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Anticipated clash The NHL's outdoor games have lost their lustre, however, this year's meeting between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins has HBO to thank for promoting it as something more than just another Crosby-Ovechkin clash.

Grand finale? The National Football League regular season finally winds down this weekend. Week 17 is always an odd mix of teams fighting for playoff spots, also-rans racing to end their years and Pro Bowlers on the bench resting for the postseason.

New Year's tradition The NCAA has watered down the once-great football bowl system, stretching it out for weeks and throwing in the controversial BCS system, but there's still something reassuring about a Jan. 1 marathon of games.

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