First Michigan State, now the rest of the world The Enlightened Spartan: First Michigan State, now the rest of the world

Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Michigan State, now the rest of the world

Michigan will host Michigan State in hockey at Michigan Stadium in December this year. It's official. But, let us step back for a minute.

Michigan State led the world with the idea, that is, outdoor hockey in the information age. The "Cold War" hockey matchup between Michigan State and Michigan on a frigid fall evening in Spartan Stadium back in 2001 (still a world record attendance of 74,544 to watch hockey) has led to an onslaught of outdoor premier hockey matchups annually ever since.

It's been a huge revenue and promotional machine for pro and college hockey, and you wonder if Mark Hollis is kicking himself for not copyrighting it and getting a piece of the action. Every year, the NHL has its "Winter Classic" (the Red Wings and Blackhawks at Wrigley field last year, the Flyers and Bruins at Fenway Park on January 1 this year). And, next week, Michigan will head over to Wisconsin to play at the Camp Randall Hockey Classic.

Now, Michigan State and Michigan will face off next academic year, December 11, 2010, in Michigan Stadium for the "Big Chill in the Big House."

Everyone who has a chance to see outdoor hockey? Do it! When the ES watched the Cold War, it was a thrilling, amazing experience. Plus, a 7-hour long tailgate ain't bad either. Note to the wise: bring a stadium seat, a wool blanket, and wear long underwear.

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