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updated: 1/11/2013 6:25 PM

NHL's condensed regular season not a bad thing at all

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  • Patrick Sharp skates during an informal NHL hockey workout at Johnny's Icehouse, Thursday. Mike Spellman says This season's shortened 48-game NHL schedule should provide fireworks.

    Patrick Sharp skates during an informal NHL hockey workout at Johnny's Icehouse, Thursday. Mike Spellman says This season's shortened 48-game NHL schedule should provide fireworks.
    Associated Press


Not so bad:

I'm not a fan of extended strikes or lockouts, but I do like one immediate aftereffect: condensed regular seasons.

Last year's shortened NBA season was as hectic and fun as any I can remember, and I'm not even an NBA guy.

This season's 48-game NHL schedule should provide the same kind of fireworks.

In pro sports, shorter is better. Just look at the NFL -- September through early January ... and then the playoffs.


Not on board:

The morning after the NHL lockout was averted I was in a gas station picking up a couple of papers when the news came across the radio.

"Hockey ... pfff," said an older gentleman with a dismissive wave. "Who cares?"

I'm afraid he's not alone.

But, c'mon:

Blackhawks opening the season a week from Saturday? Against the defending Cup champion L.A. Kings? On national TV?

No "pfff" from me on that one.


Is it possible to walk into a gas station or convenience store and not see someone just hanging out and talking to the clerk?

With the 20th pick ...:

The Chicago Bears select tight end Tyler Eifert out of Notre Dame.

Rolling Tide:

Fresh off their convincing win in the championship game, it comes as no surprise that RJ Bell at has Alabama as a 3-1 favorite to repeat next year (Notre Dame is 20-1) and make it four titles in five years.

Four titles in five years? That's still difficult to fathom, isn't it?

In case you were wondering, Bama would be a 24-point dog in a matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.


Al Roker? Why would you talk about that? On TV?


Emery bored?

Interviewing Mike Singletary?

Regardless of motive, the first misstep of the Phil Emery era.

I still trust him, though.

Compare and contrast:

I like imagining how different the interviewing process is with Emery than it would be if Jerry Angelo were still in charge.

Kinda gives me the chills, though.

Dreaming big:

I know it's a longshot, but someday I hope to be as cool as the 5-Hour Energy guy.

Ping pong master and a debut song? Awesome!

Continuing to do it right:

The Chicago Wolves are honoring all veterans and active-duty personnel with complimentary tickets to the team's Military Appreciation home games on Jan. 16, 18, and 19. And everyone in their group gets a $4 discount on a ticket.

That's how you do it.

The Wolves will also be wearing kick-rumpus commemorative Military Appreciation jerseys that will be auctioned and raffled to raise money for military-related charities as well as Chicago Wolves Charities.

Picks to (hopefully) click:

Because I picked a Houston vs. San Francisco matchup in the Super Bowl at the start of the season, I have to stick with both come heck or high water this weekend.

In the two other games I'm going with the Broncos and the Seahawks.

Am I gonna go 1-3 this weekend??

Might get a kick out of this:

If you're weary of the Brent Musburger-Miss Alabama videos and you have four minutes to spare, type in "Norwegian kicker" and enjoy.

Some pretty amazing stuff there.

He tweeted it:

"Wow! Baseball writers make a statement. Feels right."

-- Dennis Eckersley, on the HOF shutout thrown by the voters.

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