By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Much has been written about the sub-zero temperatures in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the Packers playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.
It's at least that COLD … BITTERLY COLD, in South Dakota.
The Cal State Northridge men's basketball spent their entire Saturday (Day Eight on this road trip) huddled in a hotel, still unable to get home because of a massive snowstorm that has raged its way from the Midwest through the Northeast.
Somehow, Someway, this team is getting home. Nobody seems to know when except Mother Nature.
The team needs to get of Sioux Falls in a hurry. Saturday night's temperature dropped to -2 degrees with a wind chill factor of -18. Another storm system will soon arrive with temperatures dropping even further. A daytime high of -11 degrees with nighttime temperatures dipping to -20 degrees are expected. It is so cold, water will vaporize if taken outside.
The team has scheduled a flight on Sunday morning to Denver. The flight from Sioux Falls to Colorado is approximately two hours. A severe wind chill warning has been issued which means heavy turbulences,
If the airport is closed, there is a plan to take a TEN-HOUR bus ride from Sioux Falls to Denver. Once in Denver, the team will spend the night in the Colorado city with a flight home on Monday.
CSUN had scheduled a flight on Saturday morning, but at a team dinner Friday night, the team was notified the flight from Sioux Falls to Denver had been cancelled.
With school not in session because of the holidays, the team has had a chance to relax or watch college or pro football on television, do some shopping or eat at a nearby mall. The team also went to a local wellness center for a 45-minute workout.
Saturday night, the team was able to practice for 60 minutes following a basketball game between the University of Sioux Falls and Northern State.
The day finally ended around 10:30 pm with a late night dinner. Back at the hotel just after midnight, the team settled in for another night on the road.
No one dare walk outside. With sub zero freezing temperatures and a wind chill factor that is dangerously low, staying inside is the best option.
Across the parking lot from the hotel is a mall. One Matador staffer tried to make the trek across the parking lot. Not a smart idea. Within minutes, your hands start to freeze, and your body grows numb with the blowing winds. Even the locals are not happy with the weather conditions.
The CSUN coaching staff is using the free time to prepare for the Big West Conference season opener next Thursday against UC Davis. Somehow, someway, the team will be prepared for the conference opener against the Aggies, according to the coaching staff.
According to the coaching staff, no one has ever experienced such a road trip. That includes head coach Reggie Theus, who has been either a player or coach since the mid 1970's.
One of these days, Cal State Northridge will be coming home.
Homeward Bound, Home Cooking, Home Sweet Home !!!