It’s a dreary, wet, blustery Friday in NJN Land.

It’s the kind of day that only the Aflac Duck and James Spann could love.

It’s certainly not a day that a spring sports fan could love, or even like just a little.

Because in the spring, we have the good sense to come in out of the rain when we’re playing a game (unless it’s soccer). We might suffer through a few scattered drops here and there for a while, just to prove we aren’t complete wimps. But when the wet stuff begins in earnest, we head for the dugout, and eventually the minivan or SUV.

It’s a totally different mentality than autumn and football. They play in everything but lightning. Rain? A little mud on your jersey never hurt ‘ya. Snow? If it’s good enough for Green Bay and Vince Lombardi, it’s good enough for you, too. Hail? Well, you’re wearing a helmet, aren’t you?

It says a lot about the widely differing mentalities and culture of football and all the spring games. Football in bad weather toughens us up and prepares us for the dark days of winter. Baseball or softball in bad weather can be dangerous, or it can just get mud on your khakis.

You ponder things like this on days like this, when the parking lot outside is turning into a splash pad,, when the NEXRAD radar looks like something from a bad acid trip circa 1973, and when you realize that the game you were going to cover later in the day won’t happen and you’ve got a big white hole on the sports page that needs to be filled.

(I never said ponderings had to be abstract or ethereal. They can be practical, even selfish.)

You also realize that rainy days even affect winter sports, as the maintenance crew struggles to find and stop a leak in the roof of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center as play goes on in the AHSAA Final 48 state hoops tournament. And it could be worse — remember last year’s SEC Basketball Tournament and the tornado that hit the Georgia Dome? Not cool.

So you wait, and you listen patiently while Spann and his sidekicks explain bow echoes and supercells and cold core upper level low pressure systems, and how a radar-indicated tornado is heading right toward this place that’s just down the road from some barbecue joint that’s a favorite of his, and you think of how you’d much rather be at the ball park than hunkered down in your safe place with a mattress over your head.

But this too shall pass. The skies will clear, the fields will dry out, and your team will play six straight days of makeup games right before the area tournaments start. Because it’s always that way around here during spring.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

Robert Carter is the sports editor of The North Jefferson News.

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