Crazy Weather Events in Sport History: The Snow Bowl
As good as meteorologists are, the weather will always impact on any sport that’s played outside. Of course, the solution is to move those sports inside into an air dome! But not everyone can be so lucky, and there have been many moments that went down in sport history as being crazy weather events.
We’ve already covered the Fog Bowl, which was an intensely foggy game that resulted in some of the worst playing ever seen. Well, this story is another football game that made because of some wacky weather.
It was November 25th, 1950 and the two teams, University of Michigan and the Ohio State University, met for a game that would turn out to be one of the most ridiculous games in College football history.
The schools had a long history of rivalry. Each year, since 1918, the two teams meet for a game known as the Michigan-Ohio State football rivalry. To say these two teams have a long history is putting it mildly.
This 1950 meeting between the two teams, however, was unlike any other game that had come before or would ever happen again. By game time, snow and wind was heavily underway. While the conditions were not ideal, the option to not play was quickly shot down. If the game had not taken place, Ohio State, due to intricacies in league rules, would have been the Big Ten Champion, something Michigan wouldn’t allow.
So, the teams took to the field. You can get an idea of what the game was like from this video:
The severe snow, wind, and cold created a very odd game, as both sides had to drastically alter their tactics. The low visibility meant that passes wouldn’t work. And the slippery field meant running the ball anywhere wouldn’t work either.
The plan for both teams became to punt the ball to the opposite end, into the possession of the other team and hope for them to fumble it near the end zone because of the slippery conditions. Hilariously, the game dissolved into 45 punts back and forth, from end zone to end zone.
Ohio only made one change to the scoreboard: they kicked a field goal that found its mark through the blowing snow. Michigan responded with a safety after blocking a kick that rolled out of the end zone.
The only touchdown (which happens at around the 5:55 mark in the video) came from Michigan at the end of the second quarter after a slippery ball made its way into the end zone. This was the last score to count, though, and Michigan were victorious with a final score of 9-3.
This game would forever go down in history as the Snow Bowl. The name has since been used to describe other games, but to many, this is the true Snow Bowl.
While games like this aren’t likely to happen again, playing football in the snow seems like a dreadful experience. Luckily, players can now take their football games and practices indoors into indoor facilities like our inflatable football domes! Definitely a much nicer way to enjoy a game of football.