Saturday, August 30, 2008

A First for MSU Bobcat Football






Today's college football game between the beloved Montana State University Bobcats and the Adams State Grizzlies --that's right, we started the season with Cat-Griz, and we'll end the season with Cat-Griz-- had one of the strangest events happen: a lightning delay.

I've been on the MSU Football Stat Crew for 19 years (the only chick in the press box!), and never in that time (and longer, according to many, including Dean Alexander, who called the games for radio for years) had the stadium ever been evacuated.

Mandatory evacuation. Through bitter sub-zero games with vicious wind chills, to driving snowstorms when the teams would be playing on one end of the field while a snowplow cleared the five-yard-line markers on the other end, NEVER has the stadium been evacuated, but it was today.

There had been six or eight lightning strikes within an eight mile radius of the stadium, and the stands are metal, so the game was suspended until the weather cell passed and until there had been no lightning strike within 15 minutes of the last strike. MSU President Geoff Gamble told me that the trainers carry a 'lightning detector' on their belts during practice on the open fields. I had no idea there was such a thing. Better safe than sorry, though; averting tragedy is much better than regretting ignoring the signs later.

After 90 minutes or so, the game resumed. The Cats won handily over the Grizzlies, 59-3 (they led 38-0 at halftime, when the lightning delay started). A score like this against the hated Grizzlies is a precursor to November.

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