NFL turf consultant George Toma has been called everything from "the god of sod" to "the nitty-gritty dirt man" after preparing the natural turf for every single Super Bowl.
And if any stadium needs the 86-year-old's golden rake, it's Levi's. The sod has been replaced several times, partly because chunks of dirt have been popping up and plaguing the 49ers new digs in Santa Clara for two years. In October, a Baltimore Ravens placekicker missed a field goal when the sod fell apart underneath him.
Toma is confident that will not happen when Super Bowl 50 is played at Levi's on Feb. 7. He is among dozens of groundskeepers laying down 75,000 square feet of new Super Bowl sod that came rolled up like enormous rugs. The NFL installs new sod for every Super Bowl, using natural turf.
"This field will be superb for these Super Bowl athletes. Like a golf green," said Toma.
The old sod was ripped out a week ago when the NFL took control of Levi's Stadium to prepare it for Super Bowl 50. The new sod -- grown by Palm Springs supplier West Coast Turf -- is expected to be completely installed by Tuesday night, said Ed Mangan, the NFL's field director.