PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - He coaches his team on the field, getting them ready for the big day this weekend.
“I just had a feeling that they were gonna love this!” said Brian Johnson, groundskeeper for Arizona State University.
He’s talking about the Territorial Cup on Saturday, where ASU takes on the University of Arizona football team. But his team isn't playing on the field.
“I’m covered in paint. That’s normal!” said Johnson.
They're protecting it.
“Somebody’s gotta be looking out for the grass, and that’s me,” he said.
Johnson is in charge of designing the field and keeping it looking pristine. But he recently had a tweet that went viral, putting an all call out for students to stay in their seats this weekend because when ASU beat Oregon last Saturday, thousands of students and fans stormed the field to celebrate.
“Um, I wasn’t very happy,” Johnson said. “You know the grass, they can’t speak up for themselves and say, ‘Hey! Get off!’ So I feel like I have to be their spokesman."
"So, get off!” he laughed.
So, this entire week, he’s been trying to fix all the damage.
“Well, maybe all the chemicals I sprayed out here did their job,” he said, kneeling down on the grass to inspect it.
But he also has spent hours creating a state-of-the-art logo for the big rivalry.
“Monday and Tuesday, we were out here with strings and graph paper and paintbrushes,” Johnson said.
The final product was a huge ASU Sparky on an even bigger outline of the state of Arizona. Johnson said they didn’t use a stencil for the Sparky logo so the entire thing was sketched and painted freehand.
He said it took them 50 gallons of paint and four hours to finish the logo.
They're covering the field with a tarp up until the big game due to rain. But for all the work Johnson’s team has put in, he said this is his own personal touchdown in front of all the fans.
“If they go, ‘Oh wow, that looks really cool!’ You know, I envision everybody doing that," he said.
The Territorial Cup kicks off at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday at 8 p.m.