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Chuck Landon: Unique ceremony held at the Joan

Jul. 23, 2013 @ 12:12 AM

It truly was a match made in Herd heaven.

That’s why Thomas Wallace and Sandy Shewey knew there was only one perfect place to have their wedding.

Namely, Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

So, they gathered in Marshall University’s football venue Saturday for one of the most unique ceremonies imaginable.

The kickoff, oops, I mean nuptials, was scheduled for 5:30 p.m., but the referee, er, reverend delayed it until 6 p.m. because of bad weather.

Perhaps, that was the karma of Wallace and his groomsmen, which included The Herald-Dispatch’s former Marshall football beat writer Andrew Ramspacher, getting dressed in the officiating crew’s locker room.

That was a delay of game penalty just waiting to happen.

The good news is the weather didn’t dampen the wedding party’s spirits, commitment or footwear. The groom, groomsmen and, yes, even the beautiful bride were all wearing Nike running shoes.

Cleats would have been tacky.

When the ceremony commenced, the guests in attendance — I’m still waiting on an attendance figure from Marshall ticket manager Aaron Goebbel — watched Wallace and Shewey exchange vows while the happy couple’s image was displayed on the Edwards Stadium scoreboard.

Marshall’s president Stephen Kopp was in attendance, but I’m not sure any faculty were in the stadium. If there were I am fairly certain they didn’t sit together.

After Wallace and Shewey exchanged rings — the first ring ceremony at Edwards Stadium since the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, kissing optional — it was time for a reception.

The wedding party was introduced while the AC/DC song “Thunderstruck” blared over the speakers. Considering that is Marshall’s anthem it was more appropriate than Paul Stookey’s “The Wedding Song.” And, yes, “Country Roads” was played, but it wasn’t the Marshall band director’s arrangement.

The reception culminated in Wallace removing the traditional garter from his bride’s thigh. But, then, it got very untraditional. In keeping with the theme of the wedding, Wallace stretched the garter around a football and, then, snapped the ball like a center in a shotgun formation to the waiting guys.

Marshall center Chris Jasperse doesn’t have to worry about job security, but the snap was on target. Reports that Rakeem Cato caught the snap and, then, threw the garter to Tommy Shuler are untrue.

Then, the festivities continued at a local establishment known to be frequented by the wedding party and a good time was had by all.

Particularly the newly-wed Wallaces.

Now, if anyone is thinking that having a wedding at Edwards Stadium is a keen idea, there’s probably something I should point out.

It’s not for rent.

This was a very special occasion. So special, I don’t know if there ever had been a wedding in the 22-year history of Edwards Stadium.

So, how did the Wallaces’ pull it off?

The key word. ... pull.

Marshall’s facilities building behind the north end zone in Edwards Stadium is named the Shewey Building. The bride’s maiden name? Shewey.

Connect the dots.

The best part of this entire wedding saga is anytime there is an event at Edwards Stadium there is almost always a winner and a loser.

Except this time.

The Wallace-Shewey wedding was a win-win in every way.

And somewhere Joan C. Edwards is smiling.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Email him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.



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