Bengals equipment manager washes 6,000 loads of laundry during the season

Last Updated: 265 days ago

We watch the games. We cheer them on. We complain when they lose. But have you ever wondered who does the laundry for the NFL?

Football is a dirty game. To find out just how dirty, just ask the Cincinnati Bengals equipment manager Jeff Brickner.

"It's pretty ripe with the sweat and who knows what else is on the jerseys," Brickner said.

Brickner and his team are responsible for loads around the locker room. That's loads of laundry. They tackle 6,000 pounds of stinky stuff throughout the season.

"About three hours after the game usually, we have the pants and jerseys in the washers," Brickner explained.

You might think blood, grass, or sweat are the most offensive things to clean. Brickner says that's not the case.

"Probably the biggest thing we have trouble getting out is face mask mark. They hit and collide and the face mark burns into the fiber.You'll see little bits of plastic that are embedded into the material of the jersey or pants," Brickner said from the team's laundry headquarters.

The Bengals jerseys look great each week when they take to the field. The secret is good old fashioned air. The jerseys are washed and air-dried before each game. Sometimes the uniforms are sent out to the seamstress for repairs.

Denise Meiners is the seamtress to the stars.

"I repair mostly holes and I'll do the alternations at the bottom," Meiners said.

Denise gets a preview of her work week by watching Bengals play.

"They'll grab them sometimes and I think, "Oh, he's are going to send me that and tell me to tighten it up here so they don't grab 'em," Meiners said.

When it comes to Meiner's devotion to the team, there's no hemming and hawing.

"I love my Bengals and I am so proud I am, I am a part of them just by sewing their jerseys and they look great out there," Meiners said.

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