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Marilyn Hagerty: The Potato Bowl excitement is here this week

Then there’s the game, too, on Saturday. Wow! Our UND team got upended Saturday down in Utah! I hope they will show up madder than hornets and score plenty of touchdowns. After all, it is the Potato Bowl. And the Potato Bowl has a long, interesting history. It’s a great time of year around here.

Marilyn Hagerty

Dear Dave McFarlane,

I hadn’t heard from you for a while, but it’s good to know you and Kathy are settling back in your Florida retirement home for the winter. I’m sure that’s not hard to do after wheeling your way across the country and back.

We are getting all revved up here in Grand Forks this week. You see, there’s the parade shaping up for Saturday morning.

Yep, the Potato Bowl Days are upon us. And it takes a heap of potatoes as well as a bunch of sugar beets to make a celebration. I love this time of year. When we first moved up here in 1957, my late husband Jack asked me to please stop running out on the streets and picking up spuds or sugar beets. (I didn’t even know what the beets were.)

Saturday game

Then there’s the game, too, on Saturday. Wow! Our UND team got upended Saturday down in Utah! I hope they will show up madder than hornets and score plenty of touchdowns. After all, it is the Potato Bowl. And the Potato Bowl has a long, interesting history. It’s a great time of year around here.

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When you look down memory lane, you see the game in 1987 was with Northwest Missouri State. It was preceded by the release of 5,000 balloons representing contributions to the Arthritis Foundation. Dale Lennon scored the only touchdown as a player then, he was later the UND coach.

The Missouri team had defeated UND a year earlier. Coach Robert Thomas approached the game as “a good measuring stick.”

At the time, the Herald carried an article about Earl Strinden as the originator of the Potato Bowl celebration in 1966. Strinden was for many years the director of the UND Alumni Center. The article told about the original Potato Bowl game with Idaho State University, which the UND Sioux won 49 to 7.

The event included an antique car show and tractor pull. At the game, the riding club raced around the track and shot rifles after each Sioux score.

Related Topics: MARILYN HAGERTY
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