Pedersen on Sports

Tucson needed rain, but it put a damper on a great sports weekend

So this is how everyone else lives.

Last weekend was full of promise, wasn't it? We all had plans of some sort that involved enjoying our wonderful climate, while secretly (or outwardly, depending on our personalities) snickering at that thing called winter that most of the country suffers through at this time of year.

Even if it was just to head out to the mailbox to see if our latest order from GameFly showed up before slipping back into Mom's basement for another 20-hour session fueled by Rockstar and beef jerky, we were all going to make the most of the wonder that is Arizona in early March.

(One of us even had a great column idea percolating in his head, one that involved spending a late afternoon and part of the evening enjoying some college softball.)

Then this strange wet stuff fell from the sky. And kept falling. And didn't stop until a perfectly good weekend was washed away.

Rain isn't something we have to deal with much around these parts, but it seems like its minimal appearance leads to maximum inconvenience. While most of the occasions happen during the monsoon (don't call it monsoon season) and serves as more of a relief from the intense heat than anything else, it does actually rain in Arizona outside of those sizzling late-summer months.

And yet we never seem to be able to get used to this (for us, at least) anomaly. Otherwise we'd have figured out a way to not let it screw everything up.

Just off the top of my head (and only including things of a sporting nature), I compiled the following list of events impacted last weekend by that abomination called precipitation:

UA softball: The Wildcats were scheduled to play five games this weekend in a round-robin tournament at Hillenbrand Stadium. Instead, both Saturday contests were canceled, thus preventing two schools from being run-ruled like most UA foes this season.

UA baseball: Saturday's game against Seton Hall had to be halted in the fourth inning and was resumed on Sunday, followed by a shortened third game (because the Pirates needed to catch a flight back to somewhere where March rain would get nothing more than a passing glance). Arizona lost both and Seton Hall swept the series. Clearly, 100 percent of the blame goes to rain.

UA sand volleyball: Yes, you read that correctly. Arizona has a sand (not beach) volleyball team starting this year. A red-blue scrimmage was scheduled in conjunction with a ribbon-cutting for the sand court just southeast of McKale Center, but the rain made all the tall girls in tank tops and short shorts go away. If ever there was a reason to build a statewide rain shade, this is it.

Desert Diamond Cup: The final triple-header of play went on as scheduled Saturday—because soccer in the rain is nearly as beautiful to watch as a match played on a dry pitch—but conditions didn't make for strong crowds, which is a shame because FC Tucson and its new stadium hosted a great event.

There were plenty of other athletic endeavors impacted by the rain, even after it finally stopped on Saturday night. Through the magic of Twitter I discovered that Tucson Parks and Recreation officials made the Arizona Interscholastic Association-inspired move to close all fields to youth soccer tournament games on Sunday because of rain-damaged fields, despite allowing games to go on during the rain that led to the damage.

Had the AIA figured out a way to postpone all of the state basketball championships in Glendale and Prescott on Saturday because of weather, odds are that would have happened, too.

A select few brave souls stuck out the UA baseball and softball games before they were canceled, and some others stuck it out at the Kino soccer complex for some cool and wet Major League Soccer action. Beyond them, though, most of us just hid inside and cursed the skies.

My wife, a full-on hater of all things not sunny, clear and 80-plus degrees, was so fed up with Saturday's weather that she responded in the only way she could: "That's it, I'm putting on sweatpants—stupid rain," she said.

Basically, we're a bunch of wimps when it comes to even a taste of inclement weather, of which we don't really have much. We spend most of the summer complaining about how it's too hot, and we need the rain ... then it rains, and we're bitching about it knocking down our satellite receivers (though that would piss me the eff off; it's why mine is bolted into the cinder block wall).

But is there anything we can do? Yes. Take back the outdoors, rain be damned.

Throw the football out in the street. Ride a bike through puddles. Pull the grill off the covered porch and let nature season those steaks. Just do something to show the wet stuff that it can't hold you down.

You know, when it rains again ... in four months.

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