He talked for nearly an hour, giving detailed explanations of seven weeks of resodding, resanding and regrets.
Finally, George Toma, the man responsible for trying to make the unplayable Candlestick Park field playable, simply said, "There is only so much we can do now. I never thought it would be this bad."
Toma is the director of field and landscaping for the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs. He was paged by the San Francisco 49ers seven weeks ago to employ his expertise in a Candlestick Park situation that has gone from dire to mire.
Sunday, the 49ers will play the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC championship game at Candlestick Park. There has been sun over the Bay Area the last two days.
Finally. The worst rainstorm in 50 years lasted three days, ending early Tuesday, and dropped 6.3 inches of rain on San Francisco in one 24-hour period alone. Eighteen people were killed in the storm and, for only the third time in history, the Golden Gate Bridge was closed Tuesday.
Coach Bill Walsh took his team 500 miles south to practice today in Anaheim, but Toma remained working on the Candlestick field. The rain didn't help.
"The first time I came out here was right before the Cleveland game (Nov. 15). The Cleveland people said that playing on this field was like playing on a World War II mine field," said Toma. The Browns were the only team to beat the 49ers in Candlestick Park this season.
"The field situation is not the 49ers' fault," Toma said. "It's just improper maintenance. They have a bad situation here where the field is maintained by the San Francisco Giants for part of the year and the San Francisco City Parks and Recreation the rest of the year. But you need one crew to watch the field 365 days a year. There is no organization here.
"This field was resodded last spring, but the roots are just a half-inch. That's too short. It's ridiculous."
The field has been a problem for years. The fact that the stadium is near sea level is part of the reason.
The problems seemed to intensify after Oct. 17-18. That was when the Rolling Stones performed in two sold out concerts at Candlestick. Ever since Mick Jagger sang, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," the players have not been able to get any, either.
Toma could not believe that no protective tarpaulin was placed on the field before the concert. When the Rolling Stones performed at the Los Angeles Coliseum and in the Cotton Bowl, Toma said, tarps were used to protect the surfaces.
"You can't listen to the rock promoters. People will dig and do everything else on the field. It must be protected. After the Rolling Stones concert here, if you can believe it, hardly anything was done for the field. No reseeding, no nothing," Toma said.
The San Francisco players call the field "The Quag," which is short for quagmire. Opposing players have called the field many other things.
"It rained eight of the nine days after Christmas," Toma said. "Before last week's game, we used a Ryan's Green-Aire machine that they use on golf courses to put 32 holes per square foot into the ground. Then, we worked into the soil 21 tons of calcinide clay, known as 'Turfas', to eliminate slipping.
"Dave Jennings, the Giants' punter, and a lot of the other players said the field was 100 percent better last Sunday than when the two teams played before (Nov. 29). This week, we have replaced all the divots, added more sand and taken sod from near the sidelines and moved it to the middle of the field. We wanted to put in more sod but the rain wouldn't let us."
"I'm not happy with the situation. When you have a bad sand base mixed with bad grass, you start sinking into three inches of sand."
The San Francisco weather forecast, according to the National Weather Service, is sunny and cool through Friday. No rain is expected for the weekend, either. But, unlike the overall condition of the Candlestick Park field, that forecast could change drastically.
"After this season, I will make about a 15-page report to (San Francisco Mayor) Diane Feinstein," Toma said. "There have got to be a lot of changes around here."