Sports commentary: Baby, it's cold outside

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I thought they were supposed to be SPRING sports!

By Mike Forster

  Spring sports:  what a misnomer!

OK.  I'll admit that I had to turn to my dictionary to find out what "misnomer" means.  According to that mighty book, a misnomer is "a misapplied or inappropriate name or designation."

So, how is the term "spring sports" a misnomer?  Easy:

1)  Spring is supposed to be a time of warmth and sunshine.

2)  Spring sports, therefore, are supposed to be played in warmth and sunshine.

When you're freezing your pattootie off while watching a ball game, you're not subjected to warmth and sunshine.

Such was the case as the preps spring campaigns opened last week.  Here's what we had: temperatures hovering in the 30s, wind that was as biting as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a Cici's buffet trough, and white, flaky things falling from the sky.

Yes, I kid you not.  We had touches of snow.

Now, I'm not much of a complainer.  The wife might disagree with that assertion, particularly when it comes to things such as helping with the housework, picking up discarded laundry, the type of fabric softener she uses, the brand of ketchup she buys and how the toilet paper is hung on the roller (over, never under).

I've also been known to be a bit persnickety when it comes to key issues such as Cocoa Krispies vs. Count Chocula, waxed vs. unwaxed dental floss and seeded vs. unseeded rye bread.

But, when it comes to matters of my job, I'm easy like Sunday morning.  In fact, I'm pretty sure the Commodores' song by that name was written just for me.

But, easy as I am, I'll still complain about the intemperate conditions that accompanied last week's slate of ball games.

I could point my fickle finger of fault at Mother Nature.  What business does she have unleashing snows during a softball game?  

I could, but I won't.  Instead, I fault those that make the "spring sports" schedule.  They need to keep a copy of the Old Farmer's Almanac nearby.  In it, they would find that spring does not begin until March 21.

That means that things scheduled on March 10 or March 14 or even March 20 will take place during winter.

By definition, winter is cold.  What's that, you say?  What about global warming?  Well, the thought of that phenomenon struck me exactly zero times as I tried to unfreeze my index finger from the shutter-release button on my camera the other night.

I should have known I was in trouble when, on my way into the game, I noticed a dog frozen to a fire hydrant.  That's cold!

One of the coaches told me he couldn't write because his pen hand and his notebook hand were each shaking so violently.  That's cold!

I've lived through three German winters and the worst that Minnesota has to offer, and even I'm complaining about the weather.  That's cold!

This spring sports ruse is another example of the old bait-and-switch.  That's where something attractive is advertised, such as a brand new Whirlpool refrigerator for the low price of $299.

When you arrive at the store, you are told they are out of that model, but are willing to sell you a different model for substantially more moolah.

Sometimes the bait-and-switch works for the store.  Most times, it just leaves them with an angry customer:  one that won't be returning soon.

By the way, the bait-and-switch could be used to describe just about every blind date that I ever had.  In case you were wondering, I was the one playing the role of the appliance salesman.  The poor woman was playing the (ultimately) disappointed customer.

But I ask you, is it my fault that my interpretation of the term "has the appearance of a bronze god" differs from that of others.  After all, when I think of bronze gods, I think of Dionysus, the Roman god of beer, nachos and pizza.

But, I digress.

The point is, spring sports should be played in nice weather.  Absent that, they should be played in rainy, albeit warm, weather.

They shouldn't have a place among snowflakes, hail and bitter temperatures.

That's why God (the real one, not a lower-case god such as Dionysus) provided us with ski hills, skating rinks and basketball courts for the winter.  He wanted us to revel on baseball diamonds and soccer pitches during the warmer times.

And that's the last complaint you'll hear from this guy.  

That is, until the start of this autumn's football season.  The first game is slated to kickoff on August 30.  

And that date is a full three weeks before the start of autumn.