Sideline Guy: Welcome back to Salem
Welcome back to Salem, Virginia. I’ll be your online tour guide, Frank Rossi, the â€œSideline Guyâ€ for the third year for D3football.com’s Stagg Bowl coverage. When last I left you last year, I told you of my experiences during my return flight immediately following Stagg Bowl XXXVI, as I flew with the Iona Men’s Basketball team on a snowy night back to New York. Ironically, on my way through JFK Airport Wednesday to head to this year’s game, I ran into the CW Post Men’s Basketball team on their way to the Desert Classic in Las Vegas, NV. While Vegas may be warm and exciting, it’s not where I want to be right now.
It’s great to be back in Salem — it’s sunny and bright with temperatures in the mid-40s. Those are the current condition of course — in less than 48 hours, that will likely all change. As of this writing, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Watch — the current forecast models show Salem being in the â€œbull’s eyeâ€ of weather, with 8 to 12 inches of snow likely from late Friday into Saturday. With temperatures likely to remain in the low- to mid-30s and some sort of precipitation almost a guarantee, weather will undoubtedly play some level of factor for all those involved.
For your broadcasters, it poses huge challenges. This year, we will be videocasting the pregame show for the first time ever from 9:00am EST until kickoff at 11:00am EST. We want everyone that can’t make it to Salem this year to see the fun we all have before even walking into the stadium, courtesy of Bridgewater’s â€œStone Stationâ€ and the fine folks on the ground in Salem working on Carey Harveycutter’s crew. This year, that work on the ground may take a whole new meaning with the forecast, and we’ll keep you posted on exactly what precautions are taken should the storm pan out the way things look right now. As long as the snow stops by game time, the effects on the game will be minimalized, as the field is made up of high quality field turf. Stay tuned for more on that.
How is the forecast affecting the teams and their preparations? So far, it’s not. Pat Coleman and I attended the initial interview sessions earlier in the day, and neither Coach Kehres or Leipold indicated that the forecast is affecting their playbooks until the day of the event. The players are in good spirits, with Mount Union’s defense razzing last year’s defensive star, Drew McClain, for doing some quick pushups for a local television crew. Even Coach Kehres is looking like the Maytag repairman during his team’s practice, standing alone and waiting for something to break (haven’t seen anything in need of repair yet).
One thing is for sure this week: no matter how many times these teams have appeared in this game and no matter what the weather may bring, everyone is appreciative to be here, be it the players, the coaches, the broadcasters or the fans. It’s something nobody takes for granted, regardless of the outside elements that may affect the game itself. Stagg Bowl week isn’t just a game — it’s a three-day event full of memories. Tonight, it’s Gagliardi Trophy night — more from that event later. Until then, I’m curious about your initial thoughts about this year’s game.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.