of slippery fields.
Players complained about field conditions at the BCS National Championship between Oregon and Auburn in 2010. Same thing in the College Football Playoff title game between Alabama and Clemson in 2015. The Fiesta Bowl has had its share of grassy slipups as well.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
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