Random thoughts on the first regular work/school day of 2011:
I haven't watched much football on TV this season because they keep sending me to games in person, but I did slog through the NFC West championship game Sunday night and afterward heard one of the strangest things ever:
Former Newsday paper boy Al Michaels of NBC peddling Seahawks playoff tickets - complete with Web address and phone number! - on national television. Awkward!
Elsewhere in the NFL Sunday, it was a rough day for the two active NFL players I'm closest to: the Titans' Kerry Collins, whose late fumbled snap essentially punched the Jets' ticket to Indianapolis, and the Giants' Rich Seubert, who dislocated a knee cap. Ouch. Here's to hoping both are back in the NFL for at least one more go-round in '11.
What about weekend ratings, you ask? OK, here are a couple of tidbits:
The Rose Bowl averaged 11.7 percent of homes in major markets, down from last year but still impressive for its first time off broadcast TV. The rating was the best in the history of cable TV . . . for everything other than the NFL.
Meanwhile, the warmth-delayed NHL Winter Classic averaged a 2.8 Saturday night, down slightly from the game's 2009 high of 2.9. As usual for the event, that's pretty darn good for hockey.
Speaking of Pittsburgh, as a bonus linkage treat, here is the Post-Gazette's Gene Collier with one of his columns on the inanity of sports language.