CBS' Bryan Fischer directs you to the seven-minute mark of this CBS Sports video, where you will find NHL commissioner Gary Bettman making the following statement regarding the Winter Classic: "To have imagined that the event would be this spectacular, particularly when you're there, to imagine that we would own New Year's Day, which used to be for college football, nobody could have imagined it."
Securing "ownership" of Jan. 1 became a little easier, we suppose, when no college football games were played on New Year's Day 2012. Hockey's case is somewhat weakened, however, by not having played on New Year's Day 2012 either for fear of competing poorly against Sunday NFL games.
To start a HOCKEY VERSUS COLLEGE FOOTBALL CAGEMATCH!! over this would be sort of goofy; we believe that fans of the two sports have a lot in common and probably share a mutual appreciation for violence and pageantry. And we very much like the idea of the Winter Classic; not having grown up where snow games were ever a real possibility, anything played outside on ice is a cool novelty. But we'll be honest: By the end of last year's December 30-31 Armed Forces-Pinstripe-Music City-Insight-Texas-Sun-Liberty-CFA Bowl sprint, we were in such a bad way with sensory football overload that we spent the football-less Jan. 1 in a kind of recuperative coma, unaware that hockey was even happening on television. We might be a bad example, because it is our job to absorb football and football only. What say you, gentle readers?