Labor Day weekend is a time of celebration, because when Labor Day weekend rolls around, that means College football is starting up. It usually means that there will be a full slate of games starting on Thursday and going all the way through the holiday on Monday. Normally this weekend plethora of football goes off with no problems or even any real concerns, unless your team is on the losing end. But this weekend there was something else that played a big part of a hand full of games throughout the weekend. That was the weather, for the first time that I can ever remember, weather became a factor in games and ended up causing delays or shortening of football games.
I know what you’re thinking, it is football and rail never stops a football game from being played. Well, it was more than rain, there were multiple games that had hour long lightning delays, and even one game took it one step further with a hail delay. While most of the country seemed to be under the gray skies and rain, it was the lightning that caused concern in stadiums. Notre Dame and South Florida were the first game that saw mean weather and put it into two delays and seemed to cause more problems than just the nightmare of having to clear an entire stadium. But in the end, they finished the game Florida went home victorious.
The storm system that seemed to clipped South Bend also seemed to be part of the same system that ended up going across Ann Arbor Michigan, ended up putting the contest and Western Michigan into a delay. While the delay factor quickly became something that was being dealt with across the country, there was a little known rule that the game could be suspended and made up at a later time, or could just be called a final. The stipulation to this is that both teams have to agree to this and that could be a sticking point depending on the type of game it is. In this case, the game got suspended, but there didn’t look to be a safe time table to complete this game in its entirety. This game used that little known section of the rule book to end a one sided game, part of me wants to believe Western Michigan agreed because they were just plain tired of getting their rear end whipped. But the weather made for a soggy Saturday across college football and made some games last into the 5 hour range for the fans that were going to tough it out regardless of what Mother Nature threw at them.
On Sunday, while the action wasn’t as much as the previous day, fans across the country were hoping to have some games on TV that would be weather free, and for the most part it was that way.West Virginia and Marshall was one of the few games slated for Sunday, and the first half was played in cloudy, but still good conditions. Then at halftime the skies opened up, and the game was put into its first weather delay. Once the game got going, some 3 hours later, it wouldn’t take too much longer before a second weather delay would cause the teams and fans to leave the stadium. At this point the game had been going for around 5 and a half hours with weather delays built in. At this point both athletic directors decided it was in the best interest of safety to just end the game. It is the first game of the season, no use ruining your season by risking the health of the players.
Labor Day weekend was full of great football from Thursday all the way through Monday. While there were plenty of headlines throughout the entire weekend, but for a handful of games, the weather made sure to make some headlines itself. While football is a sport that can be played in just about any weather situation, you have to applaud the schools and administrators for keeping players and fans alike safe from frequent lightning strikes. This is just going to be something that fans will look back on and remember that games were called due to bad weather and how rare that ever happens in College Football.Please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook