With no Winter Classic, Harlem Globetrotters announce outdoor ice game in Michigan

Harrison Mooney

It's January 1, 2013, and with the new year comes a fresh start, an opportunity to put away all the ills of 2012 and look ahead to an unmarked future. Of course, it's hard to do that when one of 2012's most infuriating ills -- the NHL lockout -- has prevented us from ringing in 2013 the way we usually ring in the first day New Year. The Winter Classic was cancelled some time ago.

But have no fear, disappointed Michiganders. The NHL may have put your outdoor game on ice -- by, you know, not putting it on ice -- but the Harlem Globetrotters are here to fill the void. On January 7, basketball's winningest franchise will do their part to give Michigan an outdoor contest by hosting a classic of their own versus the Global Select (formerly the Washington Generals) at The Ice Rink at Millennium Park.

Again: The Ice Rink. The game will be played on ice.

Detroit Red Wings Alumnus Kevin Miller will join the Globetrotters to help them continue their winning ways. Miller brings over a decade of NHL experience to the Globetrotters basketball game on ice, which will take place shortly after the NHL’s cancelled “Winter Classic” was scheduled in Michigan on New Year’s Day.

“We hope the NHL can return to the ice as quickly as possible,” said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. “But in the meantime, we thought the Globetrotters could help fill the void of professional sporting events on an ice surface. And it’s only fitting we play this outdoor game in Michigan, as our tour continues in Kalamazoo the next day.”

Now, obviously, basketball is a difficult sport to play on the ice, even if your games are rigged most of the time. (The Globetrotters have lost 345 times in nearly 25,000 contests.) But the Globetrotters will be able to successfully adding to their list of unconventional venues, such as beaches, empty swimming pools, and the Vatican by strapping on some fancy, custom "ice cleats".

If you're wondering what what looks like, the team actually played their first game on ice two years ago in New York, so probably something like this:

A quick note: if you're planning to put money on the game, don't make the same mistake as Krusty the Clown and bet it all on the Globetrotters' opponents. The Global Select probably aren't due.