The statements from those involved with today’s First Responders Bowl cancellation are starting to come out, with thoughts on the deteriorating weather as well as implications for fans who attended the game:
Asked a bowl spokesman about tickets:— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) December 26, 2018
"Tickets are non-refundable."
Various FAQs here: https://t.co/NxUwURwPcm
Bowl considers ticket sales final. Boise State AD Curt Apsey said he wants to do something for fans who made the trip but no specifics yet.— Chadd Cripe (@chaddcripe) December 26, 2018
Bowl officials noted that ticket sales were final for the game that never happened, which — calling a spade a spade here — seems like colossal BS. Boise State’s AD was working on helping Bronco fans out, but there was no delay at all from Boston College AD Martin Jarmond:
To our fans who purchased tickets through BC, you will get a full refund by Jan. 2nd. Also, pick any home athletic event between now and next December and get free tickets for the number of bowl tickets purchased compliments of @BCEagles . Thank you for your support! #WeAreBC— Martin Jarmond (@MartinJarmond) December 26, 2018
All fans who purchased tickets through BC will be receiving a full refund as well as free tickets to any BC athletic event happening in the next 12 months. Well done by MJ for taking care of the Eagles who made the trip without hesitation.
Next, the bowl director issued a statement regarding the weather and cancellation:
Comments from SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler, who said the city of Dallas was not involved in today's decision: pic.twitter.com/N5nOF8mnXV— Scott Bell (@ScottBellDMN) December 26, 2018
In a post game interview, BC’s Martin Jarmond took some questions on what happened and reiterated the desire to protect players from playing after a lengthy delay:
Full transcript below:
MJ: Can’t make this up… first and foremost I commend the bowl for making a tough decision. We all wanted to play, all the work and effort and the 15 practices that go into a game like this, to have it taken from you that’s a tough decision. But it’s made easy by thinking about the guys and being in the locker room for 4, 5 hours, and then having to come back out on a wet field and warm up, injuries… you’re asking for it. And so at the end of the day it’s an easy call, but it’s a tough call. So we supported the bowl. It’s just unfortunate for these guys, especially the seniors, they didn’t get a chance to finish it out. We looked really good, you can tell that the guys were focused and locked in. It’s just a tough way to end a season, but I’m proud of those guys and the way they handled the decision, and that’s life, you know, and that’s what I said to the team, this is life, life throws you a curveball and you’ve got to respond and you’ve got to catch it, and we’ll bounce back.
Q: You go from the first lightning strike, play suspended, and then there’s a flurry of them, at what point do you get called into the fray with “hey, this is what we’re doing…”
MJ: I got called in after the first lightning strike, and there’s a tendency sometimes with these kind of decisions to just delay. And that was how it was trending, was let’s just wait, let’s just wait… But the reality is, the strike that stopped the game was not projected to hit us before but it did, and the one coming at 3 o’clock was five times bigger, with I think 350 lightning strikes that it was going to show. So you’re in a situation where even an hour and a half later, you’re going to have something that’s 5 times bigger most likely hit you, and what I pushed was let’s make a decision, we don’t need to delay and wait and be here at 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock, that does no one any good. So to me, that second wave that’s bigger coming, it took the decision out of our hands, quite frankly.
Q: Was the feedback similar on the other side with Boise?
MJ: Yeah, I talked with the Boise AD first, and then I pulled Steve in and he pulled their coach in, and then the bowl met with us four, and we watched it, we looked at the weather, we had a 45 minute window in between, but that’s without warmup time as well. So by the time you get warmed up and everything you might be talking about 10 minutes of actual playing time. So then the bowl just said this is our recommendation and we were in support of it, both Boise State and us.
Q: It’s hard to find another cancelled bowl game…
MJ: In all my years of college athletics, I’ve never seen this. I think we’ve played… 5:08 left on the clock? Never seen this. And we looked sharp, you know, AJ looked great, Anthony looked great, defense got off the field, and Boise’s a great opponent, it would have been a good game. You can’t make this up. But honestly, we’re in the education business, and this is life, and that’s what I told the guys, I said you can be disappointed, you have every right to feel that way, I know how much time and effort went into this, this wasn’t just a bowl game for us, this was the culmination of a season, and that’s the way we looked at it, and obviously we wanted that 8th win, and you can make an argument that we were on that track, and so the guys were disappointed but they understand life happens and you’ve got to respond and roll with it and that’s what we’ll do.
Q: There’s no resolution to the season, it feels like it’s not a cliffhanger, but it’s an abrupt ending. Like you said, 8 wins was out there, there could have been things that could have been achieved…
MJ: You know, that’s part of it, but it’s always just like in life it’s always in how you look at it. And so for us what we looked at is we had the ability to have those 15 practices, we had time with those young guys to be able to develop them, the seniors got to do their things in those bowl practices, they had a great experience here in Dallas, everyone was pleased with how the bowl went, and you know at the end of the day obviously you want to play the game, but there were enough positives leading up to it. We really saw our team in a way we haven’t seen since probably week four. And AJ looked good, he even said to me yesterday in the hotel this is the best he’s felt since week four. So, you know, you can look at it that way and say hey it’s unresolved, but the other way I like to look at it is you’re building for next year. And we built a great bowl practice, bowl prep, and we came out and we looked strong. And so that’s what you’ve got to take from it. And then you’ve got to just pay homage to the seniors for everything they’ve done, and send them out the right way.
Q: What can the seniors take from this situation going into the senior bowl, those going into a senior bowl?
MJ: They’ve got to just take the preparation and how locked in and focused they were throughout this month of December, and how they saw it. Again, we played a little bit, but you saw enough to see how sharp we were, and those guys know that if you’re locked in and focused, just like the coaching staff has been talking about all year, good things will happen. And that’s what they’ve got to take from it, and what we talked about it, appreciate each other, appreciate this time, it goes fast, but we were not going to do a disservice to those seniors that have aspirations to play further, and have you in a locker room for 5 hours – possibly 5 hours, that was a minimum – and possibly come back out and risk injury. We’re not going to do that, that’s not the kind of program and kind of people we are. So they’ll be healthy and fresh and ready for the senior bowls.
Q: So you know the weather’s going to be… you all got the weather report during the week, are you thinking like “alright it’ll be fine,” or are you kind of thinking “alright this could go a little sour”?
MJ: No, you know, the main cell that was going to hit was going to be 3 o’clock, and that was going to be late in the second half, so we thought we were going to be fine. What happened is the weather that we saw came from the southwest I believe, and it was not initially going to hit us, so it shifted with the wind and it hit us. So that’s what put us back. If that doesn’t happen, I think we’re okay because we’re going to see that wind and the rain in the fourth quarter. So that was really a game changer. And then when I learned that the one coming at 3 o’clock is five times bigger, with 350 lightning strikes, that’s all I needed to hear. We’ll be in here all night.
The bowl itself issued a statement (or more accurately, just an article about the game being cancelled) and noted that this appears to be the first bowl game in history to be cancelled because of inclement weather.
Lastly, BC head coach Steve Addazio met with the media after the game and took questions as well: