Saturday, September 3, 2011

A damp start to the season

ND stadium rainToday we went to the Notre Dame season opener against University of South Florida. Hopes are high among the Fighting Irish faithful, but a win eluded us, and we lost 23-20.

It was a little more adventurous than that, though. First of all, it was a brutally hot day. I’m not sure what the high temperature ended up being, but it was hovering up around 93° or so. Add to that a very high humidity level, and it felt like it was around 100°. Those of you who live in areas with high humidity know that it can make you incredibly uncomfortable, and it’s downright dangerous. Your sweat doesn’t evaporate like it’s supposed to, cooling you off, so you pretty much just sit there and parboil. After we had our sandwiches (pretty good, if I do say so myself!), we headed towards the stadium.

I’m not sure when I’ve been that hot in my life, even with wearing just a tank top and shorts. Maybe one time at Disney World (also very high humidity). We had to walk about a mile and a half to get to the stadium, and I had to stop a couple of times to rest. I’m fairly fit and healthy, but for some weird reason (high metabolism? part reptile?) I don’t handle extreme temperatures well. We got some water as soon as we got into the stadium, but I still had sweat just rolling off of me. It was like a wet t-shirt contest, but with sweat instead of water. That’s a gross visual, but it’s pretty apt! All 80,000+ of us in the stadium were in the same boat, though, and we all tolerated the massive stench of humanity that tens of thousands of people exude on a sultry Indiana day.

We were all pretty fired up—almost literally!—for our team, and things were looking good early on. That didn’t last, and neither did the relentless sunshine. The clouds started rolling in, and we started getting a few sprinkles. Considering how hot we all were, it felt pretty good. Then it started getting a little heavier, and Ken and I put our rain ponchos on. By half-time, the Irish were down 16-0, and the Notre Dame band, waiting to do their half-time show, was told to leave the field. They then asked the fans to take shelter, and mentioned several places on campus where you could go, if you didn’t want to stay in the concourse (which is open on the sides). There were some pretty bad storms coming in, with “cloud to ground” lightning, as they put it.

We know Indiana storms well enough to take them seriously, and we went to the concourse. After waiting a bit, checking the radar and seeing some really nasty stuff moving our way, and watching darker skies moving in, we decided to head home. The game had been suspended until the storm moved through, so we weren’t sure when the game would resume. It turned out to be a good decision, because it was a complete downpour right when we got home, and we found out that they actually evacuated the stadium, something that has never happened in the history of Notre Dame. And they’ve been around for a while!

After calling our moms to let them know we were safe at home (aren’t we good kids?), we waited for the game to resume, this time in the comfort of our own home. With a change of quarterbacks, things were looking up, but it was too little, too late. With about 5 minutes left to go, a second wave of storms came through, and the game was suspended and the stadium evacuated again. When they were finally able to start again, I think everyone was just ready for the damn game to be done with. The Irish didn’t give up, and were able to come back and lose by only three points. I’m disappointed, but the team needs to learn from this. I can’t fault the coaching; the mistakes were the players’. There is work to be done, and I don’t know how the season will play out, but they have a lot of talent that they can build on.

So I can certainly say that it was an adventure. I haven’t experienced a game quite like that before! Between the heat, the storm, the walking, and the general excitement, I’m tired and mellow. I might get a second wind and do a little packing for Vegas, but if not, we aren’t flying out until Sunday evening, so I can do most of it tomorrow. I’m just looking forward to sleeping in!


  1. A fun day, because it was with you!

    Players definitely own this loss.

  2. Well, I certainly relate. We went to an Indian Labor Day Festival here in SE Oklahoma today and it was so dang hot and humid. Plus, we had to walk for what seemed like miles around the grounds. I only wish it had been called off. :) I love my ACed house.

  3. Aw... Ken is sooo sweet..!

    The Michigan game ended up getting called and I thought that you guys would have been too had you been 'up'... I haven't paid the weather much attention to the national weather but storms moved through here as well...

    Glad the two of you were safe and sound... good luck next week... got some tough games coming up..!

  4. All we had was high heat (University of Illinois), though heavy rain came 90 miles away

  5. we helped one of our friends move out in the ann arbor area- the michigan game got called early after the rain and lightning started. it stormed for like 4 hours and 130K folks are without power. it was crazy with the wind! glad you all got out before it got bad.


  6. Glad you survived the heat and the storm! It got to 101° officially yesterday, and we haven't had any storm -- just a bit of rain this morning.

  7. Yeah, I don't bounce like I used to, either. In fact, I've become one of those Princess and The Pea gals in my sixties. Time was, we'd have thought that was old and we'd have been right. Anyone that old would have thought the same thing and cut themselves some slack. Not us, though; we're immortal. Just ask the people who write advertising.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?