The Seven Hour Football Game
September 11, 2018
On Sep. 9, the one year anniversary of Hurricane Irma hitting Miami, officials delayed the Dolphins game for over four hours because of weather.
At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, the Dolphins began their first game of the season at home in the Hard Rock stadium, against the Titans. Showers had already begun, sending fans rushing into the stadium. They played the first quarter with no problem, but with one minute left in the second quarter, play was suspended. The message on the jumbotrons instructed fans to “proceed to the stadium concourses for shelter.”
Lightning strikes occured in the surrounding area, invisible to confused fans. Play was suspended for almost an hour, during which time there was no rain. It started to pour at about 3:10 p.m, precisely when fans expected the game to proceed. At this time, the message on the screen which had previously stated that the game would resume was retracted and replaced with the original message due to more incoming lighting strikes.
After about two hours of delay, the game resumed for a short period of time. Officials cut halftime from the normal 15 minutes to three, and then the players went back out to the field for around 40 more minutes. After that, the game once again got suspended for another two hours due to more lightning. At this point, many fans began to leave.
“I think I left around five, so we were there for four hours… There were still a good amount of people [at the stadium], but I mean by the time we were leaving there were so many people leaving with us,” sophomore Kaitlyn Givens said.
The Palmetto Middle cheerleading squad was set to perform during the halftime show. Unfortunately, because of the delay and the shortened halftime, their performance was canceled.
“They do this performance every four years, and it was going to be like the [retired Dolphin] cheerleaders from the ‘60s and ‘70s, then ‘80s and ‘90s, then 2000s and 2010s, and then current cheerleaders and future cheerleaders,” sixth grader Alexis Cohen said. “While we were waiting to go, they brought us to this hallway with no air conditioning, and we just sat there. They kept telling us it was going to be 5-10 minutes, and then they finally told us it was cancelled.”
The game eventually resumed again at around 7:00 p.m., and played straight through until the end an hour later. The Dolphins beat the Titans 27-20, but not before setting records as the longest game in National Football League history.