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>Happy (Sports Thanksgiving) New Year!

>Welcome back to The Sports Ace, where we always have a feast of football, basketball, hockey, new Xmas presents and yummy eats to keep us company.

New Years Day is one of my favorite days of the year. Sure, it’s great for all the usual reasons…we’re off from work, we spend the time with friends/family and it’s a day that represents the hopes and dreams of everyone. If you’re not using at least some of the time to reflect on who you are and what you want to be, you should. It’s a wonderful, healthy exercise.

But the icing on the cake (and much of the rest of the cake, actually) for me is the incredible slate of sports action. Here’s just a little bit of what’s really got me excited today:

–The Rose Bowl. Really, this alone could make my day. Having grown up in Minnesota, and being a Gopher letterwinner, this is the game that never fails to give me goosebumps. I watch the Rose Parade, dreaming of what it would have been like to participate in it. I look at the Big Ten and Pac-10 champs duke it out, hoping that someday in my lifetime I’ll get the chance to see the Gophers play in Pasadena. The pageantry, the passion, the tradition…it really is the Granddaddy of Them All. Just for today, Go Buckeyes.

–The Winter Classic. I hope the NHL dude who thought of this got a promotion and a huge raise. I’m not sure anything else has done more for pro hockey in the USA the past few years than this great annual event. And this year, it’s at storied Fenway Park…and it features one of the league’s top rivalries. Great stuff…makes me wish I was making my Monday flight to Boston a few days early. Only thing: just stop talking about how great the ice is. Seemed pretty obvious to me from that first period like it’s not exactly ideal out there. But hey, it’s outdoor hockey…I’m not exactly complaining.

–Big Ten Bowls. The Rose, the Outback (and what a great game it is), the Capital One…it’s a great day for a Big Ten football fan. Besides, anytime you get to see JoePa on the sideline in a rainstorm, life is good. Now let’s go win some games and silence those stupid talking heads who think our conference can’t compete.

–Purdue/West Virginia. Can’t forget about basketball today…this could be a Final Four preview, and it features another Big Ten team. Can’t wait to see my Gophers beat the Boilers next week.

Enjoy the action, everyone. What’s getting you psyched up today?

That’s all for now. I’m out like Bobby Bowden.

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