The hottest (temperature) game I ever broadcast occurred in the same stadium that was also the coldest – Burkburnett, Texas.
Let’s start with the cold.
It was in the 60s. We had a terrific football team. Burk was bad.
The temperature that night during the game was below zero (wind chill). It was horrible! So bad that Brownwood came out of the dressing room to warm up before the game and only stayed about five minutes and went back to the dressing room. It was simply too cold to try to warm up.
Once the game got going, we won and won fairly easily, but one of my great memories of the ballgame was after one of our touchdowns. We kicked the extra point into the north wind, the ball goes up, over the crossbar, but never hit the ground because the wind caught it and blew it back onto the field of play. The officials conferred and said “It’s good!” On a night like that, I guess it just had to be.
My other vivid memory was of garbage cans burning in the stadium walkways and fans standing around them trying to get some heat. At one time, I counted 4 people actually sitting in the stadium seating. By the way, there was no heat in the press box. Eventually, we all finally got back home and thawed out.
Now to the hottest game I’ve ever broadcast.
We pulled into Burkburnett the first Friday night of October 1977. The bank thermometer read 111 degrees at 6 p.m. The Lions were outstanding that year but so were the Bulldogs. Only one team went to the playoff and there was no doubt it would be the winner of this game.
We got to the stadium and during warmups I went down on the field. The south wind felt like a blast furnace. It was horrible! Got up to the press box, of course with no air, to do the ballgame and made it to the halftime okay, but with sweat pouring.
They had a restroom down the hall from our booth. It was about the size of a tiny closet. I went in to use it at halftime and pulled the door closed behind me. When I got ready to open it, it would not open. It was jammed or locked or something from the outside. The Burkburnett band was playing and playing really loudly, so no matter how loudly I beat on the door, or how loudly I yelled, nobody could hear me.
I thought I was absolutely going to pass out. Finally, I sat down, had my head down with sweat pouring off me trying to figure out what to do, and a man opened the door. He said, “Oh excuse me, I didn’t know you …” and started to close the door. I screamed “NO!” and dove out onto the floor. He said, “How long have you been in there?” I said, “Too long.”
We survived the heat but it was not easy, nor was the game. Martin Perry kicked the game-winning field goal and we won district but eventually lost in the state finals.
So I have bad memories of the Burkburnett weather. I need to go back sometime on a good weather day, if they have any.
Until next time, so long everybody.
‘Out of the Box’ with Dallas Huston is published each Monday morning at BrownwoodNews.com. Dallas was the radio voice of the Brownwood Lions and Howard Payne Yellow Jackets for more than 55 years. He currently is Pastor of Center City Baptist Church and hosts a Men’s Bible Study in Brownwood on Monday evenings. Your comments are welcome at email@example.com.