Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Paddles in This Water

If you’re into cricket – my pal Scott was into Cricket when we were teenagers, but that's a story for another blog – then you know the World Cup Super Eights are underway. You probably also know that the match between Australia and West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in St. Peters, Antigua was postponed Tuesday because of heavy rain. Here's a Reuters photos showing a groundskeeper rolling water in an effort to remove the wet stuff from the pitch during a delay before the match was postponed. The match concluded Wednesday with a West Indies win.

Here, rain pours down on Trevor Immelman as he lines up a putt on 18 Saturday during the third round of the CA Championship tournament in Miami. Tiger Woods, of course, won the event in what is considered a tune-up for he Master's. (AP photo) Immelman, of South Africa, is one of 97 players who will compete in the 71st Masters April 5-8 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

Also in Miami Saturday, Venus Williams momentarily leaves the court as heavy rains drench the playing surface at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne. Williams went on to defeat Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-3, 6-3. Williams was eliminated in her subsequent match by Maria Sharapova, a player we would have loved to have seen wet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Snow Tires Not Needed in Bristol This Year

The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s when the NASCAR circuit races in Bristol, Tenn., this weekend, and that's good news to fans of the sport and officials who run and operate Bristol Motor Speedway. As the Bristol Herald Courier reminds us, spring-like weather was not the case for last year's March race in Bristol, when the event was delayed by snow and snowmen in the infield and snow angels at the start/finish line accentuated the scene. Weather is always unpredictable for the Bristol spring race. This excerpt from the article gives a perfect example:

In 2004, it was 78 degrees and sunny, and race-goers were breaking out the sunscreen; at last year’s race the high temperature was 46 degrees, and it snowed.

Read the article in its entirety.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Running a Reverse is Tough in the Rain, But Not in Blogging

When I first started writing this blog, the original intent was to make the content about baseball rain outs and anything related to the National Pastime and rain. Nothing else. Needless to say, such a narrowly-focused blog would lead to a considerable drought during the winter months. So, I dropped the blog for a while. Recently, now that baseball season is upon us, I have decided to give this blog another try and dedicate it to all sports and all types of weather conditions. As you can see below in my latest posts, I've included tidbits about such topics as snow (or lack thereof) at the Iditarod and a hail storm at a soccer match in Liverpool. And with my revamped creation, I've decided to go back in time and periodically post photos from sporting events featuring the elements of nature that I missed during the blog's hiatus. That's what I'm doing today. The above photo from Super Bowl XLI shows Colts running back Joseph Addai being stopped in his tracks by Bears cornerback Charles Tillman and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer.

Twinkies Expect Delays in New Park

According to a St. Paul Pioneer Press poll, many Minnesota Twins players wish their new ballpark would include a roof. "The one nice thing about the Dome or a retractable roof is you don't have to worry about coming to the park and being in a rain delay," reliever Jesse Crain told the newspaper. "(People from out of state) can come in whenever right now and be sure to see some games, but that won't happen in the new stadium."

The Sky is Falling in Maine

The Mahaney Dome, the air-supported indoor practice facility at the University of Maine, is temporarily out of commission and lying flat on the ground after a large hole developed in the fabric covering Saturday. Heavy rains and substantial snowfall from the weekend is being blamed for the tear in the double-layered covering that spans the 38,000-square-foot facility. "The snow load and the rain coming down made it so heavy that it couldn’t handle the load," Will Biberstein, UMaine’s associate athletic director for internal affairs, told the Bangor (Maine) Daily News. Read the Bangor Daily News Story.

If You Like Rain in Your Sports, This is as Goodison as it Gets

If you read the reports from Goodison Park, particularly those from the Arsenal side, you'll learn that Sunday's match between the Gunners and Everton was not a display of thrilling football. I happened to catch the end of the game just when a huge hail storm struck the Liverpool park and just moments before Everton's Andy Johnson fired a short into the Arsenal net to give his side a 1-0 win over the Gunners. Much of the game, as reports indicate, may have nearly put fans at Goodison to sleep, but the late-game rain, hail and Johnson's game-winner stuck like a shot of adrenaline. See more photos and read the Arsenal match report.

More Weather Stories from the Weekend
Those of you who have been around high school and small college baseball teams know that players' field duties aren’t always confined to snagging flies and scooping grounders. Often those players are responsible for field maintenance, particularly after rain has made a mess of their home field. This story from Texas is a good example of players pitching in on the grounds keeping.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Dashing Through the Snow

I usually write here about rain, snow and the effects of numerous other weather events on sporting events. Today, however, I'd like to call attention to an event that would be nothing without a little snow – actually, a lot of snow. A fellow named Lance Mackey, I hear, was the first to reach the halfway mark of the 1,100-mile Iditarod sled dog rage, which now is well underway in Alaska. Mackey has a little extra pressure to win this race. His father and brother are previous Iditarod champions. If he and his doggies fail to pull out a win this year, it might be tough times at the summer family cookouts for the Mackey male without a trophy.

You can keep an eye on the current standing and see a detailed interactive map of the race route from the warmth – it's currently 35 below where the leaders are now – of you own home at

One problem some of the mushers seem to be having is a lack of snow to melt to give dogs water. Hmmmm. Sounds like a global warming issue, eh Alex Wolff?

SI Chimes in on Global Warming

Sports Illustrated is officially in on the global warming campaign. Alexander Wolff writes this week's (March 7) cover story about how global warming is affecting sports – from Texas high school football two-a-days to its physical effects on baseball bats – and its effect on the future of our games. SI even went as far to have an architectural firm draw up an environmentally-friendly stadium that draws its power from the sun and wind. Here is an interesting excerpt:

Global warming is also leading to more dramatic swings in the weather in some areas. Since the early 20th century, the amount of rain dropped in the biggest 1% of storms each year has risen 20%. A warming planet doesn't create hurricanes, but it does make them stronger and last longer. Tropical storms become more powerful over a warmer Gulf, turning a category 4 storm, for example, into a category 5, like Katrina, which transformed the symbol of sports in New Orleans, the Superdome, into an image of epic disaster.

I'm sure SI will get plenty of criticism over running this story, particularly a cover story on such a hot topic, so to speak. I've already heard one radio hosts say that the magazine is simply picking up on a liberal political agenda. I'm not sure SI has an agenda other than relating the issue of global warming to the topic it covers: sports.

Aussie Rain Games

Rain has plagued the Australian Football League and its NAB Cup for the past two weeks, and apparently the wet stuff is a rarity on the AFL fields. This article on discusses players' abilities in the rain and which type of players benefit and which suffer in the not-so-perfect weather conditions. “Some players do handle the wet better, there’s no doubt. The ones who do the basics of the game really well,” said former Port Adelaide skipper Matthew Primus.