It's a nice idea having two NHL teams play outdoors in January in a gentle snowfall, but the so-called Winter Classic is hardly an authentic approximation of hockey's roots, given that it takes place in a baseball stadium and not on a frozen pond, cleared by shovel, lit by the headlights of a '72 Dodge Dart and contested with a single puck, so that every time it's flipped out of play both teams have to hunt for it beneath the snow with their sticks like old men combing a white-sand beach with metal detectors.
At its core, sports on TV is simply a prop for beer sales. The viewer essentially must answer the question: What's more important to you, Coors Light's "cold-activated can" or Miller Lite's "taste protector lid"? This marketing malarkey reminds me of another reason I stand proudly with the good folks at Pabst Blue Ribbon -- they don't advertise.
More and more these days, you hear that the public's patience with Detroit has run out. The recently negotiated labor agreements at General Motors and Chrysler, the argument goes, relieve a big chunk of their health care burden and give them more flexibility in manning plants and planning production.