In search of an apology/The Red Line

Sometimes I wonder if the National Weather Service gets complaint calls like me.

Obviously, we know their responsibility is only to measure and predict the weather, but I could imagine a confused person or an innocent youngster getting on their case.

Somehow, the spring of 2014 has been worse than the spring of 2013 and I want someone to hear my grievances.

The first one that comes to mind is related to track and field regionals, which take place throughout the U.P. either today or tomorrow. Yes, these are the meets that determine eligibility for the U.P. Finals in Kingsford, which are about 2 1/2 weeks away.

Never mind the fact there has been one outdoor track meet in the area so far (last Friday in Lake Linden). Never mind that the forecast highs for today and Friday are 43 and 45 respectively or that snow is predicted on May 16.

It’s playoff time!

The Copper Country has seen a surge of new opportunities perhaps unmatched since the mainstreaming of girls’ sports with the addition of softball at Calumet, L’Anse, Lake Linden-Hubbell and Jeffers (co-oping with Chassell) and baseball at Houghton.

They picked a great year.

At least the softball teams have a conference. Houghton was supposed to have two home baseball games at Stanton Ballfield this week. Well, Stanton Ballfield, being in the lake-effect snow bullseye, wasn’t playable at last report. Though arrangements had been made to go to Hancock Driving Park, Monday’s game with Marquette was rained out by a system so ridiculous I started laughing for no reason while walking home from work. Thursday’s game with Ironwood was cancelled because the Red Devils had to prioritize their backlog of Indianhead Conference games.

You might remember my open letter to the MHSAA in this space roughly a month ago (April 17, to be exact).

Well, John Johnson, the MHSAA’s communications director sent me a response. As sports editors from throughout the state have come to expect, Johnson’s reply was courteous and informative.

Summarizing his main points via paraphrase: The U.P. Athletic Committee makes the first call about many of these matters (since softball and baseball are the only local sports with full-state postseason competition), so any calendar shift plan would probably start there.

The MHSAA apparently attempted to float the idea of moving the finale of the spring sports season back a week or two to conclude the school year with a week-long sports festival, but many of the members were unhappy about athletics going too far past the end of the school year and conflicts with end-of-year matters such as graduations and dismissals and such.

Good thing most of our school districts have extended the end of the year, too. Should line up just perfect.

None of the above paragraphs surprise me – that’s the thing about a statewide organization with hundreds of members. It’s unlikely that all of them have the same interests and the majority rules.

But I just wish someone would be available to apologize for the horror stories of 2014.

I wish Mother Nature had something to say to the young athlete who wanted to try softball for the first time and ended up spending most of the season in the gym or the golfer who paid to hit balls into a ‘golf simulator.’

It’s tempting to just write off this entire spring. Believe me, I’ve come close. However, there are no redshirts in high school sports. This is it for the seniors out there.

Good thing is, the medals are the same size every year, so those that overcome these conditions to win will just have something extra to go with their stories for the kids.