Duluth serves up an Ice Bowl of its own
5 degrees. Wind gusting to 25 mph. Wind chill 15 below zero. Light snow in the air. Football weather in Duluth. Mittens muffled applause. Even the cheerleaders for the University of Minnesota-Duluth were dressed in layers for Saturday night's Div...
5 degrees. Wind gusting to 25 mph. Wind chill 15 below zero. Light snow in the air.
Football weather in Duluth.
Mittens muffled applause. Even the cheerleaders for the University of Minnesota-Duluth were dressed in layers for Saturday night's Division II semifinal against Northwest Missouri State at Malosky Stadium.
The home-team stands were almost full, giving a reporter plenty of chances to ask the cliché question: Cold enough for you?
"No, it should be a little colder here, give us a little more advantage over Missouri," said a well-bundled Jay Dailey of Duluth.
"Nah, it's not that cold; it's not bad," said Lucas Hanson, a University of Minnesota-Duluth student from Albert Lea, Minn. "I play hockey, so it's kind of warm."
"No, I think it could be colder," said Sarah Burns, a UMD junior from Oakdale, Minn. "I don't think any degree would keep me from coming to the game. It can be as cold as it wants. I love UMD football."
"You know, it could be worse," said Emily Nygren, a UMD freshman from Chaska, Minn.
A dramatic 17-13 win sent the Bulldogs to the national championship game against Delta State next Saturday morning in Florence, Ala. Weather shouldn't be an issue there, but on Saturday night it was, affecting the efficiency of both offenses. But the cold might have been tougher on the spectators.
In conditions that even Minnesotans might describe as pretty cold, the fans were getting a little help. UMD baseball players were handing out hand-warmers to grateful fans as they entered. Other baseball players were keeping fires burning outside the stands.
Nygren and Kamila Xiong, both freshmen at UMD, appreciated the help.
Why watch a football game on such a cold night? Nygren was asked.
"It's a great game and they gave us free hot chocolate and hand-warmers, so like, why not go?" Nygren said. "We were gonna go anyway."
But they admitted they were cold.
"We saw a couple of people with a sleeping bag, and we're like, 'Oh, that looks good' " Nygren said.
But a certain group of fans may have been colder.
Looking across the field at the Northwest Missouri State fans, UMD fan Shelley Herman said, "They must be freezing. The wind is right in their faces."
Indeed, the snow blowing across the top of the toasty-warm press box showed that the wind was blowing inhospitably toward the small but boisterous contingent of Northwest Missouri State fans.
"Thank you very much," said Diane Widger of Oberlin Park, Kansas, a Northwest Missouri State graduate who goes to every Wildcat game. "Actually the wind is what's the problem."
Widger invested in toe-warmers and hand-warmers before making the trip to Minnesota.
Asked about the cold, Patty Keeney of Smithville, Mo., said, "Oh, my gosh, unbelievable."
But like Widger, she came prepared.
"We've been shopping all week for all the insulated clothing and hand warmers, so we're good," said Keeney, whose son plays right guard for the Bearcats.
UMD fans also came prepared.
"I have on toe-warmers and hand-warmers, and I brought lots of layers," Burns said. "So far I'm fine.
Dailey's strategy is more basic: "Wear everything you own."