By Gregg Marmesh
Photos special to Bison Illustrated
Back in 1973, we were playing a home game late in October. Many of us, if not most of us, had nicknames back in those days like Gregg Hartmann (Harts), Pat Simmers (Simba), Don Hanson (Hog) Steve Nelson (Bear), Jerry Dahl (JD), Jeff Zwarych (Z) and mine was “Stork”.
It was snowing at game time and the temperature was in the high teens / low 20’s. I was a Defensive back-up tackle for Pat Simmers (Simba) and Don Hanson (Hog). Both guys were pretty dependable, so my playing time was limited.
During the game I was standing around a coal bucket, which was for heat/warmth, socializing with a couple of my teammates. We all had large red vinyl capes on to help keep us warm. Suddenly, I heard many of my teammates yelling “Stork”, “Stork”, “Stork”. I looked down the sideline and there, yelling for me, was Coach Ardell Wiegandt.
He wanted me to go in because Simba had lost his shoe and the coaches didn’t want to waste a time out. I went flying down the sideline in my red cape, Coach Wiegandt grabbed me by the cape and pushed me toward the field as he yelled at me to hurry. As I entered the field, the buckle that kept my cape on wouldn’t release. Therefore, I entered the defensive huddle with my cape on trying to rip it off to no avail.
It was reported to me later that the radio announcers said that it looked like the Bison were trying to insert Superman into the line-up. Unfortunately, for me, we ended up taking a time out and Simba came back in. Lesson learned.
The game Marmesh speaks of is the October 20, 1973 game against the University of North Dakota. The Bison won that game at Dacotah Field 21-14.
Marmesh played for the Bison from 1973 until graduation in 1975. In his three years at NDSU, he accumulated 203 total tackles. In 1974 alone, he recorded 100 total tackles for the 7-4 Bison.
Be sure to look for the print edition of our special Alumni issue on magazine stands or in your mailbox later this month.