The Washington Post

Pre-game parachutist misses Dublin stadium, lands on train tracks

Angelo Mangiro (66) and Austin Johnson of Penn State celebrate with the Dan Rooney Trophy after victory over UCF in the Croke Park Classic. (Patrick Bolger/Getty Images)

Central Florida lost a heart-breaker to Penn State, 26-24, on a last-second field goal in the Croke Park Classic. But the Knights should have known the luck of the Irish would not be on their side, as the game in Dublin began with an decidedly ominous sign for them.

Organizers had arranged for a pair of parachutists to drop onto the field before the game and present game balls, one for the Knights and one for the Nittany Lions. Sure enough, the Penn State parachutist landed right around mid-field, and did his part. However, the UCF parachutist did not peform quite so well.

That’s him, missing the stadium completely. In fact, the parachutist wound up in a rather less attractive spot than the lush, green field of Croke Park.

So, yeah, the game began poorly for the Knights (and that parachutist), and it ended even worse. As it happened, that wasn’t the only aerial adventure of note from this event. A pair of U.S. Air Force jets buzzed the stadium before the game, which isn’t so unusual for a major American sporting event, but came as just a bit of an unwelcome surprise to many Dublin residents.

Irish Times film critic and columnist (and, as his Twitter bio notes, “Misanthrope”) Donald Clarke apparently was among those disturbed and annoyed by the fly-over, if these tweets are any indication. (Click this link for an Irish Times article on the matter that provides an even greater indication of Clarke’s irritation.)


Des writes for the Early Lead and the D.C. Sports Bog, scouring the Web to bring readers items of interest, both serious and amusing. He also covers fantasy football, as well as fitness topics for the MisFits.



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Des Bieler · August 30, 2014