According to the Associated Press “J.T. Miller scored a power-play goal 2:43 into overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday in the NHL’s 10th Winter Classic at Citi Field.  Paul Carey and Michael Grabner scored in the first period for the Rangers, who improved to 4-0 in regular season outdoor games. Henrik Lundqvist, who has been in goal for all four of the wins, stopped 31 shots to help New York improve to 6-2-3 in its last 11 overall.”

Well that’s all well and good if you’re a NHL fan, but if you’re a Checker fan, the AP missed a great buy line: Checkers Show Up Big Time at the NHL Winter Classic. Yes, that’s right, Checkers were center stage at Citi Stadium for the entire event.

Ten Checkers were parked in the center of Citi Stadium just outside of the rink. They were parked in a way that placed Checkers in camera shot for the entire came. Broadcast on NBC, the ten Checkers were used consistently in break-away to commercial shots. Many player interviews were conducted with a Checker positioned in the background.

ITCA member David Cohen and Ben Merkel plus  our old friend Victor Coiro participated in the event. According to Ben “two were mine . came out well despite the fact that I sent a real bowser with a rattle-can paint job and they parked it right in front of the NBC cameras but it looked good since nobody got close to it except a few union car wranglers.”

Why were Checkers at the event? Checkers are still part of New York culture, and the event celebrates New York hockey, not that’s a great pairing!