I was hoping that holding off on writing my next blog until two weeks into our sophomore season would provide numerous feel good stories to share with my reading audience. I thought wrong. While I am extremely proud of our thrilling comeback tie in the second half of the Sky Blue season opener, someone has since rained on our parade.
After eking out one point from the first game, the entire Independence organization was amped for our home opener against the mysterious Magic Jack/Talk (they are so mysterious that I don’t even know how to properly refer to them). We spent two practices last week testing out our new home field…aka. The Mecca of Widener University. The field is quite similar in appearance to West Chester but about 10 yards longer and 7 yards wider. Again we are on turf with nifty fifty football lines but this time, the purple of West Chester is now the blue of Widener.
The locker rooms are a major improvement considering the coaches, players, trainers, and staffs don’t have to share the same 10ft by 5ft space. Trust me; it is not easy to fit massage tables, jerseys, drawing boards, water coolers, and 30 warm bodies into a room that size. The best part about these locker rooms is that they are directly next to the field, unlike West Chester, where we had to climb Mt. Everest every half time to sit down for one minute before it was time to come down again. That may not seem that bad but on 90 degree days with 100% humidity, half time can seem like another workout.
All in all, we are pleased with our new location and all that was left was to do was to invite the fans to witness what was going to be our first win of the season on a wonderful Saturday night. What could go wrong? Ha…how about everything. Just as Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
There is no one person to blame except for Mother Nature herself who decided to swoop in with a vengeance. We were prepared for a storm: the dedicated fans were out with their head to toe rain gear, the sign boards were water proof and so were our attitudes. We weren’t, however, prepared for the constant lightening that ensued. After a short, modified warm up that included running in circles in our locker room (another unexpected advantage of the enlarged room) we hit the fields. No lightning yet but the skies were ominous. The game clock was ticking down…we were inching closer to our home opener and then BOOM – lighting and a 30 minute delay.
Talk about an adrenaline killer. In order to keep the pregame buzz we had to get creative. Cupid Shuffle – check, sit ups – check, new dance techniques – check, hang man – check, learning the new sport of lacrosse thanks to Widener’s men’s team equipment – check. The best had to have been our assistant coach, Skip, attempting to keep his blood sugar high by making a peanut butter, honey, and Swedish fish sandwich (meal of champions).
Every bolt of lightning, and there were plenty, was greeted by another 30 minute delay. Slowly but surely our hope of playing this game was fading. It was becoming too risky: for the players, for the fans (it is not highly recommended to stand on metal bleachers in a lightning storm as far as I know), and for the refs (this was made quite apparent when they refused to come out). Three hours, 15 Swedish fish, 25 dance songs, and 2 warm up attempts later, the game was officially cancelled.
What started as a day of hope, optimism, and opportunity ended with Mother Nature and Mr. Murphy handing us a rain check. The night was not a complete waste, however, since we able to do some serious team bonding over Lady Gaga and we yet again had proof that we have some of the most dedicated fans this league has to offer.
A big wet thanks is in order for those of you who attempted to weather the storm and root for us Cheesesteaks. Rain or shine you never let us down and huddling with you under the bleachers as rain poured down around us made our organization that much closer. We may have lost the opportunity to play that night but those of you who were still there to get our autographs as the final decision came through, you forever won our hearts.