An e-mail I received from Bountiful baseball coach Clark "Boog" Stringfellow summed up the reaction of many high school sports fans along the Wasatch Front when they woke up on Monday morning.
It read, "Nice Freakin' Snow."
I agree. Can we get a little sunshine in this area?
I'm tired of the rain. I'm tired of the snow. I would like to relax at a baseball, softball or soccer game sometime soon, enjoy some sunflower seeds and a soda, and take in some sun rays. I've lived here my whole life, so I understand that will probably happen, oh, in about six weeks or so.
I've always wondered why the interest in spring sports has traditionally been less than that of the sports played in the fall and winter. Football is king in this state, and basketball isn't far behind. The sports currently being played are far behind in terms of fan interest.
And why is that? Are student fans burned out and looking to summer by the time spring rolls around? Are the spring sports less exciting to watch than football and basketball? Are there fewer fans at the games because they are played in the afternoon?
I haven't completed any scientific studies on the subject, so I don't have the answers. But one opinion I do have on the matter, is that weather is a big reason why there are smaller crowds at spring sporting events than there are at football and basketball games.
You have to be a diehard to sit through some of the weather that games have been played in so far this spring. At the games I've been to, fans are dressed for winter, bundled in blankets, and their frozen faces are as stiff as if they've had Botox injections.
The teams getting games in along the Wasatch Front aren't entirely comfortable, either.
"It's a nightmare," said Judge Memorial baseball coach Jeff Myaer. "This is the worst one (spring) I've seen so far in my four years here."
Bad weather can cause headaches for baseball and softball teams. After storms, they spend hours getting their fields ready just to be able to play games. They have to coordinate with umpires, making sure they don't show up when their games are canceled. Then there's the matter of having to reschedule games. On Tuesday, there were 103 high school games scheduled across the state. We only got results called in on 73 of them.
Those were the varsity contests. Remember, there are junior varsity and underclass teams hoping to get full schedules played. Myaer said Judge has had to cancel six non-varsity games this spring.
Obviously, soccer teams don't have the same concerns as baseball and softball teams. Lightning is about the only thing that will keep a soccer game from being played.
A 10-day forecast on weather.com briefly gave me hope that things will get better. It is supposed to be sunny today, and cloudy but dry until Monday. But then we're looking at rain on Tuesday, possible snow on Wednesday and rain again next Thursday.
In other words, a typical Utah spring weather pattern.
There really isn't anything we can do about it, other than vent. Myaer suggests starting the spring sports seasons two weeks later, but even he sees some problems with his idea. That would likely stretch the state tournament to a time when classes are finished at most schools. That could diminish support at the tournaments and prevent the champions from having the chance to be properly congratulated by their classmates in school.So we'll just deal with the uncomfortable weather conditions, and I'll do what the rest of the diehards do. I'll bundle up, learn what I'd look like with Botox, and look forward to when I can sit under the sun and enjoy baseball probably at a Bees game in June.
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