Letter to Sissies

Dear people who usually play pick-up hockey on Sunday mornings,

I can't believe I'm the only one who showed up this week. Are you that afraid of a little bit of cold weather? Put on some damn long underwear and quit your bitching. Minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit is not that cold.

In the past, plenty of people showed up on colder days than this. I've noticed there have been fewer and fewer players each year willing to brave the harshest weather, but there has always been enough to have a game, until today.

I did not get out of bed this morning and climb into a union suit to go skate around in circles by myself for 45 minutes. I enjoy hockey, but taking slap-shots at an open net is not my idea of a good time.

I know it's Super Bowl Sunday this week, and you all plan to spend the day sitting on your asses eating fatty foods and watching other people play sports for you, but the football game doesn't start until 5:30 p.m.

Right now, my girlfriend is making chocolate balls out of Oreo cookies and cream cheese. I plan on eating at least a dozen of them during the Super Bowl, along with six bags of potato chips. I need some exercise today, and you ruined it for me.

I know it can be hard to get up early on Sunday morning, particularly if you've been enjoying convivial beverages the night before. Maybe the cold weather convinced you there's nothing better to do this weekend than get drunk, but I say that's no excuse.

A real Duluthian can drink the sun out of the sky and still get up to play hockey the next day. I'm embarrassed to write this letter for fear it will demoralize the next generation to know what a bunch of languorous cowards came before them.

It was only one month ago that you were all complaining about global warming and that there was no ice available for hockey. Now it's cold, and you're crying about that, too. Well, I'm sorry the planet doesn't have a thermostat you can adjust to your ideal temperature each day.

Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. He loves how, on particularly cold mornings, the puck hitting the boards sounds like a gunshot. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.