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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published September 26 2012

UMC football field foul goes viral

CROOKSTON, Minn. – Last Thursday, a University of Minnesota-Crookston student group kept a homecoming tradition alive by painting a block ‘M’ at midfield for the football game.

There was one problem, though.

The logo was not at midfield.

The block ‘M’ wound up at the 45-yard line a day later when the lines were added to the field, and photos of the mishap have gone viral.

The websites of USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and Deadspin have written about it, as have several blogs and other publications.

“It has been an interesting week, to say the least,” UMC sports information director Shawn Smith said. “Quite a few calls, emails and what have you.”

Smith said word got out Friday after the grounds crew added the yard lines to the field that the logo was in the wrong spot. The volunteers painted the field before the lines were added, and there wasn’t as much communication with the athletic department as in past years.

“The students made an honest mistake and I know they feel awful about it,” Smith said.

Perhaps they shouldn’t feel too bad, though.

With the logo on the 45, Crookston ended a 39-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference losing streak that dated back four years by beating Southwest Minnesota State University 33-28.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Smith said. “The fans rushed the field after the game. They were really excited to get a victory up here. It’s been a tough go for our guys over the years, guys who haven’t won a conference game in their careers. It was a big moment.”

So does the victory mean the Eagles will keep the logo in its spot?

“No, we’re working to correct it,” Smith said. “The plan is to have it fixed before the next game against St. Cloud State on Oct. 6. It’s a decision that was deemed best by the university.”

Meanwhile, the Eagles are focused on this weekend’s opponent – Bemidji State University.

“Guys just want to go out and make it two in a row and keep this rolling,” Smith said.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald