George Toma has been involved in Super Bowl field preparations for decades and shared his theory about what may have caused problems at State Farm Stadium.
Toma, 94, told ESPN that he believes the grass was overwatered in the days leading up to the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
State Farm Stadium features a retractable roof and a natural grass surface that moves outward on a movable tray to catch sunlight. According to Toma, the grass was watered on Wednesday before the game started on Sunday.
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After watering the field, they took it to the stadium, but Toma said that Ed Mangan, the NFL field director who was tasked with overseeing the Super Bowl field, should have left the tray out in the open so the grass could dry up. dry properly.
«So what he does,» Tom said of Mangan, «he waters it down and puts it right in the stadium and that’s it. It never sees sunlight again. He can’t do that.»
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Toma and Mangan previously worked together for several years.
During rehearsals for Rihanna’s pregame performances and halftime show, field crews put up a tarp over the field. The tarp was meant to protect the field, but Toma thinks it actually damaged the surface.
«It had a rotten smell,» Toma said when told about the days leading up to the game. He also claims that an insufficient amount of sand was used on the turf.
«He sanded it two weeks late,» Toma said of Mangan and his maintenance crew. «He only had one sanding. He should have had two or three sandings, but he didn’t s—. And that was it. And not only that, he didn’t take care of it. He wouldn’t.» listen to anyone.»
«The field surface at State Farm Stadium met the standards required for the maintenance of natural surfaces, pursuant to NFL policy,» the league said in a February 13 statement. «The natural grass surface was tested during Super Bowl week and complied with all NFL mandated practices.»
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After more than 80 years as an outfielder, Toma officially retired, but mentioned that he was fed up with how the league has handled surfaces in the Super Bowl over the years.
«The league and I are done,» Toma said. «They can’t tell me what to do anymore. We’re done.»