Who wears short shorts | May 10, 2023

After last week’s story about my hot hockey mom friends, one of their husbands strongly suggested I also write something about the hockey dads (he actually said “hot hockey dads” but let’s not get ahead of ourselves) to balance it out.  So, fine.

My favorite hot hockey dad, Kyle, has a confident personal style when it comes to clothing.  By “confident,” I mean “unique;” and by “unique,” I mean “if he lays his eyeballs on it, he’ll probably wear it.”  He owns a meat sweatshirt, which is a sweatshirt wrapped in a screenprint of a close-up view of a marbled slab of beef.  He’s mildly known for a red, white, and royal blue velour track suit I gifted to him kind of as a joke a few Christmases ago after we took the train from New Jersey to New York and Kyle was noticeably distressed to be the only dude in the station who didn’t have a gold chain and trackie.  Also, he devoted one full summer to seersucker.

Kyle comes by his fashion sense honestly.  Ignoring the fact that he was born and raised in Canada – Home of the Bedazzled Man Jean – Kyle works for a hockey agency and spends a lot of time adjacent to athletes, commentators, coaches, and related.  Hockey players and their surrounding personages are similar to other sports in that they are partial to jazzy outfits, and Kyle is no different.  Kyle once attended an awards ceremony decked out in the loudest sport coat I’ve ever seen in person (as a reminder, my family used to own a men’s clothing store so I’ve SEEN some STUFF), and when he texted me a group photo there were so many big dudes sporting gaudy suits that it took me longer than it should have to pick him out of the crowd.

The latest look in men’s hockey is 50’s-esque shortie shorts.  How short?  In the words of my friend, “bend over and show ‘em you’re nuts” short.  Kyle is 100% on board.

We were in the Cities this weekend for a hockey tournament.  The parents were hanging out Friday evening when I heard Kyle say loudly to the dads around him,

“Tomorrow we’ll go get some five-and-a-half-inch-inseam shorts.”

When I was a teenager, I visited my Jersey family and my aunt informed me that sparkly, off-the-shoulder, neon-colored body suits were VERY IN and, in turn, I said,

“That’s too much pizzazz for North Dakota.”

Thanks to the Internet, North Dakota is much more pizzazzy than it was back in the 90’s…but, like, not all the way more.  For example, at a recent board meeting one of the male board members walked in wearing a burnt orange polo shirt and another gentleman exclaimed,

“Whoa, Ted, you tryin’ to glow in the dark or what?”

So, when Kyle proclaimed shortie shorts to a group of dads whose idea of razzle-dazzle is a black stripe on a pair of black joggers, their collective souls scrunched up as if he had suggested they wrap themselves in tinfoil and do a group Riverdance down the streets of Minneapolis.  However, since 1) Kyle is their friend and they didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and 2) no one wanted to be the first to say they weren’t – what’s the word, I’m looking for? Brave?  Insane? – enough for shortie shorts, they all said,


“They aren’t going to wear shortie shorts, leave them alone,” I said to Kyle.

“Yes, they will,” Kyle said, knowingly.

Now the other dads had a conundrum.  If they sided with me – the person who was accurate in what was going to happen regarding shortie short purchasing decisions – they would be going against the Hockey Dad Code that states that Hockey Dads Are Always Right And Are Also Hotter than Hockey Moms.  If they sided with Kyle…well, they’d better make sure their leg hair was combed in the right direction because Sky’s Out, Thighs Out.

“Haha,” they said.  “Yeah.”

The next day arrived.  Our sons played an early-morning game and then weren’t on the schedule again until 7:00 at night, leaving MANY hours available for shopping.  The moms were discussing a plan to fill the time when Kyle reminded us – again, loudly – that the dads were going shopping for shortie shorts.  The other dads didn’t respond because they had individually elected to give Kyle a fifty-foot berth.

“No, you’re not,” I said.

“Well, later,” he said.  “After lunch.”

“Way after lunch,” I said.

Wouldn’t you know it, every single one of those dads miraculously had something to do that entire, previously unplanned, day.  Some of them stayed to watch one of the younger teams play their own game, which is something they had never done before.  One guy straight-up left town.  The rest disappeared into the ether, reappearing juuust before 7:00 pm.  The game ended at 9:00; the stores were closed.  Shucks.

Kyle, however, remained undeterred.

On Sunday, Kyle and I popped into a sporting goods store because I wanted to buy a t-shirt I didn’t actually buy.  Kyle bee-lined for the men’s clothing section, emerging pleased as punch.

“Good thing we didn’t get the five-and-a-half-inch-inseam shorts,” he said, taking a picture and texting it to his friends.  “They sell FOUR-AND-A-HALF-INCH shorts here.”

“Pizzazzy,” I said.

Full disclosure, I’m a fan of the shortie shorts.  The photo above is of Kyle in normal-length shorts.  He’s the one on the right.

The Velva Library is now the Iris Swedlund School and Public Library after being named for a beloved librarian. (KFYR TV)

The Dakota Cruisers are gassed up and ready to hit the road. (Minot Daily News)

In news that will also make our Canadian family happy/unhappy (because they are fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders), Minot’s Troy Kowal has been drafted by the BC Lions in the Canadian Football League. (KFYR TV)

Jim and Cindy Unruh have made the largest donation in University of Jamestown history. (Bismarck Tribune)

After only THIRTY YEARS, volunteers have raised enough money to revitalize the Lisbon Opera House. (Dickinson Press)

And in news that will make me happy/Kyle unhappy, line dancing is on its way BACK. (KFYR TV)

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