Herald Journal Columns
Nov. 28, 2005, Herald Journal / Enterprise Dispatch

Goodbye flip-flops, hello snow boots

By Matt Kane

The thermostat on the wall of the Enterprise Dispatch reads a comfortable 72 degrees as I write this column.

The temperature on the State Bank of Cokato marquee? 37.

A far cry from two weeks ago, when I was walking around barefoot with only my swim trunks on in that 72-plus degrees – outside temperature that is – soaking up my last few days of the ocean breezes and soft sands of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

But since my arrival to the Dassel-Cokato area Nov. 16, I have had little use for my sandals and surfer shorts, instead finding myself searching for the few pairs of blue jeans and long-sleeved shirts still scattered throughout my suitcased wardrobe.

I guess that’s the price a guy pays for a new job. Flip-flops for snow boots? Does anybody else think that’s nuts?

It seems a majority of the people I tell about my move think so, but, then again, most of them are from the Sunshine State, where a 40-degree overnight low becomes the talk of the town.

It may seem weird to them that someone would fly north for the winter, and I’m sure many of you will tell me the same during interviews as I cover the D-C sports scene. Sometimes, it’s good to return home to reclaim the interests lost by a change in location.

For me, that interest is ice hockey and a white winter.

Now, there was an ice rink in the Daytona Beach area and believe me, there is no better feeling than taking off your skates and putting on those aforementioned flip-flops, but the fees to play were beyond my reporter’s budget and it wasn’t like I could jump on the local pond to shoot the frozen rubber around. Although the alligators probably wouldn’t have minded.

But now, I’m back in the State of Hockey, so it’s time to lace ‘em up and relive the glory days of my high school hockey days in Sauk Centre. (That shouldn’t take long.)

I’m also looking forward to kicking up some snow on an Arctic Cat and playing a few hands of Euchre in a shanty on a frozen lake.

The way I look at it, the winter time is the perfect time to move back to Minnesota, in that I will immediately have a chance to do all that I had missed in my four years in Florida.

Although I have been away, I am sad to say that, like all of you, I haven’t been missing the soap opera starring Minnesota’s professional sports teams.

Thanks to satellite television, I have been right there with you watching the Twins sink back into mediocrity, Latrell Sprewell scrape by to feed his kids, and the Vikings sail their “love” boat into the deep (doo-doo).

But now I’m here to experience it close-up again with the rest of you.

Not that I didn’t experience anything during my days in Florida.

While working in Florida, I was able to cover the Jacksonville Jaguars, Orlando Magic, Daytona 500, the NHL, spring training baseball and, of course, high school sports.

And then there were the hurricanes, and I’m not talking about the orange and green Hurricanes that call the Orange Bowl home. I’m talking about the whole family – let’s see: Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne and Wilma all made visits to my house with different intentions in mind.

I hope I never have to put a newspaper together working off of a generator again. I will take a blizzard any day.

So, bring it on Old Man Winter, I’m ready to live like a Minnesotan again.

Now, where did I put those boots?

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