Round of Applause
The Candy Cane Classic is a great idea in local basketball. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day lends itself perfectly to a little tournament, and that’s exactly what Woodland has organized over the past couple of seasons. It’s a creative way to fill the Naugatuck Valley League’s one allotted nonconference game while also adding a little spice to a couple of regular-season games. More of these types of mini-tournaments would be welcome additions to the schedules in this neck of the woods.
Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey is ranked fifth in the country right now. You probably don’t know this because A) Nobody likes hockey for whatever reason, B) Those who do like hockey don’t realize that college hockey exists, and C) Quinnipiac is the closest Division I university to us and you barely hear a peep about the Bobcats. Consider this a peep. Quinnipiac is really, really good and those of you who don’t like hockey all that much should really give it a chance this weekend. The Bobcats are hosting a pair of huge games Friday and Saturday (I will be there for both) and you can watch both games on NESN at 7 p.m. They play No. 8 Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday. Hockey is probably the best sport of the big four to watch in person and tickets definitely won’t break you bank over at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden. This isn’t a PSA or anything, but I’m simply trying to broaden your horizons!
The BCS National Championship Game is Monday night and the sound of it is just so college football. Notre Dame vs. Alabama is as textbook as a national championship game gets. The two college football programs with probably the most storied histories in the country should be going at it, and from the looks of it we should have a great game to watch. I’ve always been a guy who loves defensive games and that’s probably what we’re going to get. Bring on a 10-7 ballgame! (As long as the Irish win, of course.)
Chorus of Boos
The NHL and those involved with continuing this lockout are remarkably stupid. For a bit of perspective, the clowns in Washington, D.C., reached some sort of resolution sooner than the greedy hockey folks did. It’s pretty bad when your approval rating is worse than Congress, but the NHL has done it. (Hint, hint: Check out college hockey!)
Top 10 Teams Most Likely to win the Super Bowl
1. Broncos: They’ve been the best team in the NFL for the last two months. Peyton and fast D.
2. Patriots: I dislike no athlete more than Tom Brady, but the man does playoffs like none other.
3. 49ers: I think San Fran’s better with Alex Smith than Colin Kaepernick, but the D is good.
4. Seahawks: Seattle is built for the playoffs. Good QB, great defense, physical running game.
5. Packers: Green Bay’s defense scares the heck out of me, but I don’t discount Aaron Rodgers.
6. Texans: They’ve been slumping, but the Texans have all the pieces to finally make a run.
7. Falcons: I’m not sold on Atlanta. Matt Ryan has had some awful games this season.
8. Vikings: Adrian Peterson is incredible and Christian Ponder is really getting better.
9. Redskins: If RGIII were totally healthy, I’d bump their chances more. He’s slower now.
10. Ravens: Ray Lewis comes back, maybe for the last time. Joe Flacco wins playoff games.
Word from the Woods
Woodland’s layoff continues until Tuesday, when the Hawks hit the road to Naugatuck to face the Greyhounds in their second Naugatuck Valley League meet of the season.
The end of Naugatuck’s nearly three-week hiatus comes Friday when the Greyhounds open up NVL competition with a meet at Seymour. Naugy returns home Tuesday to face Woodland.