Game dates change weather you like it or not

A few years ago, a high school baseball coach friend of mine called to tell me that his game was being moved up a day. Naturally, I was curious as to why, since schedules had been printed and plans had been made.

“Gonna rain,” he told me.

This was on a Monday. The game was moved from Thursday to Wednesday. On Thursday, I could have gotten a suntan that George Hamilton would be proud of.

Not a drop of rain.

“Good thing you moved it,” I texted him that afternoon. “Wouldn’t want that sunlight to be factor.”

I was stunned that this happened, but am certainly less stunned these days during baseball season. Coaches do it all the time, though it still bothers me just as much.

When it rained in the days before the football scrimmages were to take place in August and teams were moving locations around so they could play on turf instead of the natural-grass of their home stadium, I was fine with that. It’s a scrimmage and the risk of potentially “tearing up the field” before the season even starts was certainly an issue.

But the game-day switching that’s been going on this week? That’s different.

Look, this is not meant to be a when-men-were-men discussion, but the idea that high school football can’t be played in the rain is getting out of control.

Hang on now … I know all the perceived reasons why and I know the real reason why. For a moment, let’s forget all of those.

I will never be in charge of making this call, but if I were, here’s what I would be asking: Is there an F5 tornado heading for the stadium? If yes, move it. If no, see you at 7 p.m.

And don’t give me the “threat of severe weather.” I’m convinced local television meteorologists get paid by the number of times they say those words. The key word there is “threat.” Just like I’m a “threat” to win the lottery.

I have the same phone app that everybody else has. I looked at it Monday and it said there was an 81 percent chance of rain on Friday. That changed a little bit as the days went by, but it was still the same basic forecast when I checked again Thursday afternoon: “Cloudy with periods of rain and a thunderstorm.”

We can’t play in that?

You knew this was coming and I’m sorry I waited so long to say it: It’s football! Could be cold, could be wet, could be foggy, could be windy. You know that going in. By the way, they play golf in Scotland in those exact conditions just about every day.

I understand that it might be Senior Night or Homecoming or some special occasion. You know what else I understand? That plenty of people make plans to attend those events weeks in advance based on when they have been told the game will be played.

Those schedules that are printed before the season aren’t meant to be suggestions.

But … but … but … what about the gate? Ding-ding! We have a winner!

Will there be fewer people at a rainy game than a non-rain game? That’s certainly likely. But that’s for the schools to figure out how to manage. Gate receipts are never a guarantee, even if it’s 74 degrees with no wind. And we both know that weather isn’t the only thing keeping people away from high school football games these days.

Coaches, players, fans would all like conditions to be as perfect as possible. We all know who can play when they are.

Let’s see who can play when they aren’t.

Contact JJ at johnjamesmarshall@yahoo.com