With the Detroit Red Wings' 2012-13 schedule being released on Thursday, we now know the official start time for the 2013 Winter Classic. There had been rumors that it would begin as early as noon on Jan. 1, but its official start time, according to the schedule, is 1 p.m. ET.
On the one hand, with the Winter Classic starting at 1 p.m. ET, it should avoid a conflict with the Rose Bowl, which typically begins at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 1. The issue is that it will still conflict with college football bowl games. The Gator Bowl, Outback Bowl and Capital One Bowl all will likely start at 1 p.m. on New Year's Day, and it's possible Michigan and Michigan State could end up playing in those games.
This is nothing new, of course, but it reinforces the stupidity on the NHL's part of playing the game on New Year's Day. Around the holidays, it's tough to avoid conflicts with football, but going up against college football's most notable day of bowls is just not smart. As a sports fan, I'd much rather have the Winter Classic be played on the night of New Year's Eve rather than New Year's Day, especially this year. If it comes down to the Winter Classic or a bowl game involving the Wolverines and Spartans, it is going to be a tough choice for fans, and I have a feeling many will choose football.