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Current Weather & Forecast (plan your gameday!)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tom Keirein forecasting good weather for Opening Day

I like the News4 weather team. Bob Ryan is an unabashed Red Sox fan, and I've noticed over the past year or so that Tom Kierein tends to mention what the weather is likely to be like for Nationals games. To my mind, that is a vital part of stirring up fan interest, getting the local media involved and getting them to encourage folks to support the team.

Let's face it. Even the most die-hard among us fans are capable of being weather-fickle. It's tough to get friends to accompany you to the ballpark if the weather is going to be ugly, and few of us really want to sit in the stands (especially in seats like mine which have no cover whatsoever) in the rain getting water in our beer and soaking our hot dogs. So it's nice when the meteorologists can continually associate good weather with a trip to the ballpark. "No plans for this lovely Friday afternoon? Good seats still available and the weather will be fine".

I like to invite different friends to games, depending upon their schedules and, of course, the weather. All plans are tentative until we know the forecast. I once heard Tom Kierein state on the air that "anything over three days is a guess", meaning that any prediction more than three days ahead of time is almost pure guesswork because the computer models can't really get any more accurate right now, as there are too many variables in play. This is why I have the Accuweather gadget right above ^here^.

I feel that part of the "zen" of baseball is simply the enjoyment of being outdoors and relaxing while taking in the game. It isn't just seeing the players live, although that's a prime motivator, it is getting out of our homes and workplaces and smelling the hot dogs and beer and listening to the crack of the bats and smack of the gloves.

One lesson I learned last year is that the teams will move Heaven and Earth to get the games underway and complete them. I thought for certain that one game last April that John Patterson was pitching would be canceled because of rain. It may have been rain-delayed initially, so I skipped the game and went right home from work, and at first I thought that I'd made the right decision, as the Nats weren't doing very well against the Braves (I THINK it was the Braves...) but the game turned out to be MUCH more exciting, the Nats came back and won in the rain. I think that Patterson didn't get the win, but he pitched very well and deserved much credit for the win. I kicked myself for not braving the elements myself and just sucking it up and going to the game, I'd have enjoyed it.

I DID go out to that Phillies game the last week of the season, because I had friends out there that I wanted to hang out with. I didn't go right away because of the rain delay, but by the time I did get there, the parking folks were gone and I drove right in for free to an almost-empty Lot #7, and I went in to see the field under rain-delay conditions and I found my buddy who Metro'd in, and we just split. We couldn't get any food or beer, everything was closed. How surprised I was when the game eventually began (what was it, after 11:35?) and the only fans you could hear on the MASN broadcast were the die-hard Phillies fans who'd come down by train just to see this game. It was surreal and kind-of ugly, but wild to see.

Lessons learned.

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