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Sports Versus The Unpronouncable Volcano

4/19/2010
Lionel Messi board the Barcelona bus

AP Photo/David Ramos

The world's best soccer player has to carry his own luggage and travel by bus. Nice going, Volcano.

Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier is one Grumpy Gus. Ever since its volcano started spewing ash into the atmosphere on April 14 the airline industry's gone berserk, sending ripples across all walks of life. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was stranded in Lisbon. Many bands won't be able to make the Coachella music festival either. However, this menace isn't limited to hating on politicians and your hipster cousin's playlist. While we don't know how long the eruption's going to last, at least we have evidence that the volcano is no fan of sports:

Darko Milicic

Poor Darko. Traded to his fifth team before the trade deadline, he averaged a near double-double for the Timberwolves, a thankless task since they ended up at the bottom of the Western Conference. After announcing in December that he plans to play in Europe next season he's flirting with coming back. Instead of suiting up for a postseason run or flying home to Serbia where he can plan for his possible post-NBA career, he's stuck in Chicago. That kid can't catch a break. Might as well pull up a chair and watch the sparks fly between the Bulls and Celtics.

Long-distance runners

Monday's Patriot Day in New England. That means two things: a day game for the Sox and the Boston Marathon for the world's endurance champions. However, more than half of the marathoners come from countries such as England, France, Germany and Switzerland. Boston Athletic Association officials estimated hundreds of runners might miss or be late for the race. While most of the top contenders arrived in Beantown, Moroccan Olympian Abdellah Falil had to officially withdraw. What's the opposite of wicked pissah? That's right, Eyjafjallajokull.

"When I got the news about the volcano I thought it was a lot like marrying the girl you dreamed about all your life only to find out you make each other miserable," a BAA official said, reading an e-mail from a stranded runner who qualified for Boston after nine tries in 13 years. Turns out the volcano doesn't care much for your fake wife either, pal. However, runners unable to make the race will be allowed to defer until next year, which sounds a lot more pleasant than a messy divorce.

Soccer personnel

FC Barcelona has to bus it from Madrid to Milan as volcanic debris continued to spread throughout northern Spain. An English Premiership referee got trapped in Romania. For now, no games in the Bundesliga have had to be canceled, although teams have had to travel by train. Stop forcing Europe's top leagues to treat their players like NFL Europe, Volcano! You better not mess with the World Cup, or else we're really going to have a problem.