March. This morning at the Casa Del Sank-A-Ray the mercury reported a refreshing 15 degrees below zero. But I pledge that barring subzero temps in April I’m done whining about the weather. Mrs S has let me know that all that energy I’ve spent whining about the weather has only made it worse for everyone.
That being said there is a school of logic circulating around the house that the weather will change now that I’ve discovered that the window in the guest room, same window where I’ve been find ice on the window handle and where my jug of distilled CPAP water was found to have a layer of ice on the top of it last week, has been cracked open for the last 2 months. I haven’t told Mrs S about my discovery yet because I can’t figure out a good way to tell her frankly after telling her that the cold was her imagination.
One of the nice things about March is that by the end of it, in most years the snow is gone, baseball is starting up and I can drop a few layers of insulation when I go outside to get the mail. It’s also the month where I look forward to my favorite sporting event of the year, the WCHA hockey tournament in St Paul. This tournament, which I written about here a few times, brings together some of the best college hockey teams from the best, most competitive conference in the country. I’d even make the argument that, at least regionally, it’s the best sports thing going in college sports.
Sorry passionate puck heads, America barely cares about NHL hockey, college hockey? Completely off the radar, just try to find college hockey scores online.
And now, I’m so sad to report, this event is no more. The old WCHA has been destroyed, thanks too… well thanks to greed basically. Big 10 had nothing to show on Friday nights, Penn State wanted to have a hockey program and so we get Penn State vs. Minnesota on the last weekend of the regular season. Where in the past Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota would have been absolutely electric, one of the best atmosphere’s in sports, instead we had quite crowd watching a game that no one gave a crap about. Lame. Lame enough that the Big 10 has 12 teams in it currently, but then not like math has been a strength of these so called student athletes. (Sorry couldn’t resist) Extra lame is that of the 12 schools, only 6 have hockey. And of the 6, only 4 really count.
On the other side of the coin we have the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which brought in some of the top teams of the old WCHA, North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth, Colorado College and Denver. They’re suffering without Minnesota or Wisconsin. North Dakota vs St. Cloud this weekend? Same deal, small quiet crowds and not much to get excited about.
And the sad thing is, college hockey, which at best is a niche sport, is really hurt by this because good natural rivalries. Changing the traditional alignments alienates the hardcore fans of the sport, who are the only fans paying attention.