Tag Archives: weather

Winter In A Baseball Stadium

 

 

 

 

 

We’re dealing with some wintery weather here in Tennessee in recent days. Where I’m located, there really wasn’t enough snow to be a factor, but other areas were inundated. It reminded me of something I saw a couple of weeks ago online.

So what do you do with a baseball stadium during the winter months?

The folks in Cleveland figured it out. It’s called Cleveland Snow Days.

They installed an innertube luge run, an ice skating rink and a snowball tossing area along with some other nifty stuff during the weeks before and after the holidays.

Even cooler is that the baseball dugouts were warm-up areas for the chilly visitors. How awesome would that be to hang out in the dugout? Pretty awesome if you ask me.

It brought people back to the downtown area during a time when foot traffic and visitors are at a minimum. Very smart.

And it looks like it would be fun.

So until the first pitch of spring, here’s to Cleveland and their winter baseball wonderland.

Vision Quest

So I spent the majority of Monday on a day long drive from the office to a tennis match to another tennis match to a softball game and back to the office.

It was a long day, nearly 200 miles and several different towns and cities.

I spent most of it by myself in the car. Part of the time driving I was on the phone, but most of it was just good old me, myself and I.

During the course of the day I saw tears of sadness and exhaustion followed by tears of joy. The joyful emotion came not from an athlete but from a parent.

I saw heavy, black thunder clouds that transported tornadoes that ripped up a few communities I didn’t drive through.

I saw a coyote trotting through a field. I don’t know its destination, but I believe it was racing to find a safe spot ahead of the storm.

I saw a rainbow.

I think it was some sort of vision quest day.

Purple Snow In Russia

I ran across this story earlier in the week, but I was too busy preparing to head out of town for work to post it here.

Now that I’m home, I present a story for all you Weather Channel fans out there.

In the spectrum of colorful meteorological mayhem, it’s not Prince’s “Purple Rain“, but purple snow that fell upon Russia. The lavender powder was impacted by dust from Africa rising into the atmosphere and mingling with the snow clouds.

Weird stuff indeed, but it makes for one lovely blanket.

Here’s another weird weather anomaly, an icicle that looks like Jack Frost.

Six More Weeks of Winter

If weather prediction were left to up to the Squirrel Queen instead of that annoying prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil, there would be no way that six more weeks of winter would be an option.

Who listens to a groundhog anyway? Fraidy cat scared of its own shadow.

Not the Squirrel Queen. I’m mandating an early arrival for spring.

I’m booking it a flight on Priceline right now.

William Shatner would be so proud.

Hacked Stop Signs

What with all the snow on the roads around here, everyone is yakking about reckless fools sliding through stop signs due to their carelessness combined with the driving conditions.

So in honor of the octagonal red intersection commands, Urlesque has hacked stop signs and their unexpected messages.

Everything from MC Hammer to Harry Potter gets referenced. Some of the pics are photoshopped but others have been physically altered.

None of them, however, offer a zombie warning for you.

Empty Shelves = Snowpocalypse 2010

So the entire state is buzzing with dire predictions of snow – they’re talking INCHES not flurries.

Of course, this brings about a mad rush by consumers who apparently believe purchasing loaves and gallons are talismans that will keep the weather worries at bay or at least see them through the crisis so they don’t have to eat their youngest child like something off a Donner Party hors d’oeuvres tray.

I don’t mind the snow.

It’s the ice that worries me. My neck of the woods was fortunately just south of the ice crisis that made life so miserable for so many for so long last year in Western Kentucky.

Even my family living one county over from my current home was impacted without power for five days and they were on the extremely southern edge of the worst weather.

Here’s hoping if the snow falls over the next few days, it just offers excellent sledding and no power outages and may your shopping cart be filled with your favorite grocery items.

Stay Away Jack Frost

I have to admit I’m enjoying this mild weather we’re having here in West Tennessee at the start of 2009.

After the late freezes of December, it’s liberating to go out without a coat and gloves.

So Jack Frost, stay in Lake Stevens, Washington a few more days.

That’s where this photo of an anthropomorphic icicle was taken.

To read more about the legend of Jack Frost, visit the Daily Mail.

Tornado Hits The Georgia Dome During SEC Men’s Tournament

Last night was an odd one for college basketball. Mother Nature can play a role in the outdoor athletics of football in the fall and winter and baseball in the spring and summer, but rarely does she impede the progress of a basketball tourney.

Tornadoes blowing through Atlanta disrupted the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament and I happened to be watching the game as it was played. It was really crazy and I have to commend the announcers for Raycom, led by Tim Brando, for handling the situation with aplomb.

I was getting my March Madness groove on early for most of the day yesterday. I watched parts of the Tarheels and Florida State tangling early on Friday and saw a few minutes of the Kansas win too. I headed to the office for a while before covering a high school baseball game between two teams in my area.

After coming home from the local diamond and warming my chilled body over a warmed-up plate of leftover spaghetti, I turned the TV to more college basketball conference tourney action. I opted to watch the SEC’s quarterfinal round with Alabama and Mississippi State squaring off in a game that was pretty close most of the way through. I thought the big excitement of the game was going to be a leaning 3-pointer by Mykal Riley at the buzzer to end regulation and force overtime.

Wrong!!

While I was watching the announcers and the teams prepare for the OT, I began to notice some static in the video. I thought to myself there must be a storm moving through disrupting the satellite signal. The action began and a whistle for a foul stopped the action with 2:11 left in the extra session. Nothing unusual there.

But then, I heard a rumble and the announcers made note of something happening in the crowd behind them. Cameras panned up and you could see fans streaming up out of the arena.

Not long after the scene went to static. The signal was only completely disrupted for a few seconds but it definitely reminded me of the earthquake in San Francisco that disrupted the Bay Bridge World Series between the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants on Oct. 17, 1989.

As players and coaches left the court and headed to the locker rooms, the announcers tried to make sense of what was happening above and around them. The catwalks and light standards above the arena were swaying, cameras pointed out tears in the “skin” of the dome and the surrounding teflon-coated cover flapping in the breeze.

Small bits of debris had fallen on the court and other pieces of what appeared to be paper or insulation were drifting and floating in the wind whipping through the upper areas of the 29-story tall arena.

Brando compared the noise of wind rushing into the arena to a freight train, typical of a tornado. He relayed that he had been in a tornado before and the sound was comparable. At this time, it was not confirmed as tornadic activity, but later reports declared the storm cell a twister.

After a 63-minute delay play was resumed with Mississippi State winning the game. Another quarterfinal contest between Georgia’s Bulldogs and Kentucky’s Wildcats was scheduled to be played after the Mississippi State win, but SEC officials moved that game to Saturday afternoon in a different location. Now the winner of that game must play twice on Saturday – in their quarterfinal game at noon and later on Saturday night in a semifinal contest.

Georgia Tech, located in Atlanta, but not a member of the SEC, was to host the remainder of the conference’s tourney games. The arena on Tech’s campus holds less than half of the fans, so only players, cheerleaders, pep band members, families of the players and credentialed media members and conference representatives could attend. That decision was made to keep crowds of SEC fans from coming into the downtown area, eliminating the need for extra security and keeping citizens out of areas that were damaged and disrupted by the storms.

The CNN building and the Omni Hotel were two of the other well-known structures damaged by the high winds. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has reader submitted pics of damage.

The area surrounding the Georgia Dome was littered with pieces of debris and glass.

The shot that forced overtime in the Mississippi State/Alabama game may have saved lives. Should the game have ended in regulation, those crimson-clad fans would have streamed out into the street earlier, coinciding with the arrival of the storm winds. Falling debris could easily have injured fans on the street of Atlanta.

It was really weird to watch as an observer outside the area.

I’ve been covering games before when the power went out. About 20 years ago, storms caused a temporary power outage in Murfreesboro during the state tournaments. That certainly created a sense of unease in the cavernous dark arena mostly filled with strangers. The lights weren’t out long, but it was long enough.

Power never went out in the Georgia Dome, but it was obvious something was wrong with parts of the building swaying, wind roaring through the facility and debris falling from above.

Seeing the catwalks moving, my first thought was of an earthquake, but the description of the noise as a freight train immediately changed that to thoughts of tornadoes.

One of the players, Mississippi State guard Ben Hansbrough, said after the game during a press conference he heard a loud boom and wasn’t sure if it was a tornado or a terrorist bomb. That’s just part of the era we live in.

I attended the second game the St. Louis Cardinals played immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11. That was another intense fan experience with security at an extremely high level.

The logistics of moving an entire tournament to another arena on about a 13-hour notice must have been crazy both for the conference officials and the media outlets covering the games.

All-in-all, it was one weird night for sports.