Badlands Bowl doesn't get final sendoff into sunset
On the third Saturday of every June, Rick Reid would normally be watching football.
This year was different though as he had a quiet Father’s Day instead of watching the Badlands Bowl between all-star teams from Montana and North Dakota.
The game was canceled because of the coronavirus, and unfortunately, this year's game was set to be the last in the 26-game series.
“We were obviously disappointed because we wanted a big send off. We had decided that we weren’t going to do it, and we weren’t crying and moaning because it is over,” said Reid who co-founded the game with his brother. “We were celebrating because we did it and the fact that we met a lot of people through it. We didn’t get that opportunity because of the coronavirus, but when you stop and think about what a lot of people have had to go through, it is just a football game.”
This year, Jacob Svihovec of Bowman County, Gage Swanson of Beach and Peyton Hanson of Dickinson were the local players set to play in the game at the Biesiot Activities Center on Dickinson State University's campus which is where all three will go to college and Swanson and Hanson will play their college games as Blue Hawks.
The game coincided with Father’s Day several times throughout the years, and Reid said that any time there was football and Father’s Day on the same weekend, that was a good thing.
The most memorable game in Reid’s mind came in 2014 when Ben Love of Minot kicked six field goals. North Dakota won on a walk-off field goal, 25-22, from Love in overtime, and that was the last game in the series that North Dakota went on to win.
Montana won the all-time series record with 20 wins compared to only six for North Dakota.
Most importantly Reid feels bad for the players and coaches who would have made memories last week in Dickinson.
“I feel bad for the kids and coaches who didn’t get to participate and take part in it, but personally I feel more sorry for the kids and coaches than I do for myself and the rest of the committee members,” he said.
There are no current plans to bring the game back, but if someone else wanted to take it over, Reid and the committee members from North Dakota and Montana would do everything in their power to help whoever wants to continue to make the game happen.
“We are done. If anyone wants to pick it up and do it, all the guys in Dickinson and my brother and his crew in Miles City would be more than welcome to work with someone to help them get it going,” Reid said. “We haven’t heard of anyone that wants to but if someone did we would make sure that they could do it and help them in any way we can.”
As for Reid himself, he has grandchildren in Dickinson, and he will devote a lot of his time in the future to watching them play sports.
“I want to give a heartfelt thank you to every single person that made this game possible,” he said. “Kelly and I had a dream and so many people helped it happen. I really want to thank those people from the bottom of my heart.”