Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Firing Rockets At Clouds Sounds Like Fun

Olympics officials in Beijing are scared silly that rain will fall on the summer games opening ceremony there in August. The concern is great enough to prompt scientists to experiment with cloud seeding in an attempt to keep the ceremonies dry. The Beijing Meteorological Bureau has said it has tried cloud seeding with hit-and-miss results. This story pops up about every six weeks, and I expect we'll hear much about it as the Olympics near. Go here if you care to read more. I mostly wanted to post this image of a leggy Chinese woman crossing a flooded Beijing street. Cool umbrella. Speaking of umbrella, this is really nice.

The Grass Is Greener on the Inside

The Arizona Republic has an interesting story on its Web site about the prep work required to make University of Phoenix Stadium look spectacular for Super Bowl XLII. The process includes an army of field maintenance pros. As you probably know by now, the field can be moved in and out of the stadium, allowing the natural grass to grow outdoors. Pretty cool, eh? Here are a couple of paragraphs from the story:

Four weeks ago, a team of 35 people replaced the field with 1.4 million pounds of new Alabama-grown sod. Since then, the Tifway 419 hybrid Bermuda grass has received round-the-clock care, including maximum sunlight and watering. The NFL finished painting hash marks, the league shield and team logos over the weekend.

"If the grass doesn't look good, the rest of the event doesn't look good," said Jimmy Fox, co-owner of Chandler-based Evergreen Turf, which installed the sod. "It has become a high priority for the NFL to make sure the field looks good."

Roof Open, Roof Open, Roof Open -- For Now

I've received a lot of hits here in the past week from folks wanting to know if the roof over the University of Phoenix Stadium will be open during Super Bowl XLII. According to news stories I've read, the roof will be open if there's no rain or threat of rain when the game kicks off at about 4:20 p.m. local time. According to CBS Channel 5 in Phoenix, there is a 30 percent showers with temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s at game time. You can watch the Channel 5 forecast here. My guess is NFL officials, stadium officials or whoever is in charge of making the call on about the roof, will do their best to keep the thing open. Reports I've read say the roof can close in about 12 minutes. So, unless the roof malfunctions and gets stuck open, there's no chance we'll have repeat of last year's rainy Super Bowl.

Monday, January 28, 2008

How Pats Fans Are Killing The Number 19

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of seeing Patriots fans flashing the number 19 everywhere they go, such as this rally Sunday as snow fell to the Gillette Stadium turf. I hope the Patriots lose by 19 points. I hope Tom Brady throws for only 19 yards. I hope Patriots fans brush upon their math skills and know the answer to 19 minus 1.
Go Giants!

This isn’t sports related, but it’s snow related… and very cute.

Don't write on the windo... ah, never mind.

Staples Holes

I'm not a big hoops fans, but I did hear something yesterday about the Lakers game with the Cavaliers being delayed because of a leaky roof at Staples Center. The roof had been leaking from rain in the area, and a roof company was called to inspect the arena's lid. During the game, water began to drip onto the court, near one of the baskets, delaying the game for 12 minutes late in the first quarter. Turns out, the water was not dripping from the roof, but from wet clothes workers had shed on a catwalk high above the court. In this L.A. Times photo, LeBron James and a referee appear to be watching water drip to the court while Kobe Bryant checks out LeBron's junk. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Motherwell WaterLog; Snowed Out Trains in China

I never knew soccer games got called because of rain, but it has been raining like hell in Scotland and a couple of Premier League games were called off there this weekend. The Iverness at Motherwell match – I love Motherwell – was called, as was the Gretna at Hibernian game. The Motherwell match was postponed because of "a waterlogged pitch," according to the team's Web site. Groundskeepers began working on the pitch at 3 a.m., but made little progress as the rains did not let up.

That's about all I have for now. I know it's not much. Hey I did hear at rained at the NFL Experience in Phoenix Sunday. That NFL Experience photo reminds me of this pic, but with far less importance and immediacy. Oh this is a great news photo that's not sports related, but combines weather with another one of my interests, trains.

Wow, it's going to be boring here in sports weather land while we're waiting for baseball to get started.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Now That's Hot, Mary Todd

What’s hotter than an Australian Open women’s final match between Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic?

Ok, you’re right. Nothing!

But the court temperature during the final was pretty close as it sizzled to 113 degrees, according to Bud Collins during his pre-match report. The excitable Collins, who is one of my favorite sports guys, seemed ready to… ok, ok, I’m trying to work in a joke here about Collins watching the two hot, young tennis stars by using the old Keith Olbermann line about premature jocularity, but damn it, it’s just too late for me to think of clever @#$%& like that.

Anyway, the Aussie Open wraps up sometime in the next day or so with the men’s final between some dude and another dude who defeated Roger Federererererer in straight sets. Talk about a TV ratings nightmare. Mary Todd Lincoln just called and said she’d rather watch Abe get shot again.

Hey, I think that’s my first Mary Todd reference this year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Welcome Istanbul (Not Constantinople) and Giants Fans

As I've written here before, I began this blog as a hobby and never had any intention of attracting numerous daily viewers. For once, I've succeeded at something in my life.

However, I've noticed that this site is attracting a handful of viewers each day – most of you are looking for that hot Oregon cheerleader holding an umbrella – so I began tracking hits.

As it turns out, The Rainout Blog is big lately in New York City and Istanbul, which used to be Constantinople. Why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobody's business but the Turks.

Anyway, I'm not sure who's reading The Rainout Blog in Istanbul, but how about New York? They might be Giants fans, of course, who are reading the blog! After all, their team is going to the Super Bowl. (That's just dumb.)

Roof Open Over Super Bowl If Rain Stays Away

Here’s a quickie before I hit the sack: is reporting that the roof at University of Phoenix Stadium will be open for Super Bowl XLII if there is no chance of threatening weather on game day. So there is no chance of rain falling on the Super Bowl stage as it did a year ago. According to, the roof can be closed in 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Huckabee Needs Less Rain, More Sun

This is not a sporting event, but it does involve a sport, sort of. In the photo is Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee – that’s him on the right – out for a run this past Saturday in Columbia, S.C. Folks from the Palmetto State may recognize the fellow on the left as the state’s Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. So why am I’m posting this item on a sports weather blog? Mostly so I could point out just how extremely white Hackabee’s legs are. Good golly Mike. Visit a tanning salon while on the campaign trail, will ya?

Aussie Open To Rain

I really should follow tennis more closely because I thought all Australian Open matches were played indoors. Turns out I’m wrong. Go figure. I guess the indoor matches are reserved for the tournament’s main draws that we see on ESPN late at night, right? Anyway, this Associated Press image was taken Saturday during a rain delay of a third-round men’s match. I never thought I’d write this, but it’s sort of nice to be able to write about something other than cold temperatures and snow in the small Wisconsin football city that has a name rhyming with Spleen Jay.

Benchgate Mystery Closed

I just got an update on the Giants cold benches situation Sunday night. Remember Pam Oliver mentioned during a sideline report that the Giants heated benches were not working and uttered the words bench gate? Holy cow! G. Gordon Liddy hates it when people suffix the name of a controversy with the word "gate." Anyway, I just read Neil Best's column in Newsday, and Best wrote that the G-Men rented high-powered heated benches for their own and the benches stopped working only momentarily. Oliver, however, never mentioned the situation again, leaving TV viewers to wonder if the Packers had pulled the plugs on the benches. (Hold on. Donovan McNabb is on the phone. What's that Donovan? No, I think Pam Oliver is a fine sideline reporter.) Anyway, the New York Post, which is still taking credit for the Giants win over the Cowboys, confirmed in a report today that Big Blue had rented four heated benches from a Cleveland construction company and the benches "malfunctioned early in the game before the situation was corrected." Mystery solved.

To Sleeve Or Not To Sleeve

Brandon Jacobs and the Giants offensive linemen made good on their promise not to wear sleeves Sunday in the NFC championship game. In case you missed it, the guys from New York – technically New Jersey – won the NFC title game over the Packers in a zero-degree contest in Green Bay. Jacobs, knowing the forecasted temperatures, said before the game that he would play sleeveless because sleeves gave him less control of holding the pigskin. He also said he would have played in -50 degree weather for a shot to play in the Super Bowl. Easy, Brandon. As you know, the famous 1967 Ice Bowl was played in -13 degrees with a wind chill of -46. One person died at that game from exposure to the extreme cold. By the way, Packers officials say that about 12-15 peopled were treated Sunday night for cold-related ailments. Back to the sleeves, no-sleeves issue: It appeared that about half the players on both teams wore sleeves.

Bikini Weather At Lambeau

I've been away from my computer for the past several days and haven't had time to post anything about the frostbitten NFC Championship game from Sunday. I wasn't at the game, but all accounts indicate it was kinda cold at Lambeau Field. The images broadcast on my TV made Lambeau look like quite a cold place to be. But don't tell that to these girls. I was warm and comfortable in my living room.

Anyway, as you know already, last week was filled with media reports about football and weather. It was nice to a point, but I have to admit that even I, a sports weather junkie, got a bit of an overdose. But I did enjoy the game and all the in-game weather talk built into the broadcast.

That reminds me, at one point there was a report from the Giants sideline about the team's heated benches not working. (I think I heard Pam Oliver toss out the word Bench-gate. Jeez!) But I never heard any more about this. I probably just missed further explanation. I did hear G-men punter Jeff Feagles this morning on some radio show (Mike and Mike or Czabe, I can't remember) talking about having heated benches. So, I'm guessing the benches eventually got some juice. If anyone knows more about this, drop me a note in the comments section.

That's it for me. Have a good day and stay warm. It's an un-Lambeau-like 36 degrees in my neighborhood.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Packers Warn Fans of Hypothermia

Packers fans are the best, aren’t they? Well, with the exception of that dude who taped a Packers jersey to his son. Anyway, Pack fans prepared Lambeau Field for Sunday's NFC title game with the New York Giants by shoveling snow out of the stands Thursday night. I guess it's that or sit on snow, right? Packers fans do this about every year, but I think this is the first time I've mentioned it here. Hell, weather is all the sports media are talking about this week, so I'm not telling you anything you haven't heard already. In the meantime, the Packers are urging fans to dress for super cold temperatures Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:42 Green Bay time and the forecast calls for a low of zero. If you need some tips as to what to wear, check here. The instructions are thorough. Below is an example. Sounds scary.

Dress appropriately: Hypothermia and frostbite can occur even without subzero temperatures. Wear loose, dry layers, but don't overdress. Give yourself the opportunity to shed layers to adjust to weather changes. Try a mix of cotton or wool underneath, with something waterproof on top.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another Gallery Visit

Most everyone likes to watch football games played in ankle-deep snow and see the occasional tarp-whipping wind blow through a ballpark. That's one reason I started this sports weather blog. Bad weather sporting events often provide us with some uber cool images. I've mentioned a couple of times the photo feature of bad weather football games. This week is featuring its own NFL bad weather photo gallery. SI's 12-photo gallery begins with the 1967 Ice Bowl between the Packers and Cowboys, mixes in a few other historical snowy and muddy pics and concludes with this season's snow games in Cleveland and most recent playoff contest in Green Bay. The gallery is worth clicking through as it contains a handful of shots that you normally don't see associated with these games. For example, the Ice Bowl photo is not the usual pic of Bart Starr diving for the game-winning touchdown.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One Good Reason to Love Seattle has a neat photo gallery that features NFL cheerleaders from the wild card round last week. The gallery offers a few cool shots of Seattle's Sea Gals cheering in the rain during the Seahawks win over the Redskins. This counts as sports weather content, right? Enjoy. I'm done for the day. Try to get along on this Monday night without football. I hear there's a good hockey game on Versus – Rangers and the Penguins.

Pitchers and Catchers To Follow

I mentioned below that pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about a month partly because I'm jonesing for some baseball and partly because I like searching for and posting baseball rain delay photos like the one you see here. This year I may run a pool taking bets on which MLB ballpark will suffer the first rain out. Maybe not.

Anyway, I'm still very much into the NFL playoffs and the potential for another bad weather game in Green Bay Sunday when the Packers host the New York Football Giants. I'm not sure which team I want to win, but I'll be rooting for the NFC in Super Bowl. I have a strong feeling Brett Favre and the Packers will get the job done against the G-Men and Eli Manning, who usually has trouble playing in bad weather conditions, particularly when it's windy. I think I've written about that before. Scroll down and check me on that.

You Call This Progress?

This was a throw-away news item Friday, lost in all the NFL playoffs and Roger Clemens talk, but the Cleveland Indians announced that they have reached a 16-year, $58 million dollar deal with Progressive Corp. to rename its 42,000-seat ballpark after the car insurance company. Don’t ya just hate that? Anyway, the former Jacobs Field will be officially named Progressive Field when the Tribe takes the field in 2008. I know. I know. This news has nothing to do with sports and weather, but it does give me another opportunity to display a photo of the snow-out at The Jake back in April. That reminds me: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in a month.

T.O., Cowboys and Popcorn Sales Plummet

For all of you disappointed Cowboys fans out there who also are die-hard football fans, look at things this way: At least now you and the rest of us will have an opportunity to enjoy another cold, wintry game at Lambeau Field. Saturday's Pack win over the Seahawks provided some great images, like the one here. We hope Sunday's NFC title game will do the same. Of course the game is still a week away, but early forecasts are calling for a high of 11 degrees, a low of 8 and a 40 percent chance of precipitation when the Packers and Giants kickoff at 5:30 Green Bay time. I can't wait. Get your popcorn ready!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Performance Enhancing Pants

Seattle kicker Josh Brown will be packing heat Saturday… in his pants. Brown and the Seahawks face the Packers Saturday in the NFC divisional playoffs at Green Bay's Lambeau Field, where temperatures are expected be in the high 20s. The kicker said Wednesday on a radio show that he plans to wear the battery-operated heaters in rain pants that he normally wears on the sidelines, not in his football pants. "Not in my uniform. That would be crazy," Brown told reporters Wednesday afternoon. Brown says he's not looking to gain an advantage, just stay warm.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fire Then Rain in San Diego

The forecast for heavy rain storms to hit in San Diego and Southern California this weekend could have far more of an impact on the folks who are trying to rebuild homes and lives after wildfires there in the fall than the impact that may be felt for Sunday's playoff at Qualcomm Stadium between the Chargers and Tennessee Titans.

Forecasters say a trio of storms could dump about a foot of rain in some of the southern portion of the state and about seven inches in San Diego County. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 Pacific and, according to, temperature highs should reach about 58 with a 60 percent chance of rain.

Stadium officials have said a tarp will cover the field until an hour before kickoff in the event of persistent heavy rain.

The greatest chance of rain for this weekend's playoff matchups is in Seattle, of course. Forecasters there are calling for a high a 45 degrees and a 90 percent chance of precipitation falling on Qwest Field as the Redskins beat the Seahawks.

In Pittsburgh, where the Jaguars again will take down the overrated Steelers, there is a 30 percent chance of precip with lows dipping down to 39 for the 8 p.m. kickoff. Remember, the Jags took care of business in snow at Heinz Field just a few weeks ago.

And in case you're wondering, the Tampa weather will be lovely Sunday for the Bucs game with the Giants. A high of about 70 is expected at game time. I'm not sure who will win this one, but I'm thinking Eli Manning might put together a solid game away from the not-so-friendly Giants Stadium confines and lead his team to a win. That's just a hunch.

Instant (Winter) Classic

Winter is not a good time to take holiday from a sports weather blog. So much happened while I was away, but hey, you can't spend all you precious time blogging, right? Right? By far the coolest sports weather event over the holidays was the NHL's Winter Classic outdoor game in Buffalo. By now you've all read and seen highlights of what was a hugely successful show for a league in deep need of some positive publicity. So, I'm not going to bore you with any of my asinine observations. But, isn't that what blogs are for? Anyway, as you know, the Winter Classic visuals, on television and in photographs, were and are spectacular. The snow element kicked the drama into overdrive. Let's hope the NHL decides to stage the event annually – at least do it every two years – and spread it around to different cities. I hear NBC had originally wanted the game to be in Yankees Stadium with the Rangers playing the Bruins. That would have been great, too, but Buffalo turned out to be a majestic venue for the inaugural outdoor game. Maybe next year the game can be played in either the old or new Yankees Stadium. Oh, and wouldn't you love to see the Blackhawks host the Red Wings in Soldier Field? Lambeau Field already has hosted a college outdoor game, so the folks there know the logistics of staging such an event. The question is: What two teams would play there? Minnesota Wild versus…who?

One more thing: I didn't realize until reading the Uniwatch Blog yesterday that snow now has fallen on NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball games in the past nine months. Remember Jacobs Field in April? Now, how can we cause a snow storm inside an NBA arena? I bet some Chinese meteorologists would know how.