Thursday, February 09, 2006

Randomization: 2/9/06

Go throw a latte if it makes you feel better. Otherwise, Seahawks fans, let it go. Same goes for Mike Holmgren, who fanned the flames on Monday when the city held a rally for his Seattle team. It was a great run, Coach Holmgren. Don't make us remember you guys for the postgame whining and not for the run to Detroit that impressed everyone.

NHL in trouble. If the implication of an assistant coach and the wife of the best-known player the game has ever had in a nationwide gambling ring wasn't enough, how about a few active players being involved? Outside of former Flyer Jeremy Roenick, no names have been mentioned, but there are reports that a half-dozen active players, an owner, and another assistant coach are involved in this thing. That's bad news for a league that has been working hard to rebuild a fan base damaged severely by last year's season-cancelling lockout.

But on that note, why is the only attention this league gets negative? I know that no one watches hockey, but no one watches a lot of sports that get plenty of "positive" attention from the national sports media. I'd rather hockey were completely ignored than treated the way it is. It seems like the only time the NHL can get any major play nationally is when something like this happens, or when something violent happens on the ice. For those of us who adore the game of hockey, it's a tough pill to swallow sometimes.

Frozen Tundra! Yes, it's a redundant phrase. But don't blame me. Blame John Facenda, former voice of NFL Films. He's the one who we think coined it, and then ESPN's Chris Berman drove it straight into the ground after Facenda passed. Now, it's the name of a hockey game being played at Lambeau Field on Saturday. The Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic will pit Ohio State against Wisconsin in an outdoor game in front of around 42,000 spectators. It should be a decidedly pro-Bucky crowd, but that's not the story. The story is the fact that football's hallowed ground is hosting a hockey game for the first time ever. There has been nothing from the Packers organization to indicate that they expect to make this a regular happening if all goes well, but it is certainly possible that they would consider future ventures like this should the weekend's events be received well. Also worth noting here is that there has been substantial talk of a similar event next season at the Metrodome in Minneapolis that could involve UMD and Minnesota. That's not a done deal yet, but if the Metrodome people do it right, it could be a huge event for college hockey in Minnesota.

Are you ready for the Olympics? Don't worry. Neither am I. I was watching NBC last night and saw a promo when it hit me: The Games are here this weekend! Besides the obvious (hockey), there is so much about the Winter Games that interest me. I'll be glued to the TV as much as possible over the next two weeks, taking in as much as I can. Bobsled, luge, skiing, speedskating, short track speedskating, skeleton, ski jumping, curling. Anything but figure skating. I'll put up with figure skating because my wife likes it. It's my way of getting to watch other cool events that she doesn't care about. Oh, and I hope the Canadian and Russian men's hockey teams are both beaten by Latvia and Kazakhstan. I'd chuckle at the embarrassment. In the meantime, any doubt that I'm pulling for the American team disappeared when Canada announced that Todd Bertuzzi would be on their Olympic team. I'd rather root for the Mexican soccer team than any team featuring Todd Bertuzzi.

Joe Montana skips Super Bowl ceremony. I'd love to believe that this was about family and not money, and I'd love to believe what Montana told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith ("I've moved on from football"), but then I learned yesterday that Montana is doing a paid collectors' show appearance in late February. Autographs? $150. Photo op? $170. So apparently Montana can sacrifice some family time to make some money off his fame as a Pro Football Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl MVP. I guess he's only moved on when there isn't a large chunk of change involved, and that stinks.

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