It’s football season! Saturday marked the opening to Furman’s 2010 season. For some reason it’s a week later than usual, and later than most other colleges. However, we’re just glad it’s underway, and headed to the stadium to watch Furman take on the Colgate Raiders.
The plan was to meet up with Alan Russell and his family for a pre-game tailgate. However, the day looked iffy. By mid-morning it was dumping rain. Fortunately, things cleared up, and we were able to meet our friends for some good food and fellowship.
The threatening rain looked like it was keeping folks away. When we got to the stands light rain had started to fall once again, and we were glad we had our ponchos. We took our seats – the same ones we’ve held for nearly 25 years. Eventually the stands did fill. I was most impressed with how many Colgate fans made the trek.
Colgate is ranked 25th in our division, and Furman was unranked. We weren’t expecting a good showing. The first quarter was a defensive struggle, with each team trading possessions without making much headway.
However, spurred on by some lucky breaks and mistakes by the Colgate team, Furman’s offense came alive, and took a commanding lead. By half-time they led 17-7.
In previous years Furman’s first game was the first week in September. However, they didn’t start classes until the following week. Student turnout wasn’t great, and the band was less than prepared. This year is the second year on Furman’s new semester calendar, and with the late start date, classes had been in session for three weeks prior to this game. There was lots of time for both team and band to get in shape, and student attendance was very good for a first game.
Furman’s new president, Rod Smolla, is taking a very active roll in the game. He even appeared in several clips on the Jumbotron, cheering on the fans. At half-time Smolla oversaw induction of several Hall of Fame athletes, then stayed on the sidelines for awhile to watch.
By the time half-time rolled around, it had started dumping rain again. The band did a great job with their half-time show based on the TV series “Glee”, including a group dance to Men Without Hats’ song Safety Dance. I was worried about the electric instruments with the pouring rain.
Speaking of the band, the little accent clips between plays were decidedly more high brow than usual. These included the Dies Irae from the Verdi Requiem, O Fortuna from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Mars, The Bringer of War from Holst’s The Planets. Not too shabby.
We stayed to the bitter end, despite the rain. Furman ended up with a 45-17 win over Colgate, and looked pretty good doing it. Unfortunately, next week they take on USC, and that won’t be a pretty game.
As has been the tradition for many years, we headed over to Tony Arrington’s for a post-game party with the Furman Chemistry Dept. It’s great to get back into the traditions of the season.