Craig Cromer is a facilities manager at the University of Miami and has had Miami Hurricanes season tickets with his wife, Kimberly Cromer, for about seven years. At every game, they hang an American flag over the railing right in front of their seats.
Their rescue mission to catch a stray cat as it fell from the upper deck, Kimberly said, is “probably the strangest thing that’s happened.”
You would hope so.
Early in the second quarter of No. 22 Miami’s home-opener against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, a murmur rose up from the student section at Hard Rock Stadium. The students, many attending their first-ever home game, noticed a cat dangling from the upper deck. The Cromers turned around and first thought it was a dog. Another fan nearby thought it was someone’s kid.
Once the Cromers realized what was happening, they sprung into action. Craig ripped his flag free from his zip-ties, and he and his wife stretched it out to create a landing pad for the terrified cat.
They stood there for about two or three minutes, Craig estimated, while the cat peed on the fans below.
“It seemed like it took forever,” Craig said.
Eventually, the cat lost its grip and tumbled down toward the suite level. The Craigs’ flag did just enough to break the fall and let a group of students in the section below grab it as it fell to the ground.
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The entire corner of the stadium in Miami Gardens, right by Miami’s tunnel, erupted in cheers as one student raised the cat in the air like it was Simba from “The Lion King.” Joe Zagacki, whose booth was right by the action, provided play-by-play for South Florida on WQAM.
“This,” Craig said, “is my first catch.”
Miami (1-1) wound up winning 25-23 for its first victory of the season, although coach Manny Diaz wasn’t pleased with his red-zone offense. He wondered if maybe the resilient feline could help assuage his concerns.
“I don’t know anything about that or what was going on,” he said, “but I’ll tell you if the cat can help our red-zone offense, I’ll see if we can get it a scholarship.”
Builders discover stash of 239 gold coins worth up to $356,000, and more of this week's weirdest news
Builders discover stash of 239 gold coins worth up to $356,000
Builders discovered a stash of 239 gold coins at a manor in northwestern France which could earn up to 300,000 euros ($356,490) at auction later this month.
The three craftsmen found the treasure while working on the restoration of a house in Plozévet, Brittany, in the coastal area of Bigouden in 2019, according to a press release from auctioneers Deloys ahead of the sale. The property had been purchased by a couple in 2012.
While merging a barn and a nursery, the builders found a metal box lodged inside a wall, which had gold coins inside. Just days later, above a beam, they spotted a purse containing another set of coins.
All 239 coins were minted during the sovereignty of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, according to the Regional Preventive Archaeology Service in France, which authenticated, analyzed and researched the coins.
The oldest of them dates back to 1638, with the most recent from 1692.
There are several especially rare coins among the collection, including the Golden Louis with Templar Cross, Golden Louis with a long curl, and Louis XIV by the Atelier de Dijon -- which has an estimated value of 15,000 euros ($17,805).
The mansion itself was constructed in the 13th century and would have been owned by a family of affluent merchants or farmers, with the identity of the last known occupants stemming from the 18th century.
The Iroise Sea, located just off Brittany, was a bustling area for trade in the 17th century due to the exportation of Bordeaux wines to England, and cereals to northern Europe, according to the press release.
There was financial decline in the region from 1750 to 1850, partly due to the expansion of docks in Normandy, the release adds. However, the development of the fishing industry revived the local economy.
The value of the coins will be determined at Deloys auction house in Angers, France, on September 29.
They will be split between the three builders who discovered the coins and the two owners of the manor, with each group receiving half of the funds.