There is an incredibly surreal feeling surrounding the preparations and the events leading up to the New Year's Day game. We watched the enormous truck carrying the ice for the game pull onto Yawkey Way last week. We’ve seen the players from both the Flyers and Bruins take a stroll on the soon-to-be outdoor playground on Sunday. Celebrities of all kinds will be in attendance, and guess what else I just learned?
Norm Abram and his entire crew from the PBS national show This Old House were at Fenway Park on Tuesday morning to learn how to build an outdoor rink. Are you kidding me? I grew up watching the show with my father. I was always infatuated with the program — though don’t ask me why, because I am an absolute train wreck with a hammer and nails. Regardless, the show always interested me.
Now I learn that the same rink where I’ll be broadcasting the greatest outdoor game this town has ever seen hosted none other than the crew from This Old House. I wish I had seen that special growing up. Kids in New England take note: This will be the best broadcast of how to build a backyard rink you’ve ever seen.
There truly is something special brewing in this town (and I’m not just talking about Norm and the ghost of Bob Vila past). Building a hockey rink from scratch on the most historic baseball field in one of the country’s most passionate sports towns is remarkable.
Every day I read something new about the Winter Classic. Not only have I seen the preparations and the construction involved in building this one-of-a-kind rink, but I am amazed at the energy, excitement and enthusiasm that everyone has.
This monumental event is not like any other. With a Super Bowl, you have two weeks of buildup once the teams are decided. Forget about the World Series, NBA finals and Stanley Cup finals, because those opponents can be determined as quickly as overnight. This event is simply different, as the official July announcement has brought more anticipation for one game than anything I have ever experienced.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Food Network decides to do a feature on the rink. We have certainly seen it all up until this point.
Friday morning, Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, Terry O’Reilly and Bobby Orr will be among the Bruins greats to participate in the "First Skate at Fenway." It’s the kickoff event for the two weeks leading up to the NHL game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers. To see these NHL Hall of Famers on the ice is sure to rev up the hype even more, and rightfully so.
The 2010 Winter Classic is a must see. I don’t care if you are watching from the comfort of your home on New Year’s Day, having a good time viewing it from one of the local establishments on Landsdowne Street or if you were fortunate enough to land yourself the hottest ticket in town.
It will be a game for the ages, just as the events leading up to it have already proven to be.