Tony's Take: The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same

It rained like cats and dogs last year at the Arcadia Invitational in California

If many of you believe in climate change it can't be happening now can it? We were all fooled in the month of February when temperatures were regularly in the late spring status that we all love. It was also a record month of warmth for Chicago. There was a week long stretch where I was outdoors coaching on the track and the athletes dressing in classic spring attire. If I recall there were 13 days above 50 degrees, six days over 60 degrees and the high for February 2017 was a whopping 70 degrees! We even got a few cluster days in early March where the temps eclipsed 60 on the mercury. 

Unfortuately, things have returned to "normal" as we closed out the indoor season in late March. So far the first week of April has been dismal aside from "April Fool's Day" where the climes was in the mid-50's. As it may be teams are cancelling meets even before they take place. Our long standing meet vs. St. Ignatius was projected to be canceled more than four days out because of bad weather. In fact, my twitter feed on Monday was littered with postponements and cancellations of track meets. It mirrored the cancellations of baseball and softball games. I understand the cancellation or delay of any sport that a ball is intentionally hurled at another athlete. In my high school days I played high level summer baseball and I can personally tell you that it's dangerous seeing a ball coming out of a pitcher's hand with rain and wind dropping into your face. I've been hit with a 85 mph pitch enough to know that a cancellation is welcomed. 

For some of you who don't know I was a distance runner in high school and college. I don't ever remember a single junior high or high school meet being postponed or cancelled. I remember this one meet as an 8th grader that it was so cold the only time we came outside was to line up and race. My teammates and I did not even warm up- just toed the line and raced. That was 1983-84. I think kids in general are still tough. None of my athletes nor have I heard kids say they were not going to compete because of weather. I think it is the coaches who foster the coddling. Times are different now and we are conditioned as coaches to be soft it seems. We are afraid that our "star" athlete will get hurt or he/she may not be tough enough to weather the conditions like we did as kids. But in actuality, it's the administration along with the coaches who don't want to weather the conditions for a few hours. It's interesting that this never happens in cross country or football during the fall. If it snows we plow the field to play or rave how tough it is to race in the elements. Hmm... some things never change do they?


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