Randy Smith: Cicadas And The Spring Fling

  • Thursday, May 23, 2024
  • Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
I remember the sound of cicadas when I was a kid but we just called them locusts. I don't remember them being as numerous as they are now but I noticed them as soon as I arrived in Murfreesboro for the annual TSSAA Spring Fling. My wife and I drove to the media headquarters to pick up credentials and we heard the chirping the second we rolled down our windows. As a young man approached our car to assist us he was swarmed by several of those annoying, noisy bugs. He swatted them away but the dance he did while protecting himself was hilarious. 

Every time we saw a person under a tree or even near a tree, they did the same dance.
Players, fans and officials were all swatting bugs the entire game. Kids were terrified at first but then realized they were basically harmless, so they started trying to catch them. Others tried to stomp them and a few were even attempted to eat them. My son even tried to offer a youngster five dollars to eat one...not just swallow it but chew it first. I immediately put a halt to that challenge. 

I did some research on cicadas. I discovered there were cicadas that had a lifespan of 13 years and another group had a life span of 17 years. Due to the location of Tennessee, both races are in our state. Cicadas are mostly beneficial as they can prune mature trees and when they die they provide nitrogen for growing trees. Other than small children who are tempted to eat them, snakes love them, especially copperheads...and I would much rather deal with cicadas than copperheads.

After getting used to battling cicadas, we were finally able to watch some baseball and we watched a couple of great games even though they didn't turn out like we wanted. We were there to watch Boyd-Buchanan play in their first final four in ten years and even though they were the top seed for the tournament they dropped both their games 4-2 and 4-3 in eight innings. I did get a chance to visit with a few old friends from the TSSAA and MTSU as well so the event wasn't a total washout.  
I've covered many Spring Flings especially the ones that were here in Chattanooga 20 years ago. We always had rain and storms and we always had hot weather as well. But we never had Cicadas.
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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com.
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