THE STICKS, NY – Remember those grade-school days when the very first assignment was a “What I during summer vacation” composition? Well, New Year’s Day was eventful enough – in a pathetic sort of way – to crap out my first post for the year 2015. Let me preface my first fumble of the year (missing the Times Square ball drop) due to a sleeping problem not remedied until the hours of about 11:20 pm on The Eve and around 11 a.m. the next morning.
What was the television sports schedule going to be like for a day spent primarily on my hairy keester? The Outback, Cotton, and Citrus Bowl games kicking off at noon, 12:30, and 1:00 had me channel-surfing the early football action until the guide button reminded of the NHL Winter Classic.
First things first, however; it is considered good luck in Italian lore to ring in the New Year by eating pork – so I brown a combination of sweet and hot Italian sausage and throw them in a pool of slow simmering gravy (dipping bread along the way) that I’m preparing as well. By the way, sauce is what WASP’s buy in a glass jar at the supermarket.
Anyway… the Winter Classic between those two heated rivals – the Chicago Black Hawks – at the Washington Capitals. HUH? The match-up isn’t even a conference game and from this point forward, if the game isn’t between original six franchises it should be at the very least a conference game if not divisional. I soured on the spectacle of this outdoor professional pond-hockey on the venue alone. Washington? A hockey town? Next comes a Billy Idol performance sounding older than he looks and more representative of a morning-show concert somewhere down in NYC. And then I see what is nothing more than a money grab by the NHL to sell more merchandise as the Capitals uniforms are given a more classic (read old) look than their original 1975 sweaters and rival the ugly of the Pittsburgh Steelers throwbacks. In any event I sat through the first period and later, caught the Caps game-ending buzzer beater.
In between plates of rigatoni and sausage, I settled on what turned out to be a very entertaining Outback-N-Forth Bowl between Wisconsin and Auburn, that ended in extra time as a game-tying Auburn field goal rang off the right upright. What I wound up missing was the Michigan State 21-point, 4th quarter comeback against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl, much like I missed the San Diego Chargers comeback over the 49ers in Week 16.
The Rose and Sugar Bowls were the last courses of the day, served with Yuengling Lager and chips, while lying on the sofa with man’s best friend. Each game’s outcome eased food digestion as Jameis Winston, his sore-losing teammates and Nick Saban all lost; their respective defenses let them down on the season’s biggest stages.
Up next is the first “true” National Championship Game on Monday, January 12th in what should be a shootout (over/under 84?) between the Ducks and ‘Bucks.
Comment below and let us know how you spent your sports New Year’s – and come back tomorrow for DJ Eberle, who was at last night’s dismantling of his Sabres in Buffalo by the Rangers… with his family. The ride back to Albany must have been fun.