- The Washington Times - Monday, December 24, 2007

• Sports Illustrated anointed the Twin Cities “Hockeytown U.S.A.” because of the area’s passionate support of high school, college and professional hockey.

We don’t dispute the decision. The Wild and Red Wings played Saturday night before 18,568 fans in a packed Xcel Energy Center, an arena that seats 18,064.

But it’s not devotion to the NHL game that gives Minneapolis-St. Paul the title. It’s the fact that the University of Minnesota televises each of the Gophers’ games (with post- and pregame shows). It’s the fact that the local Fox Sports Net station will televise 17 high school games. And it’s the fact that the Wild rarely play Friday or Saturday home games, leaving those for the high schools and colleges.

• Chris Cooley and Brian Kozlowski were the first Redskins on the field yesterday — they entered at 4:31 p.m. — but the tight ends weren’t running routes or catching passes. Armed with three footballs and a kicking tee, the two punted and kicked off. Cooley’s second attempt went 36 yards in the air and rolled 9 yards. More impressive were his efforts with his arm: Cooley threw the ball 58 yards.

• Hand it to the Vikings: Longtime trainer Fred Zamberletti is in their Ring of Fame. Here’s hoping the Redskins do something similar when Bubba Tyer retires.

• Somebody change the Metrodome scoreboard. Two-and-a-half hours before kickoff, the scoreboard still displayed all the information from last Monday: Vikings 20, Bears 13. Fourth-and-13 from the 36. Two timeouts remaining for Minnesota.

• Two hours before kickoff, somebody controlling the sound system smuggled in a Christmas album. Ugh. We love Bruce and U2, but not when they’re singing about Santa Claus.

• Those of you who chose to watch Boise State play East Carolina in the Hawaii Bowl instead of Redskins-Vikings must: a) know a player on one of the teams; b) really hate pro football; c) be related to the Holtz family; or d) have a diabolical addiction to gambling and a bet on the game.

Ryan O’Halloran

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