Sports Try To Weather The Storms

Ben Larrison

Ben LarrisonThe Daily Northwestern

I can’t take this anymore.

The weather needs to stop it. Seriously, it’s not funny. Just let us enjoy spring.

Baseball has begun, but boundless ballplayers have been begging for actual benchwarmers. Snow and/or cold has postponed eight games (eight!) so far this season, and by season I’m referring to winter as much as I am the 2007 schedule. The Cleveland Indians even became the Milwaukee Indians for a week when snow forced them from Jacobs Field to domed Miller Park, left to play their home opener 450 miles away from home.

All of the chaos has sports fans pondering the same maddening question: When will the wild weather wither?

I’m sick of winter. Enough is enough. I need spring … pretty much … right now. Or, as Dr. Seuss might say, “The time has come for spring to spring, for spring is such a lovely thing.”

What’s even stranger is the nature of this winter that has terrorized outdoor sports. We had the warmest January on record, with global warming the primary suspect. As Al Gore stood on the sidelines shaking his head, the Patriots hosted a playoff game on a less-than-intimidating 50-degree day, World Cup skiing events were canceled due to excessively warm conditions and Miami-area environmentalists let out a collective shriek as they envisioned Dolphin Stadium submerged under rising tidal waters.

February was freezing, yet March brought the return of unseasonably pleasant temperatures.

But then there was April. Now, after an unusually springlike winter, we seem to have stumbled backwards and found the forsaken season ready and waiting.

Mild weather at ordinarily-balmy Augusta National led to mild mannered Zach Johnson capturing The Masters. The victory came much to the shock of Tiger Woods and the rest of the nation, not to mention Zach Johnson himself.

Thanks to the conditions, Woods – who always wears red on Sunday – didn’t wear red on Sunday. The four-time champ failed to pack any red sweaters in his bag and was forced to don black on top of his ruby t-shirt.

Meanwhile, back in the Midwest, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers fans were greeted by the remarkably bizarre box score of “PPD/Cold” in the morning papers.

One of the few regional clubs able to salvage its home games, the Minnesota Twins, was saved by the oft-ridiculed Metrodome. It’s easy to imagine, then, that Twins fans shivered violently last week when the team revealed the design for its new ballpark. Scheduled to open in 2010, it will feature, among other amenities, an open-air field.

So while it appears, after weeks of waiting, that winter is finally over, you can’t blame me for being a bit skeptical. I’ve been (freezer) burned too many times. After all, they did just run the Boston Marathon in a nor’easter. And though I’ll certainly be enjoying these mid-50’s days, something tells me I shouldn’t get too comfortable quite yet.