It's c-c-c-c-c-cold out there, but the sun came out during the day yesterday and made for perfect icicle-growing conditions. They are beautiful, though -- at least until they decide to try and escape their place on the eaves and go crashing to the ground.
Here in the mountains of Upper East Tennessee, we got about a foot of snow between Wednesday morning and Sunday morning. And snow is a normal part of winter here, yet businesses don't bother to shovel and plow -- although you can be sure all the church parking lots were cleared yesterday. I surely didn't appreciate having to wade through ankle-deep slush when I had to pick up my presription! My feel finally thawed out by bedtime, though.
At any rate, I had my winter experience fot this year, thank you.
New Year's was a sad day for the Boston Bruins after their loss to the Montreal Canadiens in this season's Winter Classic. That's a hockey game, in case you don't know. I'm not judging. I'm only judging myself here, because as an avowed pacifist and someone who's criticized the excesses of professional sports, my guilty little (former) secret is that I like ice hockey. And I'm not entirely sure why.
Of course, hockey is superior to American football in many ways. It's more athletic. Hockey players play a long season - 82 games in regular NHL season play, compared with 16 for the NFL season. Hockey's fast pace is more appealing, too. It's the fights, though, that leave me most uneasy with my affection for the game and the players.
It's hard to defend some fights as justified while others are dirty, but that's pretty much how it goes. Defenders of the fisticuffs that break out during games will say that fighting is a means by which hockey players police each other, by letting things get a little out of control, safety and sanity is maintained:
There are certain players, certain rivalries that can be counted upon to provoke this sort of "accountability," and I can pretty much overook the occasional donnybrook because I get pulled in by the excitement of cheering on "my" team, through good times and bad. It's a distraction, a diversion, and, for me, at least, a harmless foray into fandom. For the most part, though, witnessing a fight on the ice makes me uncomfortable.
But not as uncomfortable as losing to the Canadiens on home ice . . . . Grrrrrr!