The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers don’t know how lucky they are.
The forecast for today in Fargo, N.D., is for a high of 4 degrees.
That is downright balmy given what lies ahead in a state that’s shaped, with good reason, like an ice cube.
The Chants are lucky for another reason. Their quarterfinal FCS game against North Dakota State University will be played in the nice and cozy FargoDome, with its thermometer set at 70 degrees. After playing last week in Montana in below zero temps, this will seem like home away from home.
The problem for the Chanticleers will be in getting from their hotel to the FargoDome. I can say from personal experience that getting hit in the face with 4 degrees is no picnic – and I don’t care how many Fargo-ites tell you, “yes, but it’s a dry cold.” Four degrees is four degrees.
I spent the first six months of my newspaper career in Fargo, from September until April, and most of those days were 4 degrees or worse. A 10-degree day was almost a thaw.
The city itself was great, as were the people. The newspaper, The Forum, was (and still is) the largest in the state and held a lot of influence over city and state politics.
I covered City Hall, and the mayor at the time was a bit on the edgy side, but we got along.
More than once he’d call me at home after a City Council rant and ask my reaction. You did just fine, Mr. Mayor. Just fine. You can read about it tomorrow.
My only problem with Fargo was the cold. I was from neighboring Minnesota, yes, but it was southern Minnesota. In fact, I still tell people around here I was born in the south. South Minneapolis. Not everyone thinks it’s funny.
Any time it got below zero in Fargo, my car would not start, no matter how many heating gadgets I hooked up.
Two cold-related things happened that sent me quickly packing off to The Charlotte Observer, which I knew was located somewhere in North Carolina, aka the real South.
The first was New Year’s day 1969, when the temperature got no higher than 25 below zero – while I watched the Rose Bowl being played in Southern California’s perennially sunny 72 degrees. Tell me again why I’m in Fargo.
The other was the week I spent in Bismark, covering the Legislature. The night-time temperature plunged to 33 below zero – and I was on my way to Charlotte. Man was not designed to live in 33 below weather. Adam and Eve wore fig leaves, not parkas.
So good luck to the Chanticleers on their well-earned trip to Fargo. Try to stay warm and bring home the bison – the North Dakota State Bison, that is.
Contact BOB BESTLER at firstname.lastname@example.org.