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Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis

July 22, 2016
OFFSIDE REMARKS
No excuse for staging Hudson River Derby match at 1 p.m. during the summer, none whatsoever


Jimmy Conrad, helped off the field after suffering an injury in the 2009 CONCACAf Gold Cup, needed to be stretchered off after suffering heat exhaustion in 2003.
Jimmy Conrad, helped off the field after suffering an injury in the 2009 CONCACAf Gold Cup, needed to be stretchered off after suffering heat exhaustion in 2003.
By Michael Lewis
BigAppleSoccer.com Editor

One mantra that has followed me through the years is a rather simple one:

It's always about the players. It's always about the players.

If you have no players, you have no game.

It's as simple as that.

You want the men and women who perform on the field or on a court or a rink to play in the best of all possible conditions so they can be in peak form to entertain the spectators, those in the stadium and those watching on television.

Ah TV. Fox, the network and not any of its sports cable concerns, is televising the Hudson River Derby between the Red Bulls and New York City at Red Bull Arena at 1 p.m. Sunday and that should tell it all about why the game is being played so close to high noon instead of having a later kickoff with the prospect of playing in cooler conditions.

(Writer's note: as a writer, the earlier the kickoff the better due to deadlines, but I would be willing to sacrifice several hours for the health of the participants).

On early Friday evening, weather.com's Sunday forecast predicted 94 degrees temperatures and 40 percent humidity in Harrison, N.J. It could be worse. Saturday's forecast called for 98 degrees and Monday's is 99 degrees. It's bad enough.

You probably know the story of the Kansas City Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad, who needed to be stretchered off the Giants Stadium field in 2003 due to heat exhaustion. Temperatures on the FieldTurf field hovered around 118 degrees that day. It should be less on the grass at RBA, but it could be bad enough.

Quite frankly, I am getting quite tired about writing a new piece about the problems of playing in the heat and humidity in and around high noon every few years.

I thought after 13 years, the decision makers would know better.

It's not about putting the league on a national network on a Sunday afternoon. It's allowing the players to perform to the peak of their ability on a Sunday, preferably at night.

Heaven forbid if there is a repeat of the Conrad incident.

It's always about the players. It's always about the players.
 
 
 
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