February 10, 2011

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

February isn't a hot bed of activity for the author of this column, at least not for content necessarily pertinent to the typical subject nature of the Outdoor Corner.

Still, with Mother Nature pretty much shutting down the local sports scene last week, the publisher strongly encouraged the writer get off his duff and churn out some copy to help fill the void and hopefully keep readers entertained.

Twenty inches of snow and five-foot tall drifts made it too much work to get the ice tent out. Fortunately for the trapper in the family, the big storm waited until the close of the season on January 31st. We went out with a bang. Karri caught a bobcat in the first trap she checked on that last morning.

I'm not sure who was happier, her doing her "bobcat-caught" dance or me doing my "the season's over" cartwheels. Hallelujah.

Next year's efforts were setback by the blizzard, but we can't really blame it on the snow. We worked too late Tuesday night getting the paper done, and barely made it home in the storm. The trapping Tracker (her little four-wheel drive ride) was beached near our front yard after I got buried trying to enter the driveway. Both vehicles survived the storm, but her little trailer-hitch platform was the victim of an inadvertent snowplow blade amidst the cleanup efforts made by our neighborhood.

Boy did that stink, literally. She had her trapping bag stowed in the plastic storage box hitched to the platform. The blade demolished the box and did a number on a few of the scent containers in the bag. It was bad enough that serious consideration was given to abandoning the vehicle for a couple more weeks, but it was finally moved.

Speaking of moving, or now the inability to do so... move over P90X and all you other exercise videos, a snow shovel and five-foot tall drifts got me down enough I had no desire to move even once we were finally dug out.

Fortunately it did not require much movement for me to plant myself on the couch and watch some excellent entertainment.

For those of you that have not seen "Facing the Giants" I would give it three thumbs up if that was anatomically possible. The story of a struggling football program at a Christian high school in Atlanta is unbelievably moving. I'd recommend it to all, and will gladly lend out my copy to anyone that would like to watch the program. I think we got the last one at Pamida, but were blessed to get the Blueray and DVD combo, so there are two copies.

The Beta Sorority basketball tournament on Saturday gave a bunch of fifth and sixth graders all the exercise they could want. Our sixth grade girls team played four ball games and came away tired but victorious.

I know I've borrowed this line before, but like Steve Martin's character in the movie Parenthood said, it's amazing how grown adults' happiness can revolve around an 11-year-old's ballgame. I was on cloud nine. The girls played great, all day long, and I even survived refereeing a couple of games without any fans forming a lynch mob against me.

Cap off the big weekend with an exciting Super Bowl and what more could a sports enthusiast ask for? Neither team is one of my favorites, but I have to admit being in the Packers corner. I wasn't sure why that was, except possibly the fact that I had the Packers defense and wide receiver Greg Jennings on my fantasy football teams during the regular season.

At risk of seeming like a fair-weather fan, I believe the Packers moved up on my favorites list, or at least Jennings did. It was very impressive to see the receiver at a loss for words when he was captured just after the clock expired on the historical victory for an on-camera interview.

The first words out of Jennings' mouth were "To God be the glory," a phrase he repeated amidst his praise of his team's efforts in overcoming adversity all season long. The Packers lost two key players to injuries in the Super Bowl, which mirrored the regular season that was marred by similar setbacks. Hard not to root for a guy like that.

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