Friday, September 20, 2013

Bad Weather At Sporting Events Suddenly Fascinates Americans

Two (sort of) weather related quirks this week have me scratching my head a bit at sporting events affected by storms.
Fans wait out bad weather at the 49ers-Seahawks

The first case is the notion that the nation's second most watched TV show last week was people waiting for rain and lightning to stop at an NFL game.

According to Deadspin, the  NFL lightning delay at a 49ers-Seahawks game outscored "60 Minutes" and "America's Got Talent."  (and even "Duck Dynasty"!) according to Neilson ratings.

Was it that fascinating watching fans and players wait for bad weather to improve? I guess that helps explain the ratings success of The Weather Channel. People will watch all kinds of things weather related, apparently. 

Of course, the designation of the NFL lightning delay as the second most watched show last week is a bit of a quirk.  I'm sure most of those viewers were just people who left their TVs on, so they could hear when the actual game started. 

NFL games are always played in bad weather, of course. But lightning is an exception. The 49ers-Seahawks game was delayed until after thunderstorms passed. 

The importance of delaying or cancelling sporting events due to lightning was driven home by a video of a football game half time performance in Florida that has gone viral.

The marching band was just finishing up when a lightning bolt hit a tree just off the field. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but the video demonstrates why most high schools and colleges stop games at the first rumble of thunder.

Supposedly, the bolt of lightning at the Florida high school game was the first indication a storm was brewing.  The game was eventually called at half time as the lightning danger lingered.

Here's the video of the close call:

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