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Monday, August 31, 2020

College Football is Not Essential

 


PRESENTED BY CHI ALPHA SIGMA
"recognizing college student-athletes who excel both on and off the field of competition."
 
D3Playbook

AUGUST 31, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.
 
>> Good Monday Morning Sun on Apple iOS 13.3 And welcome to the last day of August.

>> Today's Word Count: 1,413 ... Top off your coffee and settle in for an easy Monday read.

>> Today's Subscriber Count: 1,434.  Thank you.

>> Thanks for reading D3Playbook. Please recommend us to a friend or co-worker. Or share with your staff and bring them up-to-speed on what's happening in DIII.

 
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1.  College Football Is Not Essential

Hazard High COVID-19 football team outbreak now includes 38 cases |  Lexington Herald Leader
photo courtesy of Getty Images


Give it credit. The New York Times Editorial Board certainly let everyone know where it stood when it comes to playing college football this fall.

"For more than six months now, many workers deemed essential have had to strap on face masks for shifts at meatpacking plants, Walmarts, grocery stores, hardware stores and restaurants. It is a necessary sacrifice for the nation’s well-being. But at universities across the country, while scores of professors, staff and students start the academic year remotely to curb the spread of the coronavirus, another class of worker will be asked to strap on protective gear to do their job — without the face coverings: college football players.


Never has the inaccuracy of the term “student-athlete” been put in starker relief than in the misguided and dangerous attempt by the Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference to press forward with a nearly full season of football games beginning next month —  as nonathlete classmates are sent home for their safety. For many college competitors, but for football in particular, the demands of practice and travel can exceed those of a full-time job. The players do it all, however, for no pay —  while schools, coaches, television networks and the conferences profit."
 

>> Why It Matters: "The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s own physicians raised concerns about the potential for the virus to spread in a contact sport like football. Putting affected players under quarantine for two weeks doesn’t account for the potential lingering effects of the virus to the heart and brain well after symptoms have abated."

>> What They're Saying: "“There aren’t absolutes; we’re working to provide a healthy environment,” said Greg Sankey, commissioner of the SEC. “There’s no group of college students that’s known more about a virus at any point in history than our college students know right now.”

>> Quotable: “The clear advice from our medical professionals made the choice obvious to us that we couldn’t hold a football season,” Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, said. “We have a responsibility to protect our players, and given what we still don’t know about the spread of the virus, we simply couldn’t play football and look parents in the eye and say, ‘We’ve got your kids’ best interests in mind.’"

>> End Game: "Canceling or suspending the college football season and other fall sports is no small decision. Billions of dollars in television and ticket sales are at stake, not to mention alumni donations, merchandise sales, athlete eligibility and even next year’s applicant pool. But it is a far more dangerous game to invite the virus’s spread among vulnerable athletes during what the Big 12 commissioner, Bob Bowlsby, called the “petri dish” of the first few months of school, while advocating for a football season."

>> Be Smart: "The governing N.C.A.A.’s mission statement states, “The educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.” What message does it send to athletes and their families that they must stay on campus if they want to play football — and bring in dollars for their school — while other students can more safely attend classes via their home computers?"

>> Worth Your Time

 


2.  The 40-Year-Old Catcher

Erik Kratz
photo by Carlos Osorio/AP


Hard not to root for the Yankees' Erik Kratz

A graduate of Eastern Mennonite (Va.) University, he's been a journeyman in the majors who has played for the Phillies, Pirates, Blue Jays, Royals, Astros, Brewers, Rays and Giants. He is now on his second stint with the Yankees. A career .205/.252/.354 hitter with 31 home runs and 101 RBI in 316 big league games, Kratz is valued for his work behind the plate — particularly with younger pitchers.

Twice named the ODAC Player of the Year (2001-02), he batted .507/.563/.993 as a senior with 25 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, and 59 runs batted in (RBI), in 142 AB, and broke the NCAA Division III record for doubles in a career.

Yesterday, he was behind the plate catching 21-year-old Deivi Garcia - 19 years his junior.



And it shows why the 40-year-old catcher has remained in the bigs.


 

3.  Reaching for Your Dreams

On the Long Road, Committed to a Goal of Officiating in the Major Leagues -  The New York Times

Congrats to our friend, Dan Merzel, on reaching the big leagues - not as a player, but as a Major League Baseball umpire. 

Last Saturday, Merzel's dream came true as he served as umpire at 2B and 3B for the doubleheader between the Cubs and the Reds.

Merzel, a 2009 graduate of Johns Hopkins, played four years for the Blue Jays, hitting .321 in 101 games, scoring 76 runs and stealing 29 bases and earning second-team All-Centennial Conference honors as a second-sacker and winning three CC titles in four seasons. 

>> Background: Merzel graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2009 with a major in applied mathematics and statistics and a minor in entrepreneurship and management. He thought about a career in finance, perhaps becoming an actuary. Instead, he turned down a full-time offer from PricewaterhouseCoopers and decided to become an arbiter of balls and strikes and close plays on the basepaths.

>> Experience: He officiated the 2015 XM All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati, served as home plate umpire for the 2018 Triple-A All-Star Game in Columbus, and crew chief for the 2019 Triple-A National Championship Game.

>> Quotable: "I've had a thing for officiating since I was 12. I can't tell you exactly why, but it's just always been an interest and a passion," Merzel says. Perhaps it is in his blood—Merzel's father umpires NCAA college baseball. "After I got my degree, I had some job offers, but I didn't want a desk job and I knew if I didn't pursue umpiring I would regret it years from now."

>> Go Deeper from the NY Times (5/17/14)
 

 

4. Data Download


Most-Expensive 4-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions 2019-20
  1. Harvey Mudd College - $77,589
  2. U. of Chicago - $77,556
  3. Scripps - $74,788
  4. Trinity, Conn. - $74,400
  5. Amherst - $73,950
  6. Claremont McKenna - $73,775
  7. Oberlin - $73,694
  8. Tufts - $73,664
  9. Haverford - $73,468
  10. Franklin & Marshall - $73,450

 

SPONSORED MESSAGE
 
Chi Alpha Sigma is the first national scholar-athlete society to honor those collegiate student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and in athletic competition. Chi Alpha Sigma recognizes college student-athletes who receive a varsity letter in their sport, achieve junior academic standing or higher after their fifth full-time semester, and earn a 3.4 cumulative grade point average. Student-athletes who compete for a collegiate club team are also eligible id the club team is overseen by the athletics department at the local chapter.
 
Find out more at ChiAlphaSigma.com


 
5.  Conference Call

Today we continue our look at Division III conferences, finishing up those started in the 2000s.
 
North Eastern Athletic Conference - Wikipedia

Commissioner: Stephanie Dutton
Headquarters: Latham, N.Y.
WebsiteNEACsports.com
  • Founded: 2004
  • Charter Members (1): Penn State Berks
  • Other Members (7): Penn State Harrisburg (2007), Wells (2007), Penn State Abington (2009), SUNY Morrisville (2009), Gallaudet (2010), Lancaster Bible (2011), Penn College (2014)
  • Joining (1): St. Mary’s, Md. (2021)
  • Associates (5): Alfred State (MLX), Hilbert (LAX, MVB), Medaille (LAX, MVB), Rutgers-Camden (MGOLF), SUNY Potsdam (MVB)
  • Oldest: Wesley (1837)
  • Largest: Penn College (4,374)
  • Smallest: Wells (459)
  • Longest Trip: 372 miles (Gallaudet to Wells) 
  • Championship Sports: 18
  • Top Team Moment: SUNY Morrisville reached the Sweet 16 of the 2013 men's basketball championship tournament, defeating Ramapo and Rhode Island College before being ousted by St. Mary's, Md.

>> Tomorrow: NEWMAC
>> Looking BackAtlantic East SAA | NECC | NACC | Landmark

sources: Google Maps, EADA

 
6.  Comings and Goings
 
 
7.  1 Putt (Maybe 2)

 

You won't see better putts under pressure than these.

First, Dustin Johnson needed to make this 45-footer to force a playoff at the BMW Championship.



Then, Jon Rahm said "Hold My Beer," and drained this 66-foot bomb for the win on the first extra hole.



Just like me over the weekend. Only each attempt took three tries. 


 
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Friday, August 28, 2020

SAAC Impact

 


PRESENTED BY CHI ALPHA SIGMA
"recognizing college student-athletes who excel both on and off the field of competition."

D3Playbook

AUGUST 28, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III


 
Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.
 
>> Good Friday Morning! 

>> Today's Word Count: 1,315. Not wasting your time. Smart, concise. An informative read that's just about 5 minutes.

>> Thanks for reading D3Playbook. We appreciate your kind words of support. Please recommend us to a friend or co-worker. Or share with your staff and bring them up-to-speed on what's happening in DIII.

 
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1. SAAC Impact


by Jeremy Villanueva, NCAA


"Braly Keller’s involvement in the Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee almost felt like it was two decades in the making.

Keller, who graduated in August with degrees in mathematics and secondary education, was a dual-sport athlete at Nebraska Wesleyan as a member of the swimming team and a receiver for the football squad. His father, Brian, has been Nebraska Wesleyan’s football head coach since 1996.

But it was actually an old YouTube video that sparked his interest in serving on the national committee after two years on his campus SAAC.

“At the end of my sophomore year when we were in that rebranding process (to the American Rivers Conference), I kind of got to talking to my commissioner and seeing what things look like at the conference level,” Keller said. “And if we’re talking conference things, I thought there had to be something nationally. I think (this video) was like 10 years old — about national SAAC and I was, like, ‘What!’ and talked to my athletic director about it.”

>> Between The Lines: "Besides chairing SAAC, Keller is on the Division III Championships Committee and the division’s name, image and likeness oversight group. New name, image and likeness legislation by each division is slated to be voted on at the 2021 NCAA Convention and be in place for the 2021-2022 academic year."

>> Of Note: "Through his upbringing, involvement in SAAC and time as a swimming and football student-athlete, Keller has had an affinity for college sports that has led him to want to pursue a career in the field. This fall, Keller will begin the intercollegiate athletics administration graduate program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln."

>> The Final Word: “The way I picture (summer camp) is people hanging out and getting together, and by the end of it, they’re all best friends.” Keller said. “That’s kind of how national SAAC works. Everybody is in the same point in life, just going through the same things in sports, and they have the same passion for collegiate athletics."

>> Keep Reading 

 


2. Holland Earns McKay Scholarship

https://149362186.v2.pressablecdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/feb-15th-issue-1280x853.jpg
by Greg Johnson, NCAA | photo by Matthew Claybrook
 

"Abigail Holland of Trinity (Texas) will receive a $10,000 Jim McKay Scholarship, awarded by the NCAA to college athletes who demonstrate achievement in sports communication or public relations or hope to contribute to the field.

Holland, a basketball player at Trinity, graduated with a degree in communications this spring.

The scholarship recognizes a student-athlete’s outstanding academic achievements and potential to make major contributions to the sports communications industry. The scholarship was created in 2008 to honor pioneer sports journalist Jim McKay, and the recipients are selected by the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship Committee.

Holland, who earned a 3.81 GPA, minored in sports management and history. She was named to the Trinity dean’s list multiple times.

>> Situational Awareness: "During her undergraduate career, Holland worked on several projects that include being a social media intern at the 2018 Men’s Final Four, where she helped enhance the fan experience by capturing images and videos to be posted on social media. She created stories for use on the NCAA Men’s Final Four Instagram account."

>> BWOC: "On the court, Holland was selected to the all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference first team in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and was the 2020 SCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. Holland set a single-game program scoring record, 43 points, during the 2018-19 season."

>> What They're Saying: “As a sport management minor, I have learned that I can continue to keep my passion for sport alive, just in a different way,” Holland wrote in her application essay. “The past four years I have critically examined sport, and I understand that it has a certain connection to society that I did not always recognize."

>> Continue Reading


 


3.  Tweet of the Day
 



Wagner closed his three-year Ferrum College career with a 17-3 record and 1.63 earned run average, and still to this day holds the NCAA Division III single-season record for strikeouts per nine innings at 19.1 with 109 strikeouts in 51.1 innings in 1992. He was a 1993 first-team NCAA Division III All-American for the Panthers. Wagner was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball 1993 June Draft by the Houston Astros, as the #12 pick overall.

 


 SPONSORED MESSAGE
 
Chi Alpha Sigma is the first national scholar-athlete society to honor those collegiate student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and in athletic competition. Chi Alpha Sigma recognizes college student-athletes who receive a varsity letter in their sport, achieve junior academic standing or higher after their fifth full-time semester, and earn a 3.4 cumulative grade point average. Student-athletes who compete for a collegiate club team are also eligible if the club team is overseen by the athletics department at the local chapter.

Find out more at ChiAlphaSigma.com


 
4.  Data Download
 

Profile of Freshman at 4-Year Colleges, Fall 2018
Number of miles from college to permanent home
 
10 or fewer  -  12.0%
11 to 50  -  23.9%
51 to 100  -  13.1%
101 to 500  -  32.1%
More than 500  -  18.8%
 

source: Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac 2020-21

 
5.  Conference Call

Today we begin continue our look at Division III conferences, going from youngest to oldest. 

 
Landmark Conference - Wikipedia

Conference: Landmark Conference
Commissioner: Katie Boldvich
Headquarters: Marshfield, Mass.
WebsiteLandmarkConference.org
  • Founded: December 5, 2005
  • Charter Members (6): Catholic, Drew, Goucher, Juniata, Moravian, Susquehanna
  • Other Members (2): Elizabethtown, Scranton
  • Affiliates (1): Marywood (SWIM, WGOLF) 
  • Oldest: Moravian (1742)
  • Largest: Scranton (3,550)
  • Smallest: Juniata (1,301)
  • Longest Trip: 249 miles (Drew to Juniata)
  • Championship Sports: 22
  • Top Team Moment: Juniata finished second in the 2009 women's volleyball championship tournament, falling to Washington U., 3-1, in the final

>> Monday: North Eastern Athletic Conference
>> Looking BackAtlantic East SAA | NECC | NACC


sources: Google Maps, EADA
 

6. Comings and Goings
 
 
7.  1 Dream
 


Fifty-seven years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most iconic speeches in American history from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The entire speech lasted 16:27. Its memory lasts forever.

>> The Audible: The phrase "I Have a Dream," was not in the original manuscript. Around the halfway point of the speech, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson implored him to “Tell ’em about the ‘Dream,’ Martin.” Whether or not King consciously heard, he soon moved away from his prepared text.

  • "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
     
  • And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


>> Five Things You Didn't Know


Have a great weekend.

 

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Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Start of Something Big

 


PRESENTED BY CHI ALPHA SIGMA
"recognizing college student-athletes who excel both on and off the field of competition."

D3Playbook

AUGUST 26, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III


 
Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.

 

>> Good Thursday Morning!  

>> Today's Word Count: 1,347. Easy to read. Easy to digest. Get ready for the weekend.

>> Thanks for reading D3Playbook. Please recommend us to a friend or co-worker. Or share with your staff and bring them up-to-speed on what's happening in DIII.

 
Subscribe to d3Playbook

1.  The Start of Something Big

The Washington Mystics each wear white T-shirts with seven bullets on the back protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police at Feld Entertainment Center on August 26
Photo: by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

by Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports

"The NBA constructed a bubble to keep the coronavirus out. It couldn’t do anything about real life though.

Now, in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the entire NBA playoffs are teetering as players are rising up by sitting down, refusing to serve as society's entertainment while they feel threatened, hopeless and angry.

They aren’t going to shut up, and for now they aren’t even going to dribble. At least not while emotions are raw, the opportunity is rare, and the belief they can do so much more than just be basketball players is at hand."

Is this what ends the playoffs, a fight against police brutality and for social justice doing what a pandemic couldn’t? 

Maybe. It’s all on the brink right now, as unprecedented as it is unpredictable."

>> Why It Matters: "Now the players are saying they will sacrifice plenty to do what they can to force reform, to force a country that has for too long accepted that this is just part of life to confront the issue. Money. Fame. A championship they’ve worked and dreamed a lifetime to achieve. And, yes, plenty of backlash from a segment of society that will not see them as heroes and will most certainly try to marginalize them."

>> What's Next: "The Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball also refused to play Wednesday, causing their game against Cincinnati to be postponed. On Tuesday, the NFL’s Detroit Lions, after what was called an “emotional” and “heavy” meeting with players and coaches, decided to call off practice to bring attention to the issue. They wondered out loud if this would cause a snowball." And the WBNA canceled its games on Wednesday.

>> Worth Noting: "The training has to change in the police force. The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We're not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We're trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else.” - Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers coach 


>> An Important Read

>> Go Deeper on leading discussions on race with DIII commissioners Portia Hoeg and Patrick Summers

 


2.  Put in the Blender


by Holden Thorp, Chronicle of Higher Education

 

"It always starts with Harvard. In July, when the esteemed university wisely announced that it would move all classes online for the fall semester to limit the spread of Covid-19, President Trump lashed out: “I think it’s an easy way out,” he said, “and I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

Harvard didn’t care. But Trump’s comments reverberated through red America, and soon thereafter, public and private universities in red states started announcing plans for their students to return.

Those campus administrators were in a tough spot. After my years in administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Washington University in St. Louis (one red-state public, one red-state private), I know how conflicted they were.

The students said they wanted their campuses reopened. The faculty was cautious. The college towns initially wanted everyone to return to drive the economy, but then pulled back. Republican-appointed trustees and titans of industry were insistent that the universities reopen. Blue-state institutions gradually started announcing a virtual semester.

Trump tweeted incessantly that schools and colleges needed to reopen, and then started insisting on resuming college football, of all things. For the red-state football colleges, there was no way out — the lifeblood of these institutions flows through the gridiron. Among some of us veteran administrators, this upheaval is known as “being put in the blender.”

>> Why It Matters: "Although the colleges that reopened made efforts to make their campuses safer, they lamented that they could not stop the viral spread that originated in fraternities and sororities and from other forms of socializing. As campuses shut down, that has led to an awkward situation. Isn’t social culture part of the experience that colleges celebrate (and sell)? Doesn’t that make blaming the students ring hollow?"

>> The Bottom Line: "Colleges may want to blame student partying for not allowing them to reopen successfully, but they have forfeited the moral authority to do so. They try to stop it when it gets out of hand, but they embrace it when it’s to their advantage."

>> The Final Word: "Every college is now confronting the problems arising from the synergistic relationship between “bad” student behavior and the financial welfare of the institution."

>> Go Deeper


 

3.  Decade's Best
 

Tommy Bergjans '15 Makes AAA Debut With Lehigh Valley IronPigs - Haverford  Athletics

D3baseball.com has announced its All-Decade team. Three teams and honorable mentions were assembled from the list of All-Americans, All-Region and record setting players who played at least two years in the decade. Following the blueprint in compiling the previous All-Decade team, eighty-two players were selected for the 2010's All-Decade team.

First Team
C-Bruce Maxwell, Birmingham-Southern
1B-Jamie Lackner, Wooster
2B-Tanner Nishioka, Pomona-Pitzer
SS-Sam Dexter, Southern Maine
3B-Toby Welk, Penn State Berks
OF-Taylor Kohlway, UW-La Crosse
OF-Bret Williams, Penn State Harrisburg
OF-Jeremy Wolf, Trinity, Texas
DH-Cal Aldridge, UW-Whitewater
U-Greg Van Sickler, Shenandoah

P-Chris Haddeland, Linfield
P-Brian Rauh, Chapman
P-Tommy Bergjans, Haverford
P-Tommy Parsons, Adrian
P-Blake Stevens, Birmingham-Southern
RP-Kevin Becker-Menditto, Alvernia
RP-Andy Lowe, Heidelberg
RP-Andrew Richards, Southern Maine

Coach-Joe Brown, Cortland
 

4.  Data Download


Colleges With the Best 6-Year Graduation Rates, 2018

4-Year Public Institutions

  1. College of New Jersey (85.8%)
  2. Merchant Marine (84.3%)
  3. SUNY Geneseo (80.9%)
  4. St. Mary's, Md. (80.0%)
  5. SUNY New Paltz (76.5%)
  6. SUNY Oneonta (75.9%)

4-Year Private Institutions

  1. Williams (95.4%)
  2. Washington and Lee (94.9%)
  3. Bowdoin (94.9%)
  4. Washington, Mo. (94.9%)
  5. Swarthmore (94.4%)
  6. Chicago (94.2%)
  7. MIT (94.2%)
  8. Pomona (93.7%)
  9. Amherst (93.3%)
  10. Claremont McKenna (93.1%)
source: Chronicle of Higher Education
 

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5.  Conference Call


Today we begin continue our look at Division III conferences, going from youngest to oldest. 

NACC STATEMENT - Benedictine University Athletics
Conference: Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference
Commissioner: Jeff Ligney
Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wis.
WebsiteNACCsports.org
  • Founded: 2006
  • Formed as Northern Athletics Conference. Changed name in 2013.
  • Charter Members (11): Alverno, Aurora, Benedictine, Concordia Chicago, Concordia Wisconsin, Dominican, Edgewood, Lakeland, Marian, Rockford, Wisconsin Lutheran.
  • Other Members (2): Milwaukee School of Engineering (2007), Illinois Tech (2018).
  • Associates (3): Eureka (FB), Mount Mary (WXC), St. Norbert (GOLF, MVB).
  • Oldest: Rockford (1847)
  • Largest: Aurora (3,577)
  • Smallest: Lakeland (778)
  • Longest Trip: 180 miles (Aurora to Marian) 
  • Championship Sports: 21
  • Top Team Moment: Benedictine finished second in the 2016 men's basketball chmpionship.

>> Tomorrow: Landmark Conference


sources: Google Maps, EADA

 
6.  Comings and Goings
 

 
7.  1 Hurricane Thing
 

"With an 36-mile diameter eyewall and 150 mph sustained winds, an air parcel in the eyewall makes a full lap around the eye in 45 minutes." - Brian McNoldySenior Research Associate at Univ. of Miami's Rosenstiel School

Prayers for all in the path of this monster. Be safe!


 

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