With no NFL, dreary days lie ahead for sports fans

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Now that the only games left in the current NFL season are the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, I’ll be looking for replacement sports stories to fill this space during the upcoming weeks.

The Winter Olympics will no doubt garner worldwide attention. From figure skating to ski jumping, the winter games will monopolize the headlines during the month of February.

Later in the month, NASCAR will open the 2014 season with the Daytona 500. Teams are testing and tuning up at various racetracks around the country preparing for this year’s Great American Race.

Once the Olympics’ closing ceremonies are done and the checkered flag has flown in Florida, most professional sports fans will turn their attention to the resumption of the National Hockey League season and/or the continuation of the NBA games. For me, I’ll spend more time watching the Blackhawks than I will the Bulls. The Blackhawks will be going for back-to-back Stanley Cups, while the Bulls will be playing for a draft pick.

For many sports fans, the dark days of winter are just around the corner. We’ll turn on the television and force ourselves to feign a high level of excitement when the two-man luge is being shown in primetime. That’s the reality of what we face when the calendar turns to February.

The good news is, March Madness quickly follows the shortest month of the year. Until then, we’ll have to put on our big boy jerseys and suffer through ice dancing and cross country skiing while we’re waiting for the U.S. hockey team to battle one of the European teams for a gold medal. That would definitely shed some light on those dark, dreary days that lie ahead.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the Jan. 22-28, 2014, issue

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