Monday, January 4, 2010

Things to Look Forward To in 2010: Hockey Edition

(The amazing Gordie Howe at Centre Bell celebrating the Montreal Canadiens 100th Anniversary)

So here we are, give or take a few hours, four days into the new year. I'm happy to report that 2010 is already far superior to the first days of last year, which leads me to believe that more positive improvements and upswings are possible if not, dare I say, likely.

In the spirit of positivity--and as a person of Scandinavian, Irish and German background, that's not my natural fall-back position--here are a few things I'm looking forward to in the coming months--Hockey Edition.

Where to begin, where to begin...

Since 2010 is a Winter Olympic year, there will be hockey galore. I haven't even looked at the various pools to see who is playing whom, but I know there will be great some great matches. The Russian team always come to play, as do the Finns, Norwegians and Swedes. And there's always some upstart country who pulls a few upsets and becomes the underdog everyone cheers for. While it's not the same now (with teams being made up of professional players as opposed to amateurs) as it was back in, say, 1980, it's still great to watch. Plus it's fun to see your favorite NHL players skating for their respective countries.

And while we're feeling that Olympic spirit...I'm one of those people who gets a total kick out of watching the obscure sports in both the Winter and Summer games. This is probably because the equestrian events that I love are considered obscure by most of the public. That said, I'll be looking forward to curling with a kind of geeky glee. It goes without saying that I love the luge and bobsled (all that speed and careening!!) and the alpine skiing contests and ski-jumping. All great fun. So I guess we know what I'll be watching in February.

[And by the's just as well that the Olympics are on practically 24/7 in February since it is--with all due respect to T.S. Eliot who named April as the cruelest--by far the most brutal of months. There are no great holidays, there are usually giant snow storms and you're completely over any New Year's resolutions by that point. No, I didn't forget about St. Valentine's Day...I just think it's a big holiday and there's never a long weekend attached to it, so it doesn't count. *don't judge me*]

Right, back to hockey. From the pros to the pros-to-be, my next hockey event is this Friday--the outdoor game between BU and BC at Fenway Park. I can't wait to see hockey outside, though I am preparing how to layer my clothes so as not to freeze and/or lose any of my digits. College hockey is always a blast and these two teams have a fantastic rivalry so I know I won't be disappointed. It's also a nice warm-up for the rivalries that comprise the Bean Pot tournament games.

Speaking of the Bean Pot tournament, the first round games are on February 1 and the championship and consolation games are the next week on the 8th. We'll be there cheering on someone and listening to the chants of "safety school" and "sucks to BU" as the games unfold. It's GREAT fun and if I may make a plug for this tourney, if you consider yourself a real hockey aficionado, these games should be on your bucket list. It's like no other sporting atmosphere--a cross between a Red Sox-Yankees game (the rivalry); a college football bowl game (amateur athletes); and the Stanley Cup playoffs (quality hockey.)

I know, you're saying that there are a bunch of NHL games yet to be contested and there's the NCAA Frozen Four tourney. And you're right. But those are a ways off in the future and I'm not looking quite that far ahead least not hockey-wise.

However, as a little tease for things to come...I am already looking at possible horses for the Kentucky Derby on May 1. It is, in my opinion, not too early to start looking at Derby prospects, especially since all 2 year-old Thoroughbreds magically turned into 3 year-olds (and some of them are already tantalizing Derby possibilities...) on January 1. With that, I give you 10 to watch for the 2010 Kentucky Derby by John Asher.

So obviously, up next in the TTLFT 2010: The Horses Edition. Stay tuned...

No comments: