Erma and warm FCS fuzzies


A few random items have once again puddled, slowing down my internal hard drive and it is time to do a quick ALT/CONT/DLT to clear and restart. Kids, ask your parents; they know what it means.

Erma Moser Woodruff passed away recently. She was Erma Moser, or in reality, just “Erma” when I knew her a couple lifetimes ago.

Erma was the lunch lady throughout the 12 years that I attended school in Wolsey. She and two other women, one of whom was my great-aunt, prepared lunch for all the kids in the school, then lined up to put the food they had prepared on our plates as we filed through the line. Erma was always the first one in line, doling out the main entree.

She was kind and caring to everyone, especially the younger kids. As we grew older, she would joke with you as you went through the line and you had to be quick witted to slip anything past Erma. She was a sweetheart and her smile as she maybe slipped you a piece of pizza that was just the slightest bit larger than the one next to it was well disguised.

I joined a Facebook group last week, dedicated to the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) playoffs.

This is the NCAA division that USED to be Division II. South Dakota State University won the FCS championship last year and is the top seed in this year’s playoffs, which began the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

I opted in to keep up on the FCS playoff happenings - I spend more time on Facebook than I do on the NCAA football page - and I thought it would be kind of fun.

I had no idea.

Within 10 minutes of joining the group I was privy to trash talking back and forth among fans from across the country.

A large percentage of the cross talk involved either North Dakota State University, which has nine titles in the past 12 years and were runners up last year; the University of Montana (2 titles, 5-time runner up) or Montana State University (zero championships, one runner up).

A quick side note, my cousin is a huge Montana State supporter and we wager on every MSU/SDSU clash (her chocolate chip cookies vs. my caramels). So far, I am way ahead.

But while the talk ran the gamut of chest pounding as die-hard fans from the schools sought to get in the last word - which is tough to do online - there was little said that was derogatory about any team.

Well, NDSU caught some shrapnel, and the bickering between Montana and Montana State supporters - many who may even be neighbors, continued unabated. Keep in mind that only NDSU actually played last weekend.

Then came Sunday morning.

Suddenly, with the prospect of a home game on the horizon, all of the vehement fans went to work for their local chamber of commerce’s welcoming committee.

Montana fans were posting recommended airports, restaurants and clothing advice to the fans who may be following the Delaware Blue Hens to Missoula on Saturday. Fans from SDSU and South Dakota were doing the same thing for Mercer and Sacramento State fans, respectively. Fly into Sioux Falls (SDSU) or Sioux City (USD) (lodging too), rent a car or even Uber to the game. Best places to get a pizza, a burger or nachos.

Invitations to join them before the game in one of the tailgating areas. And dress in layers if you are going to SDSU, MSU or Montana State.

The fans from Montana State didn’t make the change and were not as welcoming.

Of course, they are playing NDSU.