Winter Sports Memories

The cold this weekend kept many inside. But not Tony C. who for a day at least tried to think and act like a kid again.

A Weatherman’s Saturday

I struggled with my title for today’s blog. At first I wanted to call it “Boys will be Boys”, a reference to me still thinking and behaving like a teenager. Then I thought of the “Skating on Glass” phrase, but finally I decided, for better or worse, on A Weatherman’s Saturday.

Saturday morning dawned with the coldest air of the decade with my backyard thermometer among most below zero. Officially, Huntington and Charleston checked in at -2, but e-mails into the weather center indicated readings as low as -12.

As I threw on a pair of long johns, I marveled at how cold it had been last night without a snow cover. The guess is that with 2 inches of snow on the ground, temperatures would have dropped to -10 area-wide!

Either way, it was a morning of bitter cold with the air heavy enough to steal your breath away. So cold that pipes burst in the intense cold and several outages (power and yes even cable TV) were reported. I was one of the cable TV-less on this Saturday.

With the WSAZ touch football league slated for a 1:15 kickoff at Ritter Park, I devised a way for me to play and not pull a hammy (as is the case every year). You see, these 50 year old muscles of mine can not behave like my 15 year old brain wants them to. Normally, any strenuous running and cutting will lead to a pulled hamstring.

So to warm up my hammies, I grabbed my ice skates and hockey stick and ventured down to the 4-Pole creek around 12:30 for a quick skate.

4-Pole had indeed frozen solidly and I quickly picked out a 100 yard stretch of the finest ice to skate upon. For my old hockey chums reading from Philly, the makeshift rink sported ice that was like glass! Stevie K and Q eat your hearts out!

I skated hard for a half hour, deking my way to several goals and some bone crushing body checks in my make-pretend game. It was reminiscent of my days on Pennypack Creek.

The figure 8s I carved into the ice disturbed an otherwise pristine ice surface. The mandatory 4 inches thick ice a safe formality after the 3 day Cold Wave.

My hammies warmed up, it was onto the gridiron for an hour and a half of touch football. Commissioner Tim Irr means well in gathering the troops, but is unable to grasp the importance of drafting equal teams. That leads to the inevitable arguments and lopsided scores.

Keith Morehouse, the record setting QB for the league, did his best impersonation of Chad Pennington as he steady QBed for both sided. Along the way, Keith tossed a dozen or so TD passes with several uncharacteristic INTs. I would like to think my smartly crafted Zone D had something to do with the latter, but fact is the nit-wits in this game don’t understand the concept of D and merely prefer to run long on every play.

The MVP of the game was Chris "Built like a Rock" Olsen who threw his body around like he was still playing at Arizona U. Chris caught passes like a pro and but for the grace of God nearly decapitated me and several others with his reckless abandon style of play.

By game’s end, I had managed to avoid injury and looked ahead to what I thought would be a sore Sunday. Turned out my body recovered quickly enough for me to get around without a hassle on Sunday. My departed friend and doctor Jose Ricard would have been impressed!

Moral of the story, even at 50 I still enjoy playing the games that boys play. I just wish I could one last time find that Fountain of Youth to recapture those days of yesteryear.

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