over a closeup of a female fan in the rain): "A pretty girl is like a
him): "I think that's melody."
(impressed): "How do you know her name?"
perfect. A rain-delayed NASCAR telecast this spring, without a single lap
driven, drew double the ratings of the NBA playoff game airing opposite it, a
fact that doesn't flatter either sport.
And how many
times have you dozed off during the Masters and awakened to see, to your
astonishment, that Gay Brewer has seized the lead? Only after five minutes of
befuddlement do you realize that you're watching ancient video and the
tournament is in a rain delay.
Red Sox fans get soaked twice. They pay up to $90 to park near Fenway and some
Boston city councilmen now want lots to issue rain checks.
Knowing all this,
I still don't relish the arrival of summer, when the bane of rain is plainly on
the wane. I once spent a three-hour rain delay with Bill Murray at a minor
league game in Brockton, Mass. Staring into a storm that would have mortified
Magellan, Murray said darkly, "People are praying in Portuguese."
And I survived
the famous Wimbledon rain delay of '96, in which British pop star Sir Cliff
Richard--backed by Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade and Conchita
Mart�nez--serenaded spectators, many of whom danced in the rain: a tennisy
But my favorite
rain delays were during Twins games at old Metropolitan Stadium, where, as a
13-year-old, I was a faceless foot soldier helping to drag the tarp on (Boo!)
and off (Yay!) the infield.
compare with being cheered and jeered as you sprint across a major league
diamond. But for tarp-pullers, there is also the ever-present prospect of
slipping on wet grass and falling beneath the tarpaulin, at which time your
colleagues become a many-legged coroner, dragging a blue, rain-repellent sheet
over your face. That's precisely the way I want to go--at a ballpark, in a
Biblical rain, happily swallowed by a Venus fly tarp.