Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bad Weather; Bad Sportsmanship

It was a hard night in the Texas Panhandle. From the Amarillo Globe-News:
Wes Reeves, spokesman for Xcel Energy, said that at 9:15 p.m., 14,000 customers in the Texas Panhandle were without power "and that number is likely to grow."
Jose Garcia, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Amarillo, said his office received "easily a half a dozen and probably more" reports of tornadoes.
Tornado reports began in Deaf Smith County and that same line moved north-northeast into Hartley County, where twisters were reported near Channing and west of Dumas in Moore County.
"Those same storms have moved to the north-northeast, producing tornadoes in Hartley County near Channing," Garcia said.
The NWS also received reports of heavy rain, high wind and hail as large as baseballs in various spots in the Panhandle.
I just happened to tune in to Amarillo’s Channel 7 yesterday afternoon after the hockey game and spent the next four hours or so watching the superb real-time weather reporting by young meteorologist Nick Bender. I haven’t seen such high-quality and useful severe weather reporting since I left Oklahoma City back in 1985 (think: the legendary Gary England). Mr. Bender was on-camera for about four hours straight, delivering updates, warnings, and advice in a most professional manner. Portales is on the fringe of Channel 7’s viewing area and it’s a comfort to know these guys are this good.
Oh…we got not a single drop of rain in all that heavy weather. Again.
Speaking of hockey… Wings win, 5-1. Game six is in Calgary tonight, and it will be a doozy! But…about yesterday’s game… This past Friday I wrote:
The Wings simply need to get their special teams into the game and quit giving Calgary the gift of the power play, which is the SOLE reason the Flames have tied this series.
The Wings did just that yesterday afternoon, and Boy Howdy were the special teams ever effective! Calgary was 0-8 on the power play, while the Wings scored not one but three power play goals…and added two short-handed goals, one of which came on Daniel Cleary’s beautiful penalty shot. Penalty shots are rare during the regular season and almost unheard of during the playoffs. Cleary’s goal was the Wing’s first-ever successful penalty shot during the playoffs, and the first playoff penalty shot taken by the Wings since 1988. Chris Chelios scored the other short-handed goal. Not bad for a 45 year-old guy appearing in his NHL record 22nd playoff season.
The game got very ugly late in the third period. From an AP report:
When the Flames knew they'd fall behind 3-2 in the first-round series, they weren't satisfied with just some scrums and trash talk.
The lopsided game took an ugly turn with a few minutes left when Calgary backup goalie Jamie McLennan slashed Johan Franzen in the midsection.
"It doesn't belong in hockey," said Franzen, who said the slash shocked him more than it hurt.
The slash might lead to a stiff suspension from the NHL, which gave the Islanders' Chris Simon a 25-game suspension for viciously swinging his stick last month.
McLennan didn't talk to reporters after the game.
"I think the league will take a look at a few things that happened," Zetterberg said.
Flames star Jarome Iginla got into the act, with hooking and cross-checking penalties with 43 seconds left with aggressive stick work.
"It was really about getting some fights going at that point to keep our energy up and carry some anger into the next game," Iginla said with several new stitches over his left eye. "We're not going away."
Further… The comments thread to this Toronto Globe and Mail article are telling:
Fast Eddie from Lakeshore Ont., Canada writes: As a Calgary fan, I am totally embarassed of their conduct in todays game. Phanouf, McLennan and Iginla should hang their heads in shame for the show they put on at the end of the game. If you cant beat Detroit fair and square, and lose like sportsmen, then you deserve to be put out of your misery fast. Now I hope Detroit ends it on Sunday. Shame on the Flames.
Mike Mike from Calgary, writes: Man... Flames did let down their fans not only on a scoreboard but also with their conduct. I don't mind hard hits, good old fight... but trying to injure other players with your stick, elbows or sucker punches (Langkw) is totally disgraceful. And for anybody saying that Crosby whines a lot - take a look at Iginla. Hope Wings can wrap it up tomorrow.
Those are Calgary fans commenting, and they are absolutely, positively correct. I’ve never seen a team lose their composure and discipline so quickly and so completely. And while the AP politely referred to Iginla’s “aggressive stick work,” the reality was Iginla used the butt-end of his stick in a blatant attempt to injure. The NBC play-by-play guys opined that (a) if the NHL reviews the tapes and, (b) assuming the butt-ending is visible, then (c) Iginla should be suspended as well. I agree, once again. There is NO room for behavior like that in the NHL or any other sport, for that matter.
I imagine the Wings are just totally p!ssed off. Iginla’s tactic has backfired, and a fired-up Wings team should end the series this evening. This is gonna be interesting…
Today’s Pic: More bad skies, taken mid-afternoon yesterday. As noted above, it was all show and no go in P-Town, but Hell On Wheels in the Panhandle. The view is looking NNW, towards Amarillo. The pic is deliberately under-exposed to capture the cloud detail.


  1. I was hoping for a little rain yesterday. Hubby said that if it did, that would shut him down from cutting hay for a couple of days and we were going to take the new camper up to Ft. Sumner Lake for the night. Well, maybe we can go next weekend.

  2. I love "rain days" for farmers. It usually means a trip to The City or some such fun. But stormy weather and tornado season is not so fun. Missing a good TV show or sports event due to the reporting of storms often makes me crazy. I hope P-Town gets the rain without the storms.

  3. Jenny: It was beautiful yesterday, wasn't it? But one day does not a weekend make...

    Lou said: But stormy weather and tornado season is not so fun. Missing a good TV show or sports event due to the reporting of storms often makes me crazy.

    I'll bet there were more than a few parents made crazy Saturday night in Amarillo and environs. The storm reporting pre-empted a Harry Potter movie... I can just imagine the angst!

  4. Well, it was just the first HP movie. Got it on DVD. The NEW one (#5) doesn't come out til July 13th. Followed on the 21st by the 7th and last book. Yup, fans here! My 9 year old is reading #6, and 7 year old is on #3.

  5. Jenny sez: Yup, fans here! My 9 year old is reading #6, and 7 year old is on #3.

    One of the strangest things I ever saw in my life was when I lived in Berkeley...I was leaving my apt one morning to walk to the BART station and was nearly run into by a woman reading Harry Potter as she was walking. I followed just behind her for about a block (she was walking at a pretty good clip, too) until I just couldn't stand it any longer...I had to ask her "How can you DO that? Walk and read at the same time?" She explained ("I dunno. I just do it.") Then we had an interesting discussion about HP, and I got filled in.

    Another sorta interesting tidbit... TSMP forbade SN3 from reading HP a few years back (I think he was six or seven at the time) because she thought the books would "give him bad dreams." Dunno if the prohibition is still in effect... I hope not. I've seen the first HP movie and wasn't too impressed...but then, I'm not a movie guy at all.


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