AUSTIN (KXAN) — Is Mother Nature a precursor for the efficacy of the University of Texas football team? We’re not superstitious, but it does give an indication of how loyal the fan base will be.

The forecast for the first game of the season pointed to soggy tailgating and the potential for localized flooding. That forecast unfortunately held true. Regardless, fans were out Saturday and they were out early.

tailgaters
Despite the rain, folks showed up to tailgate the first UT football game of the season (KXAN photo/Christian Marcelli)

One of those folks was Rick Pina, a Longhorn fan since childhood. He and his family came to Austin from north Texas, and Saturday, of all days, they forget their coveted tent, which would normally provide cover for the family as they tailgate on the overhang of the Brazos parking garage.

“Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t work out for us but we’re excited for the rest of the year,” Pina said. “I forgot the tent.”

Regardless, the moment the rain really started to come down outside of the garage, the family was ready to shift gears, swiftly adjusting their chairs to sit underneath cover provided by an upper level of the garage. The family had also plugged a television into the wall to watch other games throughout the day, that was covered by a burnt-orange tarp less than a minute after the drops started to fall heavy.

Rain or shine, Pina and his family said nothing was going to dampen the excitement of another season of UT football, the fourth that Pina has been a season ticket holder.

“I’m extremely excited, ya know as a Longhorn fan there’s always so much hype,” Pina said. “Going into this season with a lot of skilled players, looking forward to a good year.”

Tips for weather delays

Troy Kimmel, UT Austin professor and weather advisor for UT athletics and Austin FC, discussed what to do in the case of a weather delay.

Kimmel said it’s a “collaborative effort,” and while his role is “advisory in nature,” his opinion is held in high regard and folks typically listen to him and other weather experts.

Wednesday’s match at Q2 Stadium between Austin FC and the Portland Timbers was delayed by about two hours due to storms and lightning going through the area.

Fans should go to the mezzanine and concourse levels to seek protection from lightning associated with storms that pass over DKR. Kimmel advised against people going out to their cars during weather delays and to stay inside the stadium since that’s where it’s safest, he said.