As if New England’s winter didn’t already feel interminable in February, this is the time of the year when sports slow down to a crawl: the dreaded Dead Zone of the Boston sports calendar. Don’t believe it? Just take a look at all of our local pro teams and where they are this very moment.
[Photo credit: Jim Davis/Globe Staff]
It may be fun and uplifting for all of the loud voices around these parts to treat the NFL off-season just like the regular season and playoffs, which is to say yammering on about the Pats and all of their shortcomings as if they’re the Dallas Cowboys or some other bumbling, incompetent organization that struggles to finish .500 and can’t get out of its own way. But for fans/people who are routinely made to feel bad about themselves for loving the team thanks to those aforementioned voices, this is distinctly neither fun nor uplifting.
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But there’s nothing normal about this portion of the season, thanks to the Winter Olympics. Sure, there will be a handful of B’s taking part in the tournament over in Sochi and as Vancouver, Turin, and Salt Lake City (or of course, Lake Placid) proved, Olympic men’s hockey can be incredible, particularly when the US sends a contending, competitive team.
Yet after Saturday, there will be no NHL games for 17 days. And while the Olympic tournament schedule features a stray, noontime puck drop here and there, the majority of the contests will be played at either 3 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. Fans will certainly be able to watch via tape delay, but good luck trying to avoid knowing who won ahead of time.