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Cold Weather Wreaks Havoc on U.P. Sports

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It isn’t even the snow this winter… but the blistering cold.

MARQUETTE, MI – 2/19/2015 – I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a monster in the morning.  Morning Carl is a lot meaner than all other Carls.  Morning Carl’s routine is just that:  a routine.  I get up, shower, eat, brush the teeth, watch a little TV, and go to work.  It was not the case this morning.  Steps 1-5 went swimmingly.  I woke up, always a good start.  The shower was magnificent, you know the kind.  Where the water is the absolute perfect temperature?  Just delightful.  I even made a nice breakfast: eggs, sausage, hash browns, and toast with orange juice.  The toothpaste was a bit off due to my orange juice consumption, but that’s okay.  My nice routine was on point as I watched the Red Wing highlights (they beat the Blackhawks).  Then I’m heading to the car, water in hand, get in, turn the key and…. *click-click click-click*.  My boss is pretty flexible, so I wasn’t worried about being late, but it was more of the fact that I had errands to run and would prefer not to be getting dropped off by my dad who had to pick me up.  The final thought I had as my dad pulled up was:  “Screw you Mother Nature.”  

My point is that Mother Nature is going through some sort of mid-life crisis it seems as we’re staring -20° in the face.  Schools are cancelling the night before, which never used to happen back in my day.  The “back in my day” statement is dripping with sarcasm if you didn’t know.  Besides the obvious problem of kids missing out on school is the fact that these snow/cold days are causing cancellations of the extracurricular activities.  When games get cancelled this late in the season, the athletic directors have two choices:  reschedule the games or cancel them.  Both have their pros and cons, but both are ultimately a step back for the coaches & players.  If you cancel the game, the players miss out on a game they were preparing for and maybe are missing out on facing a team they wanted to.  A coach may not get the chance to work some kinks out of his basic system, or try out some new things in a game situation.  On the other hand, if you reschedule the game, you run into the possibility of having three games in a week, which at this point in the season is not something coaches want.  The best team in any sport is usually very high on the conditioning chart, but even the most in-shape team can get run-down by the end of the season.  In the event of a rescheduling, a team may be wrapping up their season with three games in the final week, and then heading into the playoffs.

Look!  It gets... better?

Look! It gets… better?

Whether it’s the NBA, the NCAA tournament, or the NIT’s in Negaunee, it shows when a team has more rest than their opponent.  On the professional level, you can see a team like the New York Knicks knock off the Chicago Bulls because the Bulls are playing their third game in four nights.  It’s not such a big deal in that instance, because there’s 82 games to play, and the playoff series are best-of-seven.  In the MHSAA, it’s one & done.  Fortunately there should be five days of rest for all teams, but I’ve seen teams have to wrap up their seasons against each other on a Monday due to conference title implications, then they go on to face different teams two days later in a playoff atmosphere and lose.

Hopefully the weather will not prevent any more cancellations moving forward, otherwise kids may still be in school come July.  Also so we can see a team win because they are truly the better team, and not catching them on five days rest versus one day.  We’ll see what Mother Nature has in store for us moving forward, but as Yoopers… we know not to expect too much this time of year!

-Carl Leander Johnson

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