It was more than a little strange to have a New Year's Day without any college bowl games to use as background noise as many of us coped with annual hangovers, packed up Christmas decorations or prepped for pork-and-sauerkraut dinners.
Glad New Year's Day falls on Sundays only about once per decade because we've already lost so many traditions and things we can count on. The NFL on the first day of the year just didn't feel right.
Sure, the Cowboys and Giants set a "Sunday Night Football" ratings record for NBC, but what do you expect on a day that's traditionally about football, and the battle for the NFC East was more compelling than any other matchup?
Speaking of strange, it was strange to have to hunt for the Penn State bowl game on Monday.
You could also tell it was not a typical PSU bowl appearance when the announcers' voices weren't instantly recognizable. Clay Matvick and Danny Kanell were in the booth, not exactly Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit, who did the Rose Bowl and will work Monday night's BCS title game.
The most recognizable part of the TicketCity broadcast team was sideline reporter Lisa Salters, a King of Prussia native and Penn State grad.
Despite her Happy Valley ties, Salters had an issue with Joe Paterno at the 2009 Rose Bowl when Paterno declined to do an expected pregame interview on the field and retreated to the press box.
As for this year's broadcast, little was made of the cloud over the program caused by the Jerry Sandusky scandal until late.
There could have been nothing but Jay Paterno shots all day, but it was kept to a minimum, at least until the game was nearly over.
Speaking of sideline reporters, various websites are showing clips of ESPN's Holly Rowe shoving aside a female print reporter to make sure she had an exclusive interview shot at Michigan coach Brady Hoke immediately after the Sugar Bowl.
Print reporters are often shoved aside by TV people who have to get the shot right away or lose it. While Rowe's shove wasn't classy, it wasn't surprising either.
Did you notice?
I thought I was listening to Bob Griese during the Northwestern-Texas A&M battle in the Meineke Car Care Bowl when I learned it was his son, Brian, providing the color commentary. The two sound very much alike.
'24/7' helped ratings
Considering this Classic was played at 3 p.m. on a day that many people had to work or attend school, the 3.74 million was still impressive.
It's not a surprise that five of the six most-watched NHL games over the past 37 years have been Winter Classics. The appeal of seeing something out of the ordinary attracts viewers.
Not to be overlooked either is the impact that HBO's "24/7" series has on this game.