NHL Winter Classic 2012: Why Non-Hockey Fans Must Watch Epic Showdown

Michael Mill@@MikeMill23Senior Analyst IIIDecember 31, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08:  Overall view of the stadium field shows the floorboards are already down on the baseball field at Citizens Bank Park on December 8, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Winter Classic.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The NHL Winter Classic has had plenty of success since it's initiation back in 2008.

This year's Winter Classic will take place on January 2nd at 1 p.m. ET and will feature two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Philadelphia Flyers (22-10-4) will take on the New York Rangers (23-9-4) in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

In case you aren't a big hockey fan, the Flyers home arena is the Wells Fargo Center, not Citizens Bank Park.

In the Winter Classic, the two teams face off outdoors. Citizens Bank Park, where the Philadelphia Phillies play, is being transformed into a ice rink.

The gimmick of playing outdoors has been a big attraction for fans and players. It's a reason that most casual hockey fans choose to tune in for this epic showdown whether or not their favorite team is playing.

The game typically has a more natural feel to it. Imagine a basketball game played on an inner city court or a football game played on a field where a tree is the designated goal line.

Okay, maybe that's a little far fetched, but you get the point.

Growing up as sports fans, this is the way that we all played the game. We played it outdoors in our natural surroundings.

This year, the challenge for the players will actually be warmer weather. In fact, that warm weather has already delayed the start of the Alumni Classic.

Above all else, the real reason to tune in for this game if you aren't a hockey fan is because it may convince you to become one.

This game has two of the top teams in the league taking each other on with the NHL Eastern Atlantic Conference in grasps. Sure, it's extremely early in the season and the outcome of this game likely won't mean much, but it could be a preview of things to come later in the year.

That's like saying you shouldn't tune into a game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers just because they are playing in Week 3.

This one is sure to be an exciting game.