Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kickin' It in the Rain

I don’t know a thing about German football, but I do know I like this photo of a match today – like right now – between Nuremberg and Fuerth.

The Getty Images caption reads:

Nuremberg's defender Philipp Wollscheid (R) and Fuerth's Kazakhstan's midfielder Heinrich Schmidtgal (L) challenge for the ball during the German Football League DFB Cup last sixteen round match between 1. Fc Nuremberg and Greuther Fuerth in the arena in Nuremberg, southern Germany, on December 20, 2011.

In the meantime, there’s a lot of wet stuff falling in Blackburn where the Rovers trail Bolton 2-0 and the Ewood Park faithful are ready to kick Steve Kean out in the rain.

You're right. The Blackburn/Bolton photo stinks. I'll try to do better as the match progresses.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Slide, Reggie, Slide!

Who knew the Dolphins were a cold weather team?

Heck, through first seven games of the season, who knew the Dolphins were a team at all?

Since starting at a dreadful 0-7 and being accused of sucking for Luck, the ‘Phins have swam back to respectability by winning five of their last seven games, including a 30-23 victory over the Buffalo Bills Sunday in a snowy, picturesque Orchard Park, N.Y., where temperatures were just below freezing. (Wow, that was a long sentence.)

Miami running back Reggie Bush led his team with 203 rushing yards, a big chunk of which came on a 76-yard gallop to the end zone and capped by a slide through the end zone snow at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Teammate Brandon Marshall, who could take a few sliding pointers from South Beach’s newest resident, Jose Reyes, glided right past Bush.

“I play FIFA a lot on PlayStation,” Bush said after the game. “I felt like I did a little soccer slide right there.”

Bush’s impromptu celebration drew a 15-yard penalty.

No blubber off the Dolphins, who continue their December tour of cold Northeast states with a visit with the Patriots Saturday in Foxboro, Mass., where the forecast – yeah, I know it’s a little early for forecasts – calls for a high temperature of 36 degrees and, you guessed it, a chance of snow.

Photo: Getty Images

Note: Buffalonews.com has a great photo gallery of the snowy game.

One more thing: Someone just told me I could really increase page views to The Rainout Blog if I posted images of Bills cheerleaders dancing in the snow. I haven’t yet found a good shot, but I’ll keep checking. If you have one, send it my way, and I’ll post it on the blog.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Answer Still Foggy

On Tuesday, I posted a brief story centered on an Associated Press photo of a recent FIFA Club World Cup soccer match in Japan between Auckland FC and Kashiwa Reysol. The caption mentioned that fog shrouded Toyota Stadium at the point the photo was taken.

Indeed, it looks like fog, and, who am I to question the AP?

However, no story I read about the match mentioned fog, but one story did mention a pre-match fireworks display. So I asked: was it fog or smoke from the fireworks?

Keep in mind: I know this isn’t super important and no one really gives rats arse either way. But this is a sports weather blog, so I thought I’d take a crack and uncovering the truth. You know… just for fun.

I sent out a few Tweets and emails and then yesterday received this email from Auckland FC Media Manager Gordon Glen Watson:


I was there, and my first impression was the 'mist' was from the fireworks display of the short opening ceremony.

However, as the match progressed, the mercury fell and the argument for fog probably becomes stronger.

To be honest, there was no way to be 100% completely sure.

There was steam coming off the players, so that's also an indicator.

The fireworks display wasn't that grandiose, although the roof was closed over the pitch, so who can tell.

The focus was mainly on the football, although I did hear journalists from abroad ask whether it was fog or smoke.

Let me know when you find out!



Ok, we’re not any closer to knowing the answer, but as I said, it’s really not important, just fun.

Big thanks to Watson for taking the time from his busy schedule to reply to my email at – I hope my math is correct – approximately 11:23 p.m. on a Friday night.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tebowing in the Rain? Not in the Sunday Forecast

Yep. I'm trying to capitalize on Tebow Mania, too.
Hey, you know what would be great for increasing page views to The Rainout Blog?

Rain in Denver Sunday when the Broncos host the New England Patriots, that’s what.

I’m not above capitalizing on Tebow Mania, ya know.

Alas, (I can’t believe I just wrote the word “alas”) the Sunday forecast for Denver calls for a sunny day with a high temperature around 51 and only a 10 percent chance of rain.


Oh, well. I’ll just put Tebow’s name in the tags below and watch the page views roll up like the QB’s passing yards. Wait. I’m already at that pace. Never mind.

By the way, the above photo was taken during Florida’s 45-15 win over Florida State on Nov. 29, 2008, when 1.34 inches of rain fell on Doak Campbell Stadium  in Tallahassee. Tebow passed for three touchdowns that day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fog or Fireworks?

Is it fog or smoke from a pre-match fireworks display covering the pitch
during a recent match at Toyota Stadium? Who knows?
The caption on this Dec, 8 Associated Press photo reads:

"Fog shrouds the Toyota Stadium where Auckland FC plays Kashiwa Reysol during the playoff for the quarterfinal at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer in Toyota, near Nagoya, central Japan, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)"

You know how I love foggy playing fields, so I had to post the pic.

While doing a little research for a brief story to accompany the photo, I found no reference to foggy playing conditions during Kashiwa Reysol’s 2-0 over their opening round opponents from New Zealand.

However, a match review on the FIFA website noted:

"The action was preceded by an opening ceremony that culminated with some deafening fireworks, but there was nothing particularly explosive during an untidy opening to the match itself."

So, was it fog or smoke from the fireworks display shrouding Toyota Stadium last Thursday?

Anyone out there know the answer?

This may be The Rainout Blog’s first attempt at investigative journalism… or first attempt at journalism, period. 

Last Word on West London Downpour

Yesterday, I was a bit ticked at not being able to see the falling rain on my screen captures from the Chelsea vs. Manchester City game. I could clearly see rain pouring down on the Stamford Bridge pitch as I watched the match on my laptop, but the wet stuff wasn’t visible in photos I wanted to post to the blog. But then I found some cool pics from Getty Images, and now I’ve stumbled upon this gallery from The Guardian photographer Tom Jenkins.

The Jenkins image here shows Frank Lampard after scoring what turned out to be the game-winner in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over the EPL’s top club.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Seeing the Rain More Clearly

Chelsea leaves Man City all wet Monday.
I mentioned in the post below that the rain falling on the Stamford Bridge pitch today – tonight in London – was not visible in the my crappy screen capture. No problem.

Here is a cool shot from Getty Images giving us nice visual insight into the playing conditions between Chelsea and Manchester City.

The match is tied 1-1 at halftime.

UPDATE: Chelsea defeated Man City, 2-1.

London Rain

It’s a cold, wet night at Stamford Bridge, and “City fans are singing in the rain in West London.” Those were the words of ESPN commentator – I think it’s Rob Stone – after Mario Balotelli scored at the 1:38 mark to give Manchester City a 1-0 lead in the steady downpour.

If you’re relaxing comfortably at home, you can catch the game on ESPN2. If you’re stuck at work like someone I know who shall remain nameless, you can watch on your computer on ESPN3.

By the way, my crappy screen shot was unable to capture the rain falling on the pitch at Stamford Bridge. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Update: Chelsea just got the equalizer on a goal by Raul Meireles. Chelsea 1, Man City 1.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Off Pitch

Occasionally – and by occasionally I mean very, very rarely – I like to stray away from sports and offer just… well, weather. And since it’s a slow sports/weather day, here’s a cool Associated Press photo of traffic flowing through heavy rains today in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Once upon a time I had thought about transforming The Rainout Blog into a site about weather’s affects on all aspects of life, not just sports. Thinking more clearly, I quickly realized it would a daunting task, much more work than I willing to do, I guess.

Associated Press Photo: Mark Baker

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I Would Pay to See a Kick Returned in a Hurricane


Oh, no!

Not again!

Come on, Cromartie, you @#$%!

Those are just a few words and phrases Jets fans, I’m sure, have used while watching their team’s normally reliable kick returners cough up the pigskin to the opposition this season.

It’s happened four strait games now following rookie Jeremy Kerley’s ball-belching gaffe against Washington Sunday that led to a Redskins score. The Jets have fumbled away six return chances this season thanks to the uncertain hands of Kerley, Antonio Cromartie and Joe McKnight.

With the Jets most likely needing to win their four remaining games for a chance at the playoffs, Coach Rex Ryan has decided to go with the sure-handed Jim Leonard on kick returns, particularly as the season moves into the potentially harsh winter months of December and January.

Leonard may not – who are we kidding? Does not – have the speed of the aforementioned returners, but Ryan has confidence in Leonard’s ability to secure the ball under any circumstances, even severe storms.

“As I mentioned before, he can catch it in a hurricane,” Ryan said in a press conference of his sure-handed return man. “This time of year, the weather has a tendency to pick up, the wind and all those types of things. I just, right now, would feel more comfortable having Jim Leonhard back there. I know Westy (special teams coach Mike Westhoff) and I feel the same way. I think that’s how we’re going to go."

Photo: Getty Images

Monday, December 05, 2011

Tiger Confident Through the Wind

In case you didn’t hear, let me be the first to tell you Tiger Woods won The Chevron World Challenge Sunday, his first tournament victory in more than two years.

This has been big news today for those sportscasters who still gush over Tiger.

I think I heard one sports radio host today say Tiger, in the process of winning a golf tournament, can make TV viewers switch off the NFL and to the links.

Come on, fellas!

As sick as I sometimes get over the Tiger love fests that often occur in sports media, I couldn’t help be a little fascinated – maybe “fascinated” is too strong a word here, but I’ll go with it – with one Woods weather-related item from last week when the golfer explained to ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd that playing in the wind at the Australia Open, where he finished third, helped him gain confidence his game was on par with his pre-Thanksgiving 2009 level of play.
“I am fully healthy and the way I played in Australia was very exciting for me because when the wind blows like that and it’s howling consistently like when it did in Sydney and down in Melbourne and I ended up playing nine rounds, nine competitive rounds during that stretch, Woods told Cowherd.

“I felt like I had control of the golf ball for all those days and as a player you get exposed from the wind if you have any kind of weakness and I didn’t have any glaring weakness and as the more I played I got better. That was the fun part that when the wind blew my swing tightened up and actually got better.”

Woods’ shot, but not his confidence, did suffer a bit from the gusty winds Saturday at the Thousands Oaks, Calif., course, where the 35-year-old golfer entered the third round with a three-shot lead, but fell to second place behind Zach Johnson.

"Most of the time today it wasn't me,” Woods said following the third round. “I hit a lot of good shots. The wind was all over the place. It was tough out there.''

Weather bureaus reported the winds to be at 30 to 40 miles per hour.

According to Sunday’s reports, winds slowed during the final round, and Woods shot a three-under-par 69 to finish 10 under and a shot ahead of that pesky Johnson.

Photo: Reuters

Stinging in the Rain

Photo of the Day: I’m labeling this post the Photo of the Day because I really don’t have much to say about the game or the weather, but I do like the accompanying photo from Getty Images.

That’s Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy – has there ever been a better name for a QB from Texas? Never mind – soaking in falling rain drops after he was popped by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Avanbadejo Sunday.

The Ravens soared – that’s so cliché – to a 24-10 victory over the Browns on a windy, rainy day in Cleveland behind the running of mudder Ray Rice, who racked up 204 yards and a rushing touchdown on 29 carries.

With Rice rumbling through the Brownies defense, the Ravens had no real reason for Joe Flacco to take to the air, but he did anyway, completing just 10 of 29 passes for 158 yards.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Rodgers Won't Blame it on the Rain... or Snow... but Maybe Wind

If the Green Bay Packers slip on their way to an undefeated season, Aaron Rodgers is not going to blame the weather.

While discussing on his radio show Tuesday a potential “recipe” for opposing teams to beat the Packers – by the way, that show is a must-listen for any football fan – the Packers’ quarterback told host Jason Wilde that “depending on the severity of the weather, it can have an impact on any game, but I think you have to factor in what opponent you‘re playing, the setting, be it home or away, those are all individual factors as well, so I don’t think you can put weather above those other factors.”

Rodgers also noted, and we hear this from players and experts about this time each year, that nasty weather and slippery fields can be helpful to offenses, a scary thought for the Packs’ remaining opponents.

“I think when you get into a field where it might not be the best footing … I don’t think you can immediately dismiss the notion that it’s going to be difficult to throw the ball,” Rodgers told Wilde. “I think you have to factor in that not only is it going to be difficult footing for the offense, but for the defense, and as the offensive player knows where he’s going, the defensive player has to react. I think that gives you a slight advantage. If you’re able to grip the ball effectively, and not have to deal with severe winds to go along with the cold conditions, I think you should have a good opportunity to throw the ball effectively.”

Rodgers should have no trouble tossing the ball around the field in snow and cold, but as he said, wind could be a problem. The Packers play on the road against the Giants this weekend, where wind typically can be a problem.

However, a quick check of the forecast calls for relatively calm winds with temperatures in the mid 50s under partly sunny skies. That sounds like a recipe for disaster for the Giants defense.

Photo: Associated Press

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Raining on Jeter’s Hit Parade

What’s that?

Oh yeah. You’re right. I have officially closed The Rainout Blog, but occasionally I get the itch. Such is the case on this late Friday night as I chill in the Mancave watching the Giants and Mets. The Panda just made a nice play at third, by the way.

Anyway, it’s not raining in San Francisco, but clouds did explode over Yankee Stadium tonight, postponing the Bombers’ game with the Rays. The significance of the rainout, of course, is it gives Derek Jeter one less game to smack his 3,000 career hit before the home crowd in the Bronx.

The short stop is two hits shy of the milestone, and can certainly record two base hits in one game. However, it’s not unthinkable to say Jeter, a guy who’s hitting well below his career average at .257, could be held hitless throughout the remainder of the series. After Sunday, the Yanks, along with the rest of the Major Leagues, go to the All-Star break and then visit Toronto and Tampa during an eight-game road trip.

I can’t think of a worse place than Toronto for Jeter’s 3,000th base hit.

Friday’s rained out game could have been made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday – the regularly-scheduled game begins at 1:05 p.m. – but the Rays declined, according to Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, who added that his team voted to play two on Saturday. Now, the rained out contest will be made up Sept. 22.

Will the Rays refusal to play a day-nighter on Saturday create more friction between the two American League East contenders? Girardi and Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman say no, but Girardi’s comments suggest otherwise.

"Whether I'm frustrated or not, doesn't really matter,” the skipper said. “We wanted to see this happen for our fans. We thought that was important. But it's not (happening), so let's get the hits the next couple days, that's all."

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)