It Was Cold Out There


It suddenly occurred to me as I sat there: I haven’t been this cold in years!

Southern Germany has mild winters. The beginning of November is still practically summer. In Sulzburg today it is 16 Celsius. In Ottawa it is 1. Which is why today’s post is later than usual – I needed time to thaw out.

Friday night I attended the final Ottawa RedBlacks game of the 2019 football season. For last year’s finalists to not make the playoffs is a bitter pill to swallow for local fans. Even more so as the team closed the season with an 11-game losing streak. Today though is about the weather, not football.

I knew the game-time temperature was hovering around zero, and with the wind chill it would probably feel like -5.  I was dressed accordingly with hat and gloves. But I had forgotten how cold you can get when you sit in the same cold place for three hours. And I was wearing running shoes, not a wise choice for cold concrete. If I was accustomed to Canadian weather, I would have worn my insulated winter boots. It was cold.

The stadium was sold out, but was never more than half-full during the game, as many fans opted to stay home (perhaps watching on television) rather than suffer another loss in freezing conditions. I noticed a lot of people leaving by the third quarter – especially families with children.

I understood that. I remember my first Canadian Football League game, in 1960. It was a summer night, as I recall, but it was pouring rain. The stadium had no roof. When my father game me the option of leaving, I took it.

As an adult I stay to the bitter end – I paid for these tickets and I am going to get my money’s worth. And I have been to football games on much colder days.

In 2004 I attended the 92nd Grey Cup Championship game when it was held here in Ottawa on the last Sunday of November. It was snowing, and I think -10 Celsius. I felt much warmer then though – I was dressed for winter conditions. I should have done that Friday night,

I had fun at the game though, despite the cold.



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