The Winter Classic Gives Hockey a Holiday

January 2nd, 2010 by Joe Hojnacki Leave a reply »
What did sports fans think on New Year's Day five years ago? The answer, major college football bowl games.

The Rose Bowl has been the spotlight for sporting events on the first day of the year for nearly a century. Many other high-profile college programs play in major games every year.

The Cotton Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and even the Champs Sports Bowl feature high profile college programs.

Fast forward to this year. What was also in people's minds as they rang in the New Year? Ice hockey.

The Winter Classic is quickly becoming hockey's equivalent of Thanksgiving Day football. On one hand, it is just a regular season game in the middle of the schedule. It means little more to the standings than any of the other 81 games a team plays each season.

But do players have trouble controlling the grins on their faces during those other contests? No. Do NFL players have trouble not getting excited about playing on Thanksgiving? Yes.

Do NHL fans get many times more psyched about the Winter Classic than they do about the other games? Yes. Do NFL players do the same on Thanksgiving? Yes.

I remember last year watching my Red ...

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