This real money site caters to all players, with reviews on mobile games you can play, including slots, blackjack, and roulette.

North Star Studies

northstar1.jpg

Quiet day in the NFL yesterday, at least uni-wise, so let’s skip the football today and look at something else. To wit: Back in January I wrote an entry about the excellent Vintage Minnesota Hockey site. I hadn’t visited that site in a while, but a few days ago I learned that they’d uncovered something pretty fascinating. Here — take a look.

As you can see, the logo on those jerseys is different from the standard North Stars logo. Different TV number font, too. So was that a minor league team wearing a knockoff logo? Nope — those were your Minnesota North Stars, as they looked during their inaugural preseason in 1967. They apparently went to the more familiar logo when the regular season started, but the preseason logo variation ended up appearing on magazine covers, hockey cards, publicity stills, and so on.

Maybe this is old news to serious hockey fans (and to Ricko, who no doubt attended several of those 1967 preseason games), but it was an absolute revelation to me. According to the Vintage Minnesota Hockey site’s analysis of the situation (which you can find in the middle of this page):

We are not 100% [sure] as to how long this style of logo was used but think it may have only been for the Stars’ pre-season games from October 11-16. In looking at other early photos of the Stars 1967 season, one can see that the players’ crests appear to be adhered or taped onto the jerseys loosely. We think that the public, owners, or graphic artist hired to produce the N-Stars logo and number font hated the appearance of the early jerseys [and] stripped them off and re-worked the logo and numbers and re-cut twill for these jerseys that was then later sewn on.

Faaaascinating. So amazing to think that a team could just tweak its logo on the fly back in those days. Reminds me of the ’62 Mets, who announced that their uniform would look like this on 1/19/62 and then eliminated the script’s tail and the striped socks in time for spring training a month later.

Anyway, did everyone else already know about this early version of the North Stars’ logo? Fill me in, people.

One final note: If you go back to that first photo I linked to, you can see that the pants had lace-up flies. Don’t think we’ve ever discussed that element of hockey pants. Was it common in the late ’60s?

Attention(2).gif

Deep Freeze Update: If you’re planning on attending the Uni Watch Deep Freeze in Minneapolis next month (Jan. 22-24), Ricko and Teebz need to hear from you so they can confirm a block of rooms at the local Ramada, which is currently quoting a rate of $71.20 per night. If you want in, please e-mail Teebz immediately and let him know how many nights you’re in for, how many people, etc.

Research Project: I’m currently working on my “Most Unusual Uni Moments of the Decade” column, which will run on ESPN on Wednesday. It’s shaping up as a doozy (so many interesting incidents I’d forgotten about until I went back through my archives), but contributions and nominations are still welcome. If you have any suggestions, contact me asap.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Here are some ideas for next season’s Winter Classic. … Cooperstown Ballcap Co. has gone belly-up (sad news delivered by Paul Ziobro). … Missouri and Illinois went color-on-color last Weds. night. “I was having a lot of trouble distinguishing the gold from orange,” says Kevin Zdancewicz. … Joey Morris notes that some of NC State’s NOBs are radially arched, while others are straight. “It appears that all the freshmen’s NOBs are straight, while the returning players’ are arched,” he says. “I wonder if this is related to their aborted jersey redesign, which they decided to scrap, and then they just kept the jerseys from last year instead of ordering new ones. Of course the freshmen wouldn’t have had jerseys last year.” … Over two dozen new images — mostly from bowl games — have been added to Andy Moursund’s set of vintage program covers. … Barely two minutes into Friday’s Chargers/Titans game, Kris Dielman already had a busted bolt (screen shot courtesy of Rob Ullman). … Big Ben dressed up as his QB coach the other day. … This shot is from a 2008 Wisconsin semi-pro game between the Fox Valley Force vs. the West Bend Junkyard Dogs. Note that the defender has begun to peel off the ball-carrier’s uni number. A moment later, he was left clutching a shred of the numeral and the runner was left with a partial 2 (with thanks to Caleb Bentz). … Good video of UCLA’s football gear being packed for the team’s upcoming bowl game (with thanks to Erkki Corpuz). … Interesting soccer incident described by Dave Cappel, who writes: “In the late stages of a game, the Pohang Steelers goalie was issued a red card. Having already used up all of their substitutions, the team couldn’t bring in a reserve goalie, so they had to put a field player in goal. However, he had to wear a goalkeeper’s jersey, and I guess the team didn’t have an extra one since they had to stop the game for quite a while to go into the locker room and get the jersey from the ejected goalkeeper. Not only was the replacement keeper wearing the wrong nameplate, he was wearing a jersey previously worn by a teammate in the same game.” … Terence Kearns‘s latest DIY project: a Tottenham Hotspur retro track jacket. “You’ll be happy to know I de-swooshed a Nike track jacket to make it,” he says. “I fear Powers might be mad, but I think it is spot on!” … Excellent NJ Devils observation from Zak McGinniss, who writes: “Unless a player joining the Devils is already an established all-star, he’ll be assigned a number from 1 to 30. This has led to three different players wearing the same number in a year, or a player being sent down to the minors and his replacement immediately taking his number. Numbers 3 and 4 are retired, and 13 has never been issued since the Devils moved to New Jersey. This finally reached a breaking point this year, and now defenseman Matt Corrente is sporting number 32, the first player to wear a number over 30 since Stephane Richer did in it the year 2000.” … Coupla screen shots from Shaun Tunick: First, check out Dan Marino with some rather sloppily cut-off sleeves. And who is No. 84 in this shot? Is that a McNOB with a space between the “Mc” and the rest of the surname, or is that a pair of initials, or what? … Granted, it’s just one sentence in a Wikipedia entry, so take with a grain of seasoning, but this page says the 1929 Newark Tornadoes “experimented with using letters instead of numbers on player jerseys.” Anyone know more about this? (As forwarded by Rob Leavell.) … Phil isn’t the only one who likes to play “Guess the Scoreboard.” Over on the always-excellent Fleer Sticker Project site, webmaster Jon Helfenstein recently found an old slide his father had shot decades earlier. He describes how he figured out which game it was here. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Mickel Yantz scanned a super-cool 1952 Tacoma Rockets program.

 

237 comments to North Star Studies

  • The Jeff | December 28, 2009 at 7:52 am |

    Well, as much as I argue about color vs color being a good thing… gold vs orange shouldn’t be allowed. Definitely too close to each other on the color spectrum.

  • Joe R | December 28, 2009 at 7:58 am |

    The winter classic idea sounds horrible. The Dallas Stars will never be the North Stars. They should be flogged for even thinking about wearing the North Stars unis, especially in the state of Minnesota.

  • The Jeff | December 28, 2009 at 8:08 am |

    Also, number 84 in the Bills photo appears to be Keith McKeller, based on some quick wiki searching and some cross referencing with pro-football-reference.com. He was a TE from ’87-’93, which seems to fit with the style of uniform in the picture. The Bills didn’t start using white facemasks until 87, and our player still has sleeves so it can’t really be any more recent than the mid 90’s.

  • The Jeff | December 28, 2009 at 8:17 am |

    [quote comment=”368859″]Also, number 84 in the Bills photo appears to be Keith McKeller, based on some quick wiki searching and some cross referencing with pro-football-reference.com. He was a TE from ’87-’93, which seems to fit with the style of uniform in the picture. The Bills didn’t start using white facemasks until 87, and our player still has sleeves so it can’t really be any more recent than the mid 90’s.[/quote]

    …and they only played the Cardinals in Buffalo one time in the 90’s, 1990. So, yeah, it’s McKeller.

  • TC Mark | December 28, 2009 at 8:42 am |

    Great North Stars logo story.

    Did anyone notice one more oddity in the story? In the trading card example the printed logo is even different from the short-lived jersey logo – the printed version has a straight serif on the top left of the logo, not downward slanted like the jersey. Inconsistency was apparently…consistent.

    In today’s era of comprehensive style guides covering every possible usage all of this seems quaint but also a little bush league.

    And I disagree with Joe R – I like the idea of Stars-Wild Winter Classic. The past is the past so embrace it (and I remain a bigger North Star fan than Wild fan).

  • Michael Lewis | December 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    http://www.pro-footb...

    McKeller’s career lines…

  • War Damn Eagle | December 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    I knew it was Keith McKeller right away, and I don’t even follow the Bills.

    Thank, Super Tecmo Bowl.

  • Dave R | December 28, 2009 at 8:54 am |

    Not uni-related, but it should be up many readers’ alleys.

    http://www.post-gaze...

  • PittSlovak | December 28, 2009 at 8:54 am |

    I always thought the North Stars logo was one of the more creative ones out there but it looked just plain dull in it’s original form. Can’t say why they changed the numbers font but it looks like the same font on the Penguins 1967-68 jersey.

    http://www.onlinespo...

    As for the lace up pants, I played up until the late ’90s and my breezers had laces. The sweaters are usually long enough to cover them up.

  • Hank | December 28, 2009 at 8:56 am |

    Re: Cooperstown Ballcap. Pretty sad that another U.S. garment manufacturer is closing down because, in part, “. . .the complexity of sewing one-of-a-kind caps in the U.S.”

    Both my parents were in the garment industry at a time when their motto was Look for the Union Label. To quote coach Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out there?!!”

  • FormerDirtDart | December 28, 2009 at 9:01 am |

    A little something for all of you other Giants fans, and oh so more fitting after yesterdays performance.
    http://www.uniwatchb...

  • FormerDirtDart | December 28, 2009 at 9:03 am |

    [quote comment=”368867″]A little something for all of you other Giants fans, and oh so more fitting after yesterdays performance.
    http://www.uniwatchb...
    OK, that was awfully dumb of me. Here
    http://www.youtube.c...

  • The Jeff | December 28, 2009 at 9:07 am |

    [quote comment=”368868″][quote comment=”368867″]A little something for all of you other Giants fans, and oh so more fitting after yesterdays performance.
    http://www.uniwatchb...
    OK, that was awfully dumb of me. Here
    http://www.youtube.c...

    You could have gotten away with the first message. A link that goes nowhere seems just as appropriate. :D

  • ak44 | December 28, 2009 at 9:07 am |

    Hey Phil, where are the answers to yesterdays quiz?

  • tape | December 28, 2009 at 9:09 am |

    that Missouri-Illinois gold vs. orange game looks not-so-great, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the Wisconsin-Illinois red vs. orange game from a couple years back, where the teams were almost completely indistinguishable.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 9:10 am |

    [quote comment=”368861″]And I disagree with Joe R – I like the idea of Stars-Wild Winter Classic. The past is the past so embrace it (and I remain a bigger North Star fan than Wild fan).[/quote]

    i bet ricko’s all over the idea too!

    seriously tho, even if the nhl decides to go to two games next year (and i don’t think that’s wise), i doubt minnie would get one of the games

    you gotta figure NYS is probably a 50% bet for one game, and toronto likely favored for a second game…if they only play one game (smarter and more likely), i’d bump those odds up even higher

    be interesing to speculate on the next one, but i’d put minnesota’s chances of hosting one somewhere between zero and none

  • Shaftman | December 28, 2009 at 9:10 am |

    [quote comment=”368868″][quote comment=”368867″]A little something for all of you other Giants fans, and oh so more fitting after yesterdays performance.
    http://www.uniwatchb...
    OK, that was awfully dumb of me. Here
    http://www.youtube.c...

    Ummm….don’t forget, there’s still one more game to play at Giants Stadium.

  • FormerDirtDart | December 28, 2009 at 9:12 am |

    [quote comment=”368869″][quote comment=”368868″][quote comment=”368867″]A little something for all of you other Giants fans, and oh so more fitting after yesterdays performance.
    http://www.uniwatchb...
    OK, that was awfully dumb of me. Here
    http://www.youtube.c...
    Concur.
    I do wonder how the NFL managed to work the schedule so that the Jets would play the last football game at Giants Stadium
    You could have gotten away with the first message. A link that goes nowhere seems just as appropriate. :D[/quote]

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 9:12 am |

    [quote comment=”368870″]Hey Phil, where are the answers to yesterdays quiz?[/quote]

    ricko posted them in the comments

  • Geeman | December 28, 2009 at 9:18 am |

    [quote comment=”368857″]Well, as much as I argue about color vs color being a good thing… gold vs orange shouldn’t be allowed. Definitely too close to each other on the color spectrum.[/quote]

    Wrong. Gold is, and always has been, an alternate home color in basketball.

  • Geeman | December 28, 2009 at 9:20 am |

    [quote comment=”368871″]that Missouri-Illinois gold vs. orange game looks not-so-great, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the Wisconsin-Illinois red vs. orange game from a couple years back, where the teams were almost completely indistinguishable.[/quote]

    Now, that is correct.

  • Juke Early | December 28, 2009 at 9:21 am |

    Ditto on @#%&*! sad the Cooperstown Ballcap Co. is done. Back in the early 80s, when I had some $ and was looking for reasonably priced quality MLB old time caps, they were my go to. While not everything was quite my taste, I wish I could’ve bought more of them. Back in 1979 when I walked into a sporting goods chain & asked for caps like that, they looked at me as if I was a fag for wanting more than the cheap shit. Now its worldwide. The flooding of the marketplace with crap hats along w/great stuff is amazing.

  • The Jeff | December 28, 2009 at 9:23 am |

    [quote comment=”368876″][quote comment=”368857″]Well, as much as I argue about color vs color being a good thing… gold vs orange shouldn’t be allowed. Definitely too close to each other on the color spectrum.[/quote]

    Wrong. Gold is, and always has been, an alternate home color in basketball.[/quote]

    Doesn’t mean the other team should wear orange. In this age of alternates, Illinois should have worn blue.

  • FormerDirtDart | December 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |

    On Saturday M.Princip asked for a Ravens tweak with “some wings behind that bad ass flag shield” as the primary logo
    http://www.flickr.co...

  • Jet | December 28, 2009 at 9:41 am |

    Great North Stars story! I began playing hockey in 1971 and the lace-up front to the pants was standard.

  • TC Mark | December 28, 2009 at 9:52 am |

    [quote comment=”368872″][quote comment=”368861″]And I disagree with Joe R – I like the idea of Stars-Wild Winter Classic. The past is the past so embrace it (and I remain a bigger North Star fan than Wild fan).[/quote]

    i bet ricko’s all over the idea too!

    seriously tho, even if the nhl decides to go to two games next year (and i don’t think that’s wise), i doubt minnie would get one of the games

    you gotta figure NYS is probably a 50% bet for one game, and toronto likely favored for a second game…if they only play one game (smarter and more likely), i’d bump those odds up even higher

    be interesing to speculate on the next one, but i’d put minnesota’s chances of hosting one somewhere between zero and none[/quote]

    Agree that Wild hosting Winter Classic is a long shot and shouldn’t happen next year, or even for a couple of years. Toronto and NY make sense as priorities (though once again those of us in “flyover land” get the shaft ;-) …).

    Also I think Gopher stadium is a better bet if/when it happens though they are limited to 4 non-football events per year (per agreement with neighborhoods nearby) and that will include concerts, graduations, etc. Already hosting U2 next summer. And Twins have already said they are very leery about any on-field non-baseball events in the first couple of years – don’t want to ruin new turf.

    So LI Phil is very likely right (again).

  • Oakville Endive | December 28, 2009 at 10:08 am |

    The site of next year’s winter classic may be dependant on the television ratings of this year’s classic. If they are off from last year’s , I suspect the NHL will want to play the NY card, if they are robust, it may embolden the NHL to be more adventurous, i.e. Minnesota has a chance, maybe a Chicago at Minnesota (it’s all about ensuring good ratings – so not sure there’s an issue having Chicago in the 2nd winter classic.

    The North Star uniforms are great. They struggled getting their pants to match their jersey.

  • Tony in Erie PA | December 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |

    I am a purist of sorts.

    Any team south of I-70 shouldn’t be in a Winter Classic.

    Period.

  • Bob Loblaw | December 28, 2009 at 10:40 am |

    [quote comment=”368861″]Great North Stars logo story.

    Did anyone notice one more oddity in the story? In the trading card example the printed logo is even different from the short-lived jersey logo – the printed version has a straight serif on the top left of the logo, not downward slanted like the jersey. Inconsistency was apparently…consistent.

    In today’s era of comprehensive style guides covering every possible usage all of this seems quaint but also a little bush league.

    And I disagree with Joe R – I like the idea of Stars-Wild Winter Classic. The past is the past so embrace it (and I remain a bigger North Star fan than Wild fan).[/quote]
    Something else from the NStars portion of the blog: one of the pictures featured Bill Masterton– wasn’t he on-ice death the driving point for the usage of the helmet? It took about 15 years but eventually the entire league donned the headgear after his death.
    Also the NHL has named an award after this man.

  • Bob Loblaw | December 28, 2009 at 10:45 am |

    Sorry about that this should read ‘his on-ice death’.

  • Dave | December 28, 2009 at 10:47 am |

    Can confirm: #84 is Keith McKeller, a tight end for the Bills in the early 90s. At the time the Bills used Champion jerseys. Champion produced the nameplates as well; they had a distinctive nameplate font.

  • DarkAudit | December 28, 2009 at 11:10 am |

    [quote comment=”368864″]Not uni-related, but it should be up many readers’ alleys.

    http://www.post-gaze...

    A highlight of the season every year. Thanks kindly.

  • TD | December 28, 2009 at 11:16 am |

    McKeller was for whom they named the ‘K-Gun’ Offense..

  • M.Princip | December 28, 2009 at 11:17 am |

    [quote comment=”368880″]On Saturday M.Princip asked for a Ravens tweak with “some wings behind that bad ass flag shield” as the primary logo
    http://www.flickr.co...

    Hells yea! That’s what I’m talkin’ about. I’d even prefer the old Raven logo that owns those wings. You know, the Raven with the Ozzy Ozbourne hairdo circa late 80s/early 90s.

    http://www.sportslog...

  • FormerDirtDart | December 28, 2009 at 11:30 am |

    [quote comment=”368890″][quote comment=”368880″]On Saturday M.Princip asked for a Ravens tweak with “some wings behind that bad ass flag shield” as the primary logo
    http://www.flickr.co...

    Hells yea! That’s what I’m talkin’ about. I’d even prefer the old Raven logo that owns those wings. You know, the Raven with the Ozzy Ozbourne hairdo circa late 80s/early 90s.

    http://www.sportslog...
    The Ravens probably want to stay away from that old logo http://www.sportslog... considering they lost a suit for using it. Given that, I should have used this shield http://www.sportslog... instead.

  • Hibbsy | December 28, 2009 at 11:40 am |

    [quote comment=”368864″]Not uni-related, but it should be up many readers’ alleys.

    http://www.post-gaze...
    I don’t know if it is technically “trite”, but I am mega sick of the term “pick six”. I used to enjoy watching interceptions returned for a touchdown (when that’s what they were called).

  • The Jeff | December 28, 2009 at 11:44 am |

    [quote comment=”368892″][quote comment=”368864″]Not uni-related, but it should be up many readers’ alleys.

    http://www.post-gaze...
    I don’t know if it is technically “trite”, but I am mega sick of the term “pick six”. I used to enjoy watching interceptions returned for a touchdown (when that’s what they were called).[/quote]

    Agreed. Pick Six sounds like a lottery game.

  • Christopher | December 28, 2009 at 11:45 am |

    [quote comment=”368892″][quote comment=”368864″]Not uni-related, but it should be up many readers’ alleys.

    http://www.post-gaze...
    I don’t know if it is technically “trite”, but I am mega sick of the term “pick six”. I used to enjoy watching interceptions returned for a touchdown (when that’s what they were called).[/quote]

    Agreed! Its a silly way to say it too. I wouldn’t mind if the phrase were “pick FOR six”, because that makes a bit more sense.

    Pick six sounds like a lottery game.

  • JTH | December 28, 2009 at 11:49 am |

    [quote comment=”368890″][quote comment=”368880″]On Saturday M.Princip asked for a Ravens tweak with “some wings behind that bad ass flag shield” as the primary logo
    http://www.flickr.co...

    Hells yea! That’s what I’m talkin’ about. I’d even prefer the old Raven logo that owns those wings. You know, the Raven with the Ozzy Ozbourne hairdo circa late 80s/early 90s.

    http://www.sportslog...
    HA! That is the perfect description of that bird’s coiffure!

  • Rahul | December 28, 2009 at 11:49 am |

    Hey,

    Did anyone notice that Colts QB Painter was wearing a uni with the OLD NFL Logo on it?! As were a few others on the Colts?

    I didnt get to take any photos but surely someone else did.

    -Rahul

  • teenchy | December 28, 2009 at 11:50 am |

    Very sorry to read of Cooperstown Ballcap’s closing. I own three of their caps – ’33 Giants, ’36 Nats, ’39 Nats – and I’ll now have to take even better care of them.

    The ’39 Nats cap is my favorite of the lot; I wore it to Yankee Stadium this past July 4 on the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s retirement. (The Nats, you’ll recall, were the Yanks’ opponents that day.) The cap garnered a number of looks and a few comments, all positive. A pity that we’re losing a great source of period-correct caps, many if not most of which would never be produced by the mass marketers.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 11:55 am |

    [quote comment=”368872″][quote comment=”368861″]And I disagree with Joe R – I like the idea of Stars-Wild Winter Classic. The past is the past so embrace it (and I remain a bigger North Star fan than Wild fan).[/quote]

    i bet ricko’s all over the idea too!

    seriously tho, even if the nhl decides to go to two games next year (and i don’t think that’s wise), i doubt minnie would get one of the games

    you gotta figure NYS is probably a 50% bet for one game, and toronto likely favored for a second game…if they only play one game (smarter and more likely), i’d bump those odds up even higher

    be interesing to speculate on the next one, but i’d put minnesota’s chances of hosting one somewhere between zero and none[/quote]

    Let’s all take off our “fan hats” and look at this from a network/marketing/broadcasting point of view, okay?

    Two WC’s would be absolutely, positively stupid. They have a good thing building with the one game. On New Year’s Day. When tons of people are off work, at home, and the day is just getting started. To assume the concept is so universally loved that a second game–anytime–would be anything but a lame shadow of the New Year’s Day event…is nuts. That’s as dumb as having two All-Star Games in baseball. And didn’t that go over well. You don’t split your focus this early in the deal. Asinine.

    Perhaps they could stage a game for Canadian TV only. Perhaps.

    First off, they’d have to find a network that would interested. As I said, for a Canadian audience, maybe.

    Never forget…this the NHL’s vehicle for the U.S. audience. So cross Toronto off the list as likely site. The Canadian audience, as is the hockey fan base, is watching no matter where the game is played. They’re a given. The group to be courted is the casual American viewer. That means two American teams to attract two American markets. A game in Toronto gets viewers they already have, and eliminates an American viewing market.

    Been saying this since before the 2010 game was announced.
    Flyers at Bruins, 2010.
    Capitals at Rangers, 2011
    Stars at Wild, 2012

    They will NOT go to Minnesota without first going to either Yankee Stadium or Citi. Why? Simple. If they go to Minnesota and, for some reason, they don’t like the numbers…they won’t want to be thinking, “We should have stuck to the largest markets in the early years, to be tapping the greatest audiences possible, to keep things as big as possible early.”

    This is about broadcasting, about the “show/attraction/event”, about getting the best TV numbers. After that, it’s about hockey.

    (And the Stars will NOT wear North Stars gear against the Wild. As much fun as that sounds like it would be, just plain common sense and a dollar’s worth of PR perception knows the downside of that is far greater than the upside. This “TV show” is about the joy of outdoor hockey, not about setting up a contentious situation and then televising it to, possibly, the second largest TV audience you’ll have all year.)

    —Ricko

  • chris | December 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm |

    Something wrong when Kenny Anderson is wearing Steelers colors.

  • JTH | December 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm |

    I’ve got to agree that New York is the next location. (Rangers vs. Devils was my initial thought, but Rangers/Caps probably does make a lot of sense).

    In addition to the reasons already laid out by Ricko, Toronto’s got another thing working against it: where would they play?

    SkyDome Rogers Centre? It sort of diminishes the whole outdoor aspect to play the game in a dome (even if the roof is open). I suppose they could use the new soccer stadium that was built where Exhibition Stadium was, but its seating capacity is barely larger than the Air Canada Centre.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm |

    [quote comment=”368898″]
    Let’s all take off our “fan hats” and look at this from a network/marketing/broadcasting point of view, okay?

    Been saying this since before the 2010 game was announced.
    Flyers at Bruins, 2010.
    Capitals at Rangers, 2011
    Stars at Wild, 2012[/quote]

    right, because the stars at wild would make much more sense than having an original six team…i’d say your fan hat is firmly on for that third game

    capitals at rangers (why, because of ovie?) would suck…not saying rangers against another original six (unless you want to let the habs get another shot — they played in the ’03 heritage classic game), but definitely not washington (and not NJ or the islanders either)

    toronto, except for the ‘stadium’ (which i think is actually part of the appeal) issue…would be a MOST logical choice…you’d get those who remember hockey when it was a real sport and would watch…and while toronto may be physically in canada…it’s a much better choice and would generate MUCH MORE interest than minnesota

    no one is going to watch a (still almost) expansion team and a team from texas play…that’s just stupid

    if the nhl wants to keep up the waning interest in this experiment, they’d better give toronto a shot after the rangers and THEN maybe consider getting one of the teams in the western conference a shot at hosting…putting the game in minnie would be a death-knell for a game barely on life-support as it is

    of course, that’s just my opinion…YMMV

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm |

    Ok, let’s review a few things.

    … the first player to wear a number over 30 since Stephane Richer did in it the year 2000.

    Someone forgot about Alexander Mogilny’s #89 in 2005-06. Or Jason Weimer wearing #42. Or Scott Clemmensen wearing #40. Or Jason Ryznar wearing #39. All of those happened in 05-06. Weimer and Ryznar did change to lower numbers after a few games, however.

    Minnesota Winter Classic

    Unlikely to happen due to the fact that Minnesotans would watch a game anywhere. As stated above, the object of this game is to strengthen the fanbase in cities that are important to the NHL’s overall numbers. Buffalo, Chicago, and Boston are all vitally important for different reasons.

    Buffalo was in bankruptcy not long ago, and is fighting to have a larger presence to prevent the NHL from having a team infringe on its territorial fanbase.

    Chicago witnessed a rebirth after Dollar Bill Wirtz kicked the bucket, and the Winter Classic brought a lot of fans back.

    Boston is constantly lost in the championship shuffle that the Celtics and Patriots routinely pull off, so this is an opportunity to gain some momentum with in New England with this game.

    North Stars

    I had never seen the different logo, but I also wasn’t around in 1967. Great photo, and great story, Paul!

  • JTH | December 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm |

    Has anyone mentioned Denver as a possible Winter Classic location?

    I would think that the game would be played there before Minneapolis.

  • Tony in Erie PA | December 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm |

    Phil — agreed totally — and once again, a Western Conference game has to be north of I-70.

    And Ovechkin would pull ratings. Capitals might make a better game than Philly will this year. just my opinion too

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm |

    [quote comment=”368901″]putting the game in minnie would be a death-knell for a game barely on life-support as it is

    of course, that’s just my opinion…YMMV[/quote]

    Not to shoot a massive hole in your theory, Phil, but there are 300,000 people on the WAITING LIST for tickets this year.

    It’s only a “gimmick” if it isn’t happening in your neck of the woods. And that’s why every team wants the game – people want to see a game like this LIVE.

  • Thomas Clark | December 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm |

    [quote comment=”368864″]Not uni-related, but it should be up many readers’ alleys.

    http://www.post-gaze...

    This article really got me torqued off. I don’t think he understands where many of these came from and because he doesn’t speak a certain way he thinks no one else should either.

    “Went yard” – apparently he never played wiffleball or stickball or yardball where a ball very easily could go into the neighbor’s yard and be gone for an indiscriminate period of time.

    “Shy of the first down…” – There is in fact an accepted definition of shy that means to be short of something, many words in the English language have multiple meanings, accept that.

    “Flat out” – I have actually heard it used to describe a number of things not sports related. “Flat out cook,” “flat out sing,” “flat out act,” so I guess I don’t have to stop using it because of his clause.

    “It depends on the spot” – Hate to say it Gene, but before a ball is spotted pretty sure that the difference between a first down and a fourth down does depend on the spot.

    Also, at 27 I’ve never owned a pair of hockey pants that didn’t lace up (though they’ve also all had belts).

  • The Jeff | December 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm |

    [quote comment=”368905″][quote comment=”368901″]putting the game in minnie would be a death-knell for a game barely on life-support as it is

    of course, that’s just my opinion…YMMV[/quote]

    Not to shoot a massive hole in your theory, Phil, but there are 300,000 people on the WAITING LIST for tickets this year.

    It’s only a “gimmick” if it isn’t happening in your neck of the woods. And that’s why every team wants the game – people want to see a game like this LIVE.[/quote]

    People want to see it LIVE, yeah. On TV it’s really just another game. It is a gimmick. It reminds me of the NFL playing in London – sure, those games sell out because it’s a one-time spectacle that people want to see – but there’s no way in hell that the city could actually support a team full time.

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm |

    [quote comment=”368907″][quote comment=”368905″][quote comment=”368901″]putting the game in minnie would be a death-knell for a game barely on life-support as it is

    of course, that’s just my opinion…YMMV[/quote]

    Not to shoot a massive hole in your theory, Phil, but there are 300,000 people on the WAITING LIST for tickets this year.

    It’s only a “gimmick” if it isn’t happening in your neck of the woods. And that’s why every team wants the game – people want to see a game like this LIVE.[/quote]

    People want to see it LIVE, yeah. On TV it’s really just another game. It is a gimmick. It reminds me of the NFL playing in London – sure, those games sell out because it’s a one-time spectacle that people want to see – but there’s no way in hell that the city could actually support a team full time.[/quote]

    Thanks, Jeff. Excellent point. Excuse my sarcasm.

    If you can plan a gimmick that could get 300,000 on a waiting list for tickets, that’s one helluva gimmick you got going.

    The NBA’s outdoor game didn’t pull in that interest, the NFL at Toronto didn’t do it, the NFL in London didn’t do it, MLB hasn’t done it.

    But it’s a gimmick, right? It’s only gimmick because you can’t attend. Otherwise, it’s THE thing to do on New Year’s Day because it may never happen in your town again. So bring me all the gimmick you want.

    I’ll take it hands-down over meaningless NCAA bowl games.

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm |

    After seeing this picture yesterday of Ben Roethlisberger http://a.espncdn.com... I was reminded of this picture: http://farm3.static....

    In the Super Bowl 16 program, I believe there was a painting of that Bobby Layne pose. It would be a good addition to Illustrated NFL.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 12:32 pm |

    [quote comment=”368905″][quote comment=”368901″]putting the game in minnie would be a death-knell for a game barely on life-support as it is

    of course, that’s just my opinion…YMMV[/quote]

    Not to shoot a massive hole in your theory, Phil, but there are 300,000 people on the WAITING LIST for tickets this year.

    It’s only a “gimmick” if it isn’t happening in your neck of the woods. And that’s why every team wants the game – people want to see a game like this LIVE.[/quote]

    not to shoot a massive hole in your rebuttal teebz, but i was talking about the almighty TV RATINGS, not the number of bostonians who need an excuse to keep drinking on new year’s day the waiting list

    it’s cool to see it live, im sure

    and it was awesome in 08 to see it snowing and the pens break out the baby blues…almost as cool in 09 to see it in wrigley, but with the dumbing down of the game and the ‘where’s waldo’…it’s becoming stupider and stupider

    put it in minnesota and bring back the glo puck…maybe have the refs dress in clown suits and the first guy to score a goal wins a free suit

    i want for the game to succeed, i really do…

    i just don’t see it gaining any kind of a foothold…and any traction…guaranteed this years ratings (all that matters, NOT THE WAITING LIST)…are down…likely WAY down…from last year

    give the west a game (maybe even try edmonton again — i guarantee not too many in the us saw that live — i think it was either time delayed or otherwise not broadcast live at all in the NY market)

    hell…give detroit a home and home with chicago again if you want to keep up the us market interest

    the only ones who are going to be diehards about watching this game are the ones who are hosting it

    the rest of the nation really doesn’t care about the wild/stars anymore than they’d want to see islanders or devils…hell, i wouldn’t want that

    i hate the blueshirts, but they’d be a much better draw nationally…and that’s what the NHL needs

  • Wes | December 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm |

    Twice within the past few days I’ve stumbled across a picture of a specific uni element I had never seen before – a 1950’s era Pittsburgh Pirates batting helmet that is mostly white in color and had “PIRATES” spelled out in block letters across the front rather than just having the “P” cap logo.

    The first place I saw it was a small B&W picture in a book written by Joe Garagiola, who played for Pittsburgh from 1951-53.

    The second was on this weekend’s page of my Baseball HOF desk calendar. The photo is a collage of Ralph Kiner memorabilia, including that same batting helmet. Kiner played in Pittsburgh from 1946-53. This is a color photo, which shows that the crown is white, the PIRATES text is black, and the brim is blue. Pretty bizarre color scheme given that the Pirates were wearing their usual black hats with the gold P at that time.

    I can’t find a picture online but maybe I can try to scan and post the ones I found. I was just curious if this helmet was common knowledge. Were there other teams whose early batting helmets did not mimic their regular caps, in terms of color and/or logo?

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”368910″][quote comment=”368905″][quote comment=”368901″]putting the game in minnie would be a death-knell for a game barely on life-support as it is

    of course, that’s just my opinion…YMMV[/quote]

    Not to shoot a massive hole in your theory, Phil, but there are 300,000 people on the WAITING LIST for tickets this year.

    It’s only a “gimmick” if it isn’t happening in your neck of the woods. And that’s why every team wants the game – people want to see a game like this LIVE.[/quote]

    not to shoot a massive hole in your rebuttal teebz, but i was talking about the almighty TV RATINGS, not the number of bostonians who need an excuse to keep drinking on new year’s day the waiting list

    it’s cool to see it live, im sure

    and it was awesome in 08 to see it snowing and the pens break out the baby blues…almost as cool in 09 to see it in wrigley, but with the dumbing down of the game and the ‘where’s waldo’…it’s becoming stupider and stupider
    [/quote]

    TV ratings are still high. You guys seem to miss the fact that last year’s game had the highest showing of any game in NBC’s recent history, and continually ranks high on Canadian TV. The Pens-Sabres game was NBC’s best showing in 07-08.

    The gimmick that Reebok put on? Totally useless. I agree with that. But people watched to win. And some people even said “hey, this is pretty good. Don’t change the channel”.

    The NHL realizes it has ratings as close to rock-bottom as you can get in the US. Keeping this game going offers up something exciting before the major bowl games that most people don’t care about anyway. And if the NHL can capitalize on this like they have been, it is a smart and savvy move each and every year.

    As for the teams, a strong rivalry always creates higher ratings. This is seen every year in the playoffs, and it would happen here. But it is paramount that the two teams involved have a strong and passionate hatred for one another.

    Calgary-Edmonton, Toronto-Ottawa, NYR-NYI, Chicago-Detroit, Toronto-Montreal, etc.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm |

    [quote comment=”368901″][quote comment=”368898″]
    Let’s all take off our “fan hats” and look at this from a network/marketing/broadcasting point of view, okay?

    Been saying this since before the 2010 game was announced.
    Flyers at Bruins, 2010.
    Capitals at Rangers, 2011
    Stars at Wild, 2012[/quote]

    right, because the stars at wild would make much more sense than having an original six team…i’d say your fan hat is firmly on for that third game

    capitals at rangers (why, because of ovie?) would suck…not saying rangers against another original six (unless you want to let the habs get another shot — they played in the ’03 heritage classic game), but definitely not washington (and not NJ or the islanders either)

    toronto, except for the ‘stadium’ (which i think is actually part of the appeal) issue…would be a MOST logical choice…you’d get those who remember hockey when it was a real sport and would watch…and while toronto may be physically in canada…it’s a much better choice and would generate MUCH MORE interest than minnesota

    no one is going to watch a (still almost) expansion team and a team from texas play…that’s just stupid

    if the nhl wants to keep up the waning interest in this experiment, they’d better give toronto a shot after the rangers and THEN maybe consider getting one of the teams in the western conference a shot at hosting…putting the game in minnie would be a death-knell for a game barely on life-support as it is

    of course, that’s just my opinion…YMMV[/quote]

    Fan, my ass. Personally, I could give a shit about the Wild getting the game in 2012. But it just makes sense. One of the two new venues here will be in the mood to show off. The Minnesota stereotype fits the outdoor hockey image. They aren’t about to repeat venues or teams just yet. It’s just likely the best of “who’s left”…and it’s a pretty good one. North Stars history and all. Pretty good tale to tell.

    (Was reported here in Twin Cities, and passed on to UW, a few months ago, that there already have been discussions between the NHL, the Wild and the New Brickhouse regarding the 2012 game).

    And, please trust me on this, don’t anyone waste your time thinking about Canadian venues for New Year’s Day. They are NOT realistically on the table for these games. Not yet. For now it’s a U.S. show, IN the U.S., FOR the U.S. Why court an audience you already have? That’d be broadcasting nonsense.

    I can have two American audiences involved or one? Hmmm, if this is my American showcase which would I choose?

    “You’d get those who remember hockey when it was a real sport and would watch” Huh? THEY’RE ALREADY WATCHING; they don’t NEED to be courted. That’s the point no one seems to able to get their arms around.

    Also, “original six” means dick to the audience they’re trying to attract, other than they can spin great yarns about the franchises. On that subject, anyone notice that last night’s NBC’s hype for the WC made NO MENTION WHATOSEVER of how the Flyers and Bruins are doing this season? They talked about Yaz and Pedroia being around, and about “the great rivalry” between the Broad Street Bullies and Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito (all of which was AFTER expansion, btw). The particular game is, in the this context, secondary to the “event”. That’s why I say take off the fan caps and WATCH how they’re packaging it. The is NOT about selling an important game in the ’09-’10 season. In fact, that’s almost irrelevant.

    Just out of curiosity, Phil, on what do you base your contention that the WC is on “life support”? Just a gut reaction? Last year’s numbers were fine. Enough to justify continuing. MLB is still heartily involved. Networks are pretty shrewd, and they really don’t like throwing money down a drain.

    And again, please, remember, this is NOT a TV program designed to attract a Canadian audience. If there’s Hockey Night in Canada, this is kinda like Hockey Day in the U.S.A.

    Rightly so, they are focussing on that audience. And, yes, by purist’s standards it’s about an inch deep. Well, sorry, but you’re not the target audience here. They don’t want to turn you away, of course, but their focus is the newbies. Surely that isn’t so hard to understand.

    Or is it?

    —Ricko

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm |

    Georgia had some pretty interesting unis in 1942: http://www.flickr.co...

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm |

    [quote comment=”368913″]They talked about Yaz and Pedroia being around, and about “the great rivalry” between the Broad Street Bullies and Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito (all of which was AFTER expansion, btw).[/quote]

    No offense, Rick, but most people in the US know who Yaz and Pedroia are. I have $100 right here that says the majority of the American public couldn’t identify Derek Morris, David Krejci, Simon Gagne, or Kimmo Timonen if they were bodychecked by them.

    How do you draw interest? Appeal to what your audience knows.

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm |

    These http://www.flickr.co...
    http://www.flickr.co... are two of my favorite program covers in Andy’s collection.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm |

    Phil said…

    “the rest of the nation really doesn’t care about the wild/stars anymore than they’d want to see islanders or devils”

    Reality Check: Most of the of U.S. doesn’t care about the Wings/Hawks, either.

    (That’s just another thing hockey fans—and don’t get me wrong, I love ’em—can’t seem to come to grips with, either).

    —Ricko

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm |

    [quote comment=”368917″]Phil said…

    “the rest of the nation really doesn’t care about the wild/stars anymore than they’d want to see islanders or devils”

    Reality Check: Most of the of U.S. doesn’t care about the Wings/Hawks, either.

    (That’s just another thing hockey fans—and don’t get me wrong, I love ’em—can’t seem to come to grips with, either).

    —Ricko[/quote]

    But the question is: did you watch?

    Because if you did, even to see the gimmick played out, you added to the ratings.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm |

    [quote comment=”368915″][quote comment=”368913″]They talked about Yaz and Pedroia being around, and about “the great rivalry” between the Broad Street Bullies and Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito (all of which was AFTER expansion, btw).[/quote]

    No offense, Rick, but most people in the US know who Yaz and Pedroia are. I have $100 right here that says the majority of the American public couldn’t identify Derek Morris, David Krejci, Simon Gagne, or Kimmo Timonen if they were bodychecked by them.

    How do you draw interest? Appeal to what your audience knows.[/quote]

    Exactly, THAT’S MY POINT. It’s NOT for hockey fans. This is to attract new fans, not to give a Hockey News scouting report on the teams’ respective penalty-killing.

    ___Ricko

  • John V. | December 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm |

    Folks I need some jersey help and I’m at a loss where to go next.

    I’m looking to get a retro Pens jersey that I can’t find anywhere on the Internet. Specifically, I’m looking for the 75-77 Penguins away jersey that is on display at the Heinz Museum in Pittsburgh:

    http://bayimg.com/im...

    I’ve found the home white, but I want to be different :) I would even be semi-ok with the 77+ navy blue that is displayed on NHL’s website but links into the ether:

    http://www.nhl.com/v...

    Any ideas how I could go about getting this secured? Any help or direction would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!
    John

    PS: I plan on Kehoe or Malone’ing the jersey just in case anyone is worried about defiling such a treasure with a jersey foul :)

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 1:03 pm |

    [quote comment=”368919″][quote comment=”368915″][quote comment=”368913″]They talked about Yaz and Pedroia being around, and about “the great rivalry” between the Broad Street Bullies and Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito (all of which was AFTER expansion, btw).[/quote]

    No offense, Rick, but most people in the US know who Yaz and Pedroia are. I have $100 right here that says the majority of the American public couldn’t identify Derek Morris, David Krejci, Simon Gagne, or Kimmo Timonen if they were bodychecked by them.

    How do you draw interest? Appeal to what your audience knows.[/quote]

    Exactly, THAT’S MY POINT. It’s NOT for hockey fans. This is to attract new fans, not to give a Hockey News scouting report on the teams’ respective penalty-killing.

    ___Ricko[/quote]

    But then you’ve proved my point. It attracts fans to a game where they weren’t interested before, or it is simply a ratings machine for the NHL.

    Both of those are beneficial to the NHL. Gimmick? Hardly. Savvy marketing? Hell yes.

  • interlockingtc | December 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm |

    I was only seven or eight when the North Stars debuted, so I have no recollection of that first logo, but I find the switcheroo charming. “Rip those off. This looks better. Tape it on.”

    As for the appearance of the North Stars uniform in a Winter Classic: I’m torn. I adored that team as a kid and for sentimental reasons would love to see it in action…but…by Dallas? No. (Yes, I still hold a grudge.)

    The Wild are just an expansion team with an awful nickname and logo and haven’t earned the privilege of hosting an event like that.

    Oh…the advertisements in the Tacoma Rockets program are wonderful. (The team shoulda had a logo on the jersey, though.)

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 1:05 pm |

    [quote comment=”368918″][quote comment=”368917″]Phil said…

    “the rest of the nation really doesn’t care about the wild/stars anymore than they’d want to see islanders or devils”

    Reality Check: Most of the of U.S. doesn’t care about the Wings/Hawks, either.

    (That’s just another thing hockey fans—and don’t get me wrong, I love ’em—can’t seem to come to grips with, either).

    —Ricko[/quote]

    But the question is: did you watch?

    Because if you did, even to see the gimmick played out, you added to the ratings.[/quote]

    We’re saying the same thing, Teebz.

    The “event” is the deal. People tuning in to watch 40,000 idiots sitting in the cold watching NHL players play outdoors. The spectacle. Not that “the Flyers are two points behind in the standings, so they need this one.”

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 1:06 pm |

    [quote comment=”368912″]Keeping this game going offers up something exciting before the major bowl games that most people don’t care about anyway.[/quote]

    in the US, i’d say “most people” don’t care about hockey, even outdoors, in boston…

    if you think “most people” don’t care about bowl games, especially as compared to hockey, i’d say you’re wrong

    lets see the ratings for this versus last year — maybe i’ll be wrong and be pleasantly surprised…but i can almost guarantee they’ll be lower than they were for the hawks/cougars last season

    and then lets compare the ratings for this versus, say, the rose bowl (which, according to you, “most people” don’t care about)

    i know you’re going to say “well that’s not fair, it’s college football”…but i say, if “most people” don’t care about the game, then why are they watching?

    we may care, on here, very deeply aboot the WC

    but we’re not the networks watching, very carefully, the nielsens…which are the only thing that matters…not the throwbacks, not the waiting lists, not the teams and not the venue (the things we care about)

    bottom line is the ratings…and that’s the only line that matters

  • SWC Susan | December 28, 2009 at 1:06 pm |

    Hey guys…. I looked at the links but did not see a specific link for Negro Leagues. Is there a one-stop site that shows all the teams and unis?

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 1:06 pm |

    [quote comment=”368923″][quote comment=”368918″][quote comment=”368917″]Phil said…

    “the rest of the nation really doesn’t care about the wild/stars anymore than they’d want to see islanders or devils”

    Reality Check: Most of the of U.S. doesn’t care about the Wings/Hawks, either.

    (That’s just another thing hockey fans—and don’t get me wrong, I love ’em—can’t seem to come to grips with, either).

    —Ricko[/quote]

    But the question is: did you watch?

    Because if you did, even to see the gimmick played out, you added to the ratings.[/quote]

    We’re saying the same thing, Teebz.

    The “event” is the deal. People tuning in to watch 40,000 idiots sitting in the cold watching NHL players play outdoors. The spectacle. Not that “the Flyers are two points behind in the standings, so they need this one.”

    —Ricko[/quote]

    I’m aware.

    (BTW, I’m using your example to prove my point to those calling it a gimmick. Keep that part quiet, though.)

  • Thomas Clark | December 28, 2009 at 1:07 pm |

    I’m going to jump in on this Winter Classic debate. I love marketing and thus this seems to fit perfectly inline with my loves (hockey and marketing). First, TV ratings for the Winter Classic aren’t going to come anywhere near the Rose Bowl, though if the WC can garner a 3.0 national share at some point that’s a huge deal for the smallest of the majors. The Rose Bowl will continue to plod along in the 11.0-12.5 range for the foreseeable future (though the perceived weakness of the Big Ten/Pac-10 vs the SEC/Big-12 will begin to take some fans away unless something changes).

    Last year’s success was carried by the home markets as both Detroit and Chicago garnered over a 10.0 local share, a huge success. What I would expect to see is the game staying in markets with strong local support and a decent TV market.

    Thus I would expect the following cities to hold a game:

    2011 – New York (logical on all accounts..new stadium, huge population, rabid fan base. Perfect fit. Likely vs Devils, Isles, Leafs, or Caps.

    2012 – Eastern Canadian team, Detroit, or Washington. I actually expect a Canadian hosted second outdoor game on Hockey Day in Canada by this time if not next year so that would end their hosting duties here. While Detroit has already played in one of these, their hockey fanbase is too good to not host one sooner or later (likely vs Toronto, Chicago, Colorado, or Nashville [longshot]). Capitals make the list because for some reason every sport thinks that the DC area is crazily important. The NHL is no different. I can see a Caps vs Pens game here if both are still quality teams.

    2013 and beyond – Look for some of the visiting teams to get looks here as well as Minnesota and Colorado.

    I doubt you’ll see a game west of Colorado or south of DC ever. You’ll also see the Canadian teams get their own games in rotational fashion which will be hugely successful. And don’t forget the first outdoor NHL game was an exhibition played in Vegas!

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 1:09 pm |

    [quote comment=”368924″]
    bottom line is the ratings…and that’s the only line that matters[/quote]

    So you want to compare a bowl game steeped in history in a football-mad country to a hockey game that is playing its fourth outdoor event ever in a country where hockey is seen as a fringe sport?

    Come on, Phil.

    How many bowl games did you watch last year on New Year’s Day? And how many hockey games did you watch? Now, how many of each are being played on those days?

  • Thomas Clark | December 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm |

    We really should be arguing Winter Classic vs Capital One Bowl and the Gator Bowl btw. They are the two games going on head to head. Last year the Cap One Bowl garnered a 7.2 rating. Well above the WC’s 2.9 rating while the Gator Bowl snagged a 4.3.

    This year you’ll probably see the Gator Bowl’s go up for Bobby Bowden’s last game and the Cap One Bowl is a Top 15 matchup. This could be a bit harmful for the WC. I’m expecting something like a 1.9 – 2.1 rating for the WC…carried by the Boston area. While most of Pennsylvania watches PSU and LSU.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm |

    [quote comment=”368927″]I’m going to jump in on this Winter Classic debate. I love marketing and thus this seems to fit perfectly inline with my loves (hockey and marketing). First, TV ratings for the Winter Classic aren’t going to come anywhere near the Rose Bowl, though if the WC can garner a 3.0 national share at some point that’s a huge deal for the smallest of the majors. The Rose Bowl will continue to plod along in the 11.0-12.5 range for the foreseeable future (though the perceived weakness of the Big Ten/Pac-10 vs the SEC/Big-12 will begin to take some fans away unless something changes).

    Last year’s success was carried by the home markets as both Detroit and Chicago garnered over a 10.0 local share, a huge success. What I would expect to see is the game staying in markets with strong local support and a decent TV market.

    Thus I would expect the following cities to hold a game:

    2011 – New York (logical on all accounts..new stadium, huge population, rabid fan base. Perfect fit. Likely vs Devils, Isles, Leafs, or Caps.

    2012 – Eastern Canadian team, Detroit, or Washington. I actually expect a Canadian hosted second outdoor game on Hockey Day in Canada by this time if not next year so that would end their hosting duties here. While Detroit has already played in one of these, their hockey fanbase is too good to not host one sooner or later (likely vs Toronto, Chicago, Colorado, or Nashville [longshot]). Capitals make the list because for some reason every sport thinks that the DC area is crazily important. The NHL is no different. I can see a Caps vs Pens game here if both are still quality teams.

    2013 and beyond – Look for some of the visiting teams to get looks here as well as Minnesota and Colorado.

    I doubt you’ll see a game west of Colorado or south of DC ever. You’ll also see the Canadian teams get their own games in rotational fashion which will be hugely successful. And don’t forget the first outdoor NHL game was an exhibition played in Vegas![/quote]

    Not aimed specifically at you, Thomas, but…

    For the time being (based 40 years in sports writing, marketing, PR, advertising…many of them in pro sports, a few in pro hockey) a few very likely hard criteria…

    Not trying to match Rose Bowl, just get a good hold on that day part.
    No doubleheader (suicide for the WC)
    No repeat teams (this is softest, cuz still have northern teams who’ve played but haven’t hosted)
    No repeat venues.
    No Canadian teams.
    No venues anywhere but where it’s “Winter”.

    Gotta think like owners, leagues and networks think, or your notions will be way off the mark.

    —Ricko

  • Mike Miller | December 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm |

    [quote comment=\”368902\”]Ok, let\’s review a few things.

    … the first player to wear a number over 30 since Stephane Richer did in it the year 2000.

    Someone forgot about Alexander Mogilny\’s #89 in 2005-06. Or Jason Weimer wearing #42. Or Scott Clemmensen wearing #40. Or Jason Ryznar wearing #39. All of those happened in 05-06. Weimer and Ryznar did change to lower numbers after a few games, however.
    [/quote]

    Or Corey Schwab wearing #35 in 2002-03.

  • jesse | December 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm |

    I would love to see photos of any of the caps any of you guys have from the Cooperstown Cap Co. All I have seen were the mock ups on their website. Thanks.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 1:27 pm |

    Oh, by the way, wanna invent a new word?

    It’s a word for someone retiring and then un-retiring.

    We’ll say they’re being all…

    “MEYERFAVREN”.

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm |

    [quote comment=”368928″]the major bowl games that most people don’t care about anyway.[/quote]

    and

    [quote comment=”368928″]a bowl game steeped in history in a football-mad country [/quote]

    either “most people” don’t care about a major bowl game or it’s game steeped in history in a football mad country

    not both

    because if “most people” don’t care about it, it wouldn’t be a game steeped in history in a football mad country

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    and last year, i watched the winter classic (as you know) but because my pop was still in the nursing home/rehab, i spent the rest of the day with him, i didn’t get to see any bowl games (maybe i saw a bit of the late game, but that’s about it)

    ~~~~~~~

    look, we all have our ideas about what we think would make for the best (next) winter classic; ricko’s obviously the expert and the rest of us are just talking out our asses…but i agree with what thomas clark said in post #71 …

    next year: NY
    2012: “Eastern Canadian team, Detroit, or Washington. I actually expect a Canadian hosted second outdoor game on Hockey Day in Canada by this time if not next year so that would end their hosting duties here. While Detroit has already played in one of these, their hockey fanbase is too good to not host one sooner or later (likely vs Toronto, Chicago, Colorado, or Nashville [longshot]). Capitals make the list because for some reason every sport thinks that the DC area is crazily important. The NHL is no different. I can see a Caps vs Pens game here if both are still quality teams.”

    disagree with warshington, but he makes an excellent argument for it

    2013, if the game is still being played…maybe a game in the western time zone, maybe in minnesota

    but not next year…NY first, toronto or detroit (maybe detroit hosting the leafs) next…

    THEN somewhere else

  • Thomas Clark | December 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm |

    Ricko

    I know those aren’t aimed at me because I pretty much followed them perfectly (I expect the Canadian outdoor games to be on Hockey Day in Canada, not New Year’s). The double ups (for visiting teams) start to make sense around year 5 or 6. The owner’s would understand that. At some point you have to take a game to Detroit, it’s just a smart idea.

  • Rob Ullman | December 28, 2009 at 1:39 pm |

    [quote comment=”368920″]Folks I need some jersey help and I’m at a loss where to go next.

    I’m looking to get a retro Pens jersey that I can’t find anywhere on the Internet. Specifically, I’m looking for the 75-77 Penguins away jersey that is on display at the Heinz Museum in Pittsburgh:

    http://bayimg.com/im...

    I’ve found the home white, but I want to be different :) I would even be semi-ok with the 77+ navy blue that is displayed on NHL’s website but links into the ether:

    http://www.nhl.com/v...

    Any ideas how I could go about getting this secured? Any help or direction would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!
    John

    PS: I plan on Kehoe or Malone’ing the jersey just in case anyone is worried about defiling such a treasure with a jersey foul :)[/quote]

    Hey John-

    Saw your post on The Pensblog as well…not sure about your primary choice. I feel like I’ve seen those for sale somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can remember where.

    Definitely seen the 77-78 , live and in person…a fella I know has one. Mitchell and Ness made them a few years back. Not sure if they’re still in production, but a quick google search using “penguins jersey mitchell ness” turned up one on eBay. It’s the standard one with Dave Schultz’s No. 8.

    You might contact David Frost about making a custom version of the 75-76…I’ve seen his work firsthand, and it’s top notch. If nothing else, he could probably change the Schultz into a Malone or Kehoe, either of which would absolutely be the cat’s pajamas.

  • mmwatkin | December 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm |

    If we are talking about ratings, I would like to see a comparison between the Capital One Bowl and the Winter Classic.

    They are both on at the same time and the Cap One Bowl would not attract the casual viewer, since it is not a premiere BCS Bowl. I would bet that the Capital One Bowl on ABC had higher ratings than than the Winter Classic on NBC. I would also imagine that if NBC was given the choice between college football and hockey on New Year’s Day, they would pick the former.

    Also something to think about. The Big Ten (a traditional good hockey region) will have 5 games on New year’s day starting next year. I would have to imagine that the Football fans in the Midwest will choose watching Big Ten bowl games over a hockey game (especially if it is a Rangers-Capitals game or similar). Big Ten bowl games took 5 out of the top 10 rated bowls last year

    I like the idea of the Winter Classic and want to stay for years to come. I can’t see them overtaking New year’s bowls in ratings or popularity anytime soon.

  • JTH | December 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm |

    [quote comment=”368923″]The “event” is the deal. People tuning in to watch 40,000 idiots sitting in the cold watching NHL players play outdoors.[/quote]
    HEY! I resemble that remark.

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm |

    [quote comment=”368934″][quote comment=”368928″]the major bowl games that most people don’t care about anyway.[/quote]

    and

    [quote comment=”368928″]a bowl game steeped in history in a football-mad country [/quote]

    either “most people” don’t care about a major bowl game or it’s game steeped in history in a football mad country

    not both
    [/quote]

    So then answer the question. You selected THE bowl game which, coincidentally, does not occur at the time of the Winter Classic. How many others are there being played on that day? And how many did you watch? Because if you watched the Winter Classic, your NHL viewership that day was 100% of all games.

    My guess is that the majority of people who watched the Winter Classic had absolutely no care about the Gator Bowl, the Capital One Bowl, the Anyone With Corporate Money Bowl, or the Bailout Funds Sponsored This Bowl.

    It’s a simple equation. The WC is the best sporting event offered for people with no vested interest in the other bowl games. And the NHL is reaping those benefits because the other sports couldn’t or wouldn’t take that gamble.

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm |

    [quote comment=”368929″]We really should be arguing Winter Classic vs Capital One Bowl and the Gator Bowl btw. They are the two games going on head to head. Last year the Cap One Bowl garnered a 7.2 rating. Well above the WC’s 2.9 rating while the Gator Bowl snagged a 4.3.

    This year you’ll probably see the Gator Bowl’s go up for Bobby Bowden’s last game and the Cap One Bowl is a Top 15 matchup. This could be a bit harmful for the WC. I’m expecting something like a 1.9 – 2.1 rating for the WC…carried by the Boston area. While most of Pennsylvania watches PSU and LSU.[/quote]

    I can relate to this post. The last couple of years I tuned into the Winter Classic. Really enjoyed the Pens/Sabres game, too. Normally I only watch bowl games on New Year’s Day, but the early games don’t do as much for me.

    This year, though, my Nittany Lions are in a good matchup – gamewise as well as uniwise. And with Bobby Bowden bowing out against another favorite of mine, West Virginia, I’ll only be watching the hockey when both bowl games are in a commercial break.

    Can’t speak for the average American, but the WC’s not high on my list. I like having it as an alternative, though. I’d like it even more if the NHL played Olympic-style rules, but that’s another discussion for another day.

  • Eric | December 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm |

    Citi or New Yankee would be good places to hold the WC, but so eventually is TCF Stadium. Go to Citi and/or the new house that George built first, then go someplace like TCF, where the people will actually understand outdoor hockey because they’ve actually played outside, either as kids or adults (or both).

    However, I think those of us in Minnesota just need to understand that because we are not New York, we are just inferior in Phil’s eyes and not suitable for anything other than mocking and ridicule and that the entire nation worships things Gotham.

    “put it in minnesota and bring back the glo puck…maybe have the refs dress in clown suits and the first guy to score a goal wins a free suit”

    Never mind that to the casual fan that the NHL is trying to attract, the Rangers have no more excitement factor than the Wild. Original Six means nothing to them. To casual fans outside of NYC, a New York team is equally a detriment as a benefit.

    Never mind that the national perception of Minnesota is as a colder place than NYC (not always true), so there’s the additional “man vs. the elements” drama to draw in viewers.

    You want to make it really interesting? Put up the boards on the Duluth Harbor in February, no stands or anything…you’ll hear the game the way the players do instead of hearing the fans, the music and the extraneous stuff. Could you imagine hearing the chatter between players and refs, players and coaches, players and players? The lower pitched skate sounds that get drowned out in the buzz of the crowd? A slapper ringing off a pipe in the cold, crisp air? THAT’S hockey. Ratings would probably suck, but it would be a completely new experience.

  • Sean | December 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm |

    Interesting NFL uni-related note of the day:

    The Cowboys are now 4-0 wearing blue this season and 6-5 wearing white.

    Is the curse of blue dead?

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm |

    [quote comment=”368937″]If we are talking about ratings, I would like to see a comparison between the Capital One Bowl and the Winter Classic.

    They are both on at the same time and the Cap One Bowl would not attract the casual viewer, since it is not a premiere BCS Bowl. I would bet that the Capital One Bowl on ABC had higher ratings than than the Winter Classic on NBC. I would also imagine that if NBC was given the choice between college football and hockey on New Year’s Day, they would pick the former.[/quote]

    If NBC wanted the bowl games, they could bid for them.

    Hockey is a fringe sport in the US, especially as you go further south. We get that.

    The NHL’s Winter Classic is a marketing ordeal. Nothing less, and nothing more. And they are doing a heckuva job in marketing their game if they are scoring 3.0s on NCAA Bowl Day.

  • Eric | December 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”368937″]
    Also something to think about. The Big Ten (a traditional good hockey region) will have 5 games on New year’s day starting next year. I would have to imagine that the Football fans in the Midwest will choose watching Big Ten bowl games over a hockey game (especially if it is a Rangers-Capitals game or similar). Big Ten bowl games took 5 out of the top 10 rated bowls last year
    [/quote]

    Considering the last time that my University of Minnesota Nocturnal Yellow Rodents were in a meaningful bowl game before my birth, if they made it into a meaningful NYD bowl game, I’d miss both the WC and the bowl game because I would be dead from a coronary.

  • Wes Kendall | December 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm |

    Ok Uniwatch, now that my softball season is over, I’d like for you guys to tell me which stirrup look was best.

    1) http://hphotos-snc1....

    2) http://photos-d.ak.f...

    3) http://hphotos-snc1....

    So which one should I stick to for next season, Uniwatch?

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm |

    [quote comment=”368945″]Ok Uniwatch, now that my softball season is over, I’d like for you guys to tell me which stirrup look was best.

    1) http://hphotos-snc1....

    2) http://photos-d.ak.f...

    3) http://hphotos-snc1....

    So which one should I stick to for next season, Uniwatch?[/quote]

    High pants, high stirrups. Classic look.

  • mike 2 | December 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm |

    I remember having the same discussion last year before Boston was announced as the host of this year’s Winter Classic.

    My suggestion at that time was to have the San Jose Sharks host the game at Pac Bell Park, wearing Seals throwbacks. Maybe have them play the Kings wearing purple and gold. Show today’s fans how BRIGHT the uniforms used to be.

    I agree with Ricko that Toronto won’t get a game, but on the other hand it would be cool for Skydome to get a game so it could be the only venue to have hosted games in all four North American major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).

  • mmwatkin | December 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm |

    [quote comment=”368945″]Ok Uniwatch, now that my softball season is over, I’d like for you guys to tell me which stirrup look was best.

    1) http://hphotos-snc1....

    2) http://photos-d.ak.f...

    3) http://hphotos-snc1....

    So which one should I stick to for next season, Uniwatch?[/quote]

    The first one. No doubt.

  • concealed78 | December 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm |

    Wow, Ricko is really grizzled today! Salutations of holidays and such ;-)

  • Wes Kendall | December 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm |

    [quote comment=”368946″][quote comment=”368945″]Ok Uniwatch, now that my softball season is over, I’d like for you guys to tell me which stirrup look was best.

    1) http://hphotos-snc1....

    2) http://photos-d.ak.f...

    3) http://hphotos-snc1....

    So which one should I stick to for next season, Uniwatch?[/quote]

    High pants, high stirrups. Classic look.[/quote]

    Hah, I kept switching between the 80’s look and 70’s look. I don’t have any pictures of it, but I played some games wearing them the Rickey Henderson way, the stirrups pulled all the way up.

  • rpm | December 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm |

    ricko/teebz/anyone else looking for me…
    came down to st augustine to visit my parents the 26th, and will be back in chicago the 31st. until then, i will not be on the computing device much, if at all. if you need me before the 31st, you need to call 312.208.6610. as for the bond on the pond, i plan on coming, but would need a roomy for the weekend, or i can pitch a tent somewhere(i have cold weather gear). but the only possible hurdle i have is that the pineapple has a show that opens that friday night, and it is in chicago. i think she won’t mind if i miss it, but i am not sure if i would mind if i miss it. anyway, that is where i stand right now, if you need more before the 31st, call me, otherwise, i will be getting caught up on everything when i get back. sorry to post this, but it was quicker then sending out 10 emails about how i am out of town.

  • Mike Engle | December 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm |

    [quote comment=”368947″]I remember having the same discussion last year before Boston was announced as the host of this year’s Winter Classic.

    My suggestion at that time was to have the San Jose Sharks host the game at Pac Bell Park, wearing Seals throwbacks. Maybe have them play the Kings wearing purple and gold. Show today’s fans how BRIGHT the uniforms used to be.

    I agree with Ricko that Toronto won’t get a game, but on the other hand it would be cool for Skydome to get a game so it could be the only venue to have hosted games in all four North American major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).[/quote]
    HHH Metrodome? Twins and Vikings, definitely; North Stars, almost positive, because Kirby Puckett made the catch in front of Plexiglas; I’d find it incredibly hard to believe the Metrodome never had a Timberwolves game.

  • interlockingtc | December 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm |

    Eric said:

    “You want to make it really interesting? Put up the boards on the Duluth Harbor in February, no stands or anything…you’ll hear the game the way the players do instead of hearing the fans, the music and the extraneous stuff. Could you imagine hearing the chatter between players and refs, players and coaches, players and players? The lower pitched skate sounds that get drowned out in the buzz of the crowd? A slapper ringing off a pipe in the cold, crisp air? THAT’S hockey. Ratings would probably suck, but it would be a completely new experience.”

    That would be revolutionary TV. And the greatest moment in the modern NHL.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm |

    Hard to project what they’re gonna do without defining the apparent model, isn’t it?

    That’s what I’ve been trying to do, but evidently no one thinks that’s a necessary step. They just riff on about how Montreal (or somewhere) “deserves” to host a game. Nice thought, but quite likely totally irrelevant.

    First off (again), the WC is a marketing tool for the NHL in the U.S. It’s a hockey game secondarily.

    They’re not looking for the most important game on the schedule that week. They’re not looking to make loyal fans in some town happy. They’re looking for the best match up, venue and markets to suit their goals for the event/broadcast.

    And I’m not saying they wouldn’t pick Toronto, either the team or the site. Just saying it doesn’t fit the model as presently constituted.

    Now, if the NHL and NBC change the model for what the WC is all about, then anything could happen.

    —Ricko

  • Eric | December 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm |

    [quote comment=”368952″][quote comment=”368947″]I remember having the same discussion last year before Boston was announced as the host of this year’s Winter Classic.

    My suggestion at that time was to have the San Jose Sharks host the game at Pac Bell Park, wearing Seals throwbacks. Maybe have them play the Kings wearing purple and gold. Show today’s fans how BRIGHT the uniforms used to be.

    I agree with Ricko that Toronto won’t get a game, but on the other hand it would be cool for Skydome to get a game so it could be the only venue to have hosted games in all four North American major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).[/quote]
    HHH Metrodome? Twins and Vikings, definitely; North Stars, almost positive, because Kirby Puckett made the catch in front of Plexiglas; I’d find it incredibly hard to believe the Metrodome never had a Timberwolves game.[/quote]

    Wolves started at the Metrodome, but I can’t remember any hockey games there. As far as I can remember, it’s only been the Met Center, the X, and maybe Tarshay Center for the NHL regular, post, or exhibition games.

  • TC Mark | December 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm |

    [quote comment=”368952″][quote comment=”368947″]I remember having the same discussion last year before Boston was announced as the host of this year’s Winter Classic.

    My suggestion at that time was to have the San Jose Sharks host the game at Pac Bell Park, wearing Seals throwbacks. Maybe have them play the Kings wearing purple and gold. Show today’s fans how BRIGHT the uniforms used to be.

    I agree with Ricko that Toronto won’t get a game, but on the other hand it would be cool for Skydome to get a game so it could be the only venue to have hosted games in all four North American major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).[/quote]
    HHH Metrodome? Twins and Vikings, definitely; North Stars, almost positive, because Kirby Puckett made the catch in front of Plexiglas; I’d find it incredibly hard to believe the Metrodome never had a Timberwolves game.[/quote]

    Wolves did play in the Metrodome their first year. Horrible sightlines but no one cared. They set the NBA season attendance record that year (unlikely to be broken but a rather dubious record in my mind) – over 1 million including nearly 50K for the last home game.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 2:18 pm |

    [quote comment=”368941″]However, I think those of us in Minnesota just need to understand that because we are not New York, we are just inferior in Phil’s eyes and not suitable for anything other than mocking and ridicule and that the entire nation worships things Gotham.[/quote]

    whoa there…i said nothing of the kind and truth be told, i don’t want the game here…at all (never mind that i wouldn’t set foot in NYS to watch the rangers)…i wouldn’t watch the islanders at hofstra

    i was simply remarking that the rangers (orig 6) and NY (not exactly the bastion of hockey, but still home to more than one team, both now and in the past) makes more sense from a marketing standpoint

    [quote comment=”368941″]”put it in minnesota and bring back the glo puck…maybe have the refs dress in clown suits and the first guy to score a goal wins a free suit”[/quote]

    i was remarking about how the NHL is ruining the classic nature of outdoor hockey by engaging in stupid contests like “where’s waldo” from last year…not that if you put it in minnesota you’ll have the return of the gimmicks that have failed…

    marketing 101 dictates that “if the fans don’t wanna watch an outdoor game because, well it’s outdoors and it might snow” then we better run a contest to spot the guy without the vector

    [quote comment=”368941″]Never mind that to the casual fan that the NHL is trying to attract, the Rangers have no more excitement factor than the Wild. Original Six means nothing to them. To casual fans outside of NYC, a New York team is equally a detriment as a benefit.[/quote]

    i’d agree NY has no appeal outside of NY EXCEPT that the rangers are one of the orig six and outside of the canadiens, are probably the MOST RECOGNIZABLE NAME in hockey — not because of the 4 cups they’ve won, but simply because of their history and great unis

    [quote comment=”368941″]Never mind that the national perception of Minnesota is as a colder place than NYC (not always true), so there’s the additional “man vs. the elements” drama to draw in viewers.

    You want to make it really interesting? Put up the boards on the Duluth Harbor in February, no stands or anything…you’ll hear the game the way the players do instead of hearing the fans, the music and the extraneous stuff. Could you imagine hearing the chatter between players and refs, players and coaches, players and players? The lower pitched skate sounds that get drowned out in the buzz of the crowd? A slapper ringing off a pipe in the cold, crisp air? THAT’S hockey. Ratings would probably suck, but it would be a completely new experience.[/quote]

    now here, i agree with you 100%

    but you just also stated why that’s a disaster:

    “Ratings would probably suck”

    and that’s why it won’t happen

    on the way to lunch, i was just thinking about the NFL in europe…i didn’t watch it…why? not because i didn’t care, but because IT WASN’T ON IN MY MARKET — how stupid can the NFL be?

    i’d watch it if it were on, because it’d be cool to see the game played in a different venue than before (ok, they played in wembly once before, but you get the idea)…if you don’t let me watch it i won’t

    like ricko, im trying to give ideas on how to ATTRACT the viewer who might not otherwise care

    we all differ on what will do that

    but, as someone who grew up watching the islanders actually win four straight cups, MY demographic would be those who used to watch hockey, but whose interest has wanted…how to do that? put two old school teams in an outdoor venue

    your ideas may differ…you may think, “i live in a place where we play hockey outdoors from november to march” so it’s a natural…i just don’t think the suits who run the marketing and ratings divisions will agree…personally, i’d LOVE to see that, and I CAN’T WAIT to see the pond hockey in minnesota this january

    i think they’re still feeling things out here, and i hope we will always have a winter classic on NYD to look forward to…im just afraid the ratings for this coming year will be way down and it may lose whatever small foothold it gained

    the fact that bowls that “no one cares about” score double and triple ratings versus two original six teams playing in wrigley leads me to believe it MAY NEVER gain a toehold

    i just don’t want them to blow it by screwing it up with a a) bad venue; b) bad teams (not record wise, interest wise); and c) with gimmicks like find the guy without the reebok logo

    they may as well have a “skillz” competition featuring ovie doing backwards trick shots then, because that’s probably more entertaining than old time hockey…and that’s sad

  • TC Mark | December 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm |

    [quote comment=”368954″]Hard to project what they’re gonna do without defining the apparent model, isn’t it?

    That’s what I’ve been trying to do, but evidently no one thinks that’s a necessary step. They just riff on about how Montreal (or somewhere) “deserves” to host a game. Nice thought, but quite likely totally irrelevant.

    First off (again), the WC is a marketing tool for the NHL in the U.S. It’s a hockey game secondarily.

    They’re not looking for the most important game on the schedule that week. They’re not looking to make loyal fans in some town happy. They’re looking for the best match up, venue and markets to suit their goals for the event/broadcast.

    And I’m not saying they wouldn’t pick Toronto, either the team or the site. Just saying it doesn’t fit the model as presently constituted.

    Now, if the NHL and NBC change the model for what the WC is all about, then anything could happen.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Ricko – you are absolutely right (maybe should have weighed in sooner so you didn’t think you were the lone voice of reason).

    The WC is ONLY about marketing and trying to attract a TV audience, ideally with a large number of non- or casual NHL fans (and I think there is a big distinction between being a fan of hockey and a fan of the NHL). Frankly NBC couldn’t care less if there were ANY fans AT the game, though they make a nicer backdrop than empty seats and they can show plenty of crowd shots where people look cold and do stupid stuff.

    Your Toronto/Canada argument makes sense too. The NHL and NBC are not going to attract any new fans because of an outdoor game. The gimmick just isn’t interesting for a Canadian market where a lot of their hockey is still played outdoors I believe. Different – much different – scenario in the US market.

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm |

    [quote comment=”368957″]
    the fact that bowls that “no one cares about” score double and triple ratings versus two original six teams playing in wrigley leads me to believe it MAY NEVER gain a toehold[/quote]

    New Year’s Day, for as long as I’ve been on the planet, has always been NCAA Bowl Day. It’s even hyped as much.

    If the NHL is earning a 3.0 share against the Capital One Bowl and the Gator Bowl, their marketing is working. And working well. Especially considering the vast options sports fans have on that day.

    And I’m sure you’re going to lay the smackdown on me for this, but I know you know that Philly is not an Original Six team. Nor have they actually played the game yet. ;o)

  • Geeman | December 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm |

    It’s interesting how other sports are sticking their nose under the tent of college football’s traditional showcase day, New Year’s Day. Not only will there be meaningless basketball games that day, but there will also be meaningless bowl games. The Winter Classic is the most genuine article out there, and I’m not a big hockey fan. You have to love anything outdoors.

    Bowls have lost much of their allure because of the corporitization (the “Capital One” bowl? — come on, please), the proliferation of lesser bowls, and the spreading out of the games. I’m a huge college football fan, but by the time Jan. 7 rolls around I’m not as interested anymore. Just like I wasn’t as interested in the World Series in November and I’m not up for the NBA Final near July 4th.

    For the life of me I don’t know why college football is choking itself to death this way. If not for the Rose Bowl, New Year’s Day might not survive as a traditional college football day.

  • Jet | December 28, 2009 at 2:33 pm |

    [quote comment=”368920″]Folks I need some jersey help and I’m at a loss where to go next.

    I’m looking to get a retro Pens jersey that I can’t find anywhere on the Internet. Specifically, I’m looking for the 75-77 Penguins away jersey that is on display at the Heinz Museum in Pittsburgh:

    http://bayimg.com/im...

    I’ve found the home white, but I want to be different :) I would even be semi-ok with the 77+ navy blue that is displayed on NHL’s website but links into the ether:

    http://www.nhl.com/v...

    Any ideas how I could go about getting this secured? Any help or direction would be much appreciated!
    [/quote]

    Good luck finding the 75-77 version, I’ve never seen anyone selling a replica of it. I actually owned a game-worn ’77 navy blue jersey like the one pictured in your second link… back when I could afford the luxury of game-worns!!

  • Eric | December 28, 2009 at 2:33 pm |

    Is it really a good comparision to compare WC ratings to other sports events or to compare it to other hockey games?

    My questions, I suppose are:
    1.) What percentage of the people who watch the bowl game are going to watch the bowl game just because it is college football?
    2.) What percentage of WC watchers are going to watch it because it it hockey?
    3.) What is the difference between the actual WC viewers and those who fall under #2?
    4.) Short of having every game outdoors, how do you grow the people into #3 into those in #2?
    5.) How do I make this question less convoluted?

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm |

    [quote comment=”368959″][quote comment=”368957″]
    two original six teams playing in wrigley[/quote]

    And I’m sure you’re going to lay the smackdown on me for this, but I know you know that Philly is not an Original Six team. Nor have they actually played the game yet. ;o)[/quote]

    im sorry, wasn’t i clear…wrigley isn’t fenway

    but i know you know that chicago isn’t boston ;o)

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm |

    [quote comment=”368962″]Is it really a good comparision to compare WC ratings to other sports events or to compare it to other hockey games?

    My questions, I suppose are:
    1.) What percentage of the people who watch the bowl game are going to watch the bowl game just because it is college football?
    2.)

    What percentage of WC watchers are going to watch it because it it hockey?
    3.)

    What is the difference between the actual WC viewers and those who fall under #2?
    4.)

    Short of having every game outdoors, how do you grow the people into #3 into those in #2?
    5.)

    How do I make this question less convoluted?[/quote]

    If you’re the NHL, you don’t change a thing. This equation is working for them, and until things start going sour, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 2:38 pm |

    Let’s run a tally.

    Two WC’s played.
    Two teams from Original Six (first game featured none).
    Third game?
    One from Original Six, so still tied, now at 3.
    If WC4 is Caps/Rangers, still tied, now at 4.
    If WC5 is Stars/Wild then back where we started, two expansion teams.

    Like it really matters?

    If the venue’s good, the crowd good, the weather lousy, and something of a history (or star power) to point to…we got us a show.

    —Ricko

  • Eric | December 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm |

    [quote comment=”368957″][quote comment=”368941″]Ho

    You want to make it really interesting? Put up the boards on the Duluth Harbor in February, no stands or anything…you’ll hear the game the way the players do instead of hearing the fans, the music and the extraneous stuff. Could you imagine hearing the chatter between players and refs, players and coaches, players and players? The lower pitched skate sounds that get drowned out in the buzz of the crowd? A slapper ringing off a pipe in the cold, crisp air? THAT’S hockey. Ratings would probably suck, but it would be a completely new experience.[/quote]

    now here, i agree with you 100%

    but you just also stated why that’s a disaster:

    “Ratings would probably suck”

    and that’s why it won’t happen

    [/quote]

    Let me take this onto a whole different direction/tangent.

    With the way that arenas/stadia are being built today with the emphasis on the luxury box and amenity seating, how far are we away from professional sports being a “studio” game? Will there be a time where the stadia has no seats (or just boxes) and is configured solely for pay-per-view television?

    I guess what set me to wondering was seeing, starting in the 90’s, how political conventions were being held in cavernous arenas that were reconfigured to appear studio-like.

  • concealed78 | December 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”368960″]It’s interesting how other sports are sticking their nose under the tent of college football’s traditional showcase day, New Year’s Day. Not only will there be meaningless basketball games that day, but there will also be meaningless bowl games. The Winter Classic is the most genuine article out there, and I’m not a big hockey fan. You have to love anything outdoors.

    Bowls have lost much of their allure because of the corporitization (the “Capital One” bowl? — come on, please), the proliferation of lesser bowls, and the spreading out of the games. I’m a huge college football fan, but by the time Jan. 7 rolls around I’m not as interested anymore. Just like I wasn’t as interested in the World Series in November and I’m not up for the NBA Final near July 4th.

    For the life of me I don’t know why college football is choking itself to death this way. If not for the Rose Bowl, New Year’s Day might not survive as a traditional college football day.[/quote]

    Money. And lots of it. Before today, I never put the Rose Bowl & New Year’s Day in the same category. I’d rather watch an outdoor hockey game or two than a College bowl, this coming from the Chicago market. There’s too many bowls, too many inferior teams & from what I’ve read, schools struggle to break even in the budget for their bowls. It’s become an obscene wasteful blasphemic luxury for better-off’s.

  • mmwatkin | December 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”368960″] If not for the Rose Bowl, New Year’s Day might not survive as a traditional college football day.[/quote]

    No way that happens anytime soon. Fox & ABC/ESPN have a stranglehold on the new Year’s Day coverage. NBC is the only network to have the stones to paddle upstream.

    The NBA poses absolutely no threat unless they get TNT to broadcast a hugely hyped game. The only NBA game on New year’s that is broadcast “nationally” is on NBA TV. College basketball only has one game on ESPN all day (Purdue-West Virginia). It is a good game, but the time it is on puts it up against the Cap One & Rose Bowl.

    The “meaningless” college football bowls are still a better draw than regular season NHL, NBA, and NCAA Basketball games.

  • Eric | December 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm |

    [quote comment=”368964″][quote comment=”368962″]

    If you’re the NHL, you don’t change a thing. This equation is working for them, and until things start going sour, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.[/quote]

    But if you’re the NHL, don’t you want those people who watch for the outdoor novelty to stay for the arena game? Don’t you want them to plop down in front of CenterIce, Versus, etc, and watch an indoor game?

    Or…as I feared, were my questions far too convoluted?

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm |

    [quote comment=”368963″][quote comment=”368959″][quote comment=”368957″]
    two original six teams playing in wrigley[/quote]

    And I’m sure you’re going to lay the smackdown on me for this, but I know you know that Philly is not an Original Six team. Nor have they actually played the game yet. ;o)[/quote]

    im sorry, wasn’t i clear…wrigley isn’t fenway

    but i know you know that chicago isn’t boston ;o)[/quote]

    I was talking about the ratings because that’s how you started. Sorry, man. My bad.

    What I was trying to stress is that the Chicago game was the best Winter Classic yet… out of both of them. PIT-BUF scored a 2.6, while DET-CHI scored a 2.9. It’s not about the teams playing. It’s about the entire event. Chicago and Detroit had huge numbers for the WC last year, as they should.

    What I was saying is that Philly, not being an O-6 team, won’t matter one iota to people who don’t know the history. That will be part of the hype, but the event, in the end, is all that matters. And if people liked last season’s game, they will probably tune in this season even if they have no interest in either team. :D

    Sorry for not being clearer, Phil!

  • Kenny Jacobson | December 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm |

    ESPN.com has an article detailing the differences between Oregon and Ohio State. A couple of paragraphs touched on their uniforms. I think we all might find at least one passage laughable.

    “Ohio State wears gray pants. Its jerseys are either scarlet or white. When they wore throwback uniforms earlier this season, you needed an anthropologist to detect the difference between old and new.

    Oregon’s uniforms mix green, yellow, black and white in so many different combinations that a throwback uniform means 2008. The garish/cool/wild/innovative/jarring gear has helped make Oregon synonymous with Nike. Ohio State shares Columbus with The Limited.”

  • Geeman | December 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”368968″][quote comment=”368960″] If not for the Rose Bowl, New Year’s Day might not survive as a traditional college football day.[/quote]

    No way that happens anytime soon. Fox & ABC/ESPN have a stranglehold on the new Year’s Day coverage. NBC is the only network to have the stones to paddle upstream.

    The NBA poses absolutely no threat unless they get TNT to broadcast a hugely hyped game. The only NBA game on New year’s that is broadcast “nationally” is on NBA TV. College basketball only has one game on ESPN all day (Purdue-West Virginia). It is a good game, but the time it is on puts it up against the Cap One & Rose Bowl.

    The “meaningless” college football bowls are still a better draw than regular season NHL, NBA, and NCAA Basketball games.[/quote]

    And I’ll watch them, for sure. It’s just sad to see how college football has slowly abandoned New Year’s Day. I loved it when eight bowl games were on that day. Have all bowl games end by Jan. 1, except for the BCS championship. And don’t play any basketball that day.

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm |

    [quote comment=”368969″][quote comment=”368964″][quote comment=”368962″]

    If you’re the NHL, you don’t change a thing. This equation is working for them, and until things start going sour, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.[/quote]

    But if you’re the NHL, don’t you want those people who watch for the outdoor novelty to stay for the arena game? Don’t you want them to plop down in front of CenterIce, Versus, etc, and watch an indoor game?

    Or…as I feared, were my questions far too convoluted?[/quote]

    No. It’s not about the arena game, but if you attract a hundred more fans, that’s money through the gate.

    This game is about making a dent on the TV ratings so that they have the upper hand in negotiations with broadcasters. If ESPN suddenly comes to them and says “we want the NBC Sunday afternoon games”, the NHL will ask them to pay up.

    This is all about putting the game on the tube in a market (USA) where it has been rejected for more traditional sports like poker and dog shows.

  • Eric | December 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm |

    [quote comment=”368973″][quote comment=”368969″][quote comment=”368964″][quote comment=”368962″]

    If you’re the NHL, you don’t change a thing. This equation is working for them, and until things start going sour, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.[/quote]

    But if you’re the NHL, don’t you want those people who watch for the outdoor novelty to stay for the arena game? Don’t you want them to plop down in front of CenterIce, Versus, etc, and watch an indoor game?

    Or…as I feared, were my questions far too convoluted?[/quote]

    No. It’s not about the arena game, but if you attract a hundred more fans, that’s money through the gate.

    This game is about making a dent on the TV ratings so that they have the upper hand in negotiations with broadcasters. If ESPN suddenly comes to them and says “we want the NBC Sunday afternoon games”, the NHL will ask them to pay up.

    This is all about putting the game on the tube in a market (USA) where it has been rejected for more traditional sports like poker and dog shows.[/quote]

    Maybe that’s the answer. Have World Series of Poker at center ice between periods…You wouldn’t want to do the dog shows because as well-trained as those dogs are, all it takes is one to cause a section of ice where no one wants to play the puck.

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 2:53 pm |

    [quote comment=”368974″]
    Maybe that’s the answer. Have World Series of Poker at center ice between periods…You wouldn’t want to do the dog shows because as well-trained as those dogs are, all it takes is one to cause a section of ice where no one wants to play the puck.[/quote]

    Or the NHL can continue to build on its success until it plateaus.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • mmwatkin | December 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm |

    [quote comment=”368972″][quote comment=”368968″][quote comment=”368960″] If not for the Rose Bowl, New Year’s Day might not survive as a traditional college football day.[/quote]

    No way that happens anytime soon. Fox & ABC/ESPN have a stranglehold on the new Year’s Day coverage. NBC is the only network to have the stones to paddle upstream.

    The NBA poses absolutely no threat unless they get TNT to broadcast a hugely hyped game. The only NBA game on New year’s that is broadcast “nationally” is on NBA TV. College basketball only has one game on ESPN all day (Purdue-West Virginia). It is a good game, but the time it is on puts it up against the Cap One & Rose Bowl.

    The “meaningless” college football bowls are still a better draw than regular season NHL, NBA, and NCAA Basketball games.[/quote]

    And I’ll watch them, for sure. It’s just sad to see how college football has slowly abandoned New Year’s Day. I loved it when eight bowl games were on that day. Have all bowl games end by Jan. 1, except for the BCS championship. And don’t play any basketball that day.[/quote]

    I get what you are saying. I don’t really think they have abandoned the date as far as premiere games. They still have two BCS games and quite a few good bowls early on. Can’t really blame them for spreading the wealth of games over a week vs. a day.

    IF the NCAA ever felt threatened on January 1st, they would quickly make changes that would thwart any other league’s strategy to gain ground in the ratings. The only league that the bowl system will work around is the NFL (when Sunday falls on Jan. 1), who is king.

    I think it is only a matter of time before the NFL turns Christmas into their new Thanksgiving. We will probably see two games on the date in the near future. The NBA had a good idea, but there is no way they could go head-to-head with the NFL.

  • mmwatkin | December 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm |

    [quote comment=\”368972\”][quote comment=\”368968\”][quote comment=\”368960\”] If not for the Rose Bowl, New Year\’s Day might not survive as a traditional college football day.[/quote]

    No way that happens anytime soon. Fox & ABC/ESPN have a stranglehold on the new Year\’s Day coverage. NBC is the only network to have the stones to paddle upstream.

    The NBA poses absolutely no threat unless they get TNT to broadcast a hugely hyped game. The only NBA game on New year\’s that is broadcast \”nationally\” is on NBA TV. College basketball only has one game on ESPN all day (Purdue-West Virginia). It is a good game, but the time it is on puts it up against the Cap One & Rose Bowl.

    The \”meaningless\” college football bowls are still a better draw than regular season NHL, NBA, and NCAA Basketball games.[/quote]

    And I\’ll watch them, for sure. It\’s just sad to see how college football has slowly abandoned New Year\’s Day. I loved it when eight bowl games were on that day. Have all bowl games end by Jan. 1, except for the BCS championship. And don\’t play any basketball that day.[/quote]

    I get what you are saying. I don’t really think they have abandoned the date as far as premiere games. They still have two BCS games and quite a few good bowls early on. Can’t really blame them for spreading the wealth of games over a week vs. a day.

    IF the NCAA ever felt threatened on January 1st, they would quickly make changes that would thwart any other league’s strategy to gain ground in the ratings. The only league that the bowl system will work around is the NFL (when Sunday falls on Jan. 1), who is king.

    I think it is only a matter of time before the NFL turns Christmas into their new Thanksgiving. We will probably see two games on the date in the near future. The NBA had a good idea, but there is no way they could go head-to-head with the NFL.

  • mmwatkin | December 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm |

    sorry for the re-post. I got the warning message that said my anti-spam word was wrong but it went through anyway.

  • matt in cleveland | December 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm |

    why is the minnesota team still not named the northstars still trying to figure it out when the went to dallas they dropped the north from the name so why not switch back besides the wild is kinda gay and the logo sucks. what about the thought of two wc’s in hockey one where it is now or christmas day and the second saturday before the superbowl or day of the superbowl with the 630 ish kick time it would be a great lead in and draw huge ratings. just wondering?

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm |

    [quote comment=”368973″]This is all about putting the game on the tube in a market (USA) where it has been rejected for more traditional sports like poker and dog shows.[/quote]

    and why is that?

    why would the average american (at least in the eyes of the tv execs) want to watch poker over hockey?

    cuz i can’t for the life of me understand why, but apparently it’s happened

    i’d have to say that the fault lies partly with hockey itself…one of the appeals of hockey to me growing up (aside from having an actual hockey team to root for) was the fact that it was only 21 teams (even less when i was real young) and aside from white at home and no ads on the boards, there were fights…and good ones and lots of them

    add lots of new teams in markets that never heard of hockey before, have lots of shitty teams, and rules changes that won’t allow a tie (cuz, ya know, that would be wrong)…but also won’t allow the one thing that made hockey unique — the fights

    you never hear the phrase, “i went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out” anymore

    i know “hockey purists” will scoff at the notion that fights were what attracted fans, but you know what — i guarantee you they did

    maybe if hockey reverted a bit more to what appealed to me as a youth, that might also appeal to other youth…the ones they’re trying to market to today

    not saying that would save the winter classic, but it might endear a new generation of kids to hockey

    …food for thought

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm |

    LI Phil said…

    “not saying that would save the winter classic”

    Again I ask, on what basis are you claiming the Winter Classic needs saving?

    It doesn’t have to win the day, ratings-wise.
    Hell, it may not even have to win it’s time slot to be successful/profitable.
    Being no. 2 in a time slot can still mean a helluva lot of money.

    I know all I ever said was that if the NCAA continued to de-emphasize New Year’s Day, the WC had the potential to become the biggest predictable TV tradition other than the Rose Bowl that day…in the sense that people know well in advance that they’ll watch at least SOME of it every year. If for no reason other than to see if they’re playing in a freakin’ blizzard…and do a little celebrity-spotting, maybe.

    —Ricko

  • Geeman | December 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm |

    [quote comment=”368980″][quote comment=”368973″]This is all about putting the game on the tube in a market (USA) where it has been rejected for more traditional sports like poker and dog shows.[/quote]

    and why is that?

    why would the average american (at least in the eyes of the tv execs) want to watch poker over hockey?

    cuz i can’t for the life of me understand why, but apparently it’s happened

    i’d have to say that the fault lies partly with hockey itself…one of the appeals of hockey to me growing up (aside from having an actual hockey team to root for) was the fact that it was only 21 teams (even less when i was real young) and aside from white at home and no ads on the boards, there were fights…and good ones and lots of them

    add lots of new teams in markets that never heard of hockey before, have lots of shitty teams, and rules changes that won’t allow a tie (cuz, ya know, that would be wrong)…but also won’t allow the one thing that made hockey unique — the fights

    you never hear the phrase, “i went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out” anymore

    i know “hockey purists” will scoff at the notion that fights were what attracted fans, but you know what — i guarantee you they did

    maybe if hockey reverted a bit more to what appealed to me as a youth, that might also appeal to other youth…the ones they’re trying to market to today

    not saying that would save the winter classic, but it might endear a new generation of kids to hockey

    …food for thought[/quote]

    I’m sure we all have our reasons for liking certain sports, but fights and tie games are not on my lists (though the ties are excusable).

  • M.Princip | December 28, 2009 at 3:30 pm |

    Ok, from what I’ve gathered(my sources), I’ve come up with four possible uniform mocks as to what the Ducks might be wearing this Friday. Phil gave me the idea about the yellow carbon wings. I like it, thus I gave a couple of these concepts golden yellow wings.

    Duck’s Rose Bowl Uni Mock 1

    Duck’s Rose Bowl Uni Mock 2

    Duck’s Rose Bowl Uni Mock 3

    Duck’s Rose Bowl Uni Mock 4

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm |

    [quote comment=”368981″]LI Phil said…

    “not saying that would save the winter classic”

    Again I ask, on what basis are you claiming the Winter Classic needs saving?[/quote]

    just speculation that viewership will drop for this one, and for any subsequent ones, such that it will vanish from NYD…or any day

    maybe you and i differ on what to do to boost ratings, but i think you’d agree, with your expertise in all things media, that if the ratings do slide, and continue to do so, there will likely not be a “year 5 (or 6)” of the WC to propose new venues for

    if the ratings for this one improve over last year, then i’ll deem the whole thing a huge success and STFU

    if they don’t, and i don’t think they will, then my “saving the winter classic” will have merit

    i just don’t think having “spot the guy without the ad patch” contests have any place in this otherwise wonderful event…if it can’t be successful without them, then they may have lost me as a viewer

    as i stated earlier, they may as well return the glo puck, pump in whatever music is really popular, load up the boards with ads (and the ice too), put ads on the players, and have a skillz competition…something that may attract new viewers but something i want no part in watching

    the WC should be great and unique SOLELY as an outdoor event played ONCE a year on NYD with throwbacks with the possibility of a snowstorm

    like hockey used to be

    but i don’t think that sells anymore…and why i think the event may be in need of saving

  • Thomas Clark | December 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm |

    [quote comment=”368980″][quote comment=”368973″]This is all about putting the game on the tube in a market (USA) where it has been rejected for more traditional sports like poker and dog shows.[/quote]

    and why is that?

    why would the average american (at least in the eyes of the tv execs) want to watch poker over hockey?

    cuz i can’t for the life of me understand why, but apparently it’s happened

    i’d have to say that the fault lies partly with hockey itself…one of the appeals of hockey to me growing up (aside from having an actual hockey team to root for) was the fact that it was only 21 teams (even less when i was real young) and aside from white at home and no ads on the boards, there were fights…and good ones and lots of them

    add lots of new teams in markets that never heard of hockey before, have lots of shitty teams, and rules changes that won’t allow a tie (cuz, ya know, that would be wrong)…but also won’t allow the one thing that made hockey unique — the fights

    you never hear the phrase, “i went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out” anymore

    i know “hockey purists” will scoff at the notion that fights were what attracted fans, but you know what — i guarantee you they did

    maybe if hockey reverted a bit more to what appealed to me as a youth, that might also appeal to other youth…the ones they’re trying to market to today

    not saying that would save the winter classic, but it might endear a new generation of kids to hockey

    …food for thought[/quote]

    Here’s some other reasons:

    1) Following the puck. If you aren’t accustomed to doing this it can be very difficult and frustrating due to the speed of the game. A 100mph slapshot that gets deflected is far more difficult to follow than a 100mph fastball that has no interference for 60ft.

    2) Length of Shifts. I think this is a rather large reason for the down side of hockey. You can heavily market Kobe vs Shaq because you know that for 40-45 of the 48 minutes they will be on the floor. And you know when they are on the bench. With the way hockey is played and shifts ranging from 30-90 seconds and players in a 3-4 line rotation your stars are on the ice for roughly 1/3 of the game…this is HUGE. Average fans watch for the Crosbys, Ovechkins, Datsyuks, etc. But the average person could get very frustrated to hear Crosby’s name for 5 seconds then not again for another 4 shifts.

    3) Lack of understanding. What is icing? What is offsides? People don’t watch what they don’t understand. Hockey is only a truly established sport in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. It’s tough to be huge when you’re missing out on 65% of the country’s land area.

    4) Forgive me for this one…it’s always been perceived as a rich, white man’s sport. This is a bad stigma and without ethnic stars (Latino or African-American especially) you’re missing out on another 25% of the population.

    5) I do agree with you Phil, fights did put butts in the seats. Fighting has a place in hockey, but I never want to go back to the goonish hey-days or the slapshot type minor leagues.

  • John V | December 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm |

    [quote comment=”368979″]why is the minnesota team still not named the northstars still trying to figure it out when the went to dallas they dropped the north from the name so why not switch back besides the wild is kinda gay and the logo sucks. what about the thought of two wc’s in hockey one where it is now or christmas day and the second saturday before the superbowl or day of the superbowl with the 630 ish kick time it would be a great lead in and draw huge ratings. just wondering?[/quote]

    Unlike Hartford, when the franchise moved to Dallas, they were allowed to retain the rights and records of the North Stars franchise. The new Minnesota Wild expansion is considered a new hockey club in the same way the Texans are not the Oilers.

    This is why the Wild would not be allowed to wear the North Stars jerseys in a Winter Classic.

    That being said, I predict Wild vs. Avs in Target Field. It makes the most sense given the patterns of the previous three and what they’ve said so far about next year.

  • Bob Loblaw | December 28, 2009 at 3:57 pm |

    [quote comment=”368980″][quote comment=”368973″]This is all about putting the game on the tube in a market (USA) where it has been rejected for more traditional sports like poker and dog shows.[/quote]

    and why is that?

    why would the average american (at least in the eyes of the tv execs) want to watch poker over hockey?

    cuz i can’t for the life of me understand why, but apparently it’s happened

    i’d have to say that the fault lies partly with hockey itself…one of the appeals of hockey to me growing up (aside from having an actual hockey team to root for) was the fact that it was only 21 teams (even less when i was real young) and aside from white at home and no ads on the boards, there were fights…and good ones and lots of them

    add lots of new teams in markets that never heard of hockey before, have lots of shitty teams, and rules changes that won’t allow a tie (cuz, ya know, that would be wrong)…but also won’t allow the one thing that made hockey unique — the fights

    you never hear the phrase, “i went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out” anymore

    i know “hockey purists” will scoff at the notion that fights were what attracted fans, but you know what — i guarantee you they did

    maybe if hockey reverted a bit more to what appealed to me as a youth, that might also appeal to other youth…the ones they’re trying to market to today

    not saying that would save the winter classic, but it might endear a new generation of kids to hockey

    …food for thought[/quote]
    excellent points, Teebz.

    I say remove the ad off the boards, the multi coloured, funky goalie masks/pads, remove a ref off the ice so some stuff goes unseen and more importantly: bring back the likes of
    Stan Jonathan
    Wayne Cashman
    Clark Gillies
    Dave Schultz
    Dave Sementco (misp?)
    Phil Roberto
    Battleship Kelly
    Gary Dornhoffer

    Heck, we can just turn back the clock to 1973.

    :)

  • Cort | December 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm |

    [quote comment=”368932″]I would love to see photos of any of the caps any of you guys have from the Cooperstown Cap Co. All I have seen were the mock ups on their website. Thanks.[/quote]
    I own one CBC cap. I’d looked at the drawings for years, and admired the range of caps they offered. I coveted about fifty of them, but at close to $50 a pop, it was tough to justify the purchase. The one I finally bought was a late Ted Williams era Red Sox cap. It came in timely fashion, but was a HUGE disappointment. The logo embroidery was sloppy, with big, uneven gaps between the scarlet and the white stitching. The crown of the cap featured a weird forehead bulge, like it had been made for a beluga whale, or a kid suffering from encephalitis. It kind of looks like an old timey railroad engineer’s hat, with baseball-style brim. I’ve never worn the cap in public; it’s that bad. I keep it in my office at work, as a reminder that there are lots of stupid ways to blow fifty bucks.

    On the other hand, I have never, ever, ever been disappointed in anything I’ve purchased at Ebbets Field Flannels. Outstanding jerseys, great, durable t-shirts, and the best caps I’ve ever owned: I can’t say enough good about those guys.

  • Chuck | December 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    Question about those NFL knit caps with the team logos: It seems as if the QB’s are always wearing them on the sidelines during games or during game day interviews. is this some sort of advertising deal or is it just a coincidence?

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm |

    [quote comment=”368980″][quote comment=”368973″]This is all about putting the game on the tube in a market (USA) where it has been rejected for more traditional sports like poker and dog shows.[/quote]

    and why is that?

    why would the average american (at least in the eyes of the tv execs) want to watch poker over hockey?

    cuz i can’t for the life of me understand why, but apparently it’s happened

    i’d have to say that the fault lies partly with hockey itself…one of the appeals of hockey to me growing up (aside from having an actual hockey team to root for) was the fact that it was only 21 teams (even less when i was real young) and aside from white at home and no ads on the boards, there were fights…and good ones and lots of them

    add lots of new teams in markets that never heard of hockey before, have lots of shitty teams, and rules changes that won’t allow a tie (cuz, ya know, that would be wrong)…but also won’t allow the one thing that made hockey unique — the fights

    you never hear the phrase, “i went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out” anymore

    i know “hockey purists” will scoff at the notion that fights were what attracted fans, but you know what — i guarantee you they did

    maybe if hockey reverted a bit more to what appealed to me as a youth, that might also appeal to other youth…the ones they’re trying to market to today

    not saying that would save the winter classic, but it might endear a new generation of kids to hockey

    …food for thought[/quote]

    Again, I don’t speak for the average American, but the fights are what keeps me away from hockey. I appreciate a good hard check, but the fights bore me.

    I want scoring. Now there I think I speak for most of America.

    Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate good goaltending and would watch a 1-0 game if it’s played well. In fact, one of my favorite soccer games was the 0-0 World Cup game between Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago. Great saves in that game.

    Anyway, my point is, if you make the NHL into a hybrid of the All Star Game and the Olympics, you’d get more viewers. Yes, you’d turn off some purists, but when they die, so might the sport (in America, that is).

    I don’t mind expansion or ads on the boards, but I don’t like bad unis or goons on the ice. Just give me something fun that’s easy on the eyes and a lot more Yanks like me will watch. In my opinion.

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm |

    http://farm5.static....

    Love this program cover from Andy.

  • mmwatkin | December 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm |

    [quote comment=”368990″]

    Again, I don’t speak for the average American, but the fights are what keeps me away from hockey. I appreciate a good hard check, but the fights bore me.

    I want scoring. Now there I think I speak for most of America.

    Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate good goaltending and would watch a 1-0 game if it’s played well. In fact, one of my favorite soccer games was the 0-0 World Cup game between Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago. Great saves in that game.

    Anyway, my point is, if you make the NHL into a hybrid of the All Star Game and the Olympics, you’d get more viewers. Yes, you’d turn off some purists, but when they die, so might the sport (in America, that is).

    I don’t mind expansion or ads on the boards, but I don’t like bad unis or goons on the ice. Just give me something fun that’s easy on the eyes and a lot more Yanks like me will watch. In my opinion.[/quote]

    I look at hockey fights like I do bench clearing “brawls” in baseball. Very few have any real fighting going on. It is usually just a dance that is done in situations where fighting is expected in the sport (bean ball war, dirty check, ect.)

    I could do without it, but I understand, like NASCAR crashes, there are some people that just crave dumb crap like that. Whatever.

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”368991″]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4038/4212258684_0dfa14d95c.jpg

    Love this program cover from Andy.[/quote]

    That makes two of us.
    http://www.uniwatchb...

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”368875″][quote comment=”368870″]Hey Phil, where are the answers to yesterdays quiz?[/quote]

    ricko posted them in the comments[/quote]

    That was fun. I only got a couple right. I knew most of the unis and had seen maybe 90% of the movies listed.

  • Oakville Endive | December 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm |

    The winter classic drives home one message – that the NFL learned a long time ago – atmosphere counts!!!. Playing hockey – what has a strong association with winter – in a winter environment – is a rare stroke of genius – now if the NHL can ever clue in and realize another lesson from the NFL – that less is more – and shorten their season to 60 games – and be finished by mid May – they would have a chance to make a small incremental growth step.

    When even NHL insiders refer to certain fights – as “staged fights” you know how silly it is to have more fighting. I’m not against legitimate players having a real fight – but when goons A and B are on the ice – for their only shift – start a fight – it’s a joke.

    Finally the reason why the US doesn’t embrace hockey is – well they’re not Canadians , and the reason we don’t flog to watch a Buffalo Bills game – well were not American. i.e it is what it is, the NHL can only hope for slow growth – which to be honest I think they’ve generally achieved.

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm |

    [quote comment=”368995″]The winter classic drives home one message – that the NFL learned a long time ago – atmosphere counts!!!. Playing hockey – what has a strong association with winter – in a winter environment – is a rare stroke of genius – now if the NHL can ever clue in and realize another lesson from the NFL – that less is more – and shorten their season to 60 games – and be finished by mid May – they would have a chance to make a small incremental growth step.

    When even NHL insiders refer to certain fights – as “staged fights” you know how silly it is to have more fighting. I’m not against legitimate players having a real fight – but when goons A and B are on the ice – for their only shift – start a fight – it’s a joke.

    Finally the reason why the US doesn’t embrace hockey is – well they’re not Canadians , and the reason we don’t flog to watch a Buffalo Bills game – well were not American. i.e it is what it is, the NHL can only hope for slow growth – which to be honest I think they’ve generally achieved.[/quote]

    I agree with most of this, except I’m not a Canadian and I love the curling and the CFL. In fact, if I was forced to make a choice between the two, I’d take the CFL over the NFL in a heartbeat. Maybe I’ve had too much Tim Horton’s coffee or something…

  • gueman | December 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm |

    When I played rugby back in the early 90’s you would come across teams using letters and once we played a team that used Roman Numerals. In rugby the players are numbered according to their position from 1 to 15 with substitutes 16-20. I thought both looked very cool.

  • Teebz | December 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm |

    [quote comment=”368987″]
    excellent points, Teebz.[/quote]

    I’d like to take credit, but that was all Phil that you quoted. :o)

  • concealed78 | December 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm |

    [quote comment=”368988″][quote comment=”368932″]I would love to see photos of any of the caps any of you guys have from the Cooperstown Cap Co. All I have seen were the mock ups on their website. Thanks.[/quote]
    I own one CBC cap. I’d looked at the drawings for years, and admired the range of caps they offered. I coveted about fifty of them, but at close to $50 a pop, it was tough to justify the purchase. The one I finally bought was a late Ted Williams era Red Sox cap. It came in timely fashion, but was a HUGE disappointment. The logo embroidery was sloppy, with big, uneven gaps between the scarlet and the white stitching. The crown of the cap featured a weird forehead bulge, like it had been made for a beluga whale, or a kid suffering from encephalitis. It kind of looks like an old timey railroad engineer’s hat, with baseball-style brim. I’ve never worn the cap in public; it’s that bad. I keep it in my office at work, as a reminder that there are lots of stupid ways to blow fifty bucks. [/quote]

    Gee Cort, this sounds like something I read on a particular old board! :P Back in the late 1990s before the retro craze hit full-stride, I made the mistake of ordering a modern cap ’83 home White Sox cap from CCC. The white front panel was tan, the logo was wrong, too thin & off-centered crooked by a 45 degree angle, and the cap was at least 2 sizes too big & extremely flimsy. I promptly mailed it back for a refund.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm |

    [quote comment=”368990″]I don’t speak for the average American[/quote]

    there’s a shock

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm |

    As for hockey talk. I have said that in person after college football that hockey is the most fun to attend. I have not been to a lot of hockey games, but they are a blast. Sadly I never even learned to ice skate. So I marvel at the talent and speed in which the guys play. The colors of hockey uniforms are sweet. When you watch a game in person you get a better feel of how often they have to make the shift changes. Plus the sound of puck hitting stick stood out to me.

    Now I may have missed it but wasnt there a tie in with the North Stars or one of the new late 1960’s hockey teams to an old Cleveland AHL team? Crusaders. Off the top of my head I am forgetting the story or even if I am making sense about it.

  • David | December 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm |

    [quote comment=”368999″][quote comment=”368988″][quote comment=”368932″]I would love to see photos of any of the caps any of you guys have from the Cooperstown Cap Co. All I have seen were the mock ups on their website. Thanks.[/quote]
    I own one CBC cap. I’d looked at the drawings for years, and admired the range of caps they offered. I coveted about fifty of them, but at close to $50 a pop, it was tough to justify the purchase. The one I finally bought was a late Ted Williams era Red Sox cap. It came in timely fashion, but was a HUGE disappointment. The logo embroidery was sloppy, with big, uneven gaps between the scarlet and the white stitching. The crown of the cap featured a weird forehead bulge, like it had been made for a beluga whale, or a kid suffering from encephalitis. It kind of looks like an old timey railroad engineer’s hat, with baseball-style brim. I’ve never worn the cap in public; it’s that bad. I keep it in my office at work, as a reminder that there are lots of stupid ways to blow fifty bucks. [/quote]

    Gee Cort, this sounds like something I read on a particular old board! :P Back in the late 1990s before the retro craze hit full-stride, I made the mistake of ordering a modern cap ’83 home White Sox cap from CCC. The white front panel was tan, the logo was wrong, too thin & off-centered crooked by a 45 degree angle, and the cap was at least 2 sizes too big & extremely flimsy. I promptly mailed it back for a refund.[/quote]

    Sorry to hear about those experiences. I own two Cooperstown Caps – an early Baltimore Orioles and en even earlier Baltimore Terrapins – and I absolutely love and treasure both of them. The Orioles cap was the wrong style and size at first, but it was immediately corrected.

    I am really disappointed the company couldn’t make it – I was actually planning to purchase another one or two in 2010. I guess I’ll look to Ebbets Field Flannels now … ?

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |

    My guide shows Columbus and Detroit on Versus. I sure hope they are on in my area. I rarely get to see the Blue Jackets since my area of Ohio is in the Penguins area for Time Warner and blackouts.

    I do not like the rules for blackouts or coverage.
    Sucks.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |

    [quote comment=”368994″][quote comment=”368875″][quote comment=”368870″]Hey Phil, where are the answers to yesterdays quiz?[/quote]

    ricko posted them in the comments[/quote]

    That was fun. I only got a couple right. I knew most of the unis and had seen maybe 90% of the movies listed.[/quote]

    I think next time we’ll just post keyhole photos of the unis and say, “Name the Movie.”

    It’s supposed to fun, not a midterm you forgot to study for.

    —Ricko

  • Kenny Jacobson | December 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm |

    How good does Georgia/Texas A&M look?

  • M.Princip | December 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm |

    [quote comment=”368998″][quote comment=”368987″]
    excellent points, Teebz.[/quote]

    I’d like to take credit, but that was all Phil that you quoted. :o)[/quote]

    Bob Loblaw?!?! Holy crap, I just saw you on TV a.k.a. Chachi. ;o)

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm |

    [quote comment=”369000″][quote comment=”368990″]I don’t speak for the average American[/quote]

    there’s a shock[/quote]

    When you come right down to it, most of us here don’t even talk LIKE an average American.

    —Ricko

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm |

    Interesting comments about News Years day bowls and now all the bowls and events during and after. Why are there so many bowls after New Years?

    I am one of the older ones here who remembers that there were only a handful of bowls. And all or most were on Jan, 1st. Blue Gray game I think was on Christmas.

    Ok so then they put the so called National Championship a few days later. Now it is a week later. And other bowls I can not even keep track of.

    All of this bugs me when you hear the excuses for not having an on the field playoff. You know playoffs just like every other level of football has.

    Years ago the regular seasons were 10 games. Some had 9. Now we have 34-35 bowl games with 6-6 teams in them.

    Grrrr.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm |

    [quote comment=”369002″][quote comment=”368999″][quote comment=”368988″][quote comment=”368932″]I would love to see photos of any of the caps any of you guys have from the Cooperstown Cap Co. All I have seen were the mock ups on their website. Thanks.[/quote]
    I own one CBC cap. I’d looked at the drawings for years, and admired the range of caps they offered. I coveted about fifty of them, but at close to $50 a pop, it was tough to justify the purchase. The one I finally bought was a late Ted Williams era Red Sox cap. It came in timely fashion, but was a HUGE disappointment. The logo embroidery was sloppy, with big, uneven gaps between the scarlet and the white stitching. The crown of the cap featured a weird forehead bulge, like it had been made for a beluga whale, or a kid suffering from encephalitis. It kind of looks like an old timey railroad engineer’s hat, with baseball-style brim. I’ve never worn the cap in public; it’s that bad. I keep it in my office at work, as a reminder that there are lots of stupid ways to blow fifty bucks. [/quote]

    Gee Cort, this sounds like something I read on a particular old board! :P Back in the late 1990s before the retro craze hit full-stride, I made the mistake of ordering a modern cap ’83 home White Sox cap from CCC. The white front panel was tan, the logo was wrong, too thin & off-centered crooked by a 45 degree angle, and the cap was at least 2 sizes too big & extremely flimsy. I promptly mailed it back for a refund.[/quote]

    Sorry to hear about those experiences. I own two Cooperstown Caps – an early Baltimore Orioles and en even earlier Baltimore Terrapins – and I absolutely love and treasure both of them. The Orioles cap was the wrong style and size at first, but it was immediately corrected.

    I am really disappointed the company couldn’t make it – I was actually planning to purchase another one or two in 2010. I guess I’ll look to Ebbets Field Flannels now … ?[/quote]

    Also check Cooperstown Collection (banner at at top right of page). His selection isn’t as vast as Cooperstown Ballcap, I’ve bought several hats from them, and never had any problems.

    —Ricko

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 5:51 pm |

    [quote comment=”369001″]As for hockey talk. I have said that in person after college football that hockey is the most fun to attend. I have not been to a lot of hockey games, but they are a blast. Sadly I never even learned to ice skate. So I marvel at the talent and speed in which the guys play. The colors of hockey uniforms are sweet. When you watch a game in person you get a better feel of how often they have to make the shift changes. Plus the sound of puck hitting stick stood out to me.

    Now I may have missed it but wasnt there a tie in with the North Stars or one of the new late 1960’s hockey teams to an old Cleveland AHL team? Crusaders. Off the top of my head I am forgetting the story or even if I am making sense about it.[/quote]

    Golden Seals became Cleveland Barons, who folded and sort of merged into the North Stars when the Gund brothers, who owned the Barons, took over the North Stars. They, of course, sold that club to Norm Green and then became owners of the San Jose Sharks.

    I think.

    Teebz? Anybody?

    —Ricko

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 5:52 pm |

    Not that anybody may see this or know the answer.

    Last night during football and I watched more of the Clemson game. Hardly any of the Cowboys.

    Anyhow I put on the Wizard of Oz for a while. A few years ago some college team was doing the wicked witch soldiers or guards them. I have no idea how to spell it. You know when the soldiers/guards were marching and chanting that chant. O ee O

    Was it Virginia Tech or some ACC team?

    And to make this uni related. My brother said the flying monkeys and guards uniforms sorta resembled the Nike Ohio State uniform for the Michigan game. The pants color scheme that is.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm |

    [quote comment=”369008″]Interesting comments about News Years day bowls and now all the bowls and events during and after. Why are there so many bowls after New Years?

    I am one of the older ones here who remembers that there were only a handful of bowls. And all or most were on Jan, 1st. Blue Gray game I think was on Christmas.

    Ok so then they put the so called National Championship a few days later. Now it is a week later. And other bowls I can not even keep track of.

    All of this bugs me when you hear the excuses for not having an on the field playoff. You know playoffs just like every other level of football has.

    Years ago the regular seasons were 10 games. Some had 9. Now we have 34-35 bowl games with 6-6 teams in them.

    Grrrr.[/quote]

    agreed larry, but you don’t want a conference championship game, right?

    so how can you be for playoffs then?

    or would you rather end the regular season earlier, not have a conference championship, and then just start having playoffs for the month of december and ending on january 1st-ish?

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm |

    [quote comment=”369008″]Interesting comments about News Years day bowls and now all the bowls and events during and after. Why are there so many bowls after New Years?

    I am one of the older ones here who remembers that there were only a handful of bowls. And all or most were on Jan, 1st. Blue Gray game I think was on Christmas.

    Ok so then they put the so called National Championship a few days later. Now it is a week later. And other bowls I can not even keep track of.

    All of this bugs me when you hear the excuses for not having an on the field playoff. You know playoffs just like every other level of football has.

    Years ago the regular seasons were 10 games. Some had 9. Now we have 34-35 bowl games with 6-6 teams in them.

    Grrrr.[/quote]

    One of the things about the current bowl system, in terms of recruiting, alumni travel and subsequent contributions (to all departments at the school), etc., is that 34 teams now end the season with a win.

    Right or wrong, AD’s and college presidents put a tremendous amount of value on that.

    In an eight-team playoff, say, seven of top eight teams in the country would end the season with a loss, and two of them will have three additional neutral site games. Tough for alums, students, fans, et al, to decide which to travel to, and how much they can afford. Do they go to the first round and then sit home while their team goes on to win the national title? Do they plan on going to the title game and end up going nowhere?

    Not quite as simple as just saying, “Change it.”

    —Ricko

  • Mike Sanderson | December 28, 2009 at 6:00 pm |

    Hockey pants still have tie ups.

    http://i2.cdn.turner...

    My hockey pants do as well. It’s still standard. Some players (like Ovechkin above) replace the lace used with a skate lace.

  • John V | December 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm |

    [quote comment=”368936″]

    Hey John-

    Saw your post on The Pensblog as well…not sure about your primary choice. I feel like I’ve seen those for sale somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can remember where.

    Definitely seen the 77-78 , live and in person…a fella I know has one. Mitchell and Ness made them a few years back. Not sure if they’re still in production, but a quick google search using “penguins jersey mitchell ness” turned up one on eBay. It’s the standard one with Dave Schultz’s No. 8.

    You might contact David Frost about making a custom version of the 75-76…I’ve seen his work firsthand, and it’s top notch. If nothing else, he could probably change the Schultz into a Malone or Kehoe, either of which would absolutely be the cat’s pajamas.[/quote]

    Rob,

    You are a gentleman and a scholar! Thanks for the lead!

    John

  • Oakville Endive | December 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm |

    [quote comment=”369012″][quote comment=”369008″]Interesting comments about News Years day bowls and now all the bowls and events during and after. Why are there so many bowls after New Years?

    I am one of the older ones here who remembers that there were only a handful of bowls. And all or most were on Jan, 1st. Blue Gray game I think was on Christmas.

    Ok so then they put the so called National Championship a few days later. Now it is a week later. And other bowls I can not even keep track of.

    All of this bugs me when you hear the excuses for not having an on the field playoff. You know playoffs just like every other level of football has.

    Years ago the regular seasons were 10 games. Some had 9. Now we have 34-35 bowl games with 6-6 teams in them.

    Grrrr.[/quote]

    agreed larry, but you don’t want a conference championship game, right?

    so how can you be for playoffs then?

    or would you rather end the regular season earlier, not have a conference championship, and then just start having playoffs for the month of december and ending on january 1st-ish?[/quote]

    There is sort of a play-off system with the Bowl games – but instead of 64 (65) teams being invited, only two teams get invited – which effectively renders all other bowl games meaningless – and the selection process overly important – i.e. NCAA football has adopted the worst possible system. They would be far better off going to the old bowl system – that often made several games very meaningful, or adopt a wider play-off system than a mere 2 teams.

  • SKC Observer | December 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm |

    A quick football note: The Kansas City Chiefs came out in all white for the first time in several years.
    http://www.kansascit...

    Maybe the New Orleans Saints need to ditch the all black look, now that they have lost two games attired in black pants?

    The University of Missouri needs to go back to real yellow, not that “gold” (it really has a greenish brownish tone to it!) on their basketball unis!

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 6:06 pm |

    [quote comment=”369012″][quote comment=”369008″]Interesting comments about News Years day bowls and now all the bowls and events during and after. Why are there so many bowls after New Years?

    I am one of the older ones here who remembers that there were only a handful of bowls. And all or most were on Jan, 1st. Blue Gray game I think was on Christmas.

    Ok so then they put the so called National Championship a few days later. Now it is a week later. And other bowls I can not even keep track of.

    All of this bugs me when you hear the excuses for not having an on the field playoff. You know playoffs just like every other level of football has.

    Years ago the regular seasons were 10 games. Some had 9. Now we have 34-35 bowl games with 6-6 teams in them.

    Grrrr.[/quote]

    agreed larry, but you don’t want a conference championship game, right?

    so how can you be for playoffs then?

    or would you rather end the regular season earlier, not have a conference championship, and then just start having playoffs for the month of december and ending on january 1st-ish?[/quote]

    Aha you remember me hating the conference championships. I do think those are stupid and only used to make money. Not to really determine a conference champion.

    Like last year when Buffalo was 5-3 and beat Ball State 8-0 in an upset. Buffalo could not even beat Kent State in conference. and the Big 12 s always lopsided when it comes to the CCG. I wish they got rid of those and had the playoff instead.

    College presidents have no problems with the added game for the CCG since it makes money for the conference. Yet you hear 99% of presidents say they are opposed to playoffs. Many of them give lame excuse of too many games for the poor student athletes.

    Like you said cut the CCG and run playoffs during December.

    AND they can still have bowls for teams not making the playoffs. Too bad it will never happen in my lifetime.

    New Years day used to mean the end of college football for the season. Not any more.

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 6:08 pm |

    [quote comment=”369010″][quote comment=”369001″]As for hockey talk. I have said that in person after college football that hockey is the most fun to attend. I have not been to a lot of hockey games, but they are a blast. Sadly I never even learned to ice skate. So I marvel at the talent and speed in which the guys play. The colors of hockey uniforms are sweet. When you watch a game in person you get a better feel of how often they have to make the shift changes. Plus the sound of puck hitting stick stood out to me.

    Now I may have missed it but wasnt there a tie in with the North Stars or one of the new late 1960’s hockey teams to an old Cleveland AHL team? Crusaders. Off the top of my head I am forgetting the story or even if I am making sense about it.[/quote]

    Golden Seals became Cleveland Barons, who folded and sort of merged into the North Stars when the Gund brothers, who owned the Barons, took over the North Stars. They, of course, sold that club to Norm Green and then became owners of the San Jose Sharks.

    I think.

    Teebz? Anybody?

    —Ricko[/quote]

    That was it Ricko. I knew the story but was drawing blanks today trying to figure it out. I thought it was something along those lines.

    Thanks for the reminders and info.

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm |

    The Cleveland to North Star tie in was a tad confusing

  • Mary | December 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm |

    For $12, I had to have it.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/...

    I realize the Angels ones are easier to come by (I wonder why that is), but it will go quite well in our Halo-room at the house.

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm |

    http://media.naplesn...

    Ohio State pants

    http://sisterrose.fi...

    Flying monkey uni

  • M.Princip | December 28, 2009 at 6:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”369022″]http://media.naplesnews.com/media/img/photos/2009/11/21/OhioStMichiganFootball_2_t607.jpg

    Ohio State pants

    http://sisterrose.fi...

    Flying monkey uni[/quote]

    They should have worn this helmet, with those pants: http://www.helmethut...

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm |

    [quote comment=”369023″][quote comment=”369022″]http://media.naplesnews.com/media/img/photos/2009/11/21/OhioStMichiganFootball_2_t607.jpg

    Ohio State pants

    http://sisterrose.fi...

    Flying monkey uni[/quote]

    They should have worn this helmet, with those pants: http://www.helmethut...

    Assuming they should have worn those pants.

    —Ricko

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”369023″][quote comment=”369022″]http://media.naplesnews.com/media/img/photos/2009/11/21/OhioStMichiganFootball_2_t607.jpg

    Ohio State pants

    http://sisterrose.fi...

    Oh I agree a gray one would have looked better and as Ricko said assuming they should have worn those pants.

    The flying monkey pic color scheme looked more like the pants on TV last night.

    The flying monkey uni was sort of scarlet and gray.

    Flying monkey uni[/quote]

    They should have worn this helmet, with those pants: http://www.helmethut...

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 6:48 pm |

    Well. Are we all ready to see which is worse, the horrible altercation twixt QB and Coach that ripped at the very fabric of Vikings, rending and tearing it in a manner never ever before seen in the NFL (eyeroll)…

    …or whether the great Navy Blue Hole continues to suck Chicago Bears QBs, no matter what credentials they carry upon arrival, into its all-consuming vortex of incompetence and loserness?

    Or maybe just whether Favre can win in the outdoor cold of December?

    —Ricko

  • Jerry | December 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm |

    [quote comment=”368883″]The site of next year’s winter classic may be dependant on the television ratings of this year’s classic. If they are off from last year’s , I suspect the NHL will want to play the NY card, if they are robust, it may embolden the NHL to be more adventurous, i.e. Minnesota has a chance, maybe a Chicago at Minnesota (it’s all about ensuring good ratings – so not sure there’s an issue having Chicago in the 2nd winter classic.[/quote]

    If the NHL follows suit with the previous Winter Classic’s, next years game will not be in the Eastern Time Zone, and it won’t be in Canada.

    It’s called American TV ratings, and Canadians eyes don’t count toward American TV ratings.

    My possibilities would include:

    New Jersey (former Colordo Rockies) at Colorado(at Coors Field)Does Brouder have any of Roy’s records left to break?

    Dallas at Minnesota (at Target Field)

    Who else is left that doesn’t play in a warm climate or Canada?

  • Lucas | December 28, 2009 at 7:10 pm |

    Looks like NikeBlog.com has photoshops of the Oregon uniforms for the Rose Bowl, including one with a Rose Bowl patch. Kind of digging them actually, looks simple and clean. NikeBlog.com Link.

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 7:24 pm |

    [quote comment=”369017″]A quick football note: The Kansas City Chiefs came out in all white for the first time in several years.
    http://www.kansascit...

    Maybe the New Orleans Saints need to ditch the all black look, now that they have lost two games attired in black pants?

    The University of Missouri needs to go back to real yellow, not that “gold” (it really has a greenish brownish tone to it!) on their basketball unis![/quote]

    Mizzou has always worn old gold on the football field – not sure why they seemed to gravitate toward yellow in hoops. Wake Forest has also floated between old gold and yellow in their hoops unis.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm |

    [quote comment=”369013″]In an eight-team playoff, say, seven of top eight teams in the country would end the season with a loss, and two of them will have three additional neutral site games.

    Not quite as simple as just saying, “Change it.”[/quote]

    just out of curiosity…why would the playoff games HAVE to be “neutral site” games?

    if you established a playoff system, you could have 16 teams, the top 8 of which would have home games (as a reward for, ya know, finishing in the top 8)…keep that going until you have a final four (so two weeks of home site games)

    you have two games played at neutral sites (1-4 and 2-3 — or however those shake out), with the winners meeting in a BCS game and the losers either playing off or not, also at a neutral site…and you could have the final four play at two different sites (one in the eastern half of the country, one in the western half)…final game at one of the BCS sites (or mix that all up)

    not saying this would really work either, as you screw up all the “traditional” bowls, but if you wanted to make it just the top 8 teams, four of which get a home game, then the big three (semis and final) at traditional bowl sites, the $$$ generated would make up for not seeing the ‘usual’ teams

    and we’d get a true (or as true as could be) #1 then

    not saying i particularly like this idea, but if you have playoffs, you’d need to give some teams home games as a reward for better records/play/strength of schedule

    32 bowls (or whatever it is) with 16 winners sounds great, but really, if you’re 7-5 and you win the gatorade sponsored by nike bowl, does anyone really care? sure, the alumni might, but that’s about it…may as well have an “everyone who plays FBS gets a ribbon” bowl then

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm |

    [quote comment=”369005″]How good does Georgia/Texas A&M look?[/quote]
    Damn good.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm |

    [quote comment=”369030″][quote comment=”369013″]In an eight-team playoff, say, seven of top eight teams in the country would end the season with a loss, and two of them will have three additional neutral site games.

    Not quite as simple as just saying, “Change it.”[/quote]

    just out of curiosity…why would the playoff games HAVE to be “neutral site” games?

    if you established a playoff system, you could have 16 teams, the top 8 of which would have home games (as a reward for, ya know, finishing in the top 8)…keep that going until you have a final four (so two weeks of home site games)

    you have two games played at neutral sites (1-4 and 2-3 — or however those shake out), with the winners meeting in a BCS game and the losers either playing off or not, also at a neutral site…and you could have the final four play at two different sites (one in the eastern half of the country, one in the western half)…final game at one of the BCS sites (or mix that all up)

    not saying this would really work either, as you screw up all the “traditional” bowls, but if you wanted to make it just the top 8 teams, four of which get a home game, then the big three (semis and final) at traditional bowl sites, the $$$ generated would make up for not seeing the ‘usual’ teams

    and we’d get a true (or as true as could be) #1 then

    not saying i particularly like this idea, but if you have playoffs, you’d need to give some teams home games as a reward for better records/play/strength of schedule

    32 bowls (or whatever it is) with 16 winners sounds great, but really, if you’re 7-5 and you win the gatorade sponsored by nike bowl, does anyone really care? sure, the alumni might, but that’s about it…may as well have an “everyone who plays FBS gets a ribbon” bowl then[/quote]

    I was assuming, as most have supposed, that somehow the Bowls would be incorporated into the playoff system.

    Certainly can’t take the top 16 (or even 8) teams out of the bowl picture. Might as well just stop playing them.

    The alumni/student travel thing is a HUGE issue, make no mistake about it. College football, believe it or not, truly doesn’t exist solely to provide the best possible viewing for the TV audience.

    Yeah, it’s about money. But it that’s really ALL it were about, we’d have had a playoff a decade (or more) ago.

    Some kind of “Sweet 16” pretty much destroys the bowl system (if those games aren’t part of it), and it certainly relegates to surviving bowls to relative nothingness.

    Using the basketball template: There was a time when the NIT was huge, really huge. But as the Big Dance got bigger and bigger…the NIT had no choice but to limp off into relative insignificance.

    Devaluing the Insight Bowl, for example, may not cost Minnesota football money (in terms of what it might share from a playoff) but knocking down the year-end warm-weather junket to some lame little trip to a bowl that’s pooh-poohed could really cause “proud alumni” contributions to dip.

    Not saying would, saying it could. And that’s a development AD’s and presidents/chancellors worry about. A lot. And they hold a pisspotful of clout in this whole thing.

    —Ricko

  • M.Princip | December 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm |

    From another very reliable source, I’m finding that this uni ensemble will be worn by the Ducks this Friday. I have to say, I love it because I am a big fan of the white ‘stormtrooper’ helmet. However, they’ve been practicing with the dark flat green helmets? Think I’m going to post my speculation mocks on the Ducktracker tomorrow.

    Duck’s Rose Bowl Uni Mock 5

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 8:03 pm |

    One more point of view on the bowl/playoff thing.

    With a Sweet 16 you end up, over the years, changing the definiton of a “successful” program.

    As it is now, coaches, AD’s and presidents of programs that consistently win 7 or 8 games can tell recruits and alumni, “We go to a bowl game every year.”

    After a decade or so of playoffs, that changes to…
    “How many times you made the Sweet 16?”
    “Well, um…none. But we go to a bowl game every year.”
    “Big whoop.”

    That’s what terrifies the majority of schools.

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 8:08 pm |

    good points rick…i certainly wasn’t suggesting my way was the only way

    but look at is this way then…there are four BCS bowls…(not counting the championship)

    if THREE of them, on a rotating basis, got to host a semi-final and final in any given year, that might take some of the sting out of ‘losing’ the traditional teams

    hell, some of these bowls don’t have ‘traditional’ teams playing in them anyhow, since they get to pick and choose, for the most part … i think only the rose ALWAYS takes pac-10 vs big-10…pretty sure the rest only have “one” gimme pick … so you get very untraditional matchups in 3 of the four games anyway

    let the playoffs begin early, the ‘early’ bowls can pick the bottomfeeders (like minnesota) and the bigger ones can take the “early” playoff losers

    just start the playoffs the first week of december…by the second week, you’d have everyone in a bowl…leaving the week just before christmas and new years to play the lesser bowls and then new year’s day play the semis and a week later play the finals

    not saying this is the answer, but it is one possibility

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm |

    Absolutely. A four-team thing probably is viable. But they have to be certain, out of respect for schools even as large as, say, Illinois or Mississippi State (as examples of schools that might only occasionally have seasons at that level) that they don’t let the playoff become so huge…in terms of media attention, etc…. that it swallows everything else. That would be disatrous for all of NCAA football, at every level.

    Basketball can handle a “Big Dance”. It’s easier for a small school to reach the heights. Not so in football.

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm |

    [quote comment=”369036″]Basketball can handle a “Big Dance”. It’s easier for a small school to reach the heights.[/quote]

    they can also play 64 games over a two week (three weekend) span

    football requires at least a week between games

    that’s the biggest hurdle

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm |

    [quote comment=”369037″][quote comment=”369036″]Basketball can handle a “Big Dance”. It’s easier for a small school to reach the heights.[/quote]

    they can also play 64 games over a two week (three weekend) span

    football requires at least a week between games

    that’s the biggest hurdle[/quote]

    How’s this? Determine the Final Four following all the conference championships.

    The lesser bowls begin.

    But, on the Saturday two weeks before the Saturday after January 1st, #3 plays at #2, #4 plays at #1…at the home fields of #2 and #1.

    Then let the rest of the Bowls play out, through New Year’s Day. On the following Saturday, the tile game is played at a rotating site, as it is now.

    Simple enough, and has minimal effect on the bowls.

    —Ricko

  • JimV19 | December 28, 2009 at 8:39 pm |

    [quote comment=”369034″]One more point of view on the bowl/playoff thing.

    With a Sweet 16 you end up, over the years, changing the definiton of a “successful” program.

    As it is now, coaches, AD’s and presidents of programs that consistently win 7 or 8 games can tell recruits and alumni, “We go to a bowl game every year.”

    After a decade or so of playoffs, that changes to…
    “How many times you made the Sweet 16?”
    “Well, um…none. But we go to a bowl game every year.”
    “Big whoop.”

    That’s what terrifies the majority of schools.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    That happens now.
    “We go to a bowl game every year.”
    “But is it a BCS Bowl?”
    “No, but we go to a bowl game every year.”
    “Big Whoop.”

    Does any college basketball program start the year with winning the NIT as its goal? Don’t think so. So am I to believe that with the current glut of bowl games all these ADs, presidents and alumni are content to say “We go to a bowl game every year?” Don’t think so. They’re just getting so much money thrown at them that it’s easing their pain for the time being.

    Don’t have time to do it tonight, but I’m sure there’s a way to incorporate the major bowls into a playoff system. The cities of the lesser bowls could even have a way to get involved.

  • Blake | December 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm |

    well I can’t speak for today’s hockey pants but all the last time I played hockey (1999), all hockey pants were lace up to my recollection. I don’t know what else you would use.

  • Doug in GA | December 28, 2009 at 8:52 pm |

    UNC in the sweet ’57 throwbacks tonight versus Rutgers.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 8:53 pm |

    JimV19 said…

    “Does any college basketball program start the year with winning the NIT as its goal?”

    They used to. That was my point.

    and…

    “So am I to believe that with the current glut of bowl games all these ADs, presidents and alumni are content to say “We go to a bowl game every year?” Don’t think so.”

    You’d better believe they are. No ever school thinks of itself as USC-caliber football factory. You think Marshall, Ball State or even Louisvile (all just used as examples) honestly dream of being in a BCS bowl game every year? Dream, yes. But they’re smart enough to be realistic.

    And plenty of athletes realize they might not get offers from the uppermost echelon schools…and bowls are a chance to show what they can do. To their friends and family AND pro scouts.

    As bad you might believe the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl to be now, relegating it to the status of the Hula Bowl (now played in that puny high school stadium instead of Aloha Stadium) does no one any good.

    —Ricko

  • Thomas Clark | December 28, 2009 at 8:54 pm |

    One of the early popular ideas was this:

    8 team playoff round 1 incorporates sites of Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl.

    Round 2 uses 2 of these sites while round 3 uses one a third time. This allows corporate sponsors to pre-plan their engagements and seating. Site that hosts NC game does not host a semi-final the next year.

    Though that would pose a lot of issues as well. A team playing 3 neutral site games on 3 consecutive weekends is not fun for alumni/boosters/students.

  • gopherboy | December 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm |

    Lance briggs for the bears isn’t wearing his captains patch, not sure about the rest of the bear’s D.

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 8:57 pm |

    Hoops on ESPN2
    Is UNC wearing that retro-look uni all season?? Because I really really like it.
    Rutgers has got some unnecessary black panels on their road reds.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 8:58 pm |

    [quote comment=”369038″][quote comment=”369037″][quote comment=”369036″]Basketball can handle a “Big Dance”. It’s easier for a small school to reach the heights.[/quote]

    they can also play 64 games over a two week (three weekend) span

    football requires at least a week between games

    that’s the biggest hurdle[/quote]

    How’s this? Determine the Final Four following all the conference championships.

    The lesser bowls begin.

    But, on the Saturday two weeks before the Saturday after January 1st, #3 plays at #2, #4 plays at #1…at the home fields of #2 and #1.

    Then let the rest of the Bowls play out, through New Year’s Day. On the following Saturday, the tile game is played at a rotating site, as it is now.

    Simple enough, and has minimal effect on the bowls.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    (laughing) Man, did I make that complicated. Simply put, Final Four would be Saturday before Christmas; Title Game Saturday after New Year’s.
    Bowls played before Final Four or between Final Four and Title Game.

    That also elminated those 40+ off days possible for teams in Final Four.

    —Ricko

  • Doug in GA | December 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm |

    [quote comment=”369045″]Hoops on ESPN2
    Is UNC wearing that retro-look uni all season?? Because I really really like it.
    Rutgers has got some unnecessary black panels on their road reds.[/quote]

    Unfortunately not. I’ve only seen it twice this season. I hope to see it during the conference schedule though.

  • Thomas Clark | December 28, 2009 at 9:03 pm |

    Also, Red Wings at Columbus for the second leg of the home and home. Columbus wearing white at home this time, like Detroit did on Saturday. Hopefully this will catch on all over.

  • BuckeyeMark | December 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm |

    #23 for the Vikings tonight is wearing black leggings. no white sox, no purple top. really odd and it looks bad.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 9:11 pm |

    [quote comment=”369048″]Also, Red Wings at Columbus for the second leg of the home and home. Columbus wearing white at home this time, like Detroit did on Saturday. Hopefully this will catch on all over.[/quote]

    white at home in the NHL?

    what a concept…surprised bettman didn’t think of that

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm |

    [quote comment=”369047″][quote comment=”369045″]Hoops on ESPN2
    Is UNC wearing that retro-look uni all season?? Because I really really like it.
    Rutgers has got some unnecessary black panels on their road reds.[/quote]

    Unfortunately not. I’ve only seen it twice this season. I hope to see it during the conference schedule though.[/quote]
    Conference schedule – aint what it used to be in the ACC. Terps won’t see the Carolina home unis unless its in the tournament.

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 9:18 pm |

    [quote comment=”369047″][quote comment=”369045″]Hoops on ESPN2
    Is UNC wearing that retro-look uni all season?? Because I really really like it.
    Rutgers has got some unnecessary black panels on their road reds.[/quote]

    Unfortunately not. I’ve only seen it twice this season. I hope to see it during the conference schedule though.[/quote]

    Maryland would look good in that style. Replace the Carolina Blue with Red and trim it out in the black and gold “stack” stripes.

  • Oakville Endive | December 28, 2009 at 9:20 pm |

    [quote comment=”369036″]Absolutely. A four-team thing probably is viable. But they have to be certain, out of respect for schools even as large as, say, Illinois or Mississippi State (as examples of schools that might only occasionally have seasons at that level) that they don’t let the playoff become so huge…in terms of media attention, etc…. that it swallows everything else. That would be disatrous for all of NCAA football, at every level.

    Basketball can handle a “Big Dance”. It’s easier for a small school to reach the heights. Not so in football.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    A couple of points – and I’m one of those people completely stupefied by the NCAA not wanting to adopt a proper play-off system.

    My view from the GWN, is football is infinitely much more woven into the fabric of American culture than basketball, yet the NCAA basketball tournament is from what I can tell a bigger event , which to me means – a huge amout of money is being left on the table by the people who run NCAA football. A tournament of 16 for football would mean 15 very meaningful games – as opposed to the 1 and a few conference finals as of today – it’s a huge opportunity that for some reason alludes the NCAA.

    And it can be easily scheduled to end at about the same time as the current championship game.

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 9:24 pm |

    [quote comment=”369053″][quote comment=”369036″]Absolutely. A four-team thing probably is viable. But they have to be certain, out of respect for schools even as large as, say, Illinois or Mississippi State (as examples of schools that might only occasionally have seasons at that level) that they don’t let the playoff become so huge…in terms of media attention, etc…. that it swallows everything else. That would be disatrous for all of NCAA football, at every level.

    Basketball can handle a “Big Dance”. It’s easier for a small school to reach the heights. Not so in football.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    A couple of points – and I’m one of those people completely stupefied by the NCAA not wanting to adopt a proper play-off system.

    My view from the GWN, is football is infinitely much more woven into the fabric of American culture than basketball, yet the NCAA basketball tournament is from what I can tell a bigger event , which to me means – a huge amout of money is being left on the table by the people who run NCAA football. A tournament of 16 for football would mean 15 very meaningful games – as opposed to the 1 and a few conference finals as of today – it’s a huge opportunity that for some reason alludes the NCAA.

    And it can be easily scheduled to end at about the same time as the current championship game.[/quote]

    Stop making sense…eh?
    Hoser.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm |

    [quote comment=”369053″][quote comment=”369036″]Absolutely. A four-team thing probably is viable. But they have to be certain, out of respect for schools even as large as, say, Illinois or Mississippi State (as examples of schools that might only occasionally have seasons at that level) that they don’t let the playoff become so huge…in terms of media attention, etc…. that it swallows everything else. That would be disatrous for all of NCAA football, at every level.

    Basketball can handle a “Big Dance”. It’s easier for a small school to reach the heights. Not so in football.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    A couple of points – and I’m one of those people completely stupefied by the NCAA not wanting to adopt a proper play-off system.

    My view from the GWN, is football is infinitely much more woven into the fabric of American culture than basketball, yet the NCAA basketball tournament is from what I can tell a bigger event , which to me means – a huge amout of money is being left on the table by the people who run NCAA football. A tournament of 16 for football would mean 15 very meaningful games – as opposed to the 1 and a few conference finals as of today – it’s a huge opportunity that for some reason alludes the NCAA.

    And it can be easily scheduled to end at about the same time as the current championship game.[/quote]

    See some of the posts above about the hesitation of a lot of presidents, etc.

    I used to sit with a guy who worked for me trying to figure out how to make a playoff system work for NCAA football, incorporating the bowls.

    We did it while waiting for WHA game stats to come into the league office. That was 1973.

    In the 36 years since (despite all the gumflapping and pencil pushing that has gone on) the NCAA has moved to the point where it now includes a predetermined game between #1 and #2.

    Don’t hold your breath. LOL

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 9:35 pm |

    [quote comment=”369055″]See some of the posts above about the hesitation of a lot of presidents, etc.

    I used to sit with a guy who worked for me trying to figure out how to make a playoff system work for NCAA football, incorporating the bowls.

    We did it while waiting for WHA game stats to come into the league office. That was 1973.

    In the 36 years since (despite all the gumflapping and pencil pushing that has gone on) the NCAA has moved to the point where it now includes a predetermined game between #1 and #2.
    [/quote]

    exactly, great point ricko

    you and i (and many others here) sit an bemoan the disappearance of stripes and sleeves and want to keep things the way they have always been…

    and the younger members laugh at us, play their madden and tell us “well it aint that way anymore, old man”

    sounds exactly like those university presidents

    for better or for worse, maybe THEY had better come around to the thinking that more than a sizeable majority of the country would probably welcome a playoff system THAT WORKS (yeah…there’s that devil and details thing)

    but instead of clinging onto the antiquated notion that college sports are just something for young men to do between studying for classes and moving on to careers in the professional world, maybe they should begin to recognize (and get on the money bandwagon) that the colleges are merely serving as a very inexpensive farm system for the pros

    so what to do?

    cling on to the old ways until all the old presidents and alumni die, or adapt now, when the bucks involved are as great as they are, and scrap the current system

    as long as enough money can be made to keep all the schools (the top say 100 universities) happy, and a reasonable playoff system can be established, the whole thing might actually work

    or, we could keep trying to put stripes on sleeves that no longer exist

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm |

    Thing is, we really shouldn’t fault the presidents.

    They are legimately concerned that devalued bowls will take away alumni pride in seeing the ol’ alma mater on TV in a game with at least a bit of prestige attached. That emotion quite predictably translates into alumni contributions. Ask them, they’ll tell you it’s so (and they certainly would know better than we).

    They really can’t turn their backs on that. They do have an obligation to the institutions employing them, and that obligation rightly should come first. Certainly it’s a higher priority than deciding which of the 30 or 40 teams that play on a level far above most of them is #1.

    Now, do they KNOW it will get worse? Of course not. Can they AFFORD it getting worse? Absolutely not. That’s why they’re nervous. And it’s a perfectly understandable concern.

    —Ricko

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm |

    [quote comment=”369056″][quote comment=”369055″]See some of the posts above about the hesitation of a lot of presidents, etc.

    I used to sit with a guy who worked for me trying to figure out how to make a playoff system work for NCAA football, incorporating the bowls.

    We did it while waiting for WHA game stats to come into the league office. That was 1973.

    In the 36 years since (despite all the gumflapping and pencil pushing that has gone on) the NCAA has moved to the point where it now includes a predetermined game between #1 and #2.
    [/quote]

    exactly, great point ricko

    you and i (and many others here) sit an bemoan the disappearance of stripes and sleeves and want to keep things the way they have always been…

    and the younger members laugh at us, play their madden and tell us “well it aint that way anymore, old man”

    sounds exactly like those university presidents

    for better or for worse, maybe THEY had better come around to the thinking that more than a sizeable majority of the country would probably welcome a playoff system THAT WORKS (yeah…there’s that devil and details thing)

    but instead of clinging onto the antiquated notion that college sports are just something for young men to do between studying for classes and moving on to careers in the professional world, maybe they should begin to recognize (and get on the money bandwagon) that the colleges are merely serving as a very inexpensive farm system for the pros

    so what to do?

    cling on to the old ways until all the old presidents and alumni die, or adapt now, when the bucks involved are as great as they are, and scrap the current system

    as long as enough money can be made to keep all the schools (the top say 100 universities) happy, and a reasonable playoff system can be established, the whole thing might actually work

    or, we could keep trying to put stripes on sleeves that no longer exist[/quote]

    So true. I was wanting playoffs back in the 1970’s.
    And funny line about the kids saying “well it ain’t that way anymore old man”

  • mike 2 | December 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm |

    I might be completely off the mark here but I think there’s a pretty strong vested interest in the smaller schools in keeping things the way they are.

    There are about 120 Division I programs and about 34 bowl games. Every year, 34 teams get to call themselves “Champion” of something. On average, you can expect to win a bowl game every 4 years.

    In a playoff setup, assuming you could make the logistics work, only one team ends the season by winning the big one at the end. One national champion and 67 losers.

    If you’re (say) 7-6 Marshall, why would you consider this? Right now you’re the LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL CHAMPION. The coaches, the AD, everyone gets a ring and a parade and a giant boldface entry on their resume.

    Even if you incorporate the minor bowls into a playoff system, a team like Marshall could be the pizza bowl champion but then go on to lose (say) the Capitol One Bowl. Suddenly that pizza bowl for winning the quarterfinals doesn’t look quite as shiny on your resume.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm |

    [quote comment=”369057″]Thing is, we really shouldn’t fault the presidents.

    They are legimately concerned that devalued bowls will take away alumni pride in seeing the ol’ alma mater on TV in a game with at least a bit of prestige attached.[/quote]

    sounds like someone doesn’t want to devalue the insight bowl any more than it already is

    i’d agree with you 100% rick IF there wasn’t so much friggin money being thrown at these schools already…shit, nike just ruined 10 “storied” programs traditions for about $100K a pop

    if being one of the top 100 schools could keep the gophers “in the money” what difference would it make if they’re in a playoff? tha’d be awesome

    and who said we should scrap any of the bowls?

    they’re devalued as it is

    all im saying is have a playoff system which incorporates the bowls

    that way, everyone gets a ribbon, and we don’t have any arguments about who’s really #1

    and when the gophers get knocked out of the playoffs (or don’t get invited), they can STILL go to the insight bowl…so you can still have alumni who’ll support the old maroon and gold

    anything wrong with “bowls AND playoffs”?

    the only thing that gets ruined are the “traditional” teams who play in the bigger bowls…which aren’t even that traditional anymore, and really haven’t been since 1992

  • Oakville Endive | December 28, 2009 at 10:08 pm |

    [quote comment=”369032″][quote comment=”369030″][quote comment=”369013″]In an eight-team playoff, say, seven of top eight teams in the country would end the season with a loss, and two of them will have three additional neutral site games.

    Not quite as simple as just saying, “Change it.”[/quote]

    just out of curiosity…why would the playoff games HAVE to be “neutral site” games?

    if you established a playoff system, you could have 16 teams, the top 8 of which would have home games (as a reward for, ya know, finishing in the top 8)…keep that going until you have a final four (so two weeks of home site games)

    you have two games played at neutral sites (1-4 and 2-3 — or however those shake out), with the winners meeting in a BCS game and the losers either playing off or not, also at a neutral site…and you could have the final four play at two different sites (one in the eastern half of the country, one in the western half)…final game at one of the BCS sites (or mix that all up)

    not saying this would really work either, as you screw up all the “traditional” bowls, but if you wanted to make it just the top 8 teams, four of which get a home game, then the big three (semis and final) at traditional bowl sites, the $$$ generated would make up for not seeing the ‘usual’ teams

    and we’d get a true (or as true as could be) #1 then

    not saying i particularly like this idea, but if you have playoffs, you’d need to give some teams home games as a reward for better records/play/strength of schedule

    32 bowls (or whatever it is) with 16 winners sounds great, but really, if you’re 7-5 and you win the gatorade sponsored by nike bowl, does anyone really care? sure, the alumni might, but that’s about it…may as well have an “everyone who plays FBS gets a ribbon” bowl then[/quote]

    I was assuming, as most have supposed, that somehow the Bowls would be incorporated into the playoff system.

    Certainly can’t take the top 16 (or even 8) teams out of the bowl picture. Might as well just stop playing them.

    The alumni/student travel thing is a HUGE issue, make no mistake about it. College football, believe it or not, truly doesn’t exist solely to provide the best possible viewing for the TV audience.

    Yeah, it’s about money. But it that’s really ALL it were about, we’d have had a playoff a decade (or more) ago.

    Some kind of “Sweet 16” pretty much destroys the bowl system (if those games aren’t part of it), and it certainly relegates to surviving bowls to relative nothingness.

    Using the basketball template: There was a time when the NIT was huge, really huge. But as the Big Dance got bigger and bigger…the NIT had no choice but to limp off into relative insignificance.

    Devaluing the Insight Bowl, for example, may not cost Minnesota football money (in terms of what it might share from a playoff) but knocking down the year-end warm-weather junket to some lame little trip to a bowl that’s pooh-poohed could really cause “proud alumni” contributions to dip.

    Not saying would, saying it could. And that’s a development AD’s and presidents/chancellors worry about. A lot. And they hold a pisspotful of clout in this whole thing.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Aren’t all bowls – with the exception of the championship game essentially meaningless anyways. One for example, I remember the Orange Bowl always seemed like a big event , however, in recent years – with matchups like Wake Forest vs. Cincinnati – there have been lots of empty seats in the upper deck.

    Don’t disagree with what you’re saying – but it’s university president putting their schools first – as opposed to thinking what’s best for the collective whole. One of the reason the NFL has been so successful , is the thinking of the collective whole wins out (although Jerry Jones appears to want to put that to a test)

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |

    Hurray. I got to see the Blue Jackets on Versus. And they won.

    One thing about hockey is that when there are 5 minutes left to play in a game, you can be sure it will be darn close to 5 actual minutes. Unlike basketball or football.

    Bad thing is when watching a game, if you sneeze or turn your head for 2 seconds you can miss a goal.

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm |

    Just wondering – aren’t some of these bowls having trouble drawing fans? I seem to recall issues in the Boise Humane Society Smurf Turf Bowl and some others in cold climates or non-resort cities. Certain teams “travel well”, plenty more don’t.
    And I also have to wonder if the recession isn’t catching up to the lesser of the 34 bowls. Pizza-Pizza had to step in for the Motor City bowl. Other sponsors are dropping off here and there as well, right?
    So we have the BCS Bowls that appear to be well attended, well sponsored and get good TV ratings. The BIG football conferences want this money all to themselves and only grudgingly share with the TCU’s and Boises.

    Maybe when it looks like more money is available for the big players in a playoff we will see a change. Not holding my breath.

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm |

    [quote comment=”369059″]I might be completely off the mark here but I think there’s a pretty strong vested interest in the smaller schools in keeping things the way they are.

    There are about 120 Division I programs and about 34 bowl games.

    Every year, 34 teams get to call themselves “Champion” of something. On average, you can expect to win a bowl game every 4 years.

    In a playoff setup, assuming you could make the logistics work, only one team ends the season by winning the big one at the end. One national champion and 67 losers.

    If you’re (say) 7-6 Marshall, why would you consider this? Right now you’re the LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL CHAMPION.

    The coaches, the AD, everyone gets a ring and a parade and a giant boldface entry on their resume.

    Even if you incorporate the minor bowls into a playoff system, a team like Marshall could be the pizza bowl champion but then go on to lose (say) the Capitol One Bowl. Suddenly that pizza bowl for winning the quarterfinals doesn’t look quite as shiny on your resume.[/quote]

    I never liked that well 35 teams can say they ended season with a win mentality.

    How about the 35 teams that suffer losses in all those bowl games.

    If there were not so many meaningless bowl games odds are that many more% wise would have ended the regular season with a win.

    I say have the playoffs using the bowls and have bowls for teams that do not make it.

    Look at this year. There is the traditional Rose Bowl and then it is used for the BCS title game.

    I do not mind giving my opinion on playoffs but sadly I will never see it happen in 1A.

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm |

    [quote comment=”369059″]I might be completely off the mark here but I think there’s a pretty strong vested interest in the smaller schools in keeping things the way they are.

    There are about 120 Division I programs and about 34 bowl games.

    Every year, 34 teams get to call themselves “Champion” of something. On average, you can expect to win a bowl game every 4 years.

    In a playoff setup, assuming you could make the logistics work, only one team ends the season by winning the big one at the end. One national champion and 67 losers.

    If you’re (say) 7-6 Marshall, why would you consider this? Right now you’re the LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL CHAMPION.

    The coaches, the AD, everyone gets a ring and a parade and a giant boldface entry on their resume.

    Even if you incorporate the minor bowls into a playoff system, a team like Marshall could be the pizza bowl champion but then go on to lose (say) the Capitol One Bowl. Suddenly that pizza bowl for winning the quarterfinals doesn’t look quite as shiny on your resume.[/quote]

    There ya go. That’s very likely the way it would shake out. Nothing would matter as much…and that hurts everyone below the top 40, maybe below the top 20.

    Is it about the greatest good for the greatest number, financially and otherwise, or about satisfying fans and talking heads who evidently think all that matters is that they wanna sit and watch a playoff on TV?

    That’s why I say a Final Four could work, but no more. The rough idea I offered gives one more home game to two teams, and incorporates one bowl game, and that would rotate every four or five years, depending on who’s included in the rotation.

    It gives prestige to a couple of incredible Saturdays, and preserves much of what is, whether we want to accept it or not, a bowl system that currently is reasonably lucrative (and fun; God forbid we should consider fun) for 68 schools’ students, alumni and athletes…and their conferences.

    (Has anyone noticed how few of the coaches-turned-talking-heads are vocal about favoring an extensive playoff? Sure, it’d be nice to make the Sweet 16 ten years in a row, but if you’ve never won it, you’re also telling the kids you’re recuriting that for 10 years in a row you’ve lost your last game of the season.)

    —Ricko

  • LarryB | December 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm |

    [quote comment=”369063″]Just wondering – aren’t some of these bowls having trouble drawing fans? I seem to recall issues in the Boise Humane Society Smurf Turf Bowl and some others in cold climates or non-resort cities. Certain teams “travel well”, plenty more don’t.
    And I also have to wonder if the recession isn’t catching up to the lesser of the 34 bowls. Pizza-Pizza had to step in for the Motor City bowl. Other sponsors are dropping off here and there as well, right?
    So we have the BCS Bowls that appear to be well attended, well sponsored and get good TV ratings. The BIG football conferences want this money all to themselves and only grudgingly share with the TCU’s and Boises.

    Maybe when it looks like more money is available for the big players in a playoff we will see a change. Not holding my breath.[/quote]

    Yep, great points and things I have thought before too. Most of the smaller bowls get poor crowds and it is the big name conferences and presidents that are the greedy ones who want the money for themselves.

    I saw Paterno interview the other day. He said it was not right that some teams or conferences are “ordained” to have the chance while most others do not.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm |

    [quote comment=”369059″]I might be completely off the mark here but I think there’s a pretty strong vested interest in the smaller schools in keeping things the way they are.[/quote]

    you’re completely ON THE MARK mike

    and like the argument we have about baseball and the small markets versus big markets, we’re having with this…we’re just not saying it

    in baseball, we play 162 (sometimes more) to decide the 8 teams who make the playoffs…most times, but not ALL times, it’s a big market team who wins it all, but not always a big market team who gets into the playoffs (witness the twins — they made the playoffs what, 5 out of the last 8 years? hell, everyone but the yankees would take that)…

    but yet everyone bitches and moans when the yankees win or the red sox win…

    with the current bowl system, you’re rewarding the toronto’s and the kansas city’s and the pittsburgh’s with a ribbon for something

    and i guess that looks good on your resume “hey, i won the ‘papa domino’s no-one saw on tv and the stands were empty’ bowl”

    i guess that’s better than not being invited to the dance

    but there is one difference — the colleges are supposed to be amateurs who play for the betterment of themselves, and their schools, which is why the alumni get up for a crummy bowl in a shitty locale…because, well, it’s not about the money, right? it’s about saying you won a bowl! YEAH

    take the money out of college sports (or start sharing it with the players) and maybe i’ll agree with this quaint notion

    but as long as the nc2a is a feeder system for the pros, and everyone knows it, may as well have a playoff system

    “smaller” schools still have a chance, just like everyone else…maybe if the bigger schools, i donno, actually had standards for grades and such, they wouldn’t have such an edge over actual institutions of higher learning

    too bad that notion has been out the window since pro football became such a big deal

    now it’s the haves against the have nots…just like life

    the only difference is, with all those bowls, at least the have nots get a ribbon

    the kc royals…they get draft choices

  • teenchy | December 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm |

    [quote comment=”368999″][quote comment=”368988″][quote comment=”368932″]I would love to see photos of any of the caps any of you guys have from the Cooperstown Cap Co. All I have seen were the mock ups on their website. Thanks.[/quote]
    I own one CBC cap. I’d looked at the drawings for years, and admired the range of caps they offered. I coveted about fifty of them, but at close to $50 a pop, it was tough to justify the purchase. The one I finally bought was a late Ted Williams era Red Sox cap. It came in timely fashion, but was a HUGE disappointment. The logo embroidery was sloppy, with big, uneven gaps between the scarlet and the white stitching. The crown of the cap featured a weird forehead bulge, like it had been made for a beluga whale, or a kid suffering from encephalitis. It kind of looks like an old timey railroad engineer’s hat, with baseball-style brim. I’ve never worn the cap in public; it’s that bad. I keep it in my office at work, as a reminder that there are lots of stupid ways to blow fifty bucks. [/quote]

    Gee Cort, this sounds like something I read on a particular old board! :P Back in the late 1990s before the retro craze hit full-stride, I made the mistake of ordering a modern cap ’83 home White Sox cap from CCC. The white front panel was tan, the logo was wrong, too thin & off-centered crooked by a 45 degree angle, and the cap was at least 2 sizes too big & extremely flimsy. I promptly mailed it back for a refund.[/quote]

    Sorry to hear about the bad experiences with CCBC. I’ll admit my ’33 Giants’ bill is a bit long and the ’36 Nats’ a bit short, but the ’39 Nats is just right. The embroidered narrow block W is just right compared to authentic originals I’ve seen. Likewise the red-on-white felt block W on the ’36 model; the middle point of the W is actually pointed rather than flat on the top.

    I can’t speak to the accuracy of the ’33 Giants’ interlocking NY; it looks a bit flatter than the 1950’s Giants/modern Mets version but I don’t have enough of a sample to verify.

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 10:58 pm |

    Way off the Uni topic – but in keeping with the conversation. These conferences have tried everything to make the big football TV money and I’m not sure its working.

    The ACC trashed its basketball history by adding 3 football schools just so they could sign a TC contract for a Championship Game. Even adding a freakin’ yankee school – BC! The attendance for the title game has dwindled, nobody I know watched the game this year on TV. The Golden Snitch seems to be the defacto inclusion in the BCS riches.

    Meanwhile, traditional basketball rivals no longer have a home and home every year and the ACC tournament is a 12 team cluster-fuck over 4 days.

    Get off my lawn!

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 11:01 pm |

    Oh, I guess you guys are right. Those alumni contributions mean dick. And the paychecks from the minor polls, worthless. Why would a school like Ohio or Villanova want to preserve them? Let ’em dry up so schools like USC can continue to supply players to the NFL. That’s in the NCAA’s mission statement, right?

    Listen, I wanted a big-time playoff for years. At least 16 teams. Then the financial realities of it really became clear to me. Ask almost any university president. He/She will tell you it isn’t the bowl paycheck that matters so much (because generally they share with their conference), it’s the contributions that playing in a bowl generates afterward. That money the school can keep. 100 percent.

    Best we can hope for is some kind of limited hybrid. Because if it’s good for only a few teams at the expensive of all the rest, it isn’t good.

    —Ricko

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm |

    [quote comment=”369071″][quote comment=”368999″][quote comment=”368988″][quote comment=”368932″]I would love to see photos of any of the caps any of you guys have from the Cooperstown Cap Co. All I have seen were the mock ups on their website. Thanks.[/quote]
    I own one CBC cap. I’d looked at the drawings for years, and admired the range of caps they offered. I coveted about fifty of them, but at close to $50 a pop, it was tough to justify the purchase. The one I finally bought was a late Ted Williams era Red Sox cap. It came in timely fashion, but was a HUGE disappointment. The logo embroidery was sloppy, with big, uneven gaps between the scarlet and the white stitching. The crown of the cap featured a weird forehead bulge, like it had been made for a beluga whale, or a kid suffering from encephalitis. It kind of looks like an old timey railroad engineer’s hat, with baseball-style brim. I’ve never worn the cap in public; it’s that bad. I keep it in my office at work, as a reminder that there are lots of stupid ways to blow fifty bucks. [/quote]

    Gee Cort, this sounds like something I read on a particular old board! :P Back in the late 1990s before the retro craze hit full-stride, I made the mistake of ordering a modern cap ’83 home White Sox cap from CCC. The white front panel was tan, the logo was wrong, too thin & off-centered crooked by a 45 degree angle, and the cap was at least 2 sizes too big & extremely flimsy. I promptly mailed it back for a refund.[/quote]

    Sorry to hear about the bad experiences with CCBC. I’ll admit my ’33 Giants’ bill is a bit long and the ’36 Nats’ a bit short, but the ’39 Nats is just right. The embroidered narrow block W is just right compared to authentic originals I’ve seen. Likewise the red-on-white felt block W on the ’36 model; the middle point of the W is actually pointed rather than flat on the top.

    I can’t speak to the accuracy of the ’33 Giants’ interlocking NY; it looks a bit flatter than the 1950’s Giants/modern Mets version but I don’t have enough of a sample to verify.[/quote]

    Was this the store on Main Street in Cooperstown? I remember what I thought was the “birth” of the throwback hat concept. In Cooperstown in 1983 for Brooks Robinson induction, the little novelty store on the main drag had KC A’s, Brooklyn Dodgers, Milwaukee Braves, et al in fitted wool caps. And some great original bobbleheads too – mascot bobbleheads, not player bobbleheads.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm |

    ricko

    last thing and i’ll shut up

    what’s wrong with keeping the bowls AND having a playoff?

    seems like even more money would be generated (probably not shared, but generated) and you’d still have the insight bowl to play in

    because what you’re saying, or at least what i’m hearing, it that it’s important to have a bowl to play in, not necessarily to be good enough to be in the top 16

    there are 32(?) bowls, and either all but one are meaningless, or none are, depending upon your perspective

    playoff determines a true #1…bowls keep the alumni happy … big schools and small schools win, right?

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 11:10 pm |

    [quote comment=”369073″]Oh, I guess you guys are right. Those alumni contributions mean dick. And the paychecks from the minor polls, worthless. Why would a school like Ohio or Villanova want to preserve them? Let ’em dry up so schools like USC can continue to supply players to the NFL. That’s in the NCAA’s mission statement, right?

    Listen, I wanted a big-time playoff for years. At least 16 teams. Then the financial realities of it really became clear to me. Ask almost any university president. He/She will tell you it isn’t the bowl paycheck that matters so much (because generally they share with their conference), it’s the contributions that playing in a bowl generates afterward. That money the school can keep. 100 percent.

    Best we can hope for is some kind of limited hybrid. Because if it’s good for only a few teams at the expensive of all the rest, it isn’t good.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    Just bustin’ your balls here Ricko – but you used Villanova for an example. What is Villanova’s hidden benefit of the Football CHAMPIONSHIP Series victory. Three or four cable games and a national championship trophy. If they benefitted than Playoff = Good, right?

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 11:19 pm |

    [quote comment=”369075″]ricko

    last thing and i’ll shut up

    what’s wrong with keeping the bowls AND having a playoff?

    seems like even more money would be generated (probably not shared, but generated) and you’d still have the insight bowl to play in

    because what you’re saying, or at least what i’m hearing, it that it’s important to have a bowl to play in, not necessarily to be good enough to be in the top 16

    there are 32(?) bowls, and either all but one are meaningless, or none are, depending upon your perspective

    playoff determines a true #1…bowls keep the alumni happy … big schools and small schools win, right?[/quote]

    But the 34 bowls AREN’T meaningless, not to the teams that play in them. Or their fans, alumni and students. And if we take the top 16 teams out of those bowls, we pretty much castrate the system. The Ohio-Marshall game wouldn’t command the ratings of Mt. Union and Wisconsin Whitewater, or the TV dollars.

    Let’s suppose the Little Ceaser Bowl goes away. No paycheck for Marshall or Ohio, or their conferences. And let’s say, just for the hell of it, that after watching this year’s game, 2,000 Marshall grads sent an average contribution of a lousy 50 bucks. There’s another $100,000 Marshall doesn’t see if there’s no Little Ceaser’s Bowl.

    My point is, the stain on this blotter is bigger than you think it is.

    There’s a lot more to it that what’s worth watching on TV for those with no rooting interest in either school.

    —Ricko

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”369077″][quote comment=”369075″]ricko

    last thing and i’ll shut up

    what’s wrong with keeping the bowls AND having a playoff?

    seems like even more money would be generated (probably not shared, but generated) and you’d still have the insight bowl to play in

    because what you’re saying, or at least what i’m hearing, it that it’s important to have a bowl to play in, not necessarily to be good enough to be in the top 16

    there are 32(?) bowls, and either all but one are meaningless, or none are, depending upon your perspective

    playoff determines a true #1…bowls keep the alumni happy … big schools and small schools win, right?[/quote]

    But the 34 bowls AREN’T meaningless, not to the teams that play in them. Or their fans, alumni and students. And if we take the top 16 teams out of those bowls, we pretty much castrate the system. The Ohio-Marshall game wouldn’t command the ratings of Mt. Union and Wisconsin Whitewater, or the TV dollars.

    Let’s suppose the Little Ceaser Bowl goes away. No paycheck for Marshall or Ohio, or their conferences. And let’s say, just for the hell of it, that after watching this year’s game, 2,000 Marshall grads sent an average contribution of a lousy 50 bucks. There’s another $100,000 Marshall doesn’t see if there’s no Little Ceaser’s Bowl.

    My point is, the stain on this blotter is bigger than you think it is.

    There’s a lot more to it that what’s worth watching on TV for those with no rooting interest in either school.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    maybe i wasn’t clear

    i didn’t say the top 16 teams play in a playoff and the 15 losers go home

    you take the first 8 who lose a playoff and feed them into the lesser bowls with the teams who didn’t make a playoff to begin with

    then you take the next 4 losers and feed them into ‘better’ bowls

    the final four meet in the BCS bowls, (well, three of them — and the rotate on a yearly basis — one year, say the rose, fiesta and sugar get one semi and a final; next year, whoever had the final drops out and you add the orange)

    every other bowl stays the same, except you take the playoff losers and feed them into the lesser bowls

    you still get marshall and ohio in the pizza bowl

    and you still get the marshall or ohio alumni just happy to be in a bowl

    i apologize if i wasn’t clear on the concept…but would you support what i just described?

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”369076″][quote comment=”369073″]Oh, I guess you guys are right. Those alumni contributions mean dick. And the paychecks from the minor polls, worthless. Why would a school like Ohio or Villanova want to preserve them? Let ’em dry up so schools like USC can continue to supply players to the NFL. That’s in the NCAA’s mission statement, right?

    Listen, I wanted a big-time playoff for years. At least 16 teams. Then the financial realities of it really became clear to me. Ask almost any university president. He/She will tell you it isn’t the bowl paycheck that matters so much (because generally they share with their conference), it’s the contributions that playing in a bowl generates afterward. That money the school can keep. 100 percent.

    Best we can hope for is some kind of limited hybrid. Because if it’s good for only a few teams at the expensive of all the rest, it isn’t good.

    —Ricko[/quote]
    Just bustin’ your balls here Ricko – but you used Villanova for an example. What is Villanova’s hidden benefit of the Football CHAMPIONSHIP Series victory. Three or four cable games and a national championship trophy. If they benefitted than Playoff = Good, right?[/quote]

    I meant they’re likely a minor bowl caliber candidate.

    Seriously, how big to you guys think Marshall’s cut of a 16-team playoff TV deal would be? I mean, if its gonna be a million or more per school per year, then maybe there’s something to it. But you know that, somehow, the NCAA would make sure the BCS schools and conferences got a bigger cut.

    —Ricko

  • Ricko | December 28, 2009 at 11:36 pm |

    No way it works to drop losers down into the bowls. Now you’re doing the bowls an even greater disservice: you’re making them the consolation bracket. “Bowls are for losers.”

    Look at how well the NFL’s Playoff Bowl worked. Stinko, boring, no one cared. Especially the players.

    “Okay, Florida, you lost; next week you play Marshall in Detroit’s Pizza Bowl.”

    Huh? You expect a coach to get a team up to play another game after they’ve been eliminated from the Sweet 16? Especially if maybe they’d been ranked in the top 8? Talk about mailing it in for a meaningless game.

    Nope. Just not viable.

    —Ricko

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 11:41 pm |

    I actually want just the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Eve on ABC; Lindsay Nelson calling the Cotton at 2:00 on the 1st, followed by the GrandDaddy called by Curt Gowdy and then the Orange Bowl in prime time on NBC with Anita Bryant or Up With People at halftime.
    On January 2nd we get the poll results and some team somewhere gets the shaft.

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 11:45 pm |

    [quote comment=”369080″]No way it works to drop losers down into the bowls. Now you’re doing the bowls an even greater disservice: you’re making them the consolation bracket. “Bowls are for losers.”[/quote]

    with 34 bowls, most of them are already for losers

    that’s the whole argument we’ve been having

    and if you give a school and additional payday for getting in a bowl, how is that bad?

    you have argued both for and against a playoff system…couching with it “well i’d want a playoff but i feel bad for the little schools”

    you either have to fish or cut bait

    you’re already a loser if you lost your conference championship and have to play on december 23rd in the ‘toilet bowl’… but you still go right? because, there’s a little bit of pride, and a payday involved

    oregon beat oregon state for the pac 10 title…but usc, ucla, cal, arizona, stanford AND oregon state are all in bowls…but they’re *technically* ALL LOSERS

    how would it be any different if you have a playoff but you STILL get to go to a bowl???

    isn’t that what we have now, just without a playoff?

  • LI Phil | December 28, 2009 at 11:51 pm |

    fools gould

  • Taxman | December 28, 2009 at 11:56 pm |

    1973 Bowl Games
    Ohio St 42 USC 21 Rose Bowl
    Nebraska 19 – Texas 3 Cotton Bowl
    Penn St 16 – LSU 9 Orange Bowl
    Notre Dame 24 – Alabama 23 Sugar Bowl

    What I remember about this scenario is that each game was a BIG HONKING DEAL and must see TV. Now I watch on New Years, but the BCS Championship Game has a way of diminishing the others.

  • Ricko | December 29, 2009 at 12:08 am |

    I guess all that matters is the top 40 or so schools then. The rest are all just losers.

    And I did say I thought 16 teams would be good once upon a time, until I understood the financial realities of the bowls. And the possible travel hassles.

    Now I think a Final Four is about the best we’ll ever see.

    Hey, a lot of us remember when there were only four bowl games and they were really something special. But now it’s evolved (or devolved, for some) to the point where a lot of schools get something of a payday. Sure, many of the games are pretty dorky and in less-than-glamorous settings. But those checks are a good thing. And they’ll be difficult for schools to give up.

    A 16-team playoff? Every single NCAA football program, no matter how lowly, is rightly entitled to ask, “What’s in it for us?” And if it’s not enough compared to what they’re realizing now (including projected post-bowl alumni contributions), they should vote against it.

    —Ricko

  • Ricko | December 29, 2009 at 12:13 am |

    Very probably we all should be driving electric cars, too. Or at least hybrids.

    Now, give me a plan for implementing that without it costing each of us money.

    Or, how do you un-rot an apple?

    –Ricko

  • Flip | December 29, 2009 at 12:17 am |

    [quote comment=”369081″]I actually want just the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Eve on ABC; Lindsay Nelson calling the Cotton at 2:00 on the 1st, followed by the GrandDaddy called by Curt Gowdy and then the Orange Bowl in prime time on NBC with Anita Bryant or Up With People at halftime.
    On January 2nd we get the poll results and some team somewhere gets the shaft.[/quote]

    Precious.

  • Taxman | December 29, 2009 at 12:27 am |

    [quote comment=”369087″][quote comment=”369081″]I actually want just the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Eve on ABC; Lindsay Nelson calling the Cotton at 2:00 on the 1st, followed by the GrandDaddy called by Curt Gowdy and then the Orange Bowl in prime time on NBC with Anita Bryant or Up With People at halftime.
    On January 2nd we get the poll results and some team somewhere gets the shaft.[/quote]

    Precious.[/quote]
    Checking the ESPN Classic listings now. I would savor even a small taste of some of this nostalgia.

  • LI Phil | December 29, 2009 at 12:46 am |

    [quote comment=”369085″]I guess all that matters is the top 40 or so schools then. The rest are all just losers.[/quote]

    and how is this different than ANY other sport? only because you can’t play 3 games in a week are we even having this argument, but in EVERY OTHER SPORT, you crown an NCAA champ through a playoff of some sort

    [quote comment=”369085″]And I did say I thought 16 teams would be good once upon a time, until I understood the financial realities of the bowls. And the possible travel hassles.

    Now I think a Final Four is about the best we’ll ever see.[/quote]

    that’s better than a final two, with every other team screwed…sometimes royally

    [quote comment=”369085″]Hey, a lot of us remember when there were only four bowl games and they were really something special.[/quote]

    even i remember that…and that wasn’t so bad…i’d vote to go back to that before i vote to keep the current system

    [quote comment=”369085″]Now it’s evolved (or devolved, for some) to the point where a lot of schools get something of a payday. Sure, many of the games are pretty dorky and in less-than-glamorous settings. But those checks are a good thing. And they’ll be difficult for schools to give up.[/quote]

    now you want your cake and you want to eat it too

    either you dump the loser bowls (or have the playoff system AND the feeder system [playoff losers still get bowls]) or we go back to the big four … and when the HELL did the fiesta bowl replace the cotton? i don’t remember the fiesta EVER amounting to shit…now it’s a BCS bowl?

    [quote comment=”369085″]A 16-team playoff? Every single NCAA football program, no matter how lowly, is rightly entitled to ask, “What’s in it for us?” And if it’s not enough compared to what they’re realizing now (including projected post-bowl alumni contributions), they should vote against it.[/quote]

    just like the NCAA overtook the NIT, and for better or for worse, the bowl system has become the multi-headed beast that it is…the only problem is with so many bowls, but only one “true” bowl, you’ve got a mess

    with a playoff, you may still have a mess, but you have a mess with a definite winner…now, you have legit teams getting COMPLTELY screwed…at least this year you have two undefeatededs going for the apple…what about last year, where texas got jobbed out of a fair shot at the #1 slot…didn’t they beat oklahoma? playoff solves that little problem

    or what about a couple years ago when boise went undefeated? and had NO SHOT at #1…how is that fair?

    you speak of fairness and the ‘little schools’ … well what about the little schools (or little in the eyes of the bcs, like boise and tcu and cincy) who don’t even get a shot?

    florida lost a game, but they’re ranked ahead of undefeated boise? we’ll never know who’s better tho

    maybe you’re right about the small (or less competitive) schools getting screwed on a yearly basis…maybe they should recruit better? lower their admission standards? sign a bigger deal with nike?

    i don’t have an answer for them, but i do know this…the current system sucks ass

    im all for keeping the minor bowls and letting schools like minnesota in…but then do away with the BCS shit altogether

    either we have it AND real playoff, or go back to the way it was

    since i don’t see it going back to the way it was, let the best 8 slug it out and let 9 and lower have the crumbs…give tcu or boise or cincy a REAL SHOT at #1…they all won every game they played, but in the absence of a playoff, just because of the BCS…they’re all fucked

  • JimV19 | December 29, 2009 at 12:56 am |

    [quote comment=”369042″]JimV19 said…

    “Does any college basketball program start the year with winning the NIT as its goal?”

    They used to. That was my point.

    and…

    “So am I to believe that with the current glut of bowl games all these ADs, presidents and alumni are content to say “We go to a bowl game every year?” Don’t think so.”

    You’d better believe they are. No ever school thinks of itself as USC-caliber football factory. You think Marshall, Ball State or even Louisvile (all just used as examples) honestly dream of being in a BCS bowl game every year? Dream, yes. But they’re smart enough to be realistic.

    And plenty of athletes realize they might not get offers from the uppermost echelon schools…and bowls are a chance to show what they can do. To their friends and family AND pro scouts.

    As bad you might believe the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl to be now, relegating it to the status of the Hula Bowl (now played in that puny high school stadium instead of Aloha Stadium) does no one any good.

    —Ricko[/quote]

    Maybe it’s because I went to Akron, where the radio guy gets so hyped up about the MAC and how they can play with the big guys (until they lose again and we’re all reminded that the league should be in 1-AA), and maybe it’s because I’ve seen what Boise State has done, but I still think these schools in the lesser bowls are only happy about the money.

    Sorry, but I’d rather watch the old Playoff Bowl than some of these already devalued bowl games. Even though I can now get more bowls on ESPN360, I haven’t watched a full one yet. I DID watch the FCS and D-II playoffs, though.

    I don’t like the fact that 5th and 6th place teams are getting into bowl games (and ones with goofy sounding names, at that). I think only conference champs and second-place teams should get to play in a bowl. That’s twelve bowls right there. Maybe third-place teams as well, then you could have gold, silver and bronze tiers of bowls. Even then that’s 18 bowls. More than enough.

    Any more than that, and I don’t really care. If my school scrapes in with a 6-6 record, I’d rather they just stayed home. It wouldn’t affect my contributions to the school even if they won the game.

    I’m not saying I’ll never watch a lesser bowl (I like the Sun Bowl, for instance), but I don’t see them as a source of pride. Maybe a consolation prize, but that’s it.

  • KevinW | December 29, 2009 at 1:42 am |

    Maybe it’s because I went to Akron, where the radio guy gets so hyped up about the MAC and how they can play with the big guys (until they lose again and we’re all reminded that the league should be in 1-AA), and maybe it’s because I’ve seen what Boise State has done, but I still think these schools in the lesser bowls are only happy about the money.

    Sorry, but I’d rather watch the old Playoff Bowl than some of these already devalued bowl games. Even though I can now get more bowls on ESPN360, I haven’t watched a full one yet. I DID watch the FCS and D-II playoffs, though.

    I don’t like the fact that 5th and 6th place teams are getting into bowl games (and ones with goofy sounding names, at that). I think only conference champs and second-place teams should get to play in a bowl. That’s twelve bowls right there. Maybe third-place teams as well, then you could have gold, silver and bronze tiers of bowls. Even then that’s 18 bowls. More than enough.

    Any more than that, and I don’t really care. If my school scrapes in with a 6-6 record, I’d rather they just stayed home. It wouldn’t affect my contributions to the school even if they won the game.

    I’m not saying I’ll never watch a lesser bowl (I like the Sun Bowl, for instance), but I don’t see them as a source of pride. Maybe a consolation prize, but that’s it.[/quote]

    For many schools that have a long period of mediocrity, they would love a chance to go to any type of bowl game. I live in San Diego and if San Diego State had the opportunity to go the the Sun Bowl, the alumni would crap themselves, and the AD and administration would obviously thrilled with getting some needed money into the struggling program. Money coming from the game itself and increased donation from alumni.

    It just seems to me that it’s close to impossible to make major changes to the structure of a sports league that contains 120 teams, because there’s no way that everyone will benefit from whatever changes are made. And if a large number of these smaller programs don’t benefit from a playoff, or are in fact hurt by a playoff, then there’s no way they will support it. I’m not saying that smaller schools would be negatively affected by a different system, but the possibility that they could hurts the chances of it happening.

  • JTH | December 29, 2009 at 2:58 am |

    [quote comment=”369026″]Well. Are we all ready to see which is worse, the horrible altercation twixt QB and Coach that ripped at the very fabric of Vikings, rending and tearing it in a manner never ever before seen in the NFL (eyeroll)…

    …or whether the great Navy Blue Hole continues to suck Chicago Bears QBs, no matter what credentials they carry upon arrival, into its all-consuming vortex of incompetence and loserness?

    Or maybe just whether Favre can win in the outdoor cold of December?

    —Ricko[/quote]
    Survey says?

  • iLO | December 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm |

    Keith McKeller..the “K” in “K-Gun”.

    God i couldn’t stand that team. They were Dolphin Killers…like the Texans.

  • Chad | December 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm |

    we need to see one of [these](http://betinternet.w...) for nfl uniform violations

  • Chad | December 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm |

    try this again. we need one of these for nfl uniform violations

  • Mark Bryant | January 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”369120″]Keith Mc[quote comment=”368889″]McKeller was for whom they named the ‘K-Gun’ Offense..[/quote]
    Keller..the “K” in “K-Gun”.

    God i couldn’t stand that team. They were Dolphin Killers…like the Texans.[/quote]
    OMG your both horribly wrong. K-Gun was named after Jim Kelly, the Bills quarterback….