There is a lightning delay at Husky Stadium.
You know that sentence you just read? It has never been necessary before — at least, never in the last 30-something years, according to UW spokesperson Jeff Bechthold. Last week, junior Jacob Eason made history when he threw for the most yards ever (349) by a Husky quarterback in his starting debut.
This week, the history was less welcome.
The severe weather delay officially began at 7:51 p.m., with 9:46 remaining in the first quarter of a scoreless game. Fans were instructed to seek shelter — especially those sitting on metal bleachers — and many huddled under the Husky Stadium overhangs, oohing and ahhing as lightning flashed over Lake Washington and rain pelted the turf, creating large puddles, at Alaska Airlines Field.
While they waited, the UW stadium DJ cycled through the entirety of his lightning-or-thunder-related playlist.
Thunderstruck, by AC/DC: check.
Thunder Road, by Bruce Springsteen: check.
Thunder, by Imagine Dragons: you betcha.
Purple Rain, by Prince (only semi-appropriate): might as well.
Not all fans followed directions. A few hopped out of the bleachers and onto the field, zig-zagging across the sloppy turf as security scrambled to stop them. At one point, the stadium lights went out; lightning lit up the night.
And still, the fans persevered — water-logged but otherwise undaunted. They chanted “Go! Huskies!” in near-total darkness, lightning delay be damned.
For the record, there is no curfew or deadline for when the game may resume. The teams must wait until 30 minutes has elapsed since the last lightning strike in an eight-mile radius to continue UW’s Pac-12 opener.
If/when that happens, Washington will begin its second possession on the Husky 37-yard line. UW went three-and-out on its opening drive, and Eason was sacked on the team’s first offensive play. Cal’s first play spanned five plays and 30 yards, before redshirt sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers was sacked by outside linebacker Joe Tryon and the Golden Bears were forced to punt.
And that’s it. Cue the rain and lightning. Cue the power outages and the wait.
Wouldn’t it be nice if they sold beer inside the stadium?