Well, golf in the rain isn't as much fun as golf in the sunshine. And covering golf in the rain sure as hell ain't as much fun as covering golf in the sunshine. Trust me. I know this now.
I was tasked with covering the Virginia State Girls Golf Open at nearby Forest Greens Golf Course. Covering yesterday would've been all right - it was sunny, after all. But covering today? Not so much.
Temps around 60. Steady rain - sometimes light, sometimes heavier, but always rain.
The tournament director is a sweet woman who will talk your ear off, and she was determined to get two days of the tournament in, come hell or high water. At times, it felt like the latter might actually be applicable. (I'm certain the raindrops on the windshield are the most notable aspect of the pic above; at the lower right, however, you'll also notice a stream of water running down the water channel er, cart path.
So off I went, driving around, trying to stay dry (and generally failing) in the trusty cart that was lent to me. Obviously, this situation wasn't as bad as for the golfers and their parents, who were walking and soaked to the core.
But I stayed 'til the bitter end and wrote down every single score, even though I knew I probably wouldn't need them all. But one of our local girls was in one of the final groups, so I didn't have much choice.
After spending nearly nine hours outside in the miserable weather, I rejoiced at the thought of heading back to the office. Bang out a story, get a little warmer, head home.
But you know better. That's not how the story goes. Otherwise it wouldn't be one of those days.
While in the office, one of our former colleagues calls to let us know he was watching ESPN and an Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman was suspended for four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. That might seem irrelevant, but considering he grew up and went to high school in our county...
Balls. So much for getting home in time to see The Simpsons.
I try to patch together a story on what we know, which isn't much. Per the Falcons' Web site, this was the sum total of the NFL announcement:
STATEMENT BY NFL SPOKESPERSON:
"Matt Lehr of the Atlanta Falcons has been suspended without pay for the team's next four games for violating the NFL Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances. The suspension begins immediately. Lehr will be eligible to return to the Falcons' active roster on Monday, November 13."
So there's that. And that ain't much. So we get some background - three-year starter at Virginia Tech, drafted by Dallas, signed as a UFA with Atlanta in '04 - and make it sound pretty. Give some notice about the timing (he's back in time for a game with Baltimore, two weeks before Atlanta comes to DC), make the obligatory call to his agent.
But it's something, and I was able to whip it together in 30 minutes.
I figure when I leave the office, I'll be able to whip something together at home to eat - since by now, it's been about seven hours since I had any sustenance. But then I come to my senses and I realize I'm a piss-poor cook when I'm not standing in front of a grill. So I opt for Subway instead.
I walk in and am really looking forward to my meatball sub. So I place my order and...
wait. And wait a little more, while my sandwich-maker disappears.
She comes back and says she's making more meatballs, and it'll take 5-10 minutes.
Fine, just give me a ham and cheese. She does and proceeds to go awfully light on the accompanying mustard and pickles. Perhaps there was something in my worn-our, exasperated expression that told her, "Damn, this dude really wants his pickles." I asked for more mustard while we were at it, too.
But the positive part of the day is that it's over. I'm here in comfy clothing, in a quiet room, just relaxing.
I gotta be honest: It's a hell of a lot better than listening to the rain go splat on the roof of a cart.