What is indoor hockey’s biggest enemy? Energy costs, of course. Well, organizers want to make Union Arena in Woodstock, VT the nation’s first skating rink to go “net zero”, meaning no costs spent on electricity or heating fuel. The plan includes upgrading the existing equipment at the arena for efficiency, finding ways to reuse the heat generating from the power-sucking compressors used to make the ice and, finally, buying solar panels that will be erected elsewhere. While the long term plan is to get to “net zero”, the rink’s electricity consumption from early November to early December was down 12.5% for the same period a year ago. Good for them!
Trivia #1: The Patriots finished 14-2. What NFL record did they tie, record-wise?
Trivia #2: Who is Sanford Braun? (Either you know it or you don’t. Hints to follow)
A pair of light sleepers who wanted to rest in peace accidentally killed their drunken pal because he was snoring too loudly, officials said. The two French men, ages 28 and 35, were boozing it up with the 35 year-old victim in a Parisian suburb on Saturday night. “The victim, who had drunk more than the others, suddenly fell into a deep and unconscious sleep,” a judicial source told the AFP news agency. The others decided to strip him naked in what they say was an attempt to prevent him from driving home drunk when he woke up. They also scribbled on his face “for laughs.” The two jokesters later became annoyed by the man’s snoring , which kept them up. “They decided to take him outside into the courtyard of the building,” the source said. Temps dropped to as low as about 37 degrees Fahrenheit and the man’s lifeless body was discovered the next day. The two suspects now face charges of manslaughter. (I can see it!)
So Chris Berman is stepping down from his role with ESPN covering the NFL. (He will remain with ESPN) Back in the day, Primetime was my favorite weekly show, seeing highlights from all of the games around the league. You know, like we get on our phones real-time nowadays. Here are a couple of my all-time favorite Chris Berman NFL nicknames: Eric “Sleeping With” Bieniemy and Vince Workman “My Way Back to You Babe”.
Trivia #2 hint: He is in the MLB HOF.
In skiing news… A mother died and her two daughters were injured in a fall from a chair lift at a ski resort in Colorado Thursday. Authorities say the 40-year-old woman from Texas and the girls, ages 9 and 12, fell around 20 feet from the lift onto snow at the Ski Granby Ranch. One girl was hospitalized in stable condition and the other was airlifted to a hospital near Denver, around 90 miles away. The resort’s operation director says the three were the only people on a four-person lift and they “came out of their chair” somewhere between the loading area and the summit. Police and state regulators are investigating the incident, which ski industry groups say was an extremely rare event. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) says that between 2004 and October of this year, there were just three recorded deaths from ski lift falls. The last chair lift death blamed on a malfunction was in 1993, according to the NSAA. Since the last fatal accident in Colorado, in 2002, “there have been 1.7 billion chair lift rides,” a spokesman for Colorado Ski Country USA tells the Denver Post. “It’s super rare. It really doesn’t happen very often, and it’s not something that folks need to be concerned about.” Witnesses to Thursday’s accident tell CBS Denver that there had been problems with the chair lift over the last few days, with each stop causing the chairs to sway.
At least one Vegas resort already has odds on the Pats’ first playoff game. Barring something unforeseen (such as an Oakland rout of Houston), if they play Miami -13 ½; Houston -14 ½; Oakland -16 ½.
Trivia #2 hint: He had a winning percentage of .655 and struck out over 300 batters in three seasons.
Mookie Betts is set to be honored at the Boston Chapter Baseball Writers’ Association of America as the Red Sox MVP.
Speaking of the Red Sox, after Dave Dombrowski’s winter Sale, etc., their farm system ranking went from #4 to #16. Not as bad as one would have thought, I think (think, thought, think…)
Clemson shocks ‘Bama!
Trivia #2 hint: He was a lefty.
RIP #15, Milt Schmidt, at 98. Some facts about “Mr. Bruin.” Milt spent 80 years at all levels of the sport. He was the oldest living NHL player and was recently named one of the top 100 players of all time, inducted into the HOF in 1961. Won two Stanley Cups as a player and two more as a GM. He was the only man to serve the Bruins as a player, captain, coach and general manager. He played 16 seasons with the Bruins and missed three more, while serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII. He played in a then record 776 games with the Bruins. Schmidt was a member of the famed “Kraut” line and he and fellow members Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer enlisted during the 1941-42 season. He led the NHL in scoring in 1939-40 with 52 points in 48 games, won the Hart Trophy as MVP in 1951 and was a member of the NHL First Team All-Star Team three times. He later coach the Bruins and then became their GM. He did also have a brief stint as coach/GM of the Caps.
A couple more on Milt. In the Kraut line’s final game before going into the service, the Bruins thumped the rival Montreal Canadians. After the game, the two teams came together and hoisted each member of the Kraut line onto their shoulders and carried them off the ice as the Garden crowd sang “Auld Lang Syne”. Also, when the three returned from service, they had to adjust to the redline which had been introduced in 1943 while they were away. (It didn’t throw off Schmidt too much as he was MVP in ’51)
Trivia #1 answer: The Patriots became just the 7th team to finish undefeated on the road.
Trivia #2 answer: Sandy Koufax
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin
“And so we’re told this is the golden age,
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage,
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day,
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day”