So much for being bored without football. From hockey to hoops to NASCAR, the sports world was chock-full of firsts Sunday. We rate how much fuss should be made over each.
Hawk and roll
With every win or (non-regulation loss), the Blackhawks push their team-best run to start the season to new heights. They held off Los Angeles 3-2 on Sunday at the United Center thanks to goals by Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp and 25 saves from Ray Emery.
At 12-0-3, the Hawks are just one game with a point away from tying the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks for the best run to start a season (12-0-4). By the way, the Ducks won the Stanley Cup that year. And who stands in the way of history? The hated Canucks. Hold on to something, Hawks fans …
First fuss: 3 out of 4.
Four score and seven putts ago …
America's first African-American president, meet the first black golfer to win The Masters.
President Obama played golf with Tiger Woods for the first time Sunday, at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club. Tim Rosaforte, a Golf Channel analyst, broke the news, tweeting that Woods holed out from a bunker on the first hole.
There was no word on how Obama played, but if Tiger was smart, he let the president have as many mulligans as he wanted.
First fuss: 1 out of 4. Until we know the stakes (Air Force One vs. Tiger's yacht?), it's just another Sunday for these guys.
Eat her dust
Illinois native Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole position Sunday. She averaged 196.434 mph in the qualifying session; the race is set for Feb. 24.
"I think when pressure's on and when the spotlight's on, I feel like it ultimately ends up becoming some of my better moments and my better races and better results," Patrick said. "I'm grateful for it because the opposite of that would be I probably wouldn't be here today. I guess thanks Mom and Dad."
And if NASCAR's ratings spike for the race, they'll know who to thank.
First fuss: 4 out of 4. If she wins at Daytona, make it 5 out of 4.
Bear down—for hockey
It's not quite as cool as the Blackhawks playing at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day, but the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field drew more than 52,051 fans Sunday. The event, which featured Notre Dame beating Miami and Wisconsin knocking off Minnesota, was the first time hockey was played at the Bears' home. It was good a reason as any to tailgate in frigid weather—it's not as if the Bears are making a habit of playing deep into the winter, anyway.
First fuss: 2 out of 4. You watching, Blackhawks?
Many may be wondering whether Joakim Noah playing in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game was a good idea given his foot injury. Noah himself was not among them. The Bulls center was just having a blast, as usual.
Asked Saturday if he has any pregame rituals. Noah stared into the camera and smiled before saying: "I sacrifice a live chicken before every game."
Three guesses as to what Derrick Rose will be doing Monday. Just kidding.
First fuss: 2 out of 4 for Noah's appearance, 4 out of 4 for the live chicken sacrifice line.
Tribune news services, Reuters, The Associated Press and Intersport contributed to this report.
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