Daily's Work Seen Nationwide
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Darian Daily wonders if he knows more about paint than grass
at this stage of his career. As the Head Sports Field Manager at Paul Brown
Stadium and the Cincinnati Bengals, Daily’s expertise on the former has given
him a nationwide network of opportunity and exposure.
|Darian Daily addressing the crowd after winning the 2014 Professional Excellence Award from the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation.|
"It’s funny, in the NFL, a lot of us say we are more paint
managers than we are field managers,” he said. "Especially the natural grass
guys, who have to watch the weather and time out when they will be able to
Daily is in his second decade with the Bengals, a job he
began in 2003 when Paul Brown Stadium was still filled with lush, living
bluegrass. He came to the NFL after managing the natural turf of the Columbus
Crew soccer club.
Darian and his crew have become go-to experts on how to prepare a field for use, no
matter the event. For several years now, Daily has been involved in some of the
biggest college bowl games. With the same turf in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
in New Orleans, Daily annually treks to the Big Easy.
consults on the painting and preparation of a field that changes from the home
of the Saints to a field showcasing one of the biggest college football
matchups of the year. It’s a new look in a short period of time.
"They like us because we will come in and knock it out real
quickly for them,” Daily adds. "During a big bowl game, the normal grounds crew
has so much setup they have to do, it allows them to turn their staff loose to
handle facility needs, while we come in to knock out the field.”
Daily has overseen the painting of the field for six of the
last seven Sugar Bowls, not to mention two BCS National Championship Games in
that timeframe. Because the Bengals were playing later in the year,
Daily couldn’t commit beyond the one game in New Orleans, but has spent past
years at a variety of locations around the country. One year, he recalls, 18
inches of snow made for a tricky experience at a particular bowl location.
"It doesn’t matter what happens, they are going to kick the
football at one o’clock whether we are ready or not.”
Professionally, the benefits of Daily’s bowl work provide
more than just a good view of a good game. Networking with peers around the
country has its perks too. Daily shares news of a new strain of Bermudagrass
that is working its way north. He is testing that out, in addition to chatting
with peers about fraise mowing, a practice used in Europe to thin and remove
thatch and Poa annua. (The practice was featured at the 2014 OTF/OSU Turfgrass Research Field Day).
|Daily and his team have helped paint the field for six of the last seven Sugar Bowls.|
"In my situation, I’ve got a lot of contacts around the
country that I’ve learned from. I’ll try out a lot of the new things in our
area, which is nice.”
Daily’s sustained excellence with the Bengals, not to
mention his professional growth in the industry around the country, earned him
the Professional Excellence Award at the 2014 OTF annual conference and show.
While he jokes that he has no idea how he won and that he must have "faked it”
enough to earn the award, the recognition was a humbling experience.
"It was an honor,” he said. "Especially in OTF, there’s not
many sports field managers who are there. It was quite shocking. I was happy to
Article written by Will Haskett