The temperature along the banks of the Mon was 23 degrees by sundown Saturday, with the wind chill a breath-stunting 14. The trains rolling along the edge of Highmark Stadium clattered like percussive ice-picks. The Downtown skyscrapers steamed like chimneys in the dead of December. Even the ducks and geese, so common a sight now on all our shores, had flocked for cover.
Not even Beckham could bend one on this night. It would have been a frozen rope.
So here's betting that the very last thought on anyone's mind anywhere in our region, possibly including the 2,000-plus paying customers who wound up bundling themselves in black and gold scarves and beat their drums and sang and stomped all through the Riverhounds' season opener, was that this was some swell night for a soccer match.
"Oh, no," Kevin Kerr would say afterward. "It was crazy cold."
"Brutal," Robbie Vincent chimed in at Kerr's shoulder. "Absolutely brutal."
And I write that not just because Vincent was wearing short sleeves.