Big Ten Hero Turf Manager Has Ties to the Nationals

WASHINGTON — What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? The ground beneath them might give out.

That’s exactly what happened during the Big Ten Championship on Saturday, in a battle of heavyweights between Wisconsin and Ohio State (sorry, Terps fans). So heavy and full of torque, that a goal-line stand ripped up a section of the turf just inside the end zone:

What a disaster. A disaster, that is, until Erik Harlow, field manager at Lucas Oil Stadium, rolled up his sleeves and got to work. It took about 10 minutes, an eternity during a nationally televised game, but it was worth it, thanks to the commentary from FOX broadcaster Gus Johnson:

Great story, but why should you care? Because before Harlow got his standing ovation in Indianapolis, he was a groundskeeper for the Washington Nationals. For four months over the 2010 summer, Harlow called D.C. and Nats Park’s natural grass surface home, which somehow helped him prepare for his moment in the spotlight:

Indeed, not all heroes wear capes, but this one used to wear a curly ‘W.’

Congratulations to Harlow, the Nationals and Lucas Oil Stadium for giving us all a moment that the Big Ten Conference would like us to forget.


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