Talk sports, pop culture and more with SI.com's Jimmy Traina.
4/11/2007 09:25:00 AM
Braving the Elements
As you know by now, snowy weather in Cleveland wreaked havoc on the Mariners-Indians series last weekend. Clevleand is now in the middle of playing a three-game set against the Angels at Miller Park in Milwaukee because Jacobs Field is a winter wonderland. And while unpleasant conditions in many cities was a big story during the opening week of the baseball season, most fans I know don't mind dealing with bad weather.
Sports fans are tough and they put up with a lot of crap -- exorbitant ticket prices, players who won't give fans the time of day, games that go on too long and networks that don't care about scheduling games at ridiculous hours, among other things. What's the big deal about snow and cold temperatures?
Having said that, I'm turning the blog over to my fellow readers today. I want to know your best story about going to a game in inclement weather. Would you do it all over again? Do you remember the game like it was yesterday? Was it a fun experience, or were you miserable?
The worst weather I've ever experienced at a game was Royals-Yankees, Yankee Stadium, Opening Day, 1996. The game took place during a blizzard, and I spent about $50 on hot chocolate. But it was worth it. You felt like you were apart of a something special, and the fans were happy to go with the flow make it a fun afternoon. There's no doubt that the snow and cold made for a memorable atmosphere.
Quick side story: The Yankees decided to reward fans who sat through the terrible conditions by giving them free tickets to an upcoming game (you had a choice of a few games to choose from). I picked a random Mariners-Yankees game that turned out to be Dwight Gooden's no-hitter. But I didn't use the tickets. I was on a baseball stadium road trip with a few buddies and we were in Cincinnati that night watching a Rockies-Reds game. To make matters worse, I bet on the game and took 8.5 as the over and the final was 5-3. Two morals to the story: One, if you have tickets, use them. Two, don't bet.
But this story ties into the snowy day at Yankee Stadium, making it even more memorable for me. So if you have tales of sitting through rain, snow, cold or even oppressive heat, let me hear from you.
I received a ton of great comments off The Sopranosblog entry. Since most of you seem to be into the show, here are a few thoughts on this week's episode. It was slow going, but executive producer David Chase set up a few things. Will Tony have Bacala killed for the sucker punch? Will Bacala, who mentioned how criminals get caught fairly easily these days thanks to DNA testing, be done in by having his shirt ripped by the guy he shot? Will Bacala want revenge on Tony for making him commit his first murder by turning on Tony? The seeds have been planted for Tony's downfall. Other highlights were watching the two rotund men duke it out; a monopoly game that was eerily similar to ones that take place in my family; Carmela and Bacala -- two Italian-Americans -- talking about how the United States should not let any immigrants into the country; and Frank Leotardo's welcome home party that evoked memories of Billy Bats' welcome home party in Goodfellas. Of course, actor Frank Vincent, who plays Phil, also played Billy. What did you think about this week's episode?
In high school I played on the school golf team. After school every day was our practice, 9 holes at the local city course down the street from the school. Didn't cost us a thing, school system paid for it out of the athletic budget. We had a bunch of people back out of practice one day because of "bad weather" approaching, so myself and one other team mate decided to take practice anyways. About 4 holes in the northeaster came through, and started dumping rain on us. No lightning, no thunder, just lots of water. We threw on our rain jackets and continued on. As we were approaching the last few holes it had gotten bad enough that you could only see about 250 yards down the hole. Anything longer than a par 3 you teed off blind and followed the path the ball was going before you lost sight of it. Luckily, we played this course every day and it wasn't that difficult. Finally, on the 8th hole our coach came looking for us in a cart. Found us still playing and asked us why the hell we were still out here practicing in the horrible weather. We really did not have a proper response for him except something about it being free, so we weren't going to waste it.
Bobby finally showing more character than a soft plush doormat. He has always been easily able to handle anything one of the higher ups has sent his way but always seemed to weak. Now, after kicking Tony's butt and showing some balls...Tony could hand control over to Bobby and retire before all goes bad to the Soprano family.
I was at the Michigan vs. Boston College game in the fall of 1996. very cold day that became even more unbearable with the onslaught of a rainstorm beginning in the second quarter. Winds were blowing near 40 mph and it was literally raining sideways. There's no relief in that stadium...nowhere to hide. I've never had rain blow up my jacket before.
For those who stuck around..Michigan came back from being down 14...by throwing the ball...amazing to me considering change was blowing out of my pockets.
My girlfriend at the time had never been to a football game before, so I got her tickets for her and I to a Cowboys-Redskins game that happened to fall on our anniversary in DC in mid December. I'm a huge Cowboys fan, so it was more of a present for me though. Freezing rain, sleet, and snow all game long made it pretty miserable, but we stuck it out. And believe it or not, she actually still married me after our "romantic" anniversary!
My girlfriend had never been to a football game before. So in August 2002 I bought tickts to a Pats/Dolphins game from a friend who had season tickets. The date was in December near Christmas. Well that game turned out to be the famous blizzard game that showed the people in the stands throwing snow after a touchdown by Tedy Brushi. The conditions were crazy!!! We left earlier than normal and had to make an illegal left turn to get on the road of the stadium. It was windy and snowing all day and when we were walking to the stadium there were lots that usually have are filled with people that were barren. They were actually telling people on the radio to stay home because there was no where to park. When we went to walk down the aisle to our seats there was snow up to our knees!!! People were building snow couches over their seats. It was cold and wet but, she will never forget her first football game. I have to give her credit, she never complained once.
I was the head football coach at a small school in Colorado in 1983. We travelled to play North Park High School (on the eastern side of the Rockies) for a mid-October game. Coming out of the locker room at halftime (where one and my assistants and I had just spent the entire halftime challenging our underperforming team), it started to snow. North Park kicked off to us and we methodically drove the ball down the field, taking 9 minutes to score and go ahead. By the time we scored, you couldn't see a blade of grass on the field. It was entirely white and the wind was brutal. North Park fumbled the ball back to us and we drove in for another touchdown; taking a 23-14 lead as the 3rd quarter ended. About that time the snow stopped, but I felt fairly confident since North Park was a passing team and they were going to have trouble running on the snow covered surface. With 9 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, the sun broke through the clouds. With 4 minutes to go, all the snow was melted and North Park got back into their passing game. They scored with 2:30 to go and we were unable to run out the clock. We had to punt back to them with about 30 seconds to go. All I could imagine was them scoring on a Hail Mary to take the game. On the last play, my safety stepped in and picked off the desperation heave; securing a 23-20 win for us. I will never forget huddling under rain panchos will my players on the sidelines trying to stay warm.
Another high school story -- one Wednesday afternoon it was pouring down rain; not your every-day, run-of-the-mill storm, either. There was thunder, lightening, heavy winds, horizontal rain. We were inside watching game films and the head coach, who had been the head football coach at my high school forever, asked one of his assistants to look outside to see if was still raining. The upcoming game was the opening game of the state championship playoffs. Anyhow, the assistant went down the hall, looked out, and returned saying, "Yes sir, it's still raining -- harder, if that's possible." Coach was insensed! He sprung from his chair behind the projector, announced his displeasure over the weather to all within earshot in decidedly less than complimentary terms, stormed (pun intended) into his office, and slammed the door so hard the contents of the lockers mounted on the same wall shook. Within five minutes, ten tops, the rain stopped, the sky cleared completely, the wind died, and we were outside practicing ankle-deep in mud getting ready for Friday night's game. Apparently Coach had higher connections than any of us imagined.
Air Force vs. Colorado State in '99 or 2000. Coldest game in AF history. Snowing like crazy. I was rooting for either team to pull away so I had an excuse to leave, but it didn't happen. AF won 44-40. The best part was the planned halftime fireworks show. It went on as scheduled - fireworks in the snow. Pretty cool!
My worst weather games were both Pats games in the old Sullivan Stadium. First was the season opener vs. Miami in 1987. It poured down rain for the whole game, until Marino's final drive in the 4th quarter with the 'phins down less than a score. It was like the skies parted for him. Luckily, he threw an interception in the endzone to Ronnie Lippett to end the comeback attempt. Two years later, we suffered through a Vinnie Testaverde with the Bucs vs. Tony Eason meaningless game in December with -30 wind chill factor. I couldn't feel my feet before the opening kickoff. It was miserable.. and to make matters worse, the two idiots managed to send the game into overtime.
Finally, with the Sopranos, I think David Chase owes us all an apology. Every one of the 9 final episodes should be "edge of the seat" viewing. He failed with episode 1. Total snoozefest, except for the fight between Tony and Bobby. BTW, Bobby will get pinched for that hit in Canada... our theory is Bobby (or Janice) leaks that Tony got his butt kicked, and Tony somehow drops a dime that Bobby committed that hit on the musician.
Michigan at Northwestern, October 17, 1998. First half played in a raging thunderstorm. By the middle of the third quarter the linemen were getting up with pea-pebbles from the lower layers of the field, each sinking in almost to their knees on every play. The stands were empty after half-time. Michigan won 12-6, with Tai Streets making a ridiculous over the shoulder catch from a ball thrown from Tom Brady with 0:35 left in the first half during the heaviest of the night's rain. Honorable mention to Michigan-Ohio State, Ann Arbor, 1971. Rain, sleet, snow, wind and a second half rainbow, and Purdue-Michigan, 1995, driving rainstorm, field a mess, Michigan wins 5-0.
I was at the Giants vs Chargers in December of '95, dubbed the "Snowball Game" by many. The fans didn't seem to mind the conditions, except for the flying ice balls. The teams were definitely unhappy though, after every bad play there was a barrage of snow/ice balls thrown at them! And in case you're wondering, I did NOT throw any snow or ice balls at the teams or coaches....I didn't want to lose my season tickets.
Raiders/Chiefs in Oakland 2002. I was working as field staff which meant standing on the sidelines facing the crowd. It started raining hard a little before gametime and never stopped. That wouldn't have been so bad, but the Oakland Coliseum's field is 21 feet below sea level, so except for one pump that pumps some of the water out, that stuff has nowhere to go. The Raiders won 28-0 to clinch home field throughout the playoffs, so being 6-12 inches underwater was just fine with me (I was the only field staffer not complaining the whole time).
Naturally, 10 minutes after the game ended the rain stopped.
1979- The Bucs hosting the Chiefs in game 16. A torrential rain began as the game started. By the 4th quarter, it was still raining nonstop, even harder than in the 1st quarter. 90 odd rows of seats in the old Big Sombrero, but only 4 sets of steps for the water to exit, the bottom 3 rows were 2 foot deep rivers gushing through the narrow exits. Below that, a concrete wall separated fans from the players, and the water was nearly 4 feet deep with whirlpools by the steps. In the 4th, a humongous lightning bolt cracked directly over the field. That was it for the terrified Chiefs, they just wanted off the field. The Bucs were used to the lightning, they practriced in it every day. They then kicked a field goal to win 3-0 and clinched their 1st Central Division title in front of a few thousand remaining thoroughly drenched spectators. What a great day it was to be a fan!!! Ghoster
In 1996, I was in my second-year at Virginia, and we were hosting Texas. My high school friends were in from out of town, and we went to the game dressed in t-shirts and shorts, as it looked nice out. Then, as the game started, so did the pouring rain. The freezing cold rain. It had finally stopped raining by halftime, but we were soaked to the bone, and I was the coldest I'd ever been, standing there in shorts. But it was worth it to see UVA, featuring Aaron Brooks and Tiki and Ronde Barber easily defeat the Ricky Williams-led Texas team. Also, my friends and I "warmed up" once we got back to my apartment by drinking copious amounts of wine-in-a-box.
I guess it was 1997, and I went to my older brother's high school football game. We were playing our arch-rivals, and it had been raining all day. The rain never let up-in fact, it only got harder during the game, which our team lost, 72-0. As the team was walking to the bus, the head coach put his arm around the starting QB's shoulders and said, "We've got them right where we want them." That was his last year in coaching.
Went to Chicago to watch Bears v Packers a few years ago in late December. It rained and snowed and we were not dressed for the weather. Bet the under thinking the weather would make it difficult to score points. When Favre torched the Bears and the game went over in the first half we left and watched the rest of the game at a bar. I have never been so cold in my life. I still have a bone in my left foot that hasn't thawed out yet. Soldier Field in December is no joke.
I thought the episode was pretty solid...If nothing else it sets up Tony to get ratted on by Bobby...once they find the ripped shirt, IN THE DEAD GUYS HAND NONETHELESS. I mean Bobby gets pinched, doesn't want to rat on Tony, Janice convinces him to rat and they live happily ever after while Tony stares at 25 to life.
I was at the "Tuck Rule" game between the Pats and Raiders in January of 2001. Greatest game of my life, but the snow made everything eerie -- it was as if we were in a dome, and you could only hear the cheers from a few rows to your left and right (until the two clutch FGs by Vinatieri.) Final game at Foxboro, and one I'll remember the most.
How about the worst weather at a game that never happend. I drove all night from Chicago to Blacksburg, Virginia to see my Hokies and Michael Vick play Georgia Tech in the BCA Classic. Got there and took in the days festivities. Went into stadium about an hour before game time. The sun was out, it was hot and humid. As kick off rolled around and the teams took the field for the opening kick off, the sky turned black and BOOM lightening strikes Lee Corso's car, as well as, the stadium. Players run off the field, yet I stay in the stands for 2 hours in a monsoon to have the game cancelled and never made up. 13 hour drive to stand in a lightening storm. Good times.
Denver-Cincinnati last Christmas Eve at Invesco Field at Mile High in week 2 of the winter blizzard. I was multiple-layered everywhere--but in socks. It was plenty cold enough in Section 512, but under our seats was a packed layer of snow from the week before that made putting your feet down absolutely unbearable. The temperature dipped throughout the game, the winds picked up a bit, and snow started falling heavier after halftime. Think having your feet submerged in a bucket of ice water for three and a half hours while wind and snow is blowing in your face. When Cincinnati, down 7 with under a minute to go, scored a TD, I--and my numb feet--was dreading the prospect of overtime in these conditions. Thankfully, the Bengals botched the extra point attempt, and we went home very happy, in more ways than one.
The '93 Dallas vs Miami Thankgiving Day "Ice Bowl". The weather was awful, rain, sleet, hail & snow. We stopped at Randy White's restaruant on I35 for Thanksgiving dinner and tried to sell our tickets, but there were no takers. So my wife, who was 6 months pregnant, and I and another couple went to the game. It was a great game until Leon Lett touch Miami's blocked FG attempt and made the ball live inside the 10 with 3 seconds left. Miami kicked the winning FG and we lost 16-14. It was a miserable day all the way around.
I went to the Texas-Texas A&M game in, I believe, 1997. The game started at 10am because of ABC. It started raining at about 9:59. Hard. You could barely see the other side of Kyle Field (me seats were in the third deck). They kept showing the radar on the big screen and it was all yellows and reds for the entire game. But A&M won so it was all good. Finally as I was walking back to my car the rain stopped.
Freshman year of college, sat through a November 3 snowstorm in Kearney, Nebraska to watch our QB set the Div. II career passing record. 10 inches of heavy,wet snow were on the field before kickoff. The teams went to the locker room for the last time, and 4 pickups with blades on the front moved the snow. By the end of the first, players were in 8 inches of snow, sand and mud. Second half came, and it was snowing so hard that you couldn't see the student union from the home stands, which are not more than 20 beyond the far sideline. What a day for football!
I was at the Bengals-Chargers playoff game that was the coldest game in NFL history. I think it was 50-plus below when they factored in the wind-chill. I wore every sweatshirt and coat I had. The Chargers were probably the better team, but they couldn't cope with the elements and my Bengals won. Cold, but good times.
Last year's World Series, game 2 in Detroit. I took my 7 year old daughter, how could we miss this opportunity, even thought the tickets were $190 for the upper deck. It was about 35 degrees with some rain and it got worse from there as we were wet and the temp dropped. We had so many layers on, it was hard to move, but it was the world series and the Tigers won (the only game they won) and my 7 year old and I were cheering the entire game. Wouldn't trade if for anything.
I saw the Gators play Tennessee in The Swamp in 2005. It was a 7:00 game, but it was still almost 100 degrees out with 98 percent humidity. It was the greatest game I have ever been to because the fans were rabid and with the humidity and noise, we caused at least 3 false starts and we won 16-7.
It was a November 22 game between Michigan and Penn State at Beaver Stadium. It snowed about 2 feet the week before the game and volunteers spent the entire week prior to the game shoveling out the stands and sidelines. At gametime all the bleacher seats were cleared but all fans had to sit ankle to knee deep in snow. I sat across the stadium from the student section in the first half and on numerous occasions three sections of the stadium were whited out from the snowball fights. Partway through the 3rd quarter, I ventured to the student section with a couple friends. I was wearing a winter had with the face of a raccoon on it, handed down from my father and probably 20 years old. When I arrived in the student section, many fans started yelling "COON SEASON" and I got pelted with snowballs. The ushers made me leave the section because they too were getting hammered. The game went down to the final play. Michigan was driving and Amani Toomer was streaking to the corner of the endzone and catching the winning touchdown when he got hit in the face with a snowball. As a result, he dropped the pass and Penn State won the game. GO LIONS!!
Utah v Wyoming, November 13 2004. 0 degree windchill at night, and the game was delayed 99 minutes due to a blackout. The wind was blowing ice crystals at your face. During half time a guy dropped his gloves in the urinal trough. Amazingly, there were still students without shirts. Let me say this, I sure don't feel bad for the poor guy who a little wet at the Superbowl. Try getting rained on in freezing temperatures with 30 mph gusts.
You can't forget Blacksburg in 03 -- Virgina Tech vs. Texas A&M, Thursday night during Hurricane Isabel! All of the other Virginia colleges had cancelled classes but no way VT was going to cancel and have to miss out on the game! Ended up being extremely memorable...and it helped that VT won 35-19!!
BYU vs. Utah '03 in Provo. It was 19 degrees and snowing that nasty wet snow that gets you soaked. BYU suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss which was their first shutout in an NCAA record 361 straight games. It was an appropriately miserable end to an embarassing season.
1991 Grey Cup in Winnipeg (Canadian Football League Championship). Temp was in the minus 20's. Wouldn't have missed it for the world though. Like to see the guy who said this year's Super Bowl was a waste of time sit thru this one! Yes the cold does funny things to our brains here in Canada.
I was at an NCSU football game vs Lou Holtz' USC in 1999, which was in the middle of Hurricane Dennis. It caused $157 million in damage, and killed 4 people. NCSU won 10-0, scores from a 3 yard punt block return, and a gamecock fumble on the 10 yard line. It was miserable- both the game and the weather.
Was at the same Yankees opener in 1996. Gooden's No-no was the last game you could take for those ticket stubs. That's why it was such a big crowd. Had a golf match the same day. Went to the match instead. My friends still bug me about it. Still have the stub on which my friend wrote "Golf prevented this ticket from being exchanged for a ticket to Gooden's No Hitter." Being a Mets fan, Dr. K was a childhood idol. Will never forget that.
I was at the Cubs-Marlins game in April of 2006 when it was 39 with a chill factor of 15. The only thing that made it bearable was that it was at Wrigley Field and that was it. It is crazy to play games in that kind of weather or worse as it does nothing for the game itself and increases the chances of a star player being hurt for the season. Let's start the season on April 15 and end it on September 15 with doubleheaders played in case of cancellations for one ticket. Let's start thinking of the fans as well as the players and keep the almighty dollar out of it.
I am currently a student at Central Michigan University, and this year's (2006) game versus Western Michigan was by far the worst I've ever been to. CMU/WMU is one of the biggest rivalries in the MAC, and in this particular game, the MAC West crown and a trip to the MAC title game was on the line. It'd been cold all week leading up to the game, but that's normal for November. By the time game time rolled around though, it had started to rain quite heavily, with temperatures right around 32-ish degrees. The game was close to a sellout, but by the end of the first quarter, Kelly/Shorts Stadium was nearly empty. I stayed for the whole game, as the rain turned to snow, and the winds blew straight into the student section. I spent a decent amount of time in the bathroom, however, as it was the only warm place in the complex.
It was worth it though. A 31-7 win, a trip to the MAC Title (and subsequently the Motor City Bowl), and storming the field after the game.
The worst rain ever at a football game was the last Bert Bell playoff bowl between the LA Rams and Dallas Cowboys on January 3, 1970 at Miami's Orange Bowl. By the end of the game there was no grass on the field, only a muddy lake. Any others who were there (there weren't too many) will almost surely agree with these thoughts.
I agree with the earlier poster, December in Soldier Field is no joke. The coldest I've ever been was during the Bears/Falcons Sunday night game in 2005. It was so cold I bought a beer and it was frozen not even five minutes later. That was also the game that Michael Vick basically quit on his team after the first quarter because he was frozen. The best was when the stadium went carzy after they announced the wind-chill temp of -14 degerees. Good times were had by all.
November '85, Uni of Oklahoma at Okie State in Stillwater for a night game to be shown to a nationwide audience on ESPN, if I remember correctly. I was visiting friends in Oklahoma City and many alums were planning to head to the game because OSU finally was turning the corner on becoming a respectable football program.
Head back to Stillwater, where I was living and working at the time a year after graduating, before the storm reaches Oklahoma. The frozen rain starts before the game starts and by kickoff I am there with two friends and about 200~300 people, apart from the two teams and coaches.
If you sat down you'd have to get pried off with hot water or something because your butt would freeze to the aluminum seating at the then Lewis Stadium.
I can't remember if there was any score by the time halftime rolled around, Oklahoma ended up winning 13-0 I believe. I lived very close to the stadium so my friends and I by going back to the haus and recharged our frozen bodies by cranking on the heater and having a gallon of hot chocolate.
We went back and watched til the end but the game was pretty non-descript but we still couldn't believe more people didn't show. Ah...to be young, naive and stupid, LOL!
I myself was also among the 60+ thousand that stood drenched in Lane Stadium during Hurricane Isabelle in '03. Using trash can bags as poncho's I stood at the very top of the North End Zone huddled with some sorority girls (which def. didnt hurt things) watching my beloved Hokies triumph. Missed the next day of classes but boy what a memory.
1980-81 NFL Playoffs. The Siper Bowl season for the Browns. Against the Raiders. With my late father. Seems like yesterday. The wind chill was 50 below. As a 16 year old I spent half the game in the men's room. I've been to Tibet and Everest Base Camp and never been colder. The insult was Sipe's interception in the end zone instead of a Don Cockroft field gaol. The misery continues.
The first playoff game at the Ballpark in Arlington. The thunderstorm was so bad they stopped the game in the 4th or 5th inning and immediately cleared out the upper decks. There were 60mph gusts of wind and hail. On top of that the Rangers lost to the Yankees. I was also at the MSU-A&M "Snow Bowl" in Shreveport. My mom, who went to Buffalo Bills games growing up said she had never seen so much snow fall during a game. MSU wore all white uniforms and you couldn't even see their players on the field.
Went to a soccer gme in Chesterfield in the North of England to watch my beloved Queens Park Rangers play, During the 90 mins, we experienced rain, sun, snow, hail, grey, rain, sun, grey and more rain. Thank God we won 4-2, or I would have hated being there!
The 2005 Bears-49ers game that was deemed the windiest game in NFL history. I was in the extreme upper deck on one of the corners of the stadium and there was absolutely no protection from the wind. Debris continuously hit us in the face from the lower decks and the typical Soldier Field cold was amplified tenfold by the howling wind. However, I will never forget watching the 49ers try to kick a field goal to end the first half and watching the wind pluck the ball out of the air and practically hand it to Nathan Vasher (that kick bent like a wiffle ball does when you throw a good curve), and then watching him follow the field goal block unit 108 yards for a touchdown.
I remember going to the old Three Rivers in the mid 90's during college to watch the Pirates lose on a regular basis. While sitting in the concrete bowl, the sky turned a greenish-black and it started raining like hell, which precipitated more beer drinking in the grandstands. Soon, the game on the field wasn't as interesting as what was happening across the rivers on Mt. Washington. We spent the remainder of the game watching funnel clouds and tornados dance across parts of Mt. Washington and on the other side of the river(s) - and cheering when it looked like they were heading towards the stadium.
Play hockey vs WVU at their covered hockey arena that had no walls. Wind was blowing hard and cold as it can get Being a fourth line player, I got a few shifts but long waits ensued between them. I would get to the bench after a shift and the sweat would freeze on my face creating icicles. Frostbite on my hands also added to the memory.
Don't remember the exact day, but it was a Cubs game in late June. Parked near Wrigley on a side street somewhere, and started walking to the park. Sunny, temp in the low 80s. By the time we got to our seats it was in the low 50s and dropping fast. By the time we left it was about 40, and 25 mph winds (blowing in off the lake, of course.) Went to the game the next day, wearing everything we brought with us, pajamas under two shirts under a sport coat. Still froze.
September 2004 Steelers v. Dolphins at Dolphin Stadium. I'm originally from Pittsburgh but was living in West Palm Beach and got tickets to the Steeler Dolphin game. My Dad and I were going to go when Hurricane Jeanne came through. My Dad's condo was demolished and my place was fine except no electricity. We went to the game, which had been delayed, and ignored the imposed curfews. We sat through a monsoon as the last bands of rain from the hurricane passed over Miami. We sat there soaked, watched Big Ben's first start at QB and loved every second of it.
A bunch of my coworkers and I go out an play Ultimate Disc once a week after work. This week, we had eight people on a day which was expected to have a little rain. We ended up a ten minute walk from our office (and further from our homes), when the skies completely opened up. Since there was no lightning, we played our now-famous "rain game." In rain so torrential you couldn't see the other end of the field. The field ended up badly torn up and covered in more than an inch of water and we were soaked within minutes. Best sporting event. Ever.
Football. Grand Valley State v. Michigan Tech in 2005. In the morning it was a nice November day, about 50 degrees in Lansing...we drove out to Grand Rapids, where it had started to pour. My friend got rear ended and totaled his car. After taking care of the wreckage and finding a ride, we made it to the stadium in time for a few tailgate drinks. One drive into the game, officials stopped the game for lightning. The fans went back into the parking lot for another two hours, and the game started back up around 11:30. Within about 30 minutes, another more severe storm hit the area...and the game was cancelled. It was the last game for the Michigan Tech Seniors, and they didn't make it up.
When I was a sophmore in HS we had two consecutive days of football practice in the snow. The first day had about 3 inches on the practice field and the fog was so bad that you couldn't see 25 yards. That made for some interesting times practicing the fade route. The coach was only able to tell if you caught the ball if it was dry when you brought it back! The next day, we had 8-12 inches of snow on the field. One of the captains made a snowman to use as a tackling dummy. Unfortunately, the new dummy just couldn't "pull itself together." Since then, I have always enjoyed playing football out in the snow.
April 7, 1977. Blue Jays first game. Blizzard. Players skiing around the infield using catcher's shinguards. Wind blowing off Lake Ontario. Bloody cold. No way they could cancel the game as first ever Blue Jay game. 3 days later temperature in the 70's.
Jimmy wants to hear from you. If there's a story you think he might find interesting or if there's a topic you want him to cover, let him know about it. If you just have a question or comment for him, send it along, too. You can email him here.
(One note on the blogger comments: The only rule is to keep it clean. No curse words or curse words disguised with dashes)