Writer’s block can be tough, but who knew I’d find the answers in Alabama, in Death Valley, and on the damp high school football fields in Union, South Carolina.
I mean out of the billions of dollars I’ve made from the last 2 articles (right Marty?) I’ve been really trying to find a good angle for my 3rd entry into the “Rubbing the Rock” universe. So how about we go play in the rain, okay?
In the midst of all this, for some reason, I had turned on the SEC network. I mean, ever since John Swoffor…I mean, the ACC decided to let their baseball tournament play their round-robin games through National Geographic’s PPV service, it’s been easier for me to just do SEC propaganda while I worked in the office today.
I noticed that Hoover (the site of the SEC baseball tournament) was raining heavily for the fifth million straight year and was therefore facing a scheduling problem to get the tournament that week. I don’t understand the persistence of this conference in insisting that the “Premiere” collegiate baseball tournament be held in a place where it’s likely to rain a ton in May. And honestly, you could have it in New Orleans, Birmingham, or even Tampa. But I digress.
I hit a tangent thinking about how the weather can wreak havoc on a baseball game but be a double-edged sword when it comes to a football game. Which brings me to this week’s question:
What’s the craziest weather you’ve sat for a game in? victory or defeat.
Before we dive in, I have to acknowledge what the obvious answer will be for most people. 2015 Notre Dame, right? A driving hurricane, an epic victory, a star was born in Deshaun Watson. BYOG. However, I wasn’t there. I had planned to take my future in-laws to Charleston this weekend to propose to my now-wife on the Isle of Palms beach. The only problem was that during the storm there was no beach to propose to so yours really had to improvise. And the rest was history.
Now back to my original point. The reason I say it’s a double-edged sword is because some of the best gaming experiences I’ve had happened during the monsoon. As a high school football player, I was in a game in 2007 during a full downpour between Chapman and Chesnee High School. I was literally covered from head to toe in the dirt and swamp of what was then Henry H. Smith Field. It was a great time. We needed a win to secure a place in the playoffs and took a 47-9 lead before the visiting team hit a couple of late TDs to make it 47-31. I picked up my first tackle as a high school sophomore feeling like a mud-covered All American.
While at Clemson I survived 2 separate weather delays, 6 hours total to watch the Tigers slog through the elements to beat Boston College 25-7. As an adult, a week after the aforementioned trip to Charleston, a friend wanting to celebrate the engagement threw up an epic tailgate and we had amazing seats to boot. Even though I had to wear work boots and Carharts to walk around, it was still some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Ironically (especially in relation to Georgia Tech, like we did last time), my wife and I almost froze to death two years later after a downpour started the game and gusty winds took over at halftime. To date, it is the only time she has voluntarily worn orange with a poncho in Death Valley.
But to every point there is a counterpoint; As I said, a double-edged sword.
As a high school senior, I was walking around in the freezing rain in the middle of Union, South Carolina, in the midst of a 26-0 loss as part of a 9-1 seniors campaign. The pouring rain coupled with an empty carnival next door felt like a scene from a horror movie, a true microcosm of this time of year.
The only game I vividly remember as a student was standing in the middle of the hill in my freshman year, soaked to the bone and wondering how on earth TCU managed to get a win. Don’t get me wrong, they were a good team, but the weather must have been a factor in Clemson losing 14-10 that day.
Sometimes it makes a win that much more memorable, but it can also make a loss devastating. The weather gives and takes.
What was the craziest weather you’ve ever endured for a game?