Back in college, I was introduced to this pretty fun game called the “Rain Game.” No we wouldn’t split up in pairs and have one person be Dustin Hoffman and the other be Tom Cruise; and no, we didn’t drop dollar bills over one another as we stripped naked singing our favorite overplayed song on the radio at that time. And hell no, we didn’t do both of those things combined (although I’m intrigued).
The rain game is basically playing the role of a drunk, mildly retarded Nostradamus. What you do is, the night before a big game, or any game for that matter, you study the next day’s forecast and you study it hard. By that, I mean look at the little pictures on weather.com pretty intently. If you are fairly certain that the little picture of rain drops is enough for you to believe that it will cancel your next day’s baseball game then you are in the clear to play the “Rain Game,” the night before.
The “Rain Game” consists of the following elements: weather.com (or Chuck Gaidica), confidence, perseverance, and a lot of cheap beer. You see, the “Rain Game” is simply getting drunk the night before a game, but you don’t really care because you’ve already foreseen the following day’s rain out and coinciding hang over. It’s a beautiful game, as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), an arbitrary and blurry rankings system, rates it up near the top along with beer pong, flippy cup, quarters, and swimming.
The “Rain Game” is a game because it takes a lot of skill and just like any other game, there are winners and losers. Sometimes you will lose as the clouds miraculously break the next morning and, ultimately, the sun beats down on your ten-sheets-to-the-wind-throbbing head, as you sit on the pine. At that point, you just have to hope the sun will sweat you dry of all the alcoholic drops in your boozed up body and that this game is like 95% of the other games and you don’t play.
The winners of the game get that email, call or text bright and early that the game has been officially canceled, so you can go throw up and come back to bed. If you’re a true winner, there will be a lady (or guy if you’re a switch hitter) next to you, too. If you’re a superstar winner, there will be two.
So, as you can see, the “Rain Game” is a beautiful creation. Started in 1932 by Ted Zollner and Felix Cartwright, the rules have remained fairly consistent over the years. You must start the “Rain Game” no later than 9 PM. Starting too late could lead to premature passing out from pre-existent tiredness. The beer must be cheap because let’s face it; you don’t have much money (in college) and shouldn’t be wasting it on beer anyway. You need to be buying pencils and Plan B’s. After all, that’s what college is for and that’s why you love it. Don’t get the wrong idea, though. The point of this post is that it’s not just for college athletes. I guarantee you the Detroit Tigers played this game last night. I’m pretty sure, from the determination and heart I saw from Rick Porcello this past spring, he was at Woody’s in Royal Oak getting hammered drunk with Curtis Granderson, shouting “it’s the Rain Game!” every other beer. I heard they were there.
As a result of today’s postponement, they wound up winners, too (if only they could gain a game in the Central Division race for the win).
Oh, another rule. Never play two nights in a row. It’ll bite you in the ass. This game is all about statistics and that’s just a basic sobermetric of the rain game. Right now, all the Tigers are fast asleep in their beds, dreaming of victory tomorrow.