Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Derby rain

Chelsea and Derby County are going at each other today in a Capital One Cup quarterfinal match at iPro Stadium. 

At the moment, Chelsea holds a 2-0 lead on a rainy night in Derby.

UPDATE: Chelsea is through to the semifinals with a 3-1 victory. Here's the full report from the London club, complete with photos.

-- Rain --

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Friday Football Forecasts (A day early)

Getty Images
About a year ago, I thought it was a good idea to post the gameday forecasts for each NFL contest. Why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? Next year, I’ll do this every week from the beginning of the season, I thought.

When the new NFL season rolled around in September, I remembered my plans. And then I checked the forecasts.

Oh! Everything is the same: Sunny and warm.

Why didn’t I think of that earlier?

Anyway, here we are in December and week 14 of the NFL season. It’s a good time to bring back the Friday Football Forecasts, starting with tonight’s game, a Thursday night affair, (I love starting Friday on a Thursday) between the Bears and my childhood team, the Cowboys, in Chicago.

Cowboys at Bears (Night): Low of 35/Mostly cloudy (Wait. Tell Romo’s December record again.)

Steelers at Bengals: High of 39/Partly cloudy

Colts at Browns: High of 35/Partly cloudy

Giants at Titans: High of 44/Mostly cloudy

Ravens at Dolphins: High of 76/Clear (Ahhhh, nice!)

Jets at Vikings: High of 29/Overcast (Yep, an overcast of gloom for the Jets’ offense.)

Rams at Redskins: High of 42/Clear

Texans at Jaguars: High of 62/Partly cloudy

Bills at Broncos: High of 50/Clear:

49ers at Raiders: High of 62/Overcast

Seahawks at Eagles: High of 38/Clear (Game of the Day?)

Patriots at Chargers (Night): Low of 63/Mostly cloudy

Monday Night
Falcons at Packers: Low of 26/Mostly cloudy

-- Rainout --

On the flip side

Associated Press
This blog is mostly dedicated to bad weather conditions and how those conditions can play havoc at sporting events.

I, like most people (I think) love that stuff. That’s why I created this blog.

With that said, I couldn't help but be captivated by the images on my TV Saturday when I tuned in for the USC thumping of Notre Dame. It was beautiful weather there in Southern California, nothing like what was outside my house that day.

The LA Times reported USC received commitments from at least six recruits that day. If given the opportunity to play, study and live where it’s sunny and 75 in late November, who wouldn't make that commitment?


Rodgers: Green Bay weather gives us advantage

Heading into December’s slate of NFL games, the Green Bay Packers find themselves a game in front of the Detroit Lions for the NFC North division lead.

At 9-3 and coming off an impressive win over the previously hot New England Patriots on a cold evening in Green Bay, the Packers are in position to grab the division title, particularly with two of their remaining regular season games being at Lambeau Field.

One of those games, the last of the season, is against the Lions, a team that has bested the Packers earlier in the season.

The Packers, led by super quarterback Aaron Rodgers, are also fighting for home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Playing in those frigid Green Bay temperatures, and especially field slick from snow and ice, gives the Packers’ offense an advantage, says Rodgers, even against other cold weather teams.

“It doesn't really matter what team comes in; there’s an advantage based on the footing and the weather,” Rodgers said this morning on ESPN’s Mike and Mike. “I’ve always found in the cold weather, it’s a little bit more difficult to rush the passer. And, the footing favors the offense because, much like on an icy field or a wet field, an offensive player knows where he’s going. You have a slight advantage there.”

We all know that from our days playing backyard football in the snow, right?

If you were running with the ball, you could easily put a move on a defender, who would have to react to your movement, and then slip right on his keister. Anyone who has experienced the joy of football in the snow with their buddies has more than likely been on both ends of that scenario.

OK. Back to Rodgers. He briefly mentioned the effect cold temps can have on the ball, saying “the cold weather does some different things to the football, and if you’re not used to that it can bother you a little bit.”

I was hoping Professor Rodgers would delve in how the elasticity of the ball decreases in the cold. It would have been great to get a cold-weather quarterback’s insight into how the frigid temps affect his grip and the flight of the ball.

Hey, you know what. Maybe I’ll give him a call.

Stay tuned.


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.


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 --