Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where I'll Be Tomorrow... 1300 hrs EST (1100 Mountain):
Well... I won't be in Fenway, exactly.  But I WILL be in front of my teevee.  If this year's game is even half as good as last year's it will be stupendous.  From last year here at EIP, on 01/02/09... and note the highlighted bits toward the end:

I'm Still Buzzing

The Chicago Blackhawks, left and the Detroit Red Wings make their way onto the ice before the NHL Winter Classic held at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Thursday, Jan 1, 2009. (ANDRE JACKSON/DFP)
In the Mixed Metaphor Department… from ESPN:
CHICAGO -- Going, going, gone. Home run. Touch 'em all, NHL.
Forgive the obvious baseball allusion, but from the cool retro uniforms worn by the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, to the 40,818 fans bundled up and jammed into venerable Wrigley Field belting out the national anthem en masse, to the old-style black fedoras sported by the Detroit coaching staff, to the wildly entertaining game itself, the 2009 Winter Classic was another red-letter day for the league.
For the second straight year, the NHL has taken its game outdoors, and this success at Wrigley virtually guarantees the Winter Classic will become an annual event and the National Hockey League will carve its own place on the sporting calendar with its Jan. 1 hockey lovefest.
Yup… what Mr. Burnside said. To say the Winter Classic was “wildly entertaining” is something of an understatement, as well. You had your home team staking a claim with a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period. You had the visitors storming into the lead with three unanswered goals in the second period. You had power play goals aplenty, a couple o' few entertaining scrums (but no fights) and at least one highlight reel goal that wowed the crowd, regardless of where their sympathies lay. The ice was good, the weather cooperative (for Chicago), and everyone was simply IN to the game… players, fans, and the media. Here are some highlights, courtesy of ESPN:

I think doing the Winter Classic as an annual event is a no-brainer, with certain reservations. The outdoor game obviously won’t fly in certain NHL cities, like Tampa, LA, San Jose, or wherever the Hell in Carolina it is the Hurricanes play. And there are some rather cryptic comments in Mr. Burnside’s article about the NHL not going to Canada for the Winter Classic… “for the time being.” What’s up with that? Toronto or Montreal would be “naturals,” IMHO… as both cities are home to Original Six teams and both are within easy driving distance of major NHL markets such as Boston, New York, and Detroit, among others. And the weather obviously wouldn’t be a problem in Calgary or Edmonton, although attendance might be light, as it takes a little doing to get to either of the latter cities.
As for me? I think the next Winter Classic should be played at Fenway… especially given the resurgent nature of the Bees. Fenway has all the “magic” of Wrigley Field in the historical sense and there are great rivalries to pick and choose from when selecting an opponent for the Bees. My second choice would be Yankee Stadium… for many of the same reasons I just cited, minus the history of the venue.

More Winter Classic hoopla here, here, and here…the last of which is one of those oh-so-very-cool 360-degree panorama shots of Wrigley Field, shot from the upper stands. View that photo full-screen and it’s almost like being there.
And finally... would that the Rose Bowl were as exciting as the Winter Classic. I marveled at the contrast between beautiful, sunny Pasadena and cold, windy Chicago (is this a great country, or what?) in the opening minutes of the Rose Bowl telecast and was MOST certainly wowed by the B-2 flyover. It was all downhill from there, tho. The best bits about the Rose Bowl were over before the game even began. I fell asleep at the half...
Am I good... or at least prescient... or what?  About tomorrow:  be there or be square.  Even if you're not a hockey fan.  Maybe especially if you're not a hockey fan.  Tomorrow would be a great time to start your love affair with the fastest, toughest, most exciting sport in the world.   Just sayin'.


  1. 10:00AM for this guy, but I'll be glued to it. Perhaps with a bloody mary in hand, given the early hour.

  2. Yeah... I'll still be drinkin' coffee if it's bid'niz as usual. But I might have a lil sumthin' in it besides the usual cream 'n' sugar. ;-)

  3. Ah - The Green Monster. In my beloved "Bahstahn".

    Tomorrow I shall be sleeping in, indulging in mimosa's and leftovers from our NYE party tonite.


    An afternoon visit to our gun club may be in order as well. The weather here is forecast to be awful from now (snowing heavily) thru the weekend. Thankfully, the club has an indoor pistol range.

    No matter how it is celebrated, may all have a lovely and safe NYE. Best wishes for prosperity in the New Year.

    Speaking for myself - 2010 has got to be an improvement over 2009.

  4. 1.5 hours until the new year! Hope it is full of great things for everyone!

    I'll see if the Classic will be on AFN. If so, I'm there!

    Happy New YEAR!!!


  5. How cool is that?!? Outside and all? That is probably a lot of fun to be there.

    We had some ice and sleet type stuff this morning, but, yes, Kris, it is moving up and away and they are saying will be a big storm in New England. It's just COLD now.

    Happy (a little early) New Year to all!
    (Buck, lots of extra thoughts and prayers for both SN1 and SN2 -- be safe, be well, come home soon, you are missed very much.)

  6. Buck, WHICH retro uniforms were they talking about?

  7. Kris: Sounds like one helluva plan! Enjoy!

    Buck: Happy New year to you, too! Enjoy as best you can... our thoughts are with you.

    Kath: Thanks for the good thoughts for the boys - most appreciated! Stay warm...

    Daph: Yeah, that too!

    VX: Both the Hawks and the Wings wore specially designed throw-back jerseys for that game. The Hawks have made that jersey their third jersey (in black) this year. Very, cool... both of 'em.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.