Why's it OK for Mother Nature to fool with us?

February 27, 2005|BY MARK KELLER

Remember when you were young and used to look forward to snow days?

Of course, we didn't have the responsibilities then that we do now. All we needed to do was bundle up, find a good hill to sled down and be home before dark.

Now we have the responsibilities of shoveling the sidewalk and the driveway, cleaning off the cars and - unless you have a cushy government job - still reporting for work despite the weather.

How I'd love to be searching for that hill again.

I hate to sound like I'm bellyaching, but ... well, that is what I'm doing here, isn't it?

Scheduling coverage of area events is often my most difficult job. Deciding what gets covered and what doesn't is not a task that we take lightly.


So imagine my dismay when, after arranging our personnel in such a way that we had 90 percent of this weekend's public school playoff games staffed, Mother Nature intervened.

Thursday's snow caused school closings throughout the area Friday, making for one hectic Saturday of playoff basketball.

As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.

Though I promised myself I wouldn't stress over the situation, I found myself worrying about the possible repercussions involved in missing some of these games.

Letters, e-mails, phone calls ... I could expect all of them.

Why does the Board of Education have that silly rule? You know, the one that says if school is canceled for the day all extracurricular events are canceled, too.

They could have played those games Friday night. The roads were clear - actually many were dry - the temperature was up and there seemed no immediate danger of freezing.

I must have sounded like William Devane in "The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training."

"LET ... THEM ... PLAY!"

"LET ... THEM ... PLAY!"

"LET ... THEM ... PLAY!"

But nobody heard me ... well, nobody outside of the newsroom, anyway. And those in the newsroom told me to keep it down.

My options were simple:

- Hire Ping and five of his clones from the AARP commercial, or;

- Get to all the events we could, then grin and bear it.

Ping didn't return my call, so ...

I guess it just goes to show how little we have to say about things that we think we can control.

Here's hoping we don't face the same problem next winter - or again this winter.

And just as an insurance policy, I've promised Mother Nature to keep my lawn looking nice this summer. It never hurts to try a little bribe.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. he can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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