Today's riddle: How is the U.S. Missile Defense Shield
different from a high school football team?

Answer #1: The shield doesn't operate in the rain.

From Reuters comes the story (about the shield, not the football team):

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first flight test in nearly two years of a
planned U.S. missile-defense shield has been scrapped two days in a row
this week because of bad weather, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Strong rain squalls over the Kwajalein atoll launch site in the central
Pacific caused the latest postponement, Richard Lehner, a spokesman
for the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, said shortly after the decision
to scrap the test. A new attempt might be made later in the day, he said.

Answer #2: The football team occasionally intercepts something.

When the skies cleared and the test finally happened, the interceptor failed to launch.

From the New York Times (12/16/04):

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - An important test of the United States'
fledgling missile defense system ended in failure early Wednesday as an
interceptor rocket failed to launch on cue from the Marshall Islands, the
Pentagon said.

After a rocket carrying a mock warhead as a target was launched from
Kodiak, Alaska, the interceptor, which was intended to go aloft 16
minutes later and home in on the target 100 miles over the earth,
automatically shut down because of "an unknown anomaly," according
to the Missile Defense Agency of the Defense Department.

Answer #3: The football team recognizes failures and adapts its strategy.

Also from the NY Times story:

But a spokesman for Senator John Kyl, Republican of Arizona, a strong
advocate of the program, said "one bum test" would not alter support for

Indeed, despite a series of delays in testing this year, Congress has
embraced the deployment of a rudimentary system, which is favored by
those who want to field even a limited system sooner rather than later.