U2 says all is quiet on New Year's Day. Not if you're a sports fan. Once again, the start of the New Year meant a gluttony of sports and I'm OK with that.
I'm not a big fan of the Winter Classic, but I will say it did catch my attention this year. I'm thinking the reason for that was it was a night game. I had no problem with the game being delayed because of rain because it meant hockey under the lights. That's the way the Heritage Classic was played and it was great. It also meant prime-time coverage on NBC and it didn't put the game up against the January 1 feast of college football bowl games as there was the only Fiesta Bowl to worry about. The league really should investigate having the game at night. I think it brings a little more.
I will give credit to NBC. They could have found three hours of something to plug in yesterday afternoon, but they brought us Winter Classics from the past and they helped sell the game to the US market. The NHL has to be happy with six hours of programming on New Years Day being hockey on NBC.
Call me anti-Canadian if you want, but I watched the game on NBC. I'm a big Jim Hughson fan, but I also love the call of Mike "Doc" Emrick.
I am quickly turning into one of those anti-Pierre McGuire guys. There's no doubting the guy knows his hockey, but his shtick is starting to wear thin. Am I the only one who is sick of his calling Ed Olczyk "Edzo"??!
That being said, the Winter Classic needs to recapture the sizzle. The outdoors game has gotten stale and this year's game did nothing to change my mind on that. Yes, it brings the NHL some notoriety, but it needs something to keep people wanting to come back. Perhaps that is just the Canadian speaking in me. Americans might love the fact that two teams play an indoors game at a major US stadium, but as a Canadian, there is nothing compelling about the Classic anymore. Will that change when the Flames and Habs meet in February? I doubt it.
The Pats and Hitmen will play an outdoor game the day after the Flames-Habs game in February. After seeing Penguins coach Dan Bylsma sporting a fedora (and looking damn good), I am calling for Pats coach Curtis Hunt to break out some similar headwear for his outdoors appearance. C'mon Huntsy!!! I know some in the Pats organization read this and I know he will get this somehow.
Speaking of the Pats, they are home to the Calgary Hitmen today. The Pats are battling for that last playoff spot and they have a modest little two game win streak going. The Hitmen aren't like Calgary teams of old so they could very well make it three today in a 6 PM start.
I wonder how Greg Marshall spent his January 1. I'm guessing he wasn't Bowl game after Bowl game after Bowl game. From what I am hearing, Tuesday afternoon will be the formal announcement of the new Rider head coach.
Not a day to be a fan of Big Ten football. Michigan got stomped on by Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, Michigan State got destroyed by Alabama, Texas Tech beat Northwestern in some Bowl game that I forget the name of, Florida beat Penn State in the Capital One Bowl and Wisconsin was beaten by TCU in the Rose Bowl. OOPS!
Fellas, is it safe to say that TCU has the best college nickname of all. Is it not safe to say that at one time we were or still are "Horned Frogs"?
Do you remember the day when US college football ended on January 1? There's a bunch of games to go yet with the National Championship game being played January 10.
Why couldn't the BCS bowl games be playoff games? It seems so simple and its something everyone wants, but there are just some at the NCAA that are too stubborn and pig-headed to see this. There are so many different formulas that could be used, but just use one of them so we can see a true US college football champ be determined. If they can have a playoff system in Division 2 and 3 college football along with baseball, hockey and of course basketball, why not football? Makes no sense to me.
Canada vs the Swiss today at the World Juniors. It didn't take long for the venom to start coming out after Canada's shootout loss to the Swedes. Goalie Olivier Roy is taking a lot of the heat for the team's loss. He didn't play well, but Canada always seems to have one of those games in this tournament and they somehow sneak away with the win. This time they didn't. Its not like they lost 7-3. It was a shootout. Yeah, the road to gold is a little tougher now, but I say we beat Switzerland today, come up huge against the Americans which is the game the Canadian kids want and then we take it to Sweden again and shut the yap of their mouthy coach up. Have you heard the trash talking this guy is doing---and HE"S THEIR COACH!!. Don't give up so easy.
By the way, I am told Mark Visentin will be starting today.
The last Sunday of the NFL season and there's only one game I want to see today. Well, OK there's a bunch because of pro-line and other things, but my attention will be focussed on Qwest Field tonight when the Seahawks and Rams play. A Seattle win and they go into the playoffs as division champs with a putrid 7-9 record. I don't expect them to win if Charlie Whitehurst does indeed QB this team, but I will be cheering hard for them to win just to get into the playoffs. Yes, they are in a bad division, but they can't do anything about that. They can only play with the cards they are dealt. Will they get smoked in the playoffs by New Orleans? Chances are they will, but at least they got into the playoffs and there are some other teams that can't say that. If they lose, they at least had a chance to get in on the last day and many other teams didn't so whatever. Its all about getting there in pro sports and they have a chance on the last weekend to get there so GET IT DONE!!!
Jordan Eberle left last nite's game against the Flames with some kind of ankle injury. Jack Michaels and Bob Stauffer (the Oilers play by play guys) said it didn't look good when Eberle left the ice. Here's hoping Jordan is OK and that his rookie season hasn't been interrupted by injury.
I watched a little bit of the Swedish Under 17 game against the Humboldt Broncos yesterday on-line. The Swedes are a very good team from what I saw yesterday as they can skate and they can move. They haven't had much of a problem against the Bombers, Ice Wolves and Broncos with the four game set wrapping up in the Battlefords tomorrow. Its too bad this team wasn't coming down to the southern half to meet the Wings or Terriers as I would have made that trip.
For what its worth, the Swedes are in Saskatchewan because they thought they were going to be competing at the World Under 17 challenge in Winnipeg only to not get an invite to the event. They had already made plans to come to North America so when they found out they weren't going to be at the U17's, they, along with Hockey Canada, quickly set up this four game matchup against SJHL teams.
I didn't see the UFC pay per view last nite. Did I miss anything good?
I have quirky sayings that I sometimes end the blog with and now I have useless sports facts in my arsenal as well to finish off most postings. With that being the case, I will tell you this....
Golfers use an estimated $800 million worth of golf balls annually.
Have a good Sunday. GO CANADA, GO SEAHAWKS