‘The Sodfather’ NFL groundskeeper, 94, for every Super Bowl field in history prepares for his last | Daily Mail Online

NFL groundskeeper George Toma has tended to every field in Super Bowl history but is set for his final event at the age of 94.

Toma, affectionately dubbed ‘The Sodfather’ or the ‘God of Sod’ for his legendary career, has been the league’s groundskeeper for every Super Bowl. 

As the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs gear up to face each other in Arizona at Super Bowl LVII, Toma is preparing for his 57th and final big game. 

‘I’m here to give the players the best possible condition to play on a safe playing field and then some,’ Toma said Friday via Fox News

Toma began working on the fields for Super Bowl I in 1967. He revealed that they had a budget of just $500 for his first few games but that figure has skyrocketed with recent turfs costing around $750,000 and requiring a team of 30. 

NFL groundskeeper George Toma has worked every single Super Bowl field but is retiring 

Toma, now 94, with former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly before Super Bowl XXVII

This year’s field at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona cost roughly $800,000 and took around 18 months to grow with the matchup between the Eagles and the Chiefs being played on natural grass. 

Toma believes the stage for Super Bowl LVII is one of the best, and given his experience, he would know.  

‘I believe the grass we have here today is the second-best grass we had for 57 Super Bowls,’ Toma boasted. 

‘It comes from West Coast farms located here in Phoenix, and it’s a beautiful type of Bermuda Tahoma, and it’s outstanding on the field right now. Even if it’s getting beat pretty good by the halftime show practices.’

Toma also claimed it won’t just be the field which will be one of the best with the showdown between the two competing teams set to be a thriller for the fans. 

‘I think it is one of the best matchups in a long time between the Eagles and the Chiefs. And I think the fans will see a very interesting game,’ he said.

However, when asked which team he would be rooting for, the Pennsylvania native said he’d been told by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he had to be ‘normal’ as he worked for the league. 

But Toma did admit he had told Goodell back in 2020 when Kansas City played in Super Bowl LIV that he had to ‘stick up for the Chiefs because I work for the Chiefs and Lamar Hunt and I are very, very close.’

Toma has been prepping the turf for the big game at the State Farm Stadium in Arizona

Toma walks across the Super Bowl turf ahead of the showdown at the State Farm Stadium 

The legendary groundskeeper at his 52nd Super Bowl turf at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis

Toma started his career as a groundskeeper at age 13 in 1942 and later worked as the groundskeeper for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963. 

He also has two Olympic games in his portfolio, having worked as the head groundskeeper for the 1984 and 1996 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

He started his MLB career in 1957 as head groundskeeper for the Athletics and made his name transforming Municipal Stadium’s notoriously poor field into one of baseball’s best. Toma went on to oversee fields in Kansas City for both the Royals and the Chiefs. 

His legendary career has earned him places in halls of fame across both football and MLB. He was honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 as the recipient of the Ralph Hay Pioneer Award.

Toma has also tended to MLS team the Kansas City Royals’ field (pictured in 2015)

He earned places in halls of fame, including MLB Groundskeeper Association and the Royals 

Toma was one of the first inductees into MLB Groundskeeper Association Hall of Fame in 2012

He joined his mentor, Emil Bossard, as the first inductees into the MLB Groundskeeper Association Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Rihanna is set to mark her return by performing the Super Bowl halftime show and 30-plus hours of rehearsal have taken place but Toma’s crew has prepped the field to handle such a beating. 

‘I don’t like them stamping on that good grass,’ he admitted with a smile when asked if he has seen halftime headliner Rihanna’s rehearsals.

‘After they get rehearsed we spend hours with brushes brushing it up to bring the leaves to stand up again,’ he added 

‘The Sodfather’ NFL groundskeeper, 94, for every Super Bowl field in history prepares for his last

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