Gold Medalist To Appear At Marshall Game
Rulon Gardner To Lead “Thunder with the Herd”
Benjy Steele leads the Herd onto the field.
The roar at Marshall Stadium will be coming from all directions on Saturday when Marshall faces Buffalo in a Mid-American Conference East Division showdown.
In addition to the roar of the Marshall faithful will be the unmistakable roar of 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles as they roll onto the field at Marshall Stadium during halftime. The event, sponsored by Benjy’s Harley Davidson, is in celebration of the 100th birthday of Harley-Davidson, in addition to raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
The 100 Harley’s will be led onto the field by 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardner. The Wyoming native, and Harley enthusiast, won the gold medal in the heavyweight division of Greco-Roman wrestling at the games in Sydney, Australia. He defeated Russian wrestling legend Aleksandr Karelin for the gold, becoming the first man to beat the Russian in 13 years and the first to score on him in 10.
“We’ve been associated with Marshall football and MDA for many years and wanted to do something special for both,” Benjy Steele, president of Benjy’s Harley Davidson, said. “To have someone as inspirational as Rulon Gardner be a part of this event is just awesome.”
Herd fans know Steele, who often leads the team onto the field for home games on his customized buffalo Harley.
Each rider in the halftime parade will have raised a minimum of $250 for MDA. The Harley’s will be available prior to the game on the football practice field for fans to get a closer look at. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
“There has never been anything like this here,” Steele said. “A few years ago there was a parade of Harleys during halftime of the Super Bowl. We’ve wanted to do a show like this for several years, but never had the opportunity until now.”
Each motorcycle will carry a driver and passenger, who will carry an American flag. The entire group of participants will have a pregame tailgate and will receive tickets to the game along with a special shirt and jacket to commemorate the event.
Most of the riders in the event are expected to be members of the River Cities Chapter of Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), but any Harley rider interested in raising the minimum donation to MDA can participate. Call 304-523-1340 for more information.
In addition to the game day tailgate, participants in the event will be treated to a party Friday night at Benjy’s Harley-Davidson, 408 Fourth Street in Huntington. Gardner and Marshall football coach Bob Pruett will be on hand at the event.