Mets Cancel Weekend Games: Hurricane Irene

The Mets have canceled Saturday and Sunday’s games against the Atlanta Braves because of the impending visit of Hurricane Irene. They will be made up as a doubleheader on September 8. My question is, why not wait a bit to cancel the games?

Let me tell you a little story: I entered the New York City public school system in 1968 (when I put it that way, man I’m old!). The only time schools ever closed during my time as a student was for a blizzard in 1979. I was in 11th grade and it was finals week; I did not have a test scheduled for that day so I was off anyway.

(Incidentally, I later went on to work in the TV news business where we all had to work on blizzard days (below), so I never had a snow day in my entire life. How sad.  My mother even sent me to school during the infamous ice storm in the mid 70s.).

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Taking a break from work during a 90s blizzard. That’s me on the far right. By the way, that car on the right was stuck in the intersection at 67th and Columbus for hours!

Anyway, the next time the schools closed was for a blizzard in the mid 90s. Schools just never closed. Then came a predicted blizzard in the late 90s or early 2000s. The forecasters were calling for some two feet of snow. It was going to be among the worst storms to ever hit the city. The city would be impassable. We’d be digging out until spring. Thousands would perish.

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Schools were preemptively shut down. And guess what happened? Not only was there no blizzard, not one flake of snow fell on the city. Seriously, not one.

Now, Hurricane Irene looks like a hell of a storm. And it looks almost certain that it will hit New York in some way, shape or form. Or maybe it will not. Maybe it will take a crazy right turn and head out to sea. The odds are apparently against it, but no one knows for sure.

It obviously is smart to start making plans now — you know, plan for the worst and hope for the best. But why not wait until the rain starts to cancel the games? The Mets and the city are going to look pretty silly if the sun is shining and the birds are singing Saturday or Sunday and Citi Field sits empty.

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