With Hurricane Isabel roaring towards the East Coast, the question begs to be asked. Should severe weather be a factor when deciding who to start?
A couple of years ago I remember watching a home game at Kansas City. It was a monsoon out there. The entire TV crew was having a difficult time getting shots to show the game. The running backs had no footing and could barely hold onto the ball. The quarterbacks couldn’t throw the ball either. It just fluttered up there anytime they tried. It was a mess. Neither team moved the ball and the punters got paid for a good day. Honestly, there are times like that where I wish they postponed the game 24 hours.
Now don’t get me wrong, not all severe weather is equal. Looking at Monday nights game, it was raining, yet both teams seemed to effectively move the ball. So inclement weather doesn’t necessarily mean a low statistics day.
Running backs are especially good starters in reasonably inclement weather. They will get a ton of carries, usually a few passes out of the backfield, and maybe they’ll get lucky and break one when a defensive corner slips. But when a hurricane is baring down on Miami or Carolina, I’d think twice about starting Chris Chambers or Mushin Muhammad. There’s got to be another option available.
One thing I always like to do is start my starting Defensive unit if a monsoon is coming. Those games with severe rain are usually fumble city, low yardage, and low scoring. A game can literally be decided by 1 touchdown or a field goal. So, I’d always start a defense in a severe rain weather game.
Let’s consider severe cold. Would you consider holding back Ahman Green or Brett Favre because it’s 20 below zero at Lambeau Field? That should never be option.
How about extreme heat? Would you consider not starting Jeff Blake or Emmitt Smith because its 110 degrees in Arizona? Not.
How about high winds at Giants Stadium in late December? Maybe if I had to deal with punting statistics I might think twice, or a stat on starting field position. But, sitting Tiki Barber? Out of the question.
Don’t get caught in the trap of winter weather either. As witnessed in the Oakland vs New England playoff game 2 years ago. Players and kickers do find a way to score in the snow. And now, most new stadiums like New England’s new Gillette stadium have the field heated. So we’ll never see a game again in Foxboro with 6-8 inches of snow on the field at half-time.
The Bottom Line
Although its appears Isabel will be memory by kick-off this Sunday, make sure you check for severe weather before locking down your starting line-up, especially if it’s going to being raining like cats and dogs! Does anyone actually get that pun…I never did. So, I looked it up and found the answer. Enjoy!