HOUSTON - For the last quarter century, Ed Mangan has spent his springs and summers taking care of Turner Field and his winters prepping fields for the Super Bowl.
"This will be my 27th Super Bowl and the Braves are kind enough to let me chip in with the NFL and help them out with the Super Bowl," said Mangan.
Mangan cares for each team's practice fields as well as the game surface for Super Bowl Sunday. This week the Falcons and Patriots will practice on real grass, but will play at NRG Stadium on artificial turf. It still leaves plenty for Mangan to care for. He had to replace portions of the Texans normal turf as well as paint the end zones for the Falcons and Patriots.
Mangen said a lot of science goes into making the artificial turf safe and viable for the players.
"We do GMAX testing on it to keep it safe for concussion protocol and we keep track of those numbers very carefully, especially with the rehearsals that go on each day and each night, every day this week will be mostly rehearsals. So, we keep track of that and we keep running it every morning we'll do tests on it so we're not getting the GMAX too high," said Mangen.
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One of those performances being rehearsed is obviously the halftime show featuring Lady Gaga. Mangen said her performance is not likely to tear up the turf, but could figuratively tear down the house.
Mangan said that although he is busy in Houston, he still has an eye on the progress at the new home of the Braves, SunTrust Park.
"That's the juggle you do. Conference calls, phone calls, emails, the technology is there," said Mangan. "With our winters, right now we are kind of stalled outside. We'll come in mid-February and put the final touches on."
Mangan said that he won't be cheering for the Falcons on Super Bowl Sunday, he just wants to make sure the players stay safe.
Super Bowl LI will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. Full coverage can be found on FOX 5 Atlanta.