NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s nearly impossible to highlight all the people behind-the-scenes who made this NFL season happen, but Titans Sports Field Manager Terry Porch is a good place to start.
His job requires a lot of work any year, but especially this year with restrictions due to the pandemic.
“Mainly what my duties are, is I take care of all the practice fields and the stadium,” said Porch. “So I take care of all the upkeep as far as everything that goes on, anything that happens on the actual playing service.”
Porch has been in his position with the Titans for over two decades. His job includes painting, fertilization, filling divots and mowing. Lots of mowing.
“A lot of times you’re mowing twice a day. We mow after practice and we’ll also mow before practice.”
During the season, Porch works 70 to 80 hours per week. The pandemic added an extra level of difficulty to just about every aspect of his job.
“It just made your days a little bit longer because you couldn’t get together to get jobs done, you had to separate. So jobs that normally two or three people to help you do it, it was down to one person.”
Then there was the NFL protocols that, yes, applied to the grounds crew as well. Some of his crew members were tested daily, some weekly. However, with less-frequent testing, came more restrictions.
“We’d come over on Monday and get tested on Monday and then go to to the stadium, but we didn’t go back to the practice, so we didn’t come in contact with them.”
Them, being the players. Ahead of the Titans Thursday night game against the Colts, one of the grounds crew members was deemed a risk to have the virus and the others were close contacts. So, Porch got some help from someone with COVID clearance inside the practice facility.
“They had practice, and all of our guys and were at the stadium painting, so Jon Robinson actually did the mowing and stuff for us after practice because we didn’t have enough people to do all that,” said Porch.
Yes, Titans General Manager Jon Robinson.
“He (Robinson) called and said, “hey, how do you start this mower?” And he took care of it for us. I’ve been doing this for 30-something years and I’ve never had a general manager mow a field for me until now. He was like “hey, we’re all in this together.”‘
Everyone’s jobs were a little harder during this NFL season, including Porch’s, but the prize at the end made it all worth it.