Christmas has come and gone, and if you’re like most real sports fans there were many sports related items under your tree on Christmas morning. Whether it was your favorite football or hockey jersey, basketball tank top, or baseball, NASCAR or golf cap, we all wear them proudly throughout the year. Take a look as you walk around the beach or Time Square this month and you will see teams from all over the country being represented.
This year we are asking you to send us pictures of you and your family and friends donning those great sports team outfits. It’s ok if your team is out of it like my Dolphins, because we are looking for those die-hard fans that wear their colors proudly no matter where their teams are in the standings. Please include the names of everyone pictured and where you are from and we will include them in our “True Sports Fan” photos throughout the year. Also, for those of you fantasy football players, send us the pictures of your league champion with their trophy; and once again include the winner’s name, the name of your league and where they are from.
It’s time for a little sports rant. The big question for me when talking about the college football Bowl games is, why was there a MAJOR football game (the playoffs) played on New Year’s Eve Night? I can see the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl featuring (18) Houston vs. (9) Florida St. being played at any time, because it actually had no influence on who the national champion is. The playoffs being played while the majority of us are either at a great New Year’s Eve party bringing in the new year, or as many of us here on the beach, are working and making sure our valued tourists are enjoying their new year. Today’s (New Year’s Day) playoff games are the games that really matter. Yes, I’m sorry to all you other fans, but just like the playoffs and the Super Bowl in the NFL, the College Football Playoffs are the ultimate goal. Well, it turns out (rumor has it) that it’s because the Rose Bowl has to be a New Year’s Day game. Ok, let’s say that’s true. My big question is, on New Year’s Eve why couldn’t the Peach Bowl have been the late game so that both playoff games could be over before we count down the final hours of the New Year? Sorry, Stanford and Iowa but I, for one, will be boycotting the Rose Bowl (you may notice it omitted below) this year for taking our Bowl viewing privileges hostage. We’ll probably all be napping after the Fiesta and Citrus Bowl anyway. Be sure to check out my sports predictions for 2016 in this issue. Happy New Year!
Outback Bowl: (13) Northwestern vs. (23) Tennessee at 12pm on ESPN2
Fiesta Bowl: (8) Notre Dame vs. (7) Ohio St. at 1pm on ESPN
Citrus Bowl: (14) Michigan vs. (19) Florida at 1pm on ABC
Sugar Bowl: (16) Oklahoma St. vs. (12) Mississippi St. at 8:30pm on ESPN
Now the NFL got it right this week. Even though there are only a few games that will matter in the playoff picture, the games WILL matter to their fans. Whoever put together the schedule this year in the NFL knew what they were doing when they had the final games of the season all be divisional games. As far as the playoffs are concerned, will it matter if the Patriots beat the Dolphins or the Panthers beat Tampa Bay? No, but it sure will matter to their fans. Heck, to Dolphins and Buccaneers fans, it might as well be the Super Bowl.
Vikings @ Packers at 1pm
Patriots @ Dolphins at 1pm
Buccaneers @ Panthers at 1pm
Jaguars @ Texans at 1pm
Seahawks @ Cardinals at 1pm
Early in this NHL season, the Washington Capitals and the Dallas Stars seem to have the hot hand coming out of the gates. Both teams have played well and put up some big wins and are securing themselves at the top of their respective divisions. Even though Montreal and Boston have been battling for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, the Florida Panthers went on a hot streak heading into the New Year and are nipping at their heels and outside of Washington, may be the hottest team in hockey. Could we see Florida and Tampa Bay battling it out in the playoffs?