Friday, October 24, 2014

Pray for rain?

San Francisco Examiner
There’s a slight chance rain could be a factor during Game 4 of the World Series Saturday evening in San Francisco.

At the moment, the extended forecast shows a 40 percent chance of precipitation at about the time Ryan Vogelsong fires the first pitch for the Giants. Rain chances increase to 60 percent during the 6 and 7 p.m. hours and dip back to 40 percent around 8 p.m. Temperatures should be in the mid to low 60s.

It’s not likely rain will cause a postponement, but we could see some rain throughout the contest.

However, according to this story, AT&T Park is equipped with a custom-designed SubAir System that, among other cool things, utilizes a vacuum mode that “quickly removes standing water, virtually eliminating the need for extended game delays or cancellations due to field conditions.

Good to know.

Anyway, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to pitch Game 4 on three-day’s rest. A rainout and postponement of Game 4 to Sunday would give him an extra day. If you’re a Giants fan, do you pray for rain in hopes of a fresher arm for Bumgarner?

-- rain --



Thursday, October 23, 2014

All’s clear

Not a cloud in the sky.
Like most of you, my life is super busy. So much so, I rarely get a chance to update The Rainout Blog for the seven people who visit this blog. (That number may be a bit inflated.)

Often, a sports/weather event will occur or be forecasted – remember: Game 3 of the ALDS was rained out – and I’ll cringe just a little because there’s no time to grab the laptop and write a post and share a photo or two.

Today, I have a little free time. So, what’s happening? Nothing.

Weather in Kansas City for the first two games of the World Series have been perfect.

We have Thursday night NFL action in Denver, where it looks like there will be a better chance of Peyton Manning NOT adding to his touchdown record than there is a chance of rain drops or snowflakes – you never know in Denver.

The low in the Mile High city tonight will be around 48. It’ll be a little chilly, but it shouldn’t be enough to affect Manning’s performance. He’s not a cold-weather quarterback, ya know?

There are a couple of college football games scheduled for tonight. Miami travels to Blacksburg for an ACC showdown – more likely a “letdown” for the home team – with Virginia Tech. Temps will dip to the mid 40s, which is about as cold as the Hokies’ offense.

You’ll see about the same weather conditions in Greenville, North Carolina if you tune into tonight’s East Carolina home game with Connecticut. (Why would you do that?)


And you know what? Sunday’s NFL slate looks pretty unspectacular too, meaning no rain, no mud, no snow, no fog… no nothin’.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nats and Marlins will settle things in the end (that's awkward)

Washington Post
If you're a Washington Nationals fan – count me in with that group – you probably were a bit disappointed Tuesday to learn the game with the Marlins that night had been rained out.

Bummer.

And moments later you were most likely thinking, "oh, they'll play two on Wednesday or make up the game on Thursday." Seems logical. Both teams have off on Thursday.  And on Friday, the Nats stay at home for an interleague matchup with Texas and the Marlins have a short flight back to Miami for a night game with the hated Braves.

Without any other knowledge of the logistics, that was my thinking… and I was wrong.

The two NL East squads will make up the postponed game as part of a split doubleheader on Friday, September 26. First pitch for the makeup contest is 1:05 p.m. The regularly scheduled game for that night begins at 7:05 p.m. (Just for fun, any guess who'll be the Nats' starting pitcher for those games?)

That weekend series will be the last time the Marlins visit Washington in the regular season.

So, what if rain pours in Washington that Friday and both games that day are a wash? Do we then have back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, the final day of the regular season?

And – let's get really crazy – what if it rains all day on Saturday and those games get rained out, and the Nats and Marlins need those game to settle the division race?

Do they play two on Sunday and two on Monday?

Let's hope!


-- rain --


Thursday, March 06, 2014

How outdoor hockey at Soldier Field rattled my son's brain

Photo: Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune
My 8-year-old son is slowly becoming a sports fan. 

We live in a rural part of the country where there are no absolute local sports teams to root for, so he’s picked the Penguins – he loves penguins – and Bears as his respective NHL and NFL teams.

So, it sort of blew his mind Saturday night when I flicked the TV over to the Penguins v. Blackhawks Stadium Series game being played at Soldier Field.

“Wait, the Penguins are playing hockey in the Bears’ football stadium?” my son asked, trying to grasp that whole "what-tha…" concept.

“Yep,” I replied.

“Ok,” he said. “Change it back to Sponge Bob.”

Anyway, the Soldier Field game turned out to be another one of those NHL outdoor weather classics, at least in terms of the stunning visuals as we watched snow flow down to the ice. Not many sporting events can look better.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, whose team won 5-1, said it was “probably the greatest setting you could want. With how hard it was snowing it was like, 'Wow, these are amazing conditions.’ I think everybody went back to when they were kids."

We always hear the line – the one about going back to your childhood – from coaches and players when they speak about playing in the outdoor games.

As for the playing conditions, Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said the ice was “very good, but that first period it was tough to see and handle the puck. It really felt like a real outdoor game. There were no real systems or structure. We were just kind of hoisting the puck, slapping it around and having fun."

The Chicago Tribune’s website has an excellent gallery from the game.


-- snow --



Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Football Forecasts

Getty Images
When it comes to bad weather football games, I’m more of a fan of rain than snow. I get it: snow looks nice and it’s sort of fun, for a while, to watch the players slip, slide and fumble around the field.

It’s all great. But to me, nothing beats a good gully washer of a rain storm. I love watching games were rain is pouring down on the players and fans are getting soaked.

It’s not likely well see anything that dramatic this weekend, but rain showers are forecasted for many of the NFL cities. And for you snow fans, there is mention of the white stuff for games in Kansas City and, of course, Green Bay, where if you look right now (2:20 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20, 2013), you’ll see Lambeau is already covered.

So, without further gibberish – I love that word – here are your forecasts for this week’s 14 NFL outdoor games.

Dolphins at Bills: High of 51/Rain

Colts at Chiefs: High of 25/Chance of light snow

Vikings at Bengals: High of 58/Rain likely

Cowboys at Redskins: High of 73 (Wow! In December?) / Showers likely

Browns at Jets: High of 64/chance of showers (And a good chance Geno will turn the ball over at least three times.)

Saints at Panthers: High of 73/Showers

Titans at Jaguars: High of 81/Patchy fog (I’d love to see another Fog Bowl, but not for the Titans and Jags.)

Broncos at Texans: High of 68/Mostly sunny (If Peyton Manning stinks this week –that’s unlikely against the two-win Texans – no one can blame the temperature.)

Cardinals at Seahawks: High of 48/Rain likely (Great! I love the look of the Seahawks playing at home in the rain.)

Steelers at Packers: High 25/Snow (The low for Green Bay Sunday night is -3. Burrrrr!)

Raiders at Chargers: High of 67/Sunny

Patriots at Ravens: High 71/showers likely

Sunday Night
Bears at Eagles: Low of 33/Showers likely (The high in Philly Sunday should hit around 71.)

Monday Night
Falcons at 49ers: Low of 48/Mostly clear


-- rain --

Do the Lambeau shovel

Lambeau Field webcam
It’s that time of year when lots of snow pours down on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field and the Packers organization asks fans to come out to help shovel the seats and aisles.

With three inches of snow expected to hit Green Bay, the Packers are paying up to 650 folks 10 bucks an hour to shovel snow to prepare the stadium for Sunday’s game with the Steelers.

If you look right now at the Lambeau web cam, you can see the shovelers.

This just in: Aaron Rodgers has not been medically cleared to shovel today.

-- snow --

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sherman: Best game ‘can’t happen in the snow’

In a piece for SI.com, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman makes a good argument against playing the Super Bowl outdoors in a cold-weather city.

Sherman, who says he’s never played football in snow, writes:

“Snow happens, and that’s fine for a regular-season game or even an AFC or NFC Championship Game. A team in a cold-weather city can and should earn the right to host a game in conditions it’s familiar with. Baltimore and Pittsburgh built legacies and winning traditions on cold-weather football.
Yet the Super Bowl city is decided years in advance, and the game is supposed to be played on a neutral site. Teams that make it that far have played through the heat of training camp, winter on the road and in the comfort of domes. Whether their rosters were built for the snow or not, they probably overcame it at some point in the season. The Super Bowl should be a clean slate that showcases the athletes, not the stadium or the city they’re playing in.”
 You can read the entire column at SI.com.

Talk of a Super Bowl bizzard not going away

I’m the dude who gets his kicks writing a blog about how bad weather adversely affects sporting events, but I have to tell ya: Even I’m sick of hearing about potential snow storms and how flippin’ cold it’s going to be at the northern New Jersey Super Bowl.

Seriously, the NFL weighed all the potential negatives and said, “yes, let’s have our biggest week of the year and our biggest game of the year in an outdoor venue in the Northeast in February.”

So, it’s set. Nothing is going to change.

Well, things could change a little. NFL officials said Wednesday that the date of Super Bowl XLVIII could be moved, ahead or back a day or two, if a crippling snowstorm hits or is predicted to hit the area on Super Sunday around the 80,000-seat MetLife Stadium. Can you imagine the Super Bowl being played on a Monday or Tuesday?

Oh, maybe we’ll get that Saturday Super Bowl so many people who are too lazy and too hungover to get up and go to work the next day have been clamoring for over the years.

However, a date change is not likely to happen. When the NFL said “heck yes, let’s put this game in a locale where it snows on average more than two inches in the first week in February,” you knew they would be ready for almost anything.

On Wednesday, the NFL, and a few others involved, gave us insight into what will happen to make sure the game runs smoothly as possible. Their plans include stadium chutes that will funnel falling snow into melters that can take in about 600 tons per hour. By the way, have you seen those massive snow melters?



Wait, wouldn’t it kind of stink if we had a snow storm at MetLife Stadium, but the field was dry?

Anyway, transportation officials said Wednesday that 821 plow trucks will be available to clear a 30-mile radius from the stadium, and nearly 60,000 tons of salt could be scattered on the roads.

With that kind of preparation and snow-fighting measures, it’s hard to see a storm scenario that would alter the game date.

Now that we know the NFL’s plans, I’m still eagerly awaiting a press conference from Bruno Mars revealing how he will sing and perform in the event of a mega super blizzard.

After that, I’m done with all the Super Blizzard talk.

You’re up, Bruno!

-- super blizzard --

Hail, United 2.0


The Stoke versus Manchester United Capital One Cup quarterfinal match on Wednesday had a little weather excitement when torrential hail littered the pitch around the 30th minute, forcing both teams to the dressing rooms.


I wrote a little about this shortly after the delay happened, but I bring it up again only so I can post this cool Action Images photo of United’s Danny Welbeck driving through a couple of Stoke defenders while everyone was being peppered in the puss by freezing, screaming hail.

-- hail --

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Rainout Blog Hall of Fame? Yes… let’s do this

How about we start a Rainout Blog Sports/Weather Hall of Fame?

Not just me, all of us. You, too.

I’ve been thinking about doing this project for a while, ever since I made a post about Rick Dempsey way back in July, 2007.

So, what makes a Rainout Blog Hall of Famer? I’ve been wrestling with that question for a while.

(Warning: Here goes a lot rambling…)

At first, I was thinking of individuals who have had outstanding performances in a bad weather games. While his performances did not happen while games were in play, Dempsey certainly made his mark performing on soaked tarps during rain delays.

To me, the notoriety Dempsey received for his acts make him a first-ballot Rainout Blog Hall of Famer. Also, I think we need to give Dempsey credit for the rash of rain delay antics we saw a few years ago by college baseball games. With those 1970s performances, we may not have seen those elaborate, choreographed acts performed by want-to-be thespian college ball players. 

So, we’ve established that qualifications for entry into the RoBHoF are not exclusive to great on-field game performances. If a player, or coach, or fan, or whomever – how about a horse? Sure! – performs in a manner that is widely recognized, then that person, or whatever, can be considered for induction. 

A performance that is good or bad, right?

Right.

That brings us to Leon Lett. 

Remember Lett’s gaffe in the snow during in the 1993 Thanksgiving Day game that snatched defeat for his Cowboys from the jowls of victory? Of course you remember. We all remember.

I’m not comparing the moment to far more significant historic events, but I remember exactly where I was when the play happened.

For that one play in the snow, an unusual snow game for Texas Stadium, Lett is a Rainout Blog Hall of Famer. 

First ballot? We’ll debate that later.

So, who else? Hmmm. 

We’ll, LeShean McCoy had more than 200 yards rushing to lead the Eagles to a win over the Lions in blizzard-like conditions a couple of weeks ago. Does that qualify? 

Maybe.

It was great day for McCoy, but is it his performance that stands out about that game?

No. It’s the snow.

Ok. So, do we induct events/games in to the hall of fame?

If so, the Ice Bowl has to be the leading candidate. And when I think of weather games, I immediately think of the Fog Bowl playoff game at Soldier Field in 1988. There are many, many others to consider.

If I’m going to do this, take the time for such an uber fun project as creating a sports/weather hall of fame, it’s going to take a lot of time, thought and research. 

Wanna help? 

If you have suggestions or creative ideas for the project, I’ll gladly accept. Send me an email or tweet (@TheRealChadOz).

Hail, United!

The weather outside is frightful at Britannia Stadium where homestanding Stoke is hosting Manchester United in a Capital One Cup quarterfinal match.

At around the 30th minute, the teams were forced off the field by a driving hailstorm. 

Play resumed moments later, and the game is now at halftime with neither teams having netted a goal.

Update: Weather was a non-factor following the 9-minute, 47-second hail delay in the first half. Manchester United tallied two second-half goals for the 2-0 win.

-- hail --

All the elements

It's the time of year when we can see a lot of different weather types affect our outdoor (sometimes indoor) sporting events. 

Last week, when I was spending a little time recapping the snowy NFL games from the previous Sunday, my pal, Chad, sent me a link to this web page, which contains 30 superb photos of NFL games being played in snow, rain, mud, fog and... well, that's about it.


Premier weather conditions

I love waking up with Rebecca Lowe.

Let me rephrase that so my wife doesn’t bop me in the puss with a snow shovel.

 I love crawling out of bed on weekend mornings, tuning the telly to NBC Sports and watching the English Premier League, where during pregame, halftime and postgame, Lowe is the lovely presenter.

This weekend, Lowe and her supporting cast will be talking about a slew of games taking place in locations around the UK where much of the weather will be rainy and windy. No monsoons, but the conditions could be a bit sloppy. 

Wind could be a factor, however, when Sunderland hosts Norwich. The extended forecast is calling for gusts of more than 40 mph.

The sloppiest of all, if the forecast holds up, could be the Arsenal versus Chelsea match Monday in North London. A lot is on the line in that match, where rain showers and wind are predicted.

-- rain --