Through the Lens of Lentz

by Dan Lentz | 10/31/11 11:00pm

Snow in October. Nice Halloween, right? Freshmen from the South, how are you guys doing right now?

The snow that produced the snowball fight for som and a four-hour car ride back from Harvard University for others has also given me an idea for a column.

As I perused DartmouthSports.com, trying to think of an idea, a few choice pictures made me realize something. This column needs a list of the least enjoyable sports to play in snowy weather. Generally I write my columns from the spectator's point of view, but the worst sport to watch in the cold is just the most boring sport. So in order not to offend anyone, I'll just shut up now before I tell all you ultimate frisbee players how I really feel.

Coming in at number five: Soccer. Maybe it's because the men's team is near the top of the Ivy League or because players can wear long sleeves and gloves during inclement play, but I just don't feel that bad for soccer players here. I mean yeah, they play in the same weather as everyone else, but they are always moving and their fingers probably don't go numb. Do not feel too bad.

Number four would have to be field hockey. As little as I talk about the Big Green field hockey team, I have to say this: Running around with wooden sticks and potentially hitting someone's fingers or shins while all appendages are already cold and stiff sounds painful to me. Not to mention running around in skirts. There is a reason most men in North America do not play the sport.

The next one was a bit of a toss up. Once again, I rarely talk about running in this column, let alone cross country. It is the thing people did in high school so they did not have to go to PE. Also, look two paragraphs above: "... players can wear long sleeves and gloves ... they are always moving." The same things that were true for soccer seem true here, but look at pictures from Heps this weekend. You can literally see snow building up on the runners. You want to know the difference between cross country and the sports preceding it on this list? Runners try to wear very little to minimize weight and drag and do not stop to brush off the icicles that are actually forming on their bodies. Enough said.

Number two is football. If you have read one of my columns before, you knew football would make an appearance somewhere on this list. First off, pads do not keep someone warm they are plastic. Second, getting a helmet to a hand or somewhere else when it is freezing cold is excruciatingly painful. That being said, games in the snow are usually a lot of fun and produce lasting memories, even though they tend to be awful at times.

The Tuck Rule Game that started the Patriots' dynasty will always be remembered. Also a memorable moment for snowy sports is the 2007 NFC Championship game, in which Tom Coughlin's face actually froze (I don't think it has thawed yet he still has that same facial expression). Or a person could look up "Dornak Loses His Head" on DartmouthSports.com. In the video, viewers can see the Harvard field covered in snow. Running back Brad Dornak '12 caught the ball during the play and lost his helmet from a hit before going into the endzone. Awesome? Yes. But also cold.

The last team is a first for a Lentz column. I will admit, there came a point in the article when I realized I would have to do this and I almost stopped writing. But I have no other ideas and have to give credit to a team I have never given any to before: sailing.

Besides apparently destroying its competition this weekend, the sailing team endured what must be some of the worst possible conditions for the sport. Find any picture from this weekend. Sailors with good form lean back and almost hit the water, so that it constantly sprays at them. I cannot imagine anything I would want to do less on a cold day when the water must have been absolutely frigid.

Yes, I know they can wear jackets, hats, life vests, whatever. But they can also capsize.

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