Stubbornness gets in way of common sense
The meet was delayed for about a half-hour as officials tried to enforce fire marshal code at Busbey Natatorium. The Viking Invitational and the district meets for both divisions normally bring a ton of people to Busbey, and the problem is some of them try to squeeze in by leaning against the railings or sitting in the aisles. By fire code, both are big no-nos.
Officials followed through on a promise to stop the meet and not restart it until the issues were resolved. They weren't - for a half-hour - because some people wouldn't do what they were asked.
It's fine to be stubborn for what you believe in, but is it possibly that difficult to move over in the bleachers and make room? Did it really need to become a half-hour process in which the police had to intervene?
It was surreal.
The ones who were affected the most, of course, were the swimmers - standing around waiting for the meet to commence again. I found that galling enough as the crowd got more testy with the fire code, but what was really sad was booing when it was announced the swimmers would get a 10-minute warmup because of the delay.
Of course the delay was annoying for all, but meet officials did the right thing. What if, heaven forbid, there were some sort of emergency, and the facility couldn't be evacuated quickly enough because the exits weren't clear?
It wasn't everybody that was causing an issue, but it was a shame one of the sport's postseason steps had to be stopped for a while out of nothing more than some people's unwillingness to do what was right.
- Chris Lillstrung