Paddle tennis -- aka platform tennis -- is what I do in winter when I am not sneezing. Paddle tennis is a winter game played outdoors inside a wire cage to keep the wolves out. It is only played by the very toughest athletes. We paddlers go out on cold days and nights, in sleet and snow and rain, to paddle away the winter blues.
If courts are covered in snow and ice, we turn on heaters and use brooms to clear the planks for play. Wait! Forget everything I said about brooms not having a place in sports. Paddle tennis should be in the Winter Olympics as its only racket sport, although it could be argued that the Olympics are themselves a vast moneymaking racket for everybody but the hosts.
Ah, Sochi! The fun starts this week. Get me out of bed when it is over.
Reg Henry is deputy editorial-page editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a columnist for McClatchy-Tribune.