Well, we’re almost through the first month of 2020. I hope you’re pacing yourself. It’s going to be a bumpy year. We got an impeachment trial underway in the Senate and caucuses and primaries on the horizon after Punxsutawney Phil decides to add a 13th month to this year’s calendar.
January hasn’t been all that bad, though.
The NFL playoffs provided some surprises. The Tennessee Titans saved us from another Super Bowl featuring the New England Patriots and somehow were one win away from going to Miami.
The Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round had some of us trying to fathom the idea of two AFC South teams playing for a trip to Super Bowl LIV, but woke up in the 2nd quarter after going down 24-0 to the Houston Texans, outscoring them 51-7 the rest of the way to win.
In the NFC, it was 49ers and Packers with San Francisco thumping Green Bay early to move on to the big game.
Now, we have entered the bye week before the Super Bowl, which has become Pro Bowl week over the past several seasons.
You know it. I know it. The Pro Bowl is trash. Such trash, they moved it from Honolulu, Hawaii to Orlando, Florida.
I’ll let Jim Brockmire fill you in on the details (31 seconds in)…
The game where players go half speed and pretend like they care and now the NFL is going to test out some new rules during it.
The main rule getting everyone’s attention is the 4th and 15 option when attempting a field goal.
It’s like any game show where you can take the guaranteed money or you can put it at risk. It could be fun, but it won’t stick in actual games. Also, no kickoffs, which could become the norm someday.
Can we also talk about how many channels this damn game is on?!
ESPN, ABC and Disney XD.
Let me get this straight. Monday Night Football is restricted to cable (shown over-the-air if that market’s team is playing), but we’ll put this lousy show on three channels?
I don’t get the Disney XD concept. If you polled a group of kids and said would you rather have a 4-hour marathon of Ducktales reruns or the Pro Bowl, I think they take Huey, Dewey and Louie over Joe and Booger.
This is also the weekend the NHL will host its All-Star Game. This year, it is happening in St. Louis.
The league made a very wise move last season by airing it on Saturday night and not Sunday afternoon. Also, the 3-on-3 tournament between the four divisions has made it so much better. Thrown in a $1 million prize for the winning team which adds some incentive.
A downside to this year’s festivities is the lack of big names.
Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Auston Matthews, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jake Guentzel and others are not taking part, most because of current injuries or past ones that kept them from getting votes or some don’t want to play.
A little added bonus are the honorary captains for the game…
Here’s a breakdown of these St. Louis-based celebrity captains.
Metropolitan Division: Jon Hamm
-Born in St. Louis (obviously). Pretty much fits into any television show or film, and is in this season’s Curb Your Enthusiasm where he gets kicked out of a home with Larry David.
Atlantic Division: Jenn Fischer
-Ft. Wayne, Indiana born, St. Louis raised. Will always be Pam Beesly from The Office to me. Became the Blues unofficial celebrity mascot during last spring’s Stanley Cup run.
Central Division: Brett Hull
-A hockey Hall of Famer who was a member of the St. Louis Blues for most of his 19-year career (1988-98). Scored that Cup-clinching goal for the Dallas Stars that lead to a re-write of the crease rule and was feeling himself at the Blues Cup celebration.
“WE WENT BLUES!”
I hope Brett stayed hydrated that day.
By the way, Hull is one of my favorite players from the 90s.
Pacific Division: Wayne Gretzky
-The Great One.
Gretzky played for the Blues during the 1995-96 season.
There will be NBA and college basketball games this weekend, as well, but two of the four major professional sports leagues are having their All-Star games, so it might be a good weekend to finally take down the Christmas lights or restart your failed New Year’s resolution.
We go from “Meh” weekend to Super Bowl week pretty quick after Sunday.
UPDATE: Forgot the “Royal Rumble” was on this weekend, so I’m getting some grief for that. I’m not a pro wrestling guy.