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Teacher has a passion for tending Rose Bowl field at work and at home

John Reitman

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High school teacher Geoff Thran, also a groundskeeper at the Rose Bowl, creates a replica of the Rose Bowl field every year on his lawn.

Talk about taking your work home with you.

When Rose Bowl groundskeeper Geoff Thran leaves the stadium after a long day of work, he goes home to a smaller version of the field he just left.

A high school health teacher at Mountain View High School in El Monte, California, Thran also is a part-time groundskeeper at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. And each year, he creates a miniature version of the Rose Bowl field in the yard of his home in Altadena. 

The field includes copies of each endzone and the midfield logo, yard lines and hash marks all painted to exact specifications. It's been a tradition since Thran created a replica of the Rose Bowl field to commemorate the 2006 game between Texas and Southern California. He started working at the Rose Bowl as a part-time groundskeeper on superintendent Will Schnell's team the following year.

Although the field at the real Rose Bowl is Bandera Bermudagrass overseeded with ryegrass, the miniature version is run-of-the-mill yard variety St. Augustine with some rye. 

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Geoff Thran painting the real Rose Bowl field.

Still, his homemade field of dreams made for a good resume.

"They saw my lawn and liked what I did with it," Thran said. "Since then, it just became a matter of building relationships with Will and (assistant superintendent) Miguel (Yepez)."

When the college football season is over, Thran converts his creation into a replica Super Bowl field. He has even established a contact in the NFL office who gives him each year's official Super Bowl logo.

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Geoff Thran's replica field includes end zones in the colors of both teams and a replica midfield Rose Bowl logo.
 

Like anyone, Thran has his favorite teams, those he doesn't much care for and those he's just plain tired of seeing. While flipping through photos highlighting some of his past work, he stops at the 2018 Super Bowl, a 41-33 win by the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots.

"I'm so happy when that team loses," he joked about the Patriots. "I'm sick of them."

Recreating Super Bowl venues was something Thran started on poster board when he was a child. 

"I stopped doing it when I went to college, then started doing it in the yard," he said. "I just changed media, and the rest is history."



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