How I Saved New Orleans

by Alan J. Claffie

I was set. It was going to be awesome. Not only was I going to go to my first Major League Baseball game in 13 years that fateful Friday night, but I was going to go there with a press pass with pressbox and on-field access. It was the Washington Nationals (whose name was previously bantered about here in less-than-glowing terms, but that's not important right now) and not, say, the Red Sox, but a baseball game is a baseball game. The camera was loaded up and ready to go and the forecast looked awesome for that night. What could possibly go wrong?

Those who know me know that I don't get too bugged by bad stuff, and correspondingly don't get too giddy over good stuff. Except for this. I spent most of the week leading up to the game with goosebumps - not unlike the first time I got to go to a big NASCAR Winston Cup weekend on full-boat press passes - trying to decide if I was going to catch the game from the pressbox, or shooting from the camera wells by the dugouts, or both, and when I'd make the switch, if I wanted to go to the clubhouse or locker room, if I'd try shooting the breeze with players on the field during batting pratice or just sit back and soak it all in.

Again, the long-range weather forecast for that night, a week before, when this was all falling into place looked spectacular - cool and dry after a sunny afternoon. Does it get any better than this?

The fact that New Orleans was going to get thumped by another hurricane was an unfortunate footnote.

But I must have been feeling too good about things, looking forward too much to a night at the ballpark, and to snap me back in line, the powers that be steered said hurricane away from New Orleans and to Florida, and instead of it going up to the midwest and raining on their parade it went up the east coast and doused the greater Washington DC area with steady rain for the ohhh 15-18 hours. The baseball game was postponed and I got to spend a quiet Friday night trying to find something remotely watchable on television.

My loss is New Orleans' gain.

(All was not lost, though. I got to go to the ballpark the next day for the make-up game. Here are the pics!)

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