Today, the NHL stages what has become its annual “Winter Classic” where a regular season game will be played outside. This year’s game will be played at Fenway Park. (Didja hear?)
I’m not a hockey fan. When I list my favorite sports, it’s at least a distant fourth. Whether it’s behind Revolution soccer or not is pretty much a moot point. I could probably name about the same number of players on each team. I’ve at least been to a Bruins game before, so that might give it an edge. In any event, as an outsider, I’m not sure what I think about this “classic.” I’m sure the NHL realizes that they need help. They can’t afford to be above using gimmicks to attract fans. And, that’s all this classic is. A gimmick. Can you imagine if the NBA decided to get back to its roots, and have a game outside on a playground using chain nets? Or, if MLB decided to play in an open field without fences, and allow the fans to just sit wherever they want? But, the NHL needed this game. It might be their best ratings of the year. They’re actually thinking of adding more games. Would they still all be classics?
I do like that Fenway Park is hosting the game though. It’s just another cool event that has occurred at the park in recent years. Actually, maybe they should talk to the NBA. If they can get the Celtics to hold an outside game there, then Fenway would have hosted a home game for all four major Boston sports teams. This needs to be done. It also helps add to the history of the park. When the old Yankee Stadium was in use, it was often listed as one of the best baseball parks, almost exclusively because of its history. But, lots of that history dealt with things other than baseball. The Pope had been there, and heavyweight fight was there, an NFL championship game was there…that sort of thing. Fenway Park is starting to add similar events to its resume. In addition to some pretty cool baseball games, there have been concerts in recent years, and now an NHL game. Not too shabby.
So, while I probably won’t watch the game, I’ll look for the highlights. It will be interesting to see. Go Bruins!
Section 36 wishes you and your families all the best in the coming year. Here’s hoping for a 2010 full of health, happiness, and a Red Sox World Series title.