William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Equipment did not like rain

You just never know from season to season what each game will be like. Last season’s seventeen games I had were all great weather with only a very slight sprinkle in the 3rd quarter of the Gator Bowl.

So far this season, we’ve gotten wet in three of the first four games. So far. I’m about to leave for Jacksonville and Alltel Stadium for Alabama and Florida State and I’m really hoping for a good, dry game. At this point an overtime or two would be great, too.

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With a ton of rain like we had at LSU for their game with South Carolina there are many things that can go bad. And it makes for a sloppily played game, too.

In the third quarter downpour we had just about everything that could go bad, go bad. First the play clock decided to quit. We had to stop the game and notify the coaches that the back judge would be keeping up with that on the field.

As soon as we got that handled and one play done, the game clock flat refused to move.

In the SEC, our alternate official operates the game clock, with the time left in the game, from the sidelines. He has a long cable with an on – off switch.

The setting and re-setting is done in the press box. A member of the chain crew with a similar switch arrangement also operates the play clock on sidelines and the back judge has supervision of that one.

If the game clock quits then the alternate official will use a stopwatch to time the game and give the time to the referee between each play so he can announce the time with his microphone.

That usually works okay except the referee’s microphone decided it didn’t like all the rain either. TV was going crazy wanting to know the time left in the quarter.

All I could do was direct the sideline reporter and her director to the alternate official, who was on the opposite side of the field from me, so they could catch what he was giving the Referee with the broken mike.

At every break the stadium tech people were out on the field working on the referee’s mike and I even held one TV break a little while longer to give them some more time to get it working.

Finally the rain slacked off some in the fourth quarter and by then the stadium tech people got all the dead clocks and microphones working again.

I was thinking I might see if that Seminole Native American who hangs with Florida State could maybe do an anti-rain dance before the game. You never know – probably work better than anything else. I’ll let you if it works next time.