Thursday, February 5, 2015

Oops

This week we experienced the fifth worst snowstorm in the recorded history of Chicago. This is what it looked like from our back window:


video

The 19 or so inches that fell in about as many hours hardly phased us a bit. With the exception of the schools closing, the city was functioning at almost full capacity the following day. To be honest, we were lucky as the blizzard happened during the weekend. Given that the storm was actually worse than predicted, had it occurred during a weekday, it would have been another story.

New York City had the opposite experience the week before. The forecasters predicted a storm of epic proportions for Monday, January 26th. The city government reacted in kind, virtually shutting down the biggest city in the country in anticipation for what appeared to be a Snowpocalypse on top of Snowmageddon. What New York  got instead was a day off and only about eight inches of snow, a drop in the bucket for that town. Mayor Bill de Blasio was excoriated for his perceived over-reaction to what amounted to a slightly worse than average winter storm.

In a sense, de Blasio was the same situation as Pete Carroll, the head coach of the Super Bowl losing Seattle Seahawks. As the snow was falling in Chicago, Carroll's team in case you missed it, down by four points, had a second and goal from the New England five yard line with about 30 seconds left to play in the game. At his disposal was one of the best running backs in the league, Marshawn Lynch, and three chances to run the ball into the end zone to score what would have been the winning touchdown. Instead of running the safest and most obvious play, handing the ball off to Lynch who is deadly in such situations, Carroll chose to call a more risky pass play. The play backfired, as Patriot rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted Russel Wilson's five yard pass at the goal line, game over. For his part, Carroll has been raked over the coals for the call which more than likely cost his team the championship.

Now had the Monday storm occurred as predicted and de Blasio's actions saved his city from much grief, the mayor would have been heralded for his actions, much as Richard M. Daley was four years ago during our third worst snow storm ever when he recommended that everybody in Chicago leave work in the middle of the day, even before a single snowflake fell. Likewise, had Ricardo Lockett, the Seattle receiver been able to out-muscle Malcolm Butler, (who truth be told made a magnificent play), for control of the ball at the goal line and score a touchdown, Carroll would have been applauded for his gutsy call.

I guess the lesson to be learned in all this is as much as we appreciate bold, outside of the box decisions, (when they turn out to be the right ones), we absolutely relish it when people in a position of great authority screw up. As luck would have it, de Blasio and Carroll both got unlucky in a big way.

Oh well, better luck next time fellas.

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