NEW YORK, NY – I hope everyone’s New Year’s resolutions are still going strong. Mine are shot to sh*t already. And hopes of a resolution to the NHL “labor dispute” are fading. Another two weeks have sped by since my last column and another two weeks have motored on without hockey. It looks like the sides are relatively close to a deal, but they’re still far enough apart in some areas that a season still doesn’t look likely. The Players’ Association chose not to decertify Wednesday, which seemed like a sign that negotiations were progressing towards a resolution. But as of yet there is no deal and the union could still decertify. Gary Bettman has set a deadline of January 11th for any deal that would salvage a 48 game season. So they’ve got a week to sort this sh*t out.
There is some hockey going on; the USA beat America’s Hat (Canada), to advance to the finals of the World Junior Championships in Russia. On Saturday, they’ll face defending champions Sweden in the finals. Sweden beat the hosts in the other semifinal. Check out the final if you’re awake Saturday morning. NHL Network will be airing it… what else are they gonna show?
Elsewhere, there have been some good bowl games and a lot of bad ones. It was great to see Florida get their asses handed to them by Louisville in the Sugar Bowl Wednesday night. And last night’s Fiesta Bowl between Oregon and K-State was fairly entertaining. The big game comes Monday as ‘Bama and Our Lady battle for the National Championship. The Irish are ten-point dogs to the Tide but I think the game will be closer than that. Our Lady will keep it close but Alabama will take it in the end. It will be a good game though. I’m sure Sully from Worcester and every other intolerable 1/64th Irish guy with a shamrock tattoo on his wrist will be at every bar with an Irish sounding name on Monday for the game. I’ll watch it from home. Thanks.
The NFL playoffs start this weekend. No local interest in the post-season so I’ll leave it to Cheesy Bruin to handicap this round of games… I would like to congratulate Angry Ward on his Minnesota Vikings making it to the Lombardi Tournament. This week will be very different from last week, though. I don’t think the Vikes have another one in them with this edition at Lambeau… Sunday we’ll get to see RGIII make his playoff debut as the Skins take on the Seahawks. Being a Giants fan, I hope Washington gets crushed. No offense to Mrs. Matt, who for some reason likes the Skins.
After losing Amar’e’s first game back, the Knickerbockers crushed the red-hot Spurs last night. Yes, I’m still watching basketball. Thanks again Dude. The Knicks have a healthy five-game lead over the Brooklynettes and trail only the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. Now that they’ve shown that it is possible to win games with Stoudemire in the lineup, let’s hope he stays healthy and the Knicks keep winning. If hockey isn’t coming back, I’ll need the Knicks to take me through another 40 days or so until pitchers and catchers report.
That’s it for now, Dr. Diz manana.