Just a few items that stand out to me as we close the year 2008.
1. It was a bad year for professional hockey in the south. The Nashville Predators are hanging on by a thread due to their ownership debacle, and the ECHL lost four southern teams in one calendar year: Beaumont, TX; Columbia, SC; Pensacola, FL and Augusta, GA. The outlook for 2009 is not promising either.
2. It seemed like a good year for women with a serious presidential candidate, and a vice presidential candidate. But this weekend I was told by Judy the Show Pros supervisor at Gwinnett Arena -- in regards to ongoing problems with her people wrongly denying female reporters access to the visitor's locker room -- that "if [the problem] only happens once a year I can live with that." I'd like to see her try to tell that to a black man regarding eating at the counter or riding the bus. I'm sure that would go over well with him, and the ACLU for that matter.
3. We're almost through an entire calendar year of Bob Hartley being unemployed. Losing out on numerous NHL jobs and a KHL job, he's now rumored for a job in the DEL (German league), with the Hamburg Freezers. Only rumored, mind you. He's made a lot of enemies over the years. Someone in the Q told a colleague of mine that Hartley was one of the most hated men in hockey.
4. Movie of the year in my book: Slumdog Millionaire. It's set in India, but I think the less you know about the plot the better, as it is revealed in an interesting way in the movie. It's by director Danny Boyle, which should be all you need to know. That's Danny Boyle, not Dan Boyle of course.