Monday, September 22, 2008
WKU vs. MSU and The Red Belt
There really is a "red belt" involved in the Battle for the Red Belt between Murray State and Western Kentucky University.
According to WKU game notes: The two teams have played for the Belt on 22 occasions since 1978, with WKU winning the trophy 14 times (there was one tie). It currently resides in the WKU training room for almost nine years since the Toppers took back the trophy with a 21-15 win on Oct. 2, 1999. The history of "The Red Belt" originated in 1978 when WKU athletic trainer Bill Edwards attended a district trainers' meeting with Murray State trainer Tom Simmons. As Edwards tells the story, Simmons forgot to bring a belt, and borrowed a red one from Edwards. After the meeting, when Edwards asked about his belt, Simmons responded that WKU would have to bat Murray State in football to get it back. Simmons had the belt mounted on a large plaque, complete with brass plates to keep WKU-Murray scores etched in history for years to come.
The Hilltoppers played for the first time in newly renovated Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium and featured a true sporting-event atmosphere.
Fireworks cracked with every score and during the National Anthem. Hawkers sold cotton candy and peanuts through the stands. The video scoreboard also broadcast a marriage proposal to a Margaret Tichenor, who appeared to say "Yes" to her intended.