Prep basketball game suffers lengthy delay because of popcorn machine

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

When a basketball game (or other indoors sporting event, for that matter) is delayed, the reason is traditionally one of the “usual suspects”. Electrical outages cause plenty of delays, as do water leaks. Occasionally a piece of sporting equipment malfunctions, which can cause a delay or even a cancellation. Still, what occurred in Iowa sticks up its metaphorical nose at those typical delays based on its originality alone.

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A faceoff between West Des Moines (Ia.) Valley High and crosstown rival West Des Moines (Ia.) Dowling High was delayed more than 20 minutes after halftime because a malfunctioning popcorn machine filled the gym with smoke, setting off smoke detectors and forcing some 2,700 fans to go outside into the bitter cold. As you can see from the Des Moines Register video above, they don’t appear to be pleased about the situation.

Naturally, the smoky machine was unplugged, the building was aired out and the teams returned to action … eventually. Still, the delay may have provided a bit of an edge for Valley, which walked back in to the still mostly warm gym and got hot on the court, racking up 45 points in the second half en route to a 78-67 victory.

According to MaxPreps, the popcorn machine had malfunctioned when trying to heat up caramel corn, with the site adding that the school had suffered through two previous popcorn-related delays in the 1990s.

Naturally, those details beg a couple of questions: 1) Why is the school still popping popcorn (rather than sell the bagged version, for instance) if it has prior incidents of its popcorn machine becoming a fire hazard? And, 2) High school concessions stands sell caramel corn now? Wow!

There has been no word on whether the school plans to bring back the popping machine for the remainder of the 2013 season. At the very least, perhaps now its time to give up on the caramel corn, eh?

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