Kevin Deane: How rain can ruin an indoor basketball game in Concord
I have to tell you, the rain really bums me out.
I can’t grill, I can’t go outside, I get soaked coming out of work.
But at least my favorite way to blow off steam happens inside on a basketball court – so, everything’s okay, right? Wrong.
The rain and the humidity have been so bad the past couple weeks, I’ve had four indoor basketball games canceled at the Green Street Community Center.
What’s a guy to do?
It’s apparently not a typical situation, thank goodness.
“It’s the worst summer conditions I’ve seen here in 50 years,” said Andy Pappas, who runs the Concord basketball leagues year-round at Green Street. Slippery floors are his worry. “It’s not so much the
rain, but the mixture between the rain and the humidity as well as traffic through the building. When you combine all of them, you have a dampness that won’t go away.”
Girls Inc., the program that shares the building with the basketball players, contributes to the traffic in the building.
When it’s raining outside, the girls come in. What else are they supposed to do?
“There’s lots of movies, which is unfortunate because kids need to run around,” said Morgan Sargent, a program coordinator for the Concord Parks and Recreation Department. “We still use the outdoors as well as we can.”
Using the outdoors during the rain may well contribute to the problem, actually, especially without a quick way to dry the floor. Sargent says the girls are required by state regulations to keep their shoes on, which she said probably makes the floors more slick.
Being from the Midwest, I’m definitely used to the humidity. I’m not used to gyms without air conditioning, which hasn’t really bothered me until now. At least I always know I’ll break a sweat.
Air conditioning would also be a great way to keep the floors dry.
“It’s an old building,” Pappas said. “It isn’t conducive to New Orleans-style weather. We’re getting weather that isn’t New Hampshire weather.”
Pappas does his best by running several industrial fans in the gym at a time. On Wednesday I counted four.
Matt Colgan, one of the players who came to the gym for a game yesterday, wasn’t upset the games have been canceled.
“I’m just annoyed with the weather,” he said. “It’s a real struggle for my schedule. I budget my time around these, and now I have to work my schedule around playing (another) night.”
It hasn’t been affecting only his basketball drive, though.
“I don’t have an umbrella,” he said. “So it’s making me very wet on the way to and from work, plus anywhere else I have to walk.”
I’m with Colgan. I’m not blaming anyone for canceling the games – just the weather.
“You always have to err on the side of caution – of safety,” Pappas said. “That’s what drives these decisions. People understand that. They don’t want to get hurt.”
I definitely get that. I have a reconstructed left ankle – and I have to tell you, there’s no way I’m getting on a floor where I’d have even a remote shot to slide or fall and re-injure it.
It sounds like the other players agree by and large.
“It’s a beyond-our-control situation, and most of the guys understand that,” Pappas said. “They have to. Most guys have played in other gyms and other towns and they’ve run into the same situation. I do feel bad, though. We have guys traveling from all around the area.”
For this week, Pappas has rescheduled the games to take place at the Racquet Club.
As for Girls Inc., “We’re still going on field trips,” Sargent said. “Rain or shine – unless it starts thundering and lightning. (On Thursday) we’re going to Ellacoya State Park.”
Here’s hoping they got a little sun in Gilford. Apparently (fingers crossed) the weather’s about to take a turn for the better, and it’s about time.
Colgan is just looking forward to venturing outside without getting wet.
“I’ve just been sitting in front of my air conditioner, just waiting for it to stop raining,” he said. “I didn’t go out all weekend because it was just too inconvenient for me to be out walking around outside. It ruined my nights.”
So here’s to bringing New Hampshire weather back to New Hampshire.
(Kevin Deane can be reached at 369-3302 or email@example.com.)
A previous version of this column misstated where Ellacoya State Park is. It is in Gilford.