Absolutely Most

We live in hyperbolic times, everything an absolute and most.

One radio commentator went so far as to call The Winter Classic “the greatest event ever played on the greatest continent.” 20140101_160205As ridiculous as his statement may be, hype is our norm. Winter weather, once described as “cold” or “snowy”, has been transformed into drama verging cataclysm. polar-vortex-deep-freeze-ftrWhere were you during Winter Storm Hercules? winter-storm-herculesHow did you survive the Great Polar Vortex of 2014? colbert_report_polar_vortex_a_lAnd what will you do to get through the next step towards our end?Chicken-Little_Sky-is-Falling

Winter Travel to Detroit

I thought the idea of going to Detroit in the middle of winter was exotic.

Downtown Detroit

Downtown Detroit

It would be bitterly cold and there might even be some snow.

Alumni Game, Comerica Park, Detroit

Alumni Game, Comerica Park, Detroit, December 31, 2013

I dreamed of a blizzard. winter-storm-hercules-snowfall-chartI knew all of this wouldn’t happen – with global warming bearing down – but kept to my dreams of icy roads…

20131231_112251Frozen landscapes…

Toronto Island

Toronto Island

Airport closures…

Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto

Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto

In a world hushed by snow.

Union Square, New York

Union Square, New York

Maybe next year. 20140103_100958

NHL Winter Classic – Cold and Colder

I was at the NHL’s Winter Classic with 105,000 others. It was a thrill to be there and see Toronto defeat Detroit in a shootout. 20140101_132640But I must admit to struggling with my focus, especially as the game approached four hours. The seven layers of clothes were no longer working. Neither was the Bloody Mary. I needed warmth. I needed to get out of there. And once I did, it was all about getting as warm as I could. 20140101_170017We drove the six hours back to Toronto, through the snow and traffic, the car getting warmer until I was finally over-heated.20140101_095110 I refused to take off any of my seven layers. I only took off my hat. That was it. I was happy to be warm again. And then I slept and dreamed and it was all about being cold again.

24/7 of Cliche and Profanity

The idea of HBO’s sports documentary 24/7 is enticing to hockey fans – especially those of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. images (1)Advertised as an inside look at each team’s personnel as they prepare for the Winter Classic, the show promises to offer insights into the people who will play in the big game.vlcsnap-2013-12-15-20h31m41s190The payoff is disappointing, offering little more than vacuous reflections on what it is to play for “a storied franchise” and boys pretending to be grownups, driving fancy cars and wearing fine clothes. And there’s a whole fucking bunch of swearing. 620-lupul-main-3-thumb-620xauto-287249They have that vocabulary in common with the coaches. Instead of details on strategy, style or even on their personalities, it’s a lot of “Let’s (fucking) go, boys!” 1297360798727_ORIGINALIt’s not that much should be expected of these characters in this format – they are hockey player after all – but HBO could certainly do less of the epic music and close-ups of skates and actually make an effort to tell a (fucking) story.