Sackcloth—the fashion that never goes out of style

My son is a meteorologist. I guess I need to get that fact out of the way.

Also this: I’ve had enough of Robert Kraft and all Kraftiana (except for the unrelated mac and cheese).

That concludes my meager but necessary preface, allowing me to continue without (too much) bias.

Yesterday I read a statement from the National Weather Service apologizing for blowing the forecast in the New York City area this past Tuesday. The prediction of twenty-plus inches of snow never materialized, leaving the area with six to ten. The subway system was shut down, as was Broadway. Probably the Staten Island Ferry and the Guggenheim—though I’d have to check to be sure. Apparently there were minimal casualties, this despite the slippery roads. No casualties—sometimes warnings help.

And all the New Yorkers and their sympathizers complaining about the so-called blown forecast should search their apparently inadequate memory banks to recall the last time the City faced the cleanup after a crippling snowstorm. In 2010, for instance,  just under two feet of snow fell in a December nor’easter, shutting down and isolating entire neighborhoods for days and rousing an endless skein of complaints. And not that it matters to people whose minds are made up, but this week’s forecast was hardly “blown.” We all saw that forecast map of Connecticut Monday evening that indicated 15 to 30 inches of snow would fall. The final range turned out to be a remarkably close 8 to 33. Anyway, for those who were deprived of their share of snow, remember, blown forecasts are easier to shovel out of—ask the people in Stonington. Or Marshfield.

Which brings me to Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, who has, in this season of apologies, demanded one from the NFL when the investigation into his team’s doctoring of footballs is complete. I don’t know if he realizes it or if he cares, but (and I can say this as a Yankee fan) the Patriots are becoming the Yankees in terms of fans’ disaffection. They may not have been around long enough to develop generations and generations of despisers (The Yankees have had more than a century to build up their non-fan base with parents passing it on to children), but the Pats are making up for lost time. The players’ and coaches’ recent denials of any chicanery have been laughable though not unexpected, and most casual observers don’t care about the results of this so-called probe. But for the four-billion-dollar man to demand an apology from a league that seldom does its job and this time decides to? Ludicrous. Arrogant. Unnecessary.

Aplologies, then.

Just by way of comparison, Derek Jeter was successful 30% of the time and he’s a future Hall-of-Famer. Should he apologize for the 70% of at-bats when he didn’t get a hit? If so, then yes, let’s get that apology from NWS and demand that the NFL kiss Robert Kraft’s (Super Bowl) rings. But if we’re going to let Jeter slide, and Larry Bird (who missed half his shots) and John Elway (forty percent of whose passes hit the turf), and Rory Mcllroy (four strokes to reach the hole—after three that missed?) then maybe we should cut the meteorologists some slack too.

In a society as imperfect as ours, let’s not go around expecting an apology from everyone who declares we aren’t perfect.

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