Today was the first game of UVA’s football season, a game against BYU, and I was driving up there with Jason and Tara. Because game time temperatures were predicted to be in the nineties, UVA announced that they would take “emergency measures,” which mostly seemed to involve having extra water to sell to the fans who were dying of thirst. A quick check of weather.com before I left revealed that it would be hot all day with a chance of showers after the game. So with a great chance of high temperatures and a minuscule chance of rain, it rained. A lot. Thanks, Weather Channel.
At first, everything played out as the weather forecasters had predicted. It was hot and humid, hot enough that I doused myself in sunscreen to save myself from the ridiculous Two-Face burn that I typically get at the first game because the sun’s position is slightly to my side.
Protected from horrific burns this year, we walked to the game, which followed some predictable patterns. UVA’s offense looked bad, it’s defense looked good, and BYU’s mascot looked high.
BYU fans are 800% more likely than other fans to bring small children to a football game. While stadium officials had ensured that there would be plenty of water with which to gouge thirsty customers, I’m not so sure the Minute Maid supply was adequately enhanced to account for the heat and multitude of kids. Then, at the end of the first quarter:
Leave the stadium?! Many of our “fans” still hadn’t even arrived! Plus, most of the parking is about a mile away. I’ve been walking with McKenna when she has chosen to lie down in the street rather than walk that far. A number of the people in the stadium seemed content to wait in the covered area of the stadium, in spite of repeated warnings that the lightning would somehow find them there. Stadium officials urged them instead to the safety of the similarly unprotected parking garages and lots. Looking at the gathering clouds, we decided to hurry to the car and then go to Brothers Bar and Grill for dinner during the lightning intermission. That was a good decision. we made it to the car just ahead of the deluge.
At the dry restaurant, we ate and comfortably watched games in HD in a climate-controlled setting. At about 6, ESPN announced that the game would resume in about 20 minutes, after a two hour lightning delay. Thinking that the storm was past, we went back to the stadium. At “halftime” of the game, deluge II started.
If only a major weather service, such as the Weather Channel, had warned me that it might rain heavily REPEATEDLY during the game, I would have brought my poncho. Instead I had no poncho and was carrying an expensive cell phone that was now in danger of a soaking. Being the original thinkers that we are, we decided to go into the stadium to wait out the worst of the rain. Amazingly, we weren’t the only ones with that idea.
Once under shelter we had a better idea – find a TV showing the game somewhere in the stadium.
At this point, we had found what appeared to be the worst sports bar in the universe. Unless, that is, you like your sports bars with a post-apocalyptic ambience. On the plus side, UVA’s defense managed to win the game for the team, 19-16. The improbable result made driving back to Richmond after a five hour game much more pleasant, and the drive gave me time to think about how, my trust in the Weather Channel destroyed, I will always bring my poncho to games.