NCAA Basketball on the USS Carl Vinson: What Are the Sailors Saying?

San Diego is supposed to host the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic aboard the USS Carl Vinson this Friday, the 11th of November, at 4 p.m. PT (11/11/11.) The NCAA basketball game features North Carolina and Michigan State and will be played outside, on the flight deck. President Obama is even rumored to be attending. One tiny problemo: rain.

From the weather experts over at the Military Times:

The first college basketball game to ever be played on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier will happen on Friday.

Well, maybe not.

MSU Camouflage Uniform in Army colors

A storm could hit San Diego on game day, which would force the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic to be played in the Carl Vinson’s hangar deck. Weather.com says there’s a 50 percent chance of rain on Friday, and they’re also saying that the high temperature will be 62 degrees.

Making things even worse for the players, there’s also supposed to be 10mph winds that could gust to significantly higher speeds.

Surely this can’t be a surprise to those who scheduled this game. November weather in San Diego is as unpredictable as a Sailor on liberty in Thailand. (Or perhaps a Sailor on Thai liberty is highly predictable?)

San Diego’s Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, USS Carl Vinson

So the back-up site is the hangar deck. Of course, the’ll have to clear out any flying machines present, those big brids that soar through the sky, flown by Sailors with Wings of Gold. Moving indoors will cut the seating in half. Being the Navy and all, we are planning contingencies and getting the alternative space ready:

Hangar Deck, USS Carl Vinson, Bad Weather Site

One of the seniors playing for the MSU Spartans has a brother in the Marine Corps. And Corps bro is going to watch hoops bro throw down:

A special reunion will take place onboard the USS Carl Vinson at Friday’s NCAA Carrier Classic basketball game when a local Marine will watch his brother play.

After finishing training in North Carolina, Marine 2nd Lt. Thomas Thornton – who was commissioned last summer – has arrived at Camp Pendleton for his assignment and also just in time for a big game.

Michigan State Uniform, Carrier Classic, USS Vinson

As for the uniform, it looks to be a special edition. Nevermind that the Spartans’ camouflage looks like the Army’s. About the baggy threads, the MSU coach has this to say:

”I think the uniforms are pretty cool,” Spartans head coach Tom Izzo said in a Monday release on MSUSpartans.com

“They definitely put the spotlight on our military and that’s what this is for.”

No player names will appear on the back of the jerseys, instead being replaced by “U.S.A.” above uniform numbers.

But the big question remains: what do the local Sailors think? Months prior, it seemed an impossibility. When I raised the issue, people first assumed I was joking. Now that it is happening in mere days, weather is the main concern. And the hangar is a big step-down from the outside option.

Don’t pray for rain. Pray for temperate weather. If it is played on the flight deck, the first half will be in the waning daylight and the second will be in the dark, under the night lights. Go Navy! Beat the weather! (And Army. . .)