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8:46 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Warwick man helps keep the Super Bowl green

Super Bowl 2013
Super Bowl 2013
Credit courtesy nfl.com

A Warwick man played a key behind-the-scenes role in Sunday’s Super Bowl game in New Orleans. But Jack Groh was too busy working to watch it.

Twenty years ago the National Football League recognized that sporting events leave environmental footprints. It hired Jack Groh of Warwick to see that the footprint was as faint as possible.  As director of the NFL’s Environmental Program, Groh ensures that tens of thousands of pounds of unserved food are distributed to shelters and food pantries.  He saw to it that sustainable energy was used in all Super Bowl venues, and he oversaw the recycling of tons of paper.

"If you can't be equipment manager for the Rolling Stones you may as well be environmental director for the National Football League. That's why I say it's the second best job in the world."

Groh gets precious little football watching done while he’s on the job. He planned to spend most of the game monitoring the waste stream – or in common parlance watching where people dropped trash.

In addition to all that, he oversaw the planting of seven thousand trees to replace some of those lost to Hurricane Katrina. "Among the many other things that were destroyed by the hurricane many thousands of trees were knocked down all throughout Louisiana. And of course the trees have a big impact on preventing erosion, holding the land together, you know protecting the environment down here."

Groh has run the NFL’s environmental program for 20 years. Groh calls it the second best job in the world. "Listen, if you can’t be equipment manager for the Rolling Stones you may as well be environmental director for the National Football League. That’s why I say it’s the second best job in the world."

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