The terrible weather conditions on Sunday in Chicago might have been the story of the day in the NFL. The Bears-Ravens game was delayed for nearly two hours thanks to the thunderstorms, and outside of Chicago, tornadoes touched down. 18,000 were without power on Monday morning 100 homes and buildings were damaged, at least six were killed, and 54 were hurt.
But you know what? None of that matters. WE WANT TO WATCH THE BEARS GAME, DAMMIT!
Sports director Aaron Bennett of WCIA in Champaign tweeted out the following, apparently due to numerous fans tweeting him to complain about weather coverage interrupting the soon to be delayed Bears-Ravens game.
Please don't complain about us cutting into the Bears game w/ weather updates. Have you seen the pictures from Peoria? This is no game.— Aaron Bennett (@WCIA3Aaron) November 17, 2013
Of course, it didn't just end there.
@WCIA3Aaron uhhhhhhh yeah well not everyone lives there. This is ridiculous.— Connor Gadberry (@CGGADD) November 17, 2013
@WCIA3Aaron You are not the only station doing weather Aaron, but the only option for Bears game. Very short sighted perspective.— Ken Blan (@blanlaw) November 17, 2013
I think this tweet from Bennett's coworker Drew Wilder summed things up pretty well.
The ironic thing: the game ended up getting delayed about 15 minutes after Bennett's tweet. It's not as if fans were missing any thrilling game action while the weather reports were airing. And, once the storms passed, the rest of the game was aired in its entirety. It's not like anyone missed the Bears victory after the weather delay.
If you want to know the very definition of an entitled sports fan, look no further. Deadly storms? TO HELL WITH THAT, I'VE GOTTA WATCH THE BEARS!
I repeat my question: There were tornado warnings before this season, but they never postponed or delayed football games. What changed? I'm not questioning the wisdom of the move. All I'm saying is that football games were never delayed due to weather. It can't be because of global warming, because there were thunderstorms, lightning, tornados and all the rest before these past couple of seasons. What new policy was enacted that gave the league the flexibility to make these decisions? It never used to happen.
I happened to be out ( actually driving through the monsoon in Northwest Indiana during the storm) and had the game on my dvr so I got to watch the coverage later in the day. While I agree with the need to have coverage, while watching it in fast forward, I was amazed at how much of the video and still pictures were the repeated over and over again. Reporting the news is one thing, but constantly rehashing the same information and video over and over again is overkill.
What really was shocking was listening to the radio call on WBBM while we were driving. As the news team was bouncing around fielding reports and interviews, every time they came back to Soldier Field, all the color analyist for the Bears could think about was how the delay was going to affect the game and the players. That wasa pretty shocking, I thought.
I have DirecTV and we do not get WCIX, only WCIA. If they hadn't broadcast and told people how severe the weather was then we may have lost lives here in Central IL. I have friends who lost their ENTIRE house in Gifford. It's a miracle they are alive. Would you be complaining if this was Washington, IL where people were actually killed? To put this in perspective, I also had friends who were at the Bears game and they were taking cover. It could have just as easily wiped them out. Would people be mad too? Not because of the loss of human life, but because no football? WCIA had the best coverage in our area. They are a big station in Champaign and have amazing people working for their team. Most people are complaining because in our small area, this is all we have for coverage so sorry to inconvenience others but many are alive today because of WCIA. Some people didn't even hear the sirens in Gifford & Rantoul.
Although I do see the need to cut into a program to bring important weather updates, I think there are better ways to go about doing this. Have you ever thought about doing a Picture in Picture. This would solve the issue of people missing the program they are watching. They may lose sound but in the case of a football game could still see the play happening.
Im not a bears fan or.pro football fan. I.am one who doesnt agree with 2 hours of weather warning blow by.blow. Inform us and cut.in as many times as necessay. Do not turn this into more than it needs to be. If you watched the interviews after Gifford, one couole was glued to tv coverage of weather rigjt up to the point their house started to blow apart. Warning, direction, towns in path and get to.your.basement.for a half hoyr etc. Vector scopes, cloud rotations bla bla bla.
There have been a few NFL games delayed/postponed due to bad weather. One example was a NBC SNF game that had to be moved to the following Tuesday night due a bad snowstorm that hit Philadelphia the day after Christmas 2010
I get that human life and major storms are more important than a silly football game, but the very fact that people in an area potentially directly affected by it don't agree suggests this was mismanaged. I actually saw some tweets indicating that even the people in the studio at one station (not sure if it was the same one) were asking for Bears updates. WCIA has a sister station, WCIX, so that they could have put the weather report on one station and the Bears on the other (with a crawl directing people to the non-Bears station for weather updates and informing people of areas within the market that need to be on watch for tornadoes) and break in to the Bears game during the delay for more weather updates. Instead? https://twitter.com/RudW/status/402146137433313280
When did the NFL start delaying games due to weather? This never used to happen. I cannot recall a single NFL game being delayed by weather from the time I started watching football in 1966 until just the last couple of years when it seems to have become more and more common. Global warming? Well, maybe. But I'm pretty sure there were severe thunderstorms that NFL games were played under for those fifty years in between.
Not to mention that just after his tweet, a tornado ripped through a small town just 15 minutes north of Champaign.
But it's ok. They're fine with losing their memories, because the Bears did win the game...
@JeanShaffer I agree with you, Jean. Some friends of ours lost their entire home, while the Grandmother and two grandbabies were under a bed trying to cover themselves. WCIA is the best. My husband and I were lucky enough to get away with some roof damage; our friends live only a half-mile from us and lost it all. I love the Bears, and Illini. I would rather read their scores in the paper the next day than read an obituary.
@nuke power From personal experience, that doesn't stop the complaints either. KWQC, the NBC in the Quad Cities of IL/IA did the split screen during the Stanley Cup and Blackhawks fans complained so much that the meteorologists had to address it on-air.