With the last few Winter Classics being such huge successes, BLOOMBERG is reporting that the NHL is looking at venues for future outdoor games that are even less traditional than Wrigley Field. Just how “outside the box” is the NHL thinking for its outdoor game? How about holding the game on the Las Vegas Strip or the Rose Bowl.
You can see why the league is interested in expanding the idea of outdoor hockey: the Winter Classic game between the Red Wings and Blackhawks on New Year’s Day drew the highest rating for the NHL in 34 years. With as desperate as the NHL is for TV viewers, it’s a little shocking that the league hasn’t just gone ahead and made every game an outdoor game.
Remember way back in October, when the Indianapolis Colts were 3-4 and their playoff hopes looked completely dead in the water? What a difference a couple of months make. Last night’s 31-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was the team’s eighth straight, clinching a playoff berth and as the INDIANAPOLIS STAR notes, made them the first team ever to win 11 or more games in six straight seasons. And Tony Dungy became the first coach since the merger to make the playoffs in ten straight years.
All impressive, but the star of the night was Peyton Manning. You might not have noticed, but after struggling a bit during the team’s early slump, Peyton’s stepped out of his little brother Eli’s shadow, putting together a string of great performances despite not having a run game to speak of. And last night might have been his best yet: 364 yards and three touchdowns, including completing his first 17 passes in a row.
If he keeps this up, he might get some endorsements in the future. The game was a bit of a letdown for Jaguars fans, but their highlight had to come before the game, when paralyzed lineman Richard Collier took the field in a wheelchair with his teammates. No jokes there, just a Christmas wish that no other NFL players (or athletes) are the victims of needless crime in 2009.
It’s more discreet than having to find a security guard and point someone out, but it does lend itself to “prank texts” of people wanting to kick people out of the stadium. For example, Buffalo fans shouldn’t text message security and demand that Dick Jauron is kicked out of the stadium for “impersonating an NFL head coach.” Note: the Saints, Rams and Titans don’t offer this service, so feel free to act like complete cretins at these games.
In case you missed it, Tim Tebow questioned Mel Kiper Jr. on why the draft pundit thought he wouldn’t make it as an NFL QB, and the Hair Helmeted One really didn’t have a good answer. COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK says that comments like that (and anger over not winning the Heisman Trophy this year) might drive Tebow from Florida and into the NFL.
THE SPORTING BLOG rolls up with word that Bronson Arroyo’s personal motto is “It ain’t no fun unless the homeys can have some!” from a Snoop Dogg song, meaning sharing the sexual services of young ladies with your friends. Talk about a Hot Corner…