Why the Winter Classic gets me out of bed on New Year’s Day

After a night of revelry with friends, there’s not much that can get me excited about crawling out from under my covers the next day. One thing that can is the Winter Classic.

It doesn’t really matter which teams are playing or which historic stadium is featured. I don’t even really care who wins most times. It is just another two points, after all.

Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winter Classic

The first Winter Classic played in Buffalo. Or the best one thus far.

What gets me excited is the idea of my favorite game in the world getting some air time on a national holiday. I love the idea that some kids might watch their first hockey game that day. It thrills me when a hockey game is nationally broadcast on a major cable network. The attention is fabulous.

It’s tough being an American hockey fan. So many people here don’t understand what a beautiful game it is, and they usually don’t have many chances of bumping into it so easily. As a PR and marketing person, I swoon at the idea of a national audience being pulled into a game on a day when most people want to hang out around the house and relax. As a fan of the game, I’m giddy over the thought that some people fall in love with hockey because of the Winter Classic. That’s the whole reason I wanted to work in the hockey world – to spread the love of the game.

Rupp, Rangers, Flyers

Mike Rupp in the Rangers vs Flyers Winter Classic. He was on fire. I just watched the replay on NHL Network. Doesn’t hurt that he’s a Cleveland boy.

So on this New Year’s Day, I’ll be curled up on my couch watching the game and tweeting obsessively so all my non-hockey-loving followers will get a taste of the game. And if I’m lucky maybe some of them will tune in and catch the fever.

What’s your favorite way to share the game with people who aren’t fans? And who will you be cheering for at the Winter Classic?

The only time this Ohio girl will ever appreciate The Big House.

The only time this Ohio girl will ever appreciate The Big House.

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