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, 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

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?


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? 


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 brilliant and talented 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 --

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow delay

Photo: Bulent Kilic
I've been slipping on my soccer world football coverage lately, but I couldn't pass on this uber cool photo of Juventus' goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon walking off the pitch last Tuesday, Dec. 10, when heavy snow postponed a UEFA Champions League match between the Italian club and Galatasaray at the TT Arena Stadium in Istanbul.

The match was called at the 32nd minute after snow and hail made pitch conditions unplayable.

The match resumed the next day and Galatasaray scored a 1-0 win, eliminating Juventus.

-- snow --

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend wrap

Before fans could file into Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium for Sunday’s Browns-versus-Bears tilt, this had to be done:

Photo: Associated Press

Approximately five to eight inches of snow piled up on seats and in aisles prior to kickoff, and according to team officials, the Browns had more than 150 people working Saturday evening to clear the way for spectators to see their Brownies blow the game fall in dramatic fashion to the visiting Bears, 38-31.

After all the snow clearing, the intensity of the snow storm blew more snow back on to some of the seats before the game, Browns officials claim, forcing some fans to clear their own way as they arrived at their seats.

In other sports weather news, Navy once again rolled over Army, 34-7, with a little snow in the field in Philadelphia. The win is the 12th in a row for Navy.

Photo: Associated Press

Believe it or not, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has never played in a snow game despite playing college ball at Wisconsin. He told the New York Times he was disappointed the snow stopped in New York – I know it’s actually New Jersey – Sunday before his team thrashed the Giants, 23-0. But, as the article says, maybe Wilson will get another chance to play in the New York snow when the Super Bowl in played in MetLife Stadium in a couple of months.

Photos: Seahawks Instagram

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snowy Friday of Football

In case you need a snow football game fix -- wasn't last Sunday enough? -- Towson and Eastern Illinois are battling it out right now on a slippery field on ESPN2 in an FCS quarterfinal playoff game.

The playoff game is being played in Charleston, Ill. -- that's home to No. 2 Eastern Illinois -- where three to six inches of snow is forecasted.

Towson, the No. 7 team in the nation, had a bit of trouble this week preparing for tonight's contest because of snow and freezing rain.

Anyway, if you  guessed the photo above is of the main monitor in The Rainout Blog World Headquarters, you would be correct.

Football Friday Forecasts

Photo: Hunter Martin/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images
Last Friday, I was trying to think of creative posts topics for The Rainout Blog and eventually a bright idea developed in mostly functional brain: "Hey, I'll post the weather forecasts for this week's NFL games."

Not a bad idea for a sports/weather blog, eh?

So, with three weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, I think I'll make it a weekly feature.

Better later than never, I guess.

Taking a gander at this week's slate of games, I see a chance of snow for only one game: Chicago at Cleveland. So, no repeat of last week's snow-filled Sunday, which I think we all can agree was fantastic.

Ok, let's get to the weather forecasts for this week's 10 outdoor games:

Bears at Browns: High of 26/chance of snow
Cardinals at Titans: High of 35/Mostly sunny
Patriots at Dolphins: High of 85/Slight chance of showers
Seahawks at Giants: High of 37/Mostly sunny
Bills at Jaguars: High of 66/Showers likely
49ers at Buccaneers: High of 76/Scattered showers
Jets at Panthers: High of 53/Mostly sunny
Chief at Raiders: High of 61/Sunny
Packers at Cowboys: High of 52/Sunny

Sunday Night
Bengals at Steelers: Low of 26/Mostly cloudy

There you have it, a mostly dull and boring forecasts if you’re looking for a little weather flavoring in your Sunday NFL watching experience. Now that I think about it, may be posting the forecasts every week – particularly in the first half of the schedule when the weather will not be a factor – is not such a great idea.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More Manning, more cold... this is getting old

Hey, guess what. Our guy Peyton Manning gets yet another chance tonight to prove he’s a winner in cold weather. That’s right, Manning and his Broncos host the ‘Bolts from sunny San Diego in tonight’s NFL Network Thursday night game.

Temperatures throughout the game should be in the mid 30s with no chance of precipitation … blah, blah, blah. Oh, I should mention that with a mild wind, it will feel like low 30s.

(That’s warmer than it was at my house this morning, but then I didn’t have big defensive linemen chasing me down looking to knock snot bubbles out of my nose.)

I don’t think Manning and the Broncos will have much trouble with the Chargers on a clear, but cold night in Denver. I can see it being one of those games where the Broncos’ defense gives up a lot of yards and points, but the Denver offense scores a lot more.

I’m not in the prediction business, but I’ll say Broncos 45 Chargers 31.

Upon further review... Opps! I really should stay out of the prediction business. Chargers 27 Broncos20

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Did pregame hibernation doom Cowboys?

Associated Press
When ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters told us how much extra clothing the Dallas Cowboys had packed for Monday night’s bitter cold contest in Chicago, you knew the ‘Boys may have been thinking a little too much about the -9 wind chills they were facing at Soldier Field.

Brandon Marshall agrees. The Bears wide receiver told Chicago’s ESPN 1000 Tuesday he knew his team had the contest won when he saw only a few Dallas players on the field preparing before the game.

“There was only a handful of Dallas players,” Marshall said. “I looked around and I said, ‘Man, we’ve got these guys.’”

The temperature at kickoff Monday was 7 degrees Fahrenheit in Chicago, but it felt like -9 with the wind.

“The elements were already in their heads,” Marshall continued in his radio interview. “So pregame, I believe that we won. I’m pretty sure there [would have been] more guys out there if it wasn’t colder, but they weren’t out there. For us, once you start putting on sleeves and start doing things differently, you buy into the elements and the game is over.”

The Cowboys came out of the locker room hot, running all over the Bears defense for a quick score and a 7-0 lead. Dallas kept the game close for a while, but the Bears eventually ran off to 45-28 win.

-- cold --

Live from Louisville

From the Louisville Slugger Twitter page Tuesday...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Splitting the uprights while the Earth was splitting

Bears freeze out Cowboys

Photo: Chicago Tribune
I hate to walk outside on a frigid day and hear someone ask, "Is it cold enough for ya?"

I just want to punch them right in the neck. Who asks stupid questions like that?

On Monday night in Chicago, I'm sure it was cold enough for everyone at Soldier Field where temperatures fell to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind, it felt like minus 7 as the hometown Bears whipped the Dallas Cowboys 45-28.

Next Monday, players, coaches and fans will be much warmer inside the cozy confines of Ford Field when the enigmatic Lions host the Baltimore Ravens. After both teams played in snow on Sunday, I'm sure they'll be happy to take their games inside the climate controlled dome.

I'll be at the same place I am most Monday night's, sitting in the man cave basking in TV's warm glowing warming glow.

Good night, Homer.

-- cold --

Monday, December 09, 2013

Philly’s snow blowers

Michael Perez/AP

You know what looked like a fun job on Sunday? 

Those guys shoveling and blowing snow off the field in Philadelphia where eight inches of snow feel during three-plus hours the Eagles and 
Lions played.

Sure, those guys were exhausted, but in this story, it sounds like they had a blast clearing the lines and interacting with players and officials.

Peyton says 'shove it'

Associated Press

If you think Peyton Manning can’t win cold weather games, you can shove it!

That’s what the Denver Broncos’ quarterback, notorious for his struggles in the elements, said to a Denver radio station Sunday after tossing for 397 yards and four touchdowns in a 51-28 victory over Tennessee.

“Whoever wrote that narrative can shove that where the sun don't shine," Manning said to KAO-AM in Denver.

Manning, who obviously is sick of the notion that his play cools with the outdoor temps, is apparently fed up with the criticism. Sunday’s win gets him to 11-12 in games when the temperature is 40 degrees or below. The kickoff temperature Sunday in Denver dipped below 20.

Sunday's win for Manning at home over the mediocre Titans is nice for now, but the QB still has a way to go to prove he's not simply a fair-weather competitor. The Broncos host the Chargers Thursday night – I'm guessing it's going to be cold on a December night in Denver – plus they're likely to host a couple of playoff games in the Mile High city in January.

If he passes those tests, then one big one remains. This year, the biggest game of all, the Super Bowl, will be played outside in New Jersey. If you believe the Farmer's Almanac – I don't – the game could look a lot like Philadelphia did on Sunday.

If Manning can get past those – particularly the final three – every one of his critics should take his suggestion and shove it in a not-so-sunny place.

-- cold --

Eye candy

Photo: Baltimore Ravens

Hey, I know I said earlier I’d write more about Sunday’s fantastic NFL snow games, but there’s a hold up (read: stupid work stuff) so for now I’m giving you this photo from the Baltimore Ravens website.

I know. I know. You’d rather look at pretty pictures than read any nonsense I have to write anyway.


Sunday, snowy Sunday

Jeffrey G. Pittenger/USA TODAY Sports, via Reuters
If Sunday's NFL action didn't thrill you, you must have ice water in your veins.

As I told my wife, Sunday's games, particularly the early contests, were the most exciting I've seen on one Sunday in a while. There were high-scoring games, close games, a near upset in New England and constant lead changes late in the fourth quarter of the Baltimore/Minnesota game.

The one key element to all this excitement, in most cases, was the weather. We had snow in near D.C.Baltimore, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, but the blizzard-like conditions in Philly provided the most visually appealing matchup of the day.

I'll write more on this later – real-world stuff is getting in the way of important Rainout Blog stuff today – but for now I'll link you to a pretty cool snow-game gallery on

Oh, and don't forget temperatures will be down to 11 degrees Fahrenheit tonight in Chicago where da Bears host the Cowboys. By the way, what's Tony Romo's record like in December?

-- snow --

Friday, December 06, 2013

One million, two million... $240 million

Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

By now, you’ve heard Robinson Cano took the money and ran to Seattle, a place CBS sportswriter Jason Keidel says is more known for “coffee and cold rain and bad baseball.” (Yes, the “cold rain” line is what lands this on The Rainout Blog.)

Keidel also suggests Cano’s agent, Jay Z, may have hustled Cano in the deal. Jay Z is good at math, you know.

Anyway, that’s an interesting word, “hustle,” when referring to Cano because it’s likely folks in Seattle, while sipping latte’s and waiting for Seahawks training camp to begin, will not see much of it from their new second baseman. Wait, is that the Yankees fan in me talking?

I imagine John Sterling is sitting alone somewhere in New York City shouting, “Robbie Cano, don’t ya know… you’ll never win a ring in Seattle.”

So, is this football weather?

Here we go, baby!

If you like your football with a blend of winter nastiness, this may be your weekend.

Take a look at the extended forecast for this week’s NFL action, and you’ll see “wintry mix,” “rain likely” and “chance of snow” mentioned more than a few times.

Here’s what we have, weather wise, for the outdoor games as of early Friday morning:

Colts at Bengals: High of 34/wintry mix

Bill at Buccaneers: High of 82/Patchy fog (The patchy fog is not referring to Greg Schiano’s cognitive ability to lead a pro football team.)

Chiefs at Redskins: High of 35/wintry mix (It’ll be cold at FedEx Field, but Mike Shanahan’s seat will be nice and warm? (That joke is so cliché. I can’t believe I wrote that.))

Vikings at Ravens: High of 35/wintry mix

Browns at Patriots: High of 35/Mostly sunny (Boring – just like the Patriots.)

Raiders at Jets: High of 36/slight chance of snow (and offense)

Lions at Eagles: High of 36/rain and/or snow likely

Dolphins at Steelers: High of 32/snow likely

Falcons at Packers: High of 19/snow likely (By the way, the low for Green Bay on Sunday is -2.)

Titans at Broncos: High of 16/chance of snow (Hey, have you heard? Peyton Manning is not so hot in the cold.)

Giants at Chargers: High of 56/mostly sunny (Of course, it’s San Diego)

Seahawks at 49ers: High of 47/Sunny

Monday night: Cowboys at Bears: Temperatures may dip to as low as 11 Monday night in Chicago under partly cloudy skies. I think we can refer to this as Bear weather.

-- rain --

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Titans say let it snow

Associated Press
So, the Tennessee Titans are hoping for a blizzard Sunday when they venture a mile high into the sky to face the Broncos in Denver.

You know, because Peyton Manning simply stinks in cold and inclement weather.

Well, as my friend Corky used to say, the Titans can hope in one hand and @#$% in the other and see which one gets full faster.

Oh sure, the weather is going to be hellacious in Denver Sunday – the forecasts is calling for a high of 20 and a low of 6 with a chance of snow – but the mediocre 5-5 Titans are going to need more ammunition than a little cold and snow to stop Manning and the Broncos’ industrial strength offense.   

“Hopefully it’s a big snowstorm and it will give us a great chance to win,” said Titans coach Mike Munchak.

Yeah, because when it’s not-freezing cold outside, the Titans are like a raider in the autumn winter wind. 

They’ll knock you ‘round and upside down and laugh when they’ve conquered and won.

Oh, wait. I must be thinking about another team.

According to a story in The Tennessean, the baby blue-clad boys from Nashville have been outscored 89-21 in the last two games they’ve played when temperatures have dipped below freezing at kickoff. The last was a 55-7 trouncing from the Packers nearly a year ago in Green Bay.

But, Munchak wasn’t talking about freezing cold. He said “snowstorm.”

Ok, let’s hop into our mental time machine and think back to when we last saw the Titans play in snow. Oh, yeah. It was 2009 when the Super Bowl-bound Patriots dropped the Titans 59-0. Tom Brady threw six touchdowns.

Good luck, Titans. Don’t let the snow fort door hit you on the can on your way out of Denver.

-- snow --

Off pitch

Getty Images

Forget Peyton Manning and his inability to win big games in cold temperatures. You know who is getting it done in the cold right now? Folks who right now are protesting against the government in Kiev, that’s who.

Citizens are braving the cold to show their displeasure with the Ukraine government’s rejection of a trade agreement with the European Union.

The Getty Images photo above shows a man serving soup – oh, I’d love to have some soup right now – to antigovernment protestors at Kiev’s Independence Square.

The extended weather forecast for Kiev shows temperatures will top out at around 35 over the next several days and dip to a low of about 28 Saturday. Temps could drop as low as 16 next Wednesday (Dec. 11) night. Do not tick off the Soup Nazi.., that is, if one exists in Kiev.

They protestors may be there for a while. They’ve vowed remain in Independence Square until President Viktor Yanukovich steps down.

Wait, what does all of this have to do with sports? Well, nothing really. That is unless you count the fact boxing heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko is part of the pro-European group in Ukraine.

Note: If you have interest in the happenings in Kiev, I suggest you look beyond The Rainout Blog for that news.

Oh, hey. Did you hear Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak is hoping for snow in Denver Sunday?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Where the Saints go sloshing in

Do the New Orleans Saints really have a chance tonight against the Seahawks in Seattle?

We know the Saints are Super Bowl contenders as long as they’re playing in their comfy New Orleans dome, but when they venture out of their home city, it’s an entirely different ballgame. We need only to look at their sloppy loss to the hapless Jets in Jersey a few weeks ago for supporting evidence.

Tonight, in Seattle, nothing will be comfy or cozy for the 9-2 Saints. They will be facing a tough 10-1 Seahawks team which has Russell Wilson and his plentiful offensive weapons, not Gino Smith and his stable full nothing.

And, we know all about the noise level in the 67,000-seat, open-air CenturyLink Field. That’s tough on any team that ventures in.

And we all know Seattle has a little history of rain. (You knew I was getting to that, right? After all, this is The Rainout Blog.)

Well, guess what. A slight chance of rain and snow (30 percent) are forecasts for tonight’s Monday Night Football contest with a low temperature around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds could be 8 to 11 mph.

Over the past eight sub-40-degrees games, the Saints are an abysmal 2-6, including playoffs.

Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees may actually welcome a wet turf tonight if he finds himself in a situation where he’s running and needs to slide to avoid on on-coming linebacker:

-- rain --

Ball busting cold


Remember playing backyard football with your pals when it was so cold outside  no one really wanted to catch and especially kick the ball because it was so flippin’ painful?

Sometimes it felt like your toes were going to break off – snap right off your foot – but you played anyway because, well, you loved being outside playing football with the guys.

I grew up in Virginia, so temperatures rarely dipped below zero. And temps in my hometown were nowhere close to the minus-18 degrees Fahrenheit wind chills the Hamilton Tiger Cats practiced through Wednesday, Nov. 20, in preparation for the Grey Cup which was then four days away.

Yeah, that’s right. The Tiger Cats practiced outdoors in freezing cold weather in preparation for the expected frigid conditions during the championship game in Regina. (Joke’s on the T-cats; temperatures for the Grey Cup soared to about 33 degrees Fahrenheit.)

During that frigid Wednesday practice in Regina, the home of Hamilton’s opponent and eventual Grey Cup champions Saskatchewan Roughriders, several Ticats were treated for frostbite.

Ok, we hope those guys are fine – I’m guessing no one lost a pinkie or an earlobe – but frostbite, which is serious, is not the story here.

Nope, the most interesting storyline here is that Ticats’ punter Josh Bartel and kicker Luca Congi burst four footballs during kicking drills.

In a story for the Hamilton Spectator, writer Steve Milton explains: “One of the physics principles which makes kicking in frigid weather so difficult is that, upon contact with the foot, the ball compresses which provides propulsion once the bladder expands again. The greater the force of compression, the farther it goes.”

Later in his story, Milton quotes Bartel as saying, "They (footballs) all came off the foot OK. But the ball came down flat. It looked OK but when you stepped on it, or pressed it, there was nothing there."
Here’s a photo Tweeted by Ticats Director of Communications Scott McNaughton:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nats undercover?

See all that blue sky? The Nats brass want to block it out, like Mr. Burns
once tried to block the sun from Springfield.
So, the Nationals want to build a dome over Nationals Park, you know, because it rains so much there. If they do so, I don't think I can be a fan any longer. Call me old school or non-progressive or whatever, but I just don't like indoor baseball. If the Nats' plans come to fruition, the dome will be retractable. But still, why ruin a neat ballpark with a roof, right? 

And, really, do the Nationals need a roof? Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post provides the below figures, which don't seem to justify the need for a huge umbrella over Nationals Park:

2008: Nats had six delays and two postponements (Throughout MLB, 155 games were affected by weather — postponements, delays, called games).
2009: Nats have seven delays and three postponements (MLB-wide: 210 games)
2010: Nats had six delays (MLB-wide: 130 games)
2011: Nats had 10 delays and four postponements (MLB-wide:180 games)
2012: Nats had seven delays and three postponements (MLB-wide: 127 games)
2013: the Nats had four postponements because of weather (The 2013 numbers provided by MLB are incomplete.)

-- rain --

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mae West is topless while rain falls in the "Bottom of the Sixth"

How steaming mad would your wife be if each year, a super hot movie star, let's say Scarlett Johansson in this instance, offered up to you her best holiday wishes via a Christmas card that included a photo of her, you know, totally buck naked?

My wife would pop me with the sweet spot of a Louisville Slugger.

But you know whose wife, or so she claimed, did not get ticked off?

Beans Reardon's wife, Eugenia, that's who.

I've been researching through a bit of baseball history recently and came across Beans, a National League umpire from 1926 to 1949. He was known for his beer drinking (not on the diamond, I hope) and strong language (you bet that happened on the diamond). He was behind the plate when Babe Ruth hit his 714th and final home run.

Scarlett Johansson, not Mae West
From what I gather from a little research, the Boston native – yeah, tha's how he got the nickname Beans – lived a spectacular life.

You may not know the name Beans Reardon, but you've seen him.

You remember the Norman Rockwell 1949 Saturday Evening Post cover and paiting "Bottom of the Sixth" featuring three umpires standing together under a slight rain? Beans, with his face all scrunched up, is the umpire in the middle.

In addition to appearing in Rockwell paintings, Beans owned an Anheuser-Busch beer distribution business – he later sold it to Frank Sinatra – and he appeared in several movies.

That brings us back to Mae West.

Beans and West were friends, and according to rumors or whatever, West was said to have sent nude photos of herself to Beans each year at Christmas.

Reading about Bean's life, all of his accomplishments and what not, this is the item that piqued my curiosity, as you can imagine.  

So I dug a little deeper and found an interesting Los Angeles Times story from way back in 1988 about Bean's wife, Eugenia, who in the interview confirms Mae West annually sent nude photos of herself, or as Eugenia suggest in the article, the same photo each year, to her husband.

Mae West
And apparently, Beans enlarged the photo and hung it on his den wall.

The last paragraph of the aforementioned L.A. Times story places Eugenia in the den, describing the room's contents"

"And Beans, who also was an actor, can be seen with Gary Cooper and other movie stars on a wall dominated by a large nude picture of Mae West. 'She always sent him a copy of that picture every Christmas,' Eugenia said. 'No, I was never jealous.'"