One of the folks who helps make things run in preparation for the Rose Bowl is George Wiley. A retired Pasadena Police officer, Wiley has been around many a Rose Bowl - as a police officer, working security for the game and also as part of superintendent Will Schnell's team.
He also is an entrepreneur who started his own company, First Down Football Products and developed a few things used around the Rose Bowl that are used almost daily, including stencils for painting numbers and metal guards that help when painting straight lines. His biggest contribution is a hydraulic system that collapses goalposts in 8 seconds so exuberant football fans can’t tear them down causing injury to themselves or others, not to mention sticking their team with a $40,000 bill when they destroy the goal.
Since developing the system he has since sold the patent to his invention that also is in use at the Los Angeles Coliseum and is used by the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills. It also is used by several college teams, including Arizona, Arizona State, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Georgia State, South Carolina, West Virginia and many more. After the game Wednesday, George will be controlling the goalpost in the south end zone while grandson Evan Devonshire will man the north end zone.
We recently caught up with George who talked more about his invention and showed us how it works.