For all their inurement to such tribulation, Mariettans can still get a little bitter about their rowing-weather misfortunes. "Have you ever seen grown men cry?" former Coach Bill Wiant asked after the fiascos of 1950-51. "Dozens of us had worked weeks, solid weeks, for the IRAs. Friday night before the race, at the very height of the banquet, during the very speech in which an IRA official was commending us and our course, there was the most terrifying clap of thunder. We all rushed out and watched the rain come down. Pigs and cows, barns and outhouses started coming downriver, and people kept asking, "Bill, what'll we do, what'll we do, what'll we do?' I don't mind admitting that I stood out on the end of that dock and cried."
Even with the clean sweep of victories on the river, it was like that again last week. After one race, one of the veterans of '50 and '51 squilped through the mud to return a starter's gun to Athletic Director William O. Whetsell. "Got any cartridges left in it?" Whetsell asked. "No," said the disheartened man. "I used the last one on myself."