We knew the field at the Rose Bowl was special, but carving out a piece to take home?
The 106th Rose Bowl Game is in the books, but the work is not over for the men who made it possible.
Only a month old, the newly sodded field held up under the pressure of two marching bands, a hard-fought game that went down to the final play and a post-game celebration by the Oregon Ducks, their fans and marching band. Someone did, however, manage to abscond with a chunk of turf they managed to cut from the Rose Bowl logo at midfield.
"That's alright," said field superintendent Will Schnell. "We need to get some sod anyway, and someone has a nice souvenir."
That scar will be evident today, however, as the field is open Thursday and Friday for tours. And the Rose Bowl wants the field left "as-is" so fans can get the full feel of the game. That means thousands of pieces of confetti fired from cannons are still there and that scarred rose will be on full display.
Later today, the team will begin preparing for the next Rose Bowl event, the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl, an all-star game for draft-eligible college players on Jan. 18. Today, that process begins with blowing the field and trying to collect as much confetti as possible. Our new friend Andree Goodman, a member of Schnell's team, confessed that he and his co-workers will be finding bits of yellow and green paper for months.
"It gets in the bushes," Goodman said. "You'll think you got it all and like three months later you'll still be finding it."
They'll follow by mowing down to eleven-sixteenths today and start hitting the turf with fertilizer, which it sorely needs. Schnell is a big believer in the Grigg foliar fertilizers from Brandt. Due to weather limitations in December, which was abnormally wet here with nearly 5 inches of rain falling in the weeks after the sod went down, has not been able to feed the turf like he normally would. Schnell and his team will then take Friday, Saturday and Sunday off before hitting it hard next week.
"We'll mow, and I'll start hitting it with iron," Schnell said. "I just haven't been able to do it, and it needs it."