Sidelines: The Winter


To the tune of Thomas Paine’s “The Crisis”:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer footballer and the sunshine sportsman will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of athletics; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of fan and coach. Winter, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the play, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as ATHLETICISM should not be highly rated. Winter, with a blizzard to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to SNOW) but “to LIMIT us in OUR CHOICE OF SPORTING ACTIVITIES” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then there are probably worse things on the face of the earth but still. Even the snow is impious; for so little cannot even support the broomball courts.

Whether the beginning of this winter was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that it’s probably because of climate change. We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were taking 18 credits. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet. All that winter has been doing for this month past, is rather a dusting than a blanketing, which the spirits of the Huskies, six months ago, would have quickly dismissed, and which time and a little sunshine will soon melt away.

I have as little superstition as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that the Upper Peninsula will utterly douse us in snow, and leave us frigidly to perish, we who so earnestly and so repeatedly seek out our favorite summertime outdoor activities, by every decent method which enthusiasm suggested. Neither have I so much of the southerner in me as to suppose that such a winter is a bad thing; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds we are supposed to throw a frisbee: a footballer, volleyballer or soccerman has as good a chance.

Footnote: The present winter is worth an age, if rightly employed; but if lost or neglected, the whole continent will partake of the evil; and there is no punishment that man does not deserve, be he who, or what, or where he will, that may be the means of sacrificing a season so precious and useful.