By Bill Tamburrino
It is cold, rainy and windy with a chill factor that would make a North Dakotan proud. Therefore, baseball and softball season must be just around the corner.
It never fails. One doesn’t need Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard Almanac to predict foul weather for the beginning of spring sports.
Most of the winter sports are indoors. Athletes in the two winter sports that are not or not always indoors should be given some kind of a medal or at least a blanket or hoodie.
The athletes who play soccer brave the elements in a shirt and shorts, rain or wind (there is seldom any shine since most of the games are played in the dusk or dark which makes it ever colder). Those brave athletes and fans who brave the weather in what most of the world calls football deserve a bit of hoorah!
Most water polo matches are contested in outdoor pools. Some facilities are indoors but not many and certainly not Ramona’s. The water is tepid so those in the game are not exposed to the elements as much as those coming out for a substitute. Sure they sometimes get a big parka but coming out of the water in cold and often windy weather cannot be much fun.
The early season baseball and softball games test the pain endurance level of players and fans. Arctic winds can’t be much colder than the winds that whip up in afternoon baseball and softball games. The coldest game that I ever coached in was ironically in the desert. Granted, it was the high desert in a picturesque community known as Hesperia in a baseball tournament in Apple Valley. It was an afternoon game and the wind was blowing hard. How hard? The game was decided by a fly ball that the shortstop called that blew over the left field fence. If you don’t believe me ask Jeff Lawler. He was there. The home run was hit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Apple Valley was the home team. The player who hit the home run got a bigger round of applause from the Ramona fans and players than he got from the hometown faithful. During the handshake ritual every Bulldog said, “Thanks” to the slugger except the pitcher. Ask Jeff.
It is ironic that when the weather is hottest football is being played or practiced. Summer passing league games often are contested in three digit heat. Hell Week, or what coach Baldwin calls “camp,” is also usually during the hottest week of the year. The NFL has an answer for that. Next year’s Super Bowl will be played outdoors in New Jersey in February. It will be interesting to see the over/under that Vegas posts on the temperature.
Let’s blame it on global warming. As Bob Dylan never said, “The weather it is a changin’.”