Cold ‘nuff for ya?
Sorry. Just had to get that out of my system. The last two years I’ve been in Kansas during the winter months and, therefore, have been pretty limited in my opportunities to utter that most Minnesotan of phrases. But, I think the unseasonably chilly temps definitely qualify as a time when it applies.
The frigid weather also signals the beginning of the winter athletic seasons for area high schools and at Minnesota West. I must admit, the transition from fall to winter sports has always been the most difficult for me. At work, I know it’s time for me to start focusing on things like basketball, hockey, wrestling and gymnastics, but in my NFL-obsessed personal life, I can’t pull myself away from football — a fall sport. After all, when mid-November hits things are just starting to get good.
As I try to push myself into winter mode, there are some things that I’m looking forward to, however, along with some things I’ll need to re-adjust to.
In Kansas, things were quite a bit different in the winter season. Sure, there was basketball and wrestling. I think that’s pretty much the case everywhere. There was (somewhat obviously) no hockey, no gymnastics (that’s a fall sport there) and there is boys swimming and diving along with bowling. I look forward to covering hockey again. While its replacement sport in Kansas — bowling — was more fun to cover than one might think, it still doesn’t compare to being at the rink. Now, after two years away, I just need to remember how to dress properly for two-plus hours in the cold.
One thing I’ll have to adjust to is thinking of high school basketball in terms of halves rather than quarters. Minnesota made the switch from quarters to halves when I was still in high school and through years of following high school basketball along with a few years covering it, that had pretty much become the norm for me. When I moved, it took a little while to get used to the quarter system again. Now that’s become the norm and I’m sure I’ll find myself botching the proper timeframe at least once early in the season.
While I don’t know if I’m ready to experience another full-on Minnesota winter — the last two years I was only hope the week between Christmas and New Years Day, spending the rest of the season in the typically warmer area south of here — I’m sure it won’t take long for the feeling (“not-feeling?”) of numb extremities and chattering teeth to feel commonplace again. Bring it on.