I have finally started to send bluecatsguy some photos of my collection. While giving him some back ground about the items, I came to the Black Hills Machine program from the first indoor football game I ever attended.
I had been watching my parentís house while they were at the beach for another stretch of days in their seasonal campsite. At the time they had a RCA dish that picked up most anything, so I started scrolling the channels and fund an Indoor Football game. Erie verses Lincoln. Cool. I was into arena football, but in Canada, it was hardly ever shown.
As I watched the game, I noticed a website on the field. It was painted over, not sure why as the team was still in the league, but I could still make it out.
Well, I dropped by my brother's house the next evening to check it out. He has the Internet. I still do not. It was great, and there were teams decently close to Regina. Bismarck, Billings, Fargo, Rapid City, even Casper. When I say decently close you must realize that anything within a 10-hour drive I consider close. It was late in the season though; last week actually, once I convinced my brother-in-law/high school buddy to go, so there were only a few for options left. We could see Fargo at Bismarck or Casper at Rapid City. I choose Bismarck because it was closer. The game was actually supposed to be played in Fargo, but that was the year the Red river flood the Fargo Dome.
The Monday before game, I found out the game date had been changed from Saturday to Monday, so our plans changed. Friday at 1:00 pm, we were off to Rapid City, instead of Bismarck.
The trip started out great for brother-in-law. On his way to pick me up, some girl on a motorbike accidentally pulled down her tube top while trying to adjust her backpack at a stoplight.
After that the drive went down hill. We were stopped for speeding just across the border; the fine was only $25. Drove around in Williston for an hour trying to pay the ticket. Got stuck at road construction 3 or 4 times. And had to stop to help a lady change a flat tire. We ended up getting a room in Bowman, ND for the night. (Strike one against Budget Host hotels)
The next day, things got back on track. Breakfast at the family restaurant next to the hotel was great. We made it to Rapid City in good time. Our room at the Big Sky motel was good, with a great view of the city. We went to Mount Rushmore and checked out a few more sites before heading to the game.
I was pumped. I picked up my first program; I like the fact that the helmets of all the teams are on the back. I bought my first t-shirt, I still have it AND it still fits. And I purchased an IFL Yearbook. The brother-in-law was looking at a bright orange with silver trim replica jersey for $65, I think, but decided to pass. He still kicks himself for that.
We got into the stadium well before the game started, a habit I still have, to take pictures of the field and such.
The usual start, motorcycles come on to the field, motors revving away, exhaust fills the air. The national anthem, I still get a kick out of the fact that the Omaha fans end it in their arena with " and the home of the BEEF!!"
The game was great, back and forth. The brother-in-law did not even get a second beer so he would not have to use the washroom and miss part of the game. I remember a Cavalry player hot-dogging as he was running to the end zone after a long pass. He held the ball out towards a Machine player coming, too late, across the field at him. He did not see another Machine player catching up to him from behind in time to knock the ball out of his hand before he crossed the goal line. The ball bounced out of the end zone giving the Black Hills team the ball on a touchback
In the final minute of the game, the Machine had the ball, down by less than a touchdown, but they need to punch it in. With 4 seconds left, from the Casper 4 yard line, they tried a pass into the end zone, but it was knocked down as time expired. But the Cavalry were called for pass interference, so the Machine got to try again from the 2-yard line.
This time they tried a running play to the right, but the Cavalry stuffed it, and my first ever-live indoor football game came to an end.
It came down to the very last play.
I have been hooked ever since.