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Men parachute into wrong football stadium


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Men parachute into wrong football stadium

McClatchy Newspapers

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Duke officials were a bit surprised when, at 6 p.m. EDT on Saturday, about an hour before the scheduled kickoff of their game against James Madison, two men parachuted into Wallace Wade Stadium and landed at the 35-yard line with a game ball.

Problem was, the Blue Devils — who were warming up on the field along with their guests from Virginia — weren’t expecting it.

“All we know is, they must have missed their jump site,” a team official said.

And they did — because the jump site was meant to be about eight miles away.

North Carolina was scheduled to receive the game ball for its contest against McNeese State via an aerial team at about that time in Chapel Hill.

According to UNC assistant athletic director for promotions Michael Beale, the plane was in the air, but the jumpers from Virginia-based Aerial Adventures opted to cancel the leap into Kenan Stadium because of a severe weather front — which would later delay both games.

Evidently, when the clouds eventually opened, the pilot thought they were over the correct stadium, and the skydivers jumped — realizing only when they landed in Wallace Wade that they were in the wrong place.

The two men immediately scrambled off the field with the game ball, and when UNC associate athletic director Rick Steinbacher was informed by a reporter of what had happened, he immediately called Duke officials to confirm the miscue, and offer his apologies.

“In about five years, maybe this will be funny,” Steinbacher said. “Right now, I’m just glad no one was hurt.”

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