Though this year’s Winter Classic game didn’t have the snow or the shootout ending with the golden boy of the NHL scoring the game-winning shootout goal (or even a game close enough to make one think that it might go into overtime), the Winter Classic was a great game to watch.
I didn’t think the Red Wings would take a 3 goal lead (or hold it for over 16 minutes), but I think it was wonderful that the Blackhawks didn’t give up. The fact that they scored a goal with only 10 seconds remaining in the game made this year’s Winter Classic a lot more exciting than it looked at the beginning of the 3rd period. The Winter Classic is a great way to showcase the NHL and get those who don’t typically watch hockey to pay attention to the sport.
I wasn’t a big fan of the idea when I first heard of the Winter Classic, but they won me over. I now love the idea of an annual outdoor game. I’ll always be bummed that I didn’t go to the first Winter Classic game when the Penguins beat the Sabres in a shootout. Of course, the blizzard-like conditions in the game reminded me of why I decided (after marching at a Buffalo Bills game with the Penn State Blue Band in the winter when they had to plow the field before halftime) never to return to Buffalo in the winter. I need to see a Sabres game sometime to get to all the arenas, but I think a spring game would make more sense.
Another city I never like visiting in the winter is Chicago, but when it took me almost 2 days to get from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas this week, I was actually in three NHL cities (Philadelphia, Chicago, and Phoenix) without attending a single game (or even looking to see if the teams were in town). I stayed overnight in Philadelphia and Chicago, but couldn’t have gotten to a game. Chicago is still on my list of places I need to see an NHL game, but there will be plenty of time to get there.
As a Penn State fan, naturally the Rose Bowl was very disappointing, but it was good to see Penn State come back some in the 4th quarter and score more points against USC in the 4th quarter than any other team this season. USC had actually shut out 8 of the teams they played this season for the 4th quarter, so Penn State’s 17 points (10 more than any other team had managed to score against USC in the 4th quarter) was impressive. I’m sure they were disappointed that they didn’t get that extra touchdown at the end, but they played a good game for the most part. If it weren’t for the breakdown in the 2nd quarter, the game would have been a lot more exciting for everyone watching. I thought the Rose Bowl would be one of the closest bowl games this year, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. Hopefully, the national championship game will be an exciting game to watch.
It was also disappointing not to see Joe Paterno running out on the field with the team. I really thought that unless he was in a wheelchair he would run out there – no matter how much it might hurt his hip at the moment – and be on the sidelines with his team for the Rose Bowl. He must have really been in a lot of pain to stay in the press box for the Rose Bowl.