Trains of Thought

Raindrops are falling on my head...

April showers bring May flowers--right?

Maybe. But for now, coaches and players of spring sports would like nothing better than a big, fat drought.

These incessantly rainy/snowy/sleety past few weeks have prevented any of Harvard's teams from practicing outside for a near-record period of time. Spring break is in two weeks and the softball team can't hit the field because of the snowdrifts.

This is what Stanford was trying to say when it sent out all those pictures of tanned students relaxing on the green grass. Hey! It doesn't snow in March here!


Last night, the women's lacrosse team was practicing at Boston University--they have artificial turf over there--and it started snowing.

"We practiced in a blizzard," Co-Captain Liz Berkery said with only the slightest hint of incredulity. "People were sliding all over the place. It was fun."

"It's disgusting," softball captain Nancy Johnson said.

The softball team has been practicing on the astroturf of Briggs Cage since early February. It has even played two scrimmages indoors, modifying the rules along the lines of indoor soccer or arena football.

"It was very interesting," Johnson said. We would play the balls off the nets. It was like fifth-grade playground rules all over again."

A couple of games have already been rescheduled: the men's lacrosse team will not kick off their season against traditional opening-day rival C.W. Post, but will open this weekend on the road at Cornell. And the women's lacrosse team had to cancel last night's game against Massachusetts--for obvious reasons.

Clearly, Harvard's spring sports are taking a beating. The crew teams still can't get on the river. The lacrosse teams have late night and early morning practices whenever they can get "turf time" at BU. Softball and baseball just persevere.

"We've been indoors for six weeks," Johnson said. "There's only so much you can do."

"It does kind of put a damper on the situation," men's lacrosse midfielder Mike Agrillo said. "We need to be outside. Playing outside is a big deal."

What is to be done? Short of an artificial turf field industrial strength hairdryers or--my favorite idea--a giant Climate-controlled dome encompassing all of Harvard except the Business School (they can pay for their own dome)--not much.

In the meantime, it's trips to BU and the crossing of fingers. Please, Please, Please let the sun come out.

...But I'm not gonna stop the rain by complaining, Cryin's not for me.

Ah, hell, it might work, you never know.