It's official: The NHL Winter Classic has surpassed the Rose Bowl as my favorite thing about New Year's Day.
(New Year's Day, of course, having long since been polluted by a bunch of Capitol One Weed Eater Dot Com bowls, and diluted by the exclusion of the Cotton, Sugar and/or Fiesta and/or Orange bowls. The sense of occasion, alas, is gone).
Anyway ... today you had the Bruins and the Flyers playing hockey in Fenway Park with Bobby Orr and Bobby Clarke serving as honorary captains and a bundled-up James Taylor singing the national anthem. Doesn't get much better.
And it got me to thinking: If Dennis Hextall is as forward-thinking a commissioner of the IHL as he would like to be, he'd seriously look into staging an IHL Winter Classic.
I mean, think about it: Port Huron and the Komets skating in Parkview Field. How awesome would that be?
And, yeah, the cost would be prohibitive, because the outdoor ice-making technology is so extremely expensive. But like every other form of techology, the cost will eventually come down to negotiable levels for leagues like the "I." And if the "I" is at all visionary, it wouldn't wait until it's completely negotiable. It'd jump on it now, or in the very near future, and beat the AHL and ECHL to the punch.
If it really wants to muscle those two leagues out of the minor-league spotlight, I can't think of a better way to do it.