Sunday, January 4, 2009

Running the NHL, Gary Bettman is a Blind Squirrel

In the sense of a blind squirrel occasionally finding a nut, that is.

So, despite Bettman (sucks!) being incomprehensibly coy about continuing a twice-successful annual event to number three and beyond, congrats to the league on its successful Winter Classic on New Year's Day, where the Wings downed the 'Hawks at Wrigley. I agree with my friend Hockey Dino that is was a great event: good hockey game, great aestethics, increased TV ratings. There were some pros and cons, like: as great as the unis were (especially the Chicago use of old school off-white), Bob Costas seemed like he was bummed slumming doing hockey outdoors on New Year's Day.

I personally thought the game should've been at Solider Field to get a bigger crowd in, but doing that would've eliminated the perceived North Side / Wrigley cachet, allowed the 'Hawks to keep Red Wings fans out, and, most importantly, would have prevented the NHL and Blackhawks from sufficiently holding up Chicago's season ticket holders.

As much as there are now calls for Michigan Stadium or Beaver Stadium (please, not Sidney Crosby again) to host the event soon, may I suggest that you have to spread this thing around: the next two events should be Rangers / Maple Leafs in New Yankee Stadium, and Bruins / Canadiens at Fenway. (A wild card possibility for next year: the Canucks hosting in the lead-up to their Winter Olympics). This way, there's no better way to go old school, playing outside, than by going with the Original Six.

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