As we get ready for todays game I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the Snow Bowl game of 1950
November 1950 was a wild month in our area. The month started off with the warmest day in recorded Grand Rapids history when the high reached 81 on November 1st An extreme cold front came thru sometime on Thanksgiving day (November 23rd) the low before midnight here in Grand Rapids dropped down to +9° after a high of 33° and 2.4” of snow fell that day here in Grand Rapids. On what would be now called Black Friday the high was only +11° and before midnight the low fell to a incredible -9° and 1.5” of snow fell that day. On Saturday November 25th the low at Grand Rapids fell to believe it or not to -10 that is the record coldest low for November in Grand Rapids recorded history.
On that Saturday some 320 miles to our SE a football game was scheduled to be played. The cold did not stop at the Michigan Ohio border. On Friday 2” of snow fell on Columbus Ohio and the low reached +8° and the day of the game 8” of snow fall was reported for Columbus. It was snowing before the game started the conditions were very bad but Because of the large crowd, and the mess it would have created to refund the tickets, Ohio State Athletic Director Dick Larkins, after conferring with both Michigan and Big Ten officials, decided to play the game. The game had bearing on who would win the conference and go to the Rose Bowl, and had the game not been played on Larkin’s order, the Big Ten title would have been given to Ohio State by default. Ohio State officials felt that they would never be able to have “lived this down” had that happened.
“Volunteers were detailed to special broom duty, keeping the goal lines and the sideline yard-markers swept clean throughout the game. On several occasions, when there was an official’s time-out to measure for a first down, a special crew of sweepers cleared off the snow to find the line.”
“The strategy of both teams became the same: run a play or two into the line – straight in – and then kick, preferably on third down because if a fumble occurred a fourth down for kicking would be available.” The two teams huffed, puffed, bumped and slid. Cold hands refused to hang on to the ball. At the end of 60 minutes of sliding and kicking, Michigan emerged on top with a a 9-3 count.”
Thanksgivings day high of 28° at GRR was the coldest maximum since a high of 27° way back on February 12th. The last time it has reached 60° or better was way back on October 14th. The warmest it has gotten so far this November is just 52° and if that holds for the rest of the month. (it looks like it has a good chance it will) that will set a new record for the coldest maximum here at Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids official high on Friday was 50 so that possible is still in play. Note many other locations also could see their record coldest maximums as well. It should be noted that a cold or snowy November or even December does not mean the winter as a while will be cold and or snowy.
510 total views, 1 views today