EMU v. Howard postponed until tomorrow
I’ve been to a lot of football games, and seen a lot of strange things. I saw Notre Dame get shut out at Michigan, 38-0. I saw a 3-0 Kentucky win over Indiana, that has to be one of the worst games of football ever played. I saw a bizarre Kentucky collapse at Louisville after a 74-minute storm delay. I’ve seen EMU win 52-0 and lose 71-3. Those were just the games I was at; when you add in games I watched on television, there are plenty more.
I’ve never seen a football game rescheduled to a later date.
Sure, I’ve always known that it happens. Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell had some choice words last December when an NFL game was rescheduled due to a winter storm. Heck, hasn’t quite been ten years since EMU rescheduled a game (following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a game at Akron was rescheduled from September 15 to November 24). Games — and even an entire season — have been cancelled; “the better part” of the 1916 schedule was canceled due to a smallpox outbreak (head coach Elmer Mitchell and four players contracted the disease), while the 1943 season was shortened to two games and the 1944 season cancelled altogether due to World War II.
But still, there’s something different, maybe even a little surreal, about actually being there for it.
Today was extremely humid and hot — I believe it may have gotten up to 99 degrees, which is a good bit higher than any forecast I had seen — perfect weather for big thunderstorms. While tailgating, we started feeling cool breezes cutting through the steamy air. As the EMU Marching Band performed outside the stadium, a number of fans stopped to take pictures of a particularly…well, a particularly picturesque cloud. Meanwhile the football teams were warming up inside Rynearson, and a small storm cell that had briefly delayed the Michigan-Western Michigan game passed by to the north.
We headed into the stadium to get settled before the marching band’s pre-game show — never miss it! At about 6:20, the EMU football team crowded back into the team building. At first I thought it was just their normal pregame procedure, but moments later the public address announcer strongly recommended fans to take shelter under the stadium. Several waves of storms swept through while the crowd sheltered beneath the stands, and the initial word was that the game would start at 8:30. At 7:45, fans were asked to move from the stadium into the Convocation Center due to a particularly severe storm cell. At about 8 pm, with the storm hitting in full force (check out the EMU photo gallery!), EMU officials circulated through the crowd informing people that the game was cancelled (according to reports, although Mid-American Conference rules have no cut-off time, the coaches agreed they did not want to kick off after 10 pm), followed minutes later by word that it would be rescheduled for either 11 am or noon tomorrow, and that fans would be allowed in with tickets/ticket stubs from today.
While the EMU Marching Band entertained us from the court, EMU announced that the game would be held at noon tomorrow, and that it will be free to all; no ticket or ticket stub is needed.
I also received word that, due to prior obligations, EMU will only have a pep band at the game tomorrow, but that the Howard University “Showtime” Marching Band will still perform.
So: Tomorrow, noon, Rynearson, free.