Armchair quarterbacking…

Dictionary.com defines an armchair quarterback as “a person who offers advice or an opinion on something in which they have no expertise or involvement.”

There is an awful lot of armchair quarterbacking today as it applies to various weather forecasts for the Midwest’s February 28/29 storm.  In particular, a lot of folks in the Fargo-Moorhead area have opinions about where blame should be placed for pre-emptive cancellations and closures that some see as unnecessary.  Many have their fingers pointing at the meteorologists (and as for which finger some folks are pointing – well, let’s not go there).

I am sorry – I have to call a foul on that one.  Meteorologists are not able to predict the weather to an absolute certainty.  What they do is try and give folks a sense of what weather is coming based on their expertise and the knowledge available to them.  They are wrong sometimes – but we cannot universally blame that on a failing of meteorology (although it is true that not all meteorologists are equal) – remember the fickle dame we are dealing with here -  Mother Nature.  That Mother Nature is a pip (and not a good pip like one of Gladys’ Knights’ velvet-voiced back-up singers).

Armchair quarterback all you like, but at least acknowledge it as such – you aren’t an expert, you are just commenting on the result after-the-fact.  If you were a meteorologist and had taken the time to look at all the data prior to the event and used your expertise to come to a different forecast and were then proven to be more accurate than someone else based on the weather result - well then, by all means, carry on.  I suspect that isn’t the case for those who are so quick to point a finger.

You see, real meteorologists (as opposed to armchair quarterbacks) know that on any given day under certain conditions a forecast could go South.  They learn quickly that they are only as loved as their last correct forecast and they try very hard to give folks the best information they can to help inform their decisions.  It isn’t an easy gig and often it is thankless.

So I say to all you armchair quarterbacks out there – until you are actually in the game yourself, I would suggest you give the meteorologists a break.

Day nine hundred and sixty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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