Pat Shingleton: "Football Weather?"
Worldwide, heat and heat related events cause more deaths than any other weather-related phenomena. On Saturday, September 5th, clusters of lightning-producing-thunderstorms cancelled the LSU, McNeese State contest in Tiger Stadium. Lightning is the second leading cause of weather related deaths as Florida is the top state for these occurrances and Louisiana is number two. The NCAA's criteria for game delays and cancellations for lightning constitues a designated mileage radius of a stadium and a potential lightning strike. As we remember, the game was cancelled due to lightning, advancing the question that if lightning cancels or delays an event for safety why would the number one weather event, excessive heat, not do the same? It's assumed that heat related events can be medically treated and on-field portable air conditioners and coolers greatly assist. On September 2, 2000, LSU took on West Carolina and the daytime high in Baton Rouge and at the stadium was 102 degrees. The 7:00 pm kickoff temperature was 89.6 degrees, suggesting an evening game assisted in preventing threatening heat consequences. Our Sports Director, Mike Cauble, offered what many of you may have experienced in 2005. On September 26th, LSU hosted Tennessee and at 6:30 the ball was teed-up with 93 degrees on the field. The relative humidity at 45% made it feel close to 100 in the stadium with cramping and dehydration on the field. Paramedics had a busy night in the stands. The great tradition of LSU Football and those marvelous "night-games" of old were played to accomodate the south Louisiana heat.