Atlas….not a map anymore

So I know I promised a rivalry post over a month ago. Since then, my darn job has managed to get in the way and more importantly, the region where we live was hit by a massive early season snow storm. Storm Atlas dumped over 3 feet of snow, shut our area down for days, left thousands without power and heat, some for as much as an entire week, and worst of all, killed thousands of cattle and livestock. For those of you who haven’t been following the devastation, I urge you, no, I BEG you to Google this. The loss of the livestock will not only be felt by our local families who produce and raise these animals but will be felt in the coming months by consumers when the demand for beef is higher than the supply. It will be felt throughout the ranching community for years, even decades. Many cattle who were killed were from lines that are generations old. It’s sickening and there has been ZERO national coverage on this issue. My family was fortunate in that we only lost power for a few hours, we do not produce so we did not lose any stock, but we have far too many friends who were left in shambles. They are picking up the pieces and moving on because that’s just what we do here, but it won’t be the same. Ever. And as for FEMA or any other government assistance? Nope. And that’s not just because the government was shut down. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a FEMA trailer in my state for any reason. If we have a problem, we get together and fix it. That’s one of the reasons I love living where we do.

This is a sports blog. Sports are a constant, they’re always around. I was reminded of that last weekend as we gathered for another tailgate, another Saturday. We exchanged blizzard stories and caught each other up on how we stayed warm and what creative ways we had come up with to entertain ourselves and our families during the several days most of us were without power. We talked to one wife about how her ranching family was coping. Not well, but they’ll be fine. You pray. You hope. You work your butt off and it will be okay. The storm blew through Friday and Saturday the week of our bye (thank goodness!). By Saturday afternoon the snow was actually melting and by Sunday it was almost 60 degrees. Our football team spent Monday shoveling, hauling tree branches and getting campus back up and moving. My husband and a friend of ours spent until 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the stadium cleaning the field up after our maintenance would not do so. The team practiced wherever they could find on Monday and Tuesday; the school gym, a local indoor arena. They only got 2 practices and a walk through on their own turf before the game. By kickoff on game day, all that remained from the storm were some downed tree branches and a few small piles of snow still dotting the parking lots.

The game went on. We lost, but considering the adversity we were under just a few days prior, the game was fantastic. The opposing coach even contributed to a very classy article complimenting our team and staff. A rare occurrence!! All in all, things have returned to normal. It’s a new normal, but it’s normal. This state, OUR state, will never know our old normal again. But we press on. We pray, we hope, we help each other. It’s what we do. Through it all, the game goes on!

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