Column: D4: The Mighty Wildcats

Brian Regan

The temperature is getting cold and it snowed last weekend. For maybe five minutes. I even brought Nagano Winter Sports 98 and Wayne Gretzky 3D Hockey back from a road trip to Minnesota.

Those games got me thinking forward to January and February and what I will be doing as a slacker senior. In between virtual fights in Gretzky, it finally came to me. Something still missing here at Northwestern for winter sports fun. And not sunshine or heat.

An on-campus ice rink.

Yes, an ice rink.

I know what you are thinking. Millenium Park has one – why do the dorky, liability waiver waving-students at NU need another safety hazard? Or that we had an ice rink last year on all of our sidewalks thanks to the City of Evanston. Zing!

But I digress.

Even though Illinois is not known as a hotbed (or would that be cold-bed?) of winter talent, Chicago does have an Original Six hockey team, even if the Blackhawks haven’t been relevant to the city in decades. But really, neither have the Cubs.

So why can’t NU build us a hockey rink?

We have three gyms, a dozen tennis courts and several fields. But the gigantic lake we are situated near barely freezes in the winter and would not make for a very suitable sheet of ice.

Go ahead and counter that there isn’t enough interest to warrant a rink. The school has a club hockey team and even a varsity field hockey team just for good measure. There is intramural floor hockey, but it takes a car to get to the nearest hockey rink, which is indoors. It also costs money to play outside during the few and far between open ice hours.

My proposal: Flood Deering Meadow in the cold winter months and set up a skate rental shop outside of Kellogg. That way, MBA students could actually interact with their less illustrious undergraduate brethren, or we could just outsource this job to them as a part of their training.

The rink may interfere with some snow football or snow people, but really those can be done on various locations around campus. Not to mention, it would give cheap students a chance for a low-cost romantic endeavor.

How hard is this Mr. Bienen? It’s not like we are all taking differential geometry. It would even allow for some engineering students like myself to cooperate in building the boards and figuring out how to flood a field safely without harming our gorgeous squirrel population.

So what would this accomplish, aside from raising the school’s insurance premiums?

First, there would be more interest in hockey on campus, keeping club skating and hockey teams from having to drive all over the North Shore to find ice time.

Second, it would give a campus that already prides itself on its fitness another midterm release valve, not to mention a place for Evanston residents to hide bodies. Oops! Too soon.

Next time it starts to snow or the temperature drops below freezing, think ice. As in rink.

Assistant sports editor Brian Regan is a McCormick senior. He can be reached at [email protected]