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Nationals Fans Suffer Three-Hour Rainless Delay, Some Get Free Ice Cream

The game was only five minutes longer than the delay itself. Not the best look.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
Jul 7 2017, 6:06pm

Brad Mills—USA TODAY Sports

Meteorology is finicky. You simply can't predict when the big man upstairs is gonna start hocking loogies. So you may as well just play a game when it's supposed to start, right? In the case of the game between the Atlanta Braves and Nationals in Washington, D.C. last night: definitely. If they had started it at 7:05 PM as it was originally scheduled, they probably would have finished the game before it actually wound up starting.

Alas, they did not.

In an apology to fans posted this morning, the Nats said they were monitoring a weather system that was going to require a delay, so they decided to hold off on the start until after it passed. Unfortunately, it took three hours before the "system"—which was 15 minutes of rain—"passed." The game did not start until 10:10 PM and ended at 1:20 AM.

Sure, hindsight is 20-20 because who could have foreseen that weather predictions would be off by the length of a whole ballgame? During the delay, people watched as the grounds crew didn't even roll out the tarp until 1 hour and 15 minutes into the delay—meaning that they weren't even worried about a drizzle for nearly half the length of a game.

One fan tweeted at Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte, suggesting the players get buckwild and use the tarp as a slip-n-slide for pre-game entertainment. Inciarte came at him with the dope one (well, two) liner:

This kind of second-guessing dragged on to the point that by the time they actually started things up, the original singer for the Star Spangled Banner had bailed, and they had to put in a Nationals staff member to belt out the anthem, according to Washington Post beat reporter Jorge Castillo. Silver lining: apparently, they weren't half bad.

At 9:35 PM, the Nationals released a statement saying the weather system was approaching and would quickly pass. Then they started doling out the bread to their circuses, giving away free skittles, soda, and ice cream. The ice cream ploy, however, resulted in disastrous lines:

Predictably, the ice cream eventually ran out—concessions workers must've been thrilled about the whole thing.

Bryce Harper went to the socials media to shout out his wife for sticking with him through it all:

Love is sacrifice, y'all.

The game ended up being only five minutes longer than the delay itself, resulting in a ballpark experience that lasted from (false) start-to-finish a whopping six hours and fifteen minutes. You can—or can't—eat a lot of free ice cream in that time.

The Nationals lost 5-2.