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Tuesday notes

Jan 31, 2012 - Steven R. Peck

Weak winter

Call the calendar police or maybe the weather cops. Somebody stole January, and we skipped right to March. When does anyone remember such a sunny, breezy, non-cold first month of the year? Last year's was gentle, too, but not like this.

We'll consult the National Weather Service for a records check, but it would be astonishing if this isn't one of the warmer Januarys on record.

Bring on February, the last full month of a decidedly unwintry winter.

Carnival fun

Just because winter hasn't really done its typical stuff this season doesn't mean there still isn't winter-style fun to be had. A perfect case in point is the 27th Annual Wild West Winter Carnival, which continues through this weekend.

If it's been awhile or, heaven forbid, if you've never checked out the ice sculptures on Main Street, the fun in city park, the games on the Boysen ice, attended the Quick Draw Auction or taken a turn on the dance floor at the Snowflake Ball, 2012 is the right year to revisit the winter carnival. (If anything, the warmer weather will make the outdoor slate of events all the more enjoyable.)

Newt vs. Mitt

A week ago, Newt Gingrich's sizable victory over Mitt Romney in the South Carolina Republican primary had Romney on the ropes. Gingrich rolled into Florida with a double-digit lead in advance polling, and there were murmurs about an unstoppable Gingrich should he carry the day in the Sunshine State.

But a week is plenty of time for fortunes to change in presidential politics, and that's just what happened in recent days as the usually combative Gingrich lost a lot of his punch (not paunch) during two debates. Romney's massive advertising campaign attacking Gingrich took its toll as well.

Now the preview polls say this is Romney's primary to lose, and the "unstoppable" talk will shift back to him if that happens.

Bridge brainstorm

Last week's story about the brainstorming for a new crossing of the Wind River south from Riverton illustrated some of the challenges facing the idea.

There are no easy place to do it once access, geography property issues and Wind River Indian Reservation concerns are weighed.

That doesn't mean it can't or won't happen, and this remains an exciting concept with a lot going for it. But reporter Martin Reed's story does reinforce the notion that this will be a project consuming years of planning before any construction could begin.

There's a reason Riverton's founding fathers placed the current crossing where they did. It was the obvious choice -- because there weren't many others, then or now. Keep plugging, everyone.

Super Sunday

We're picking up some scuttlebutt about a football game of some sort Sunday. You might have heard something about it.

First, a bit of editorial boasting on the fifth anniversary of our spot-on Super Bowl score prediction on the 2007 game between the Colts and the Bears. The prognosticating publisher nailed it: Colts 29, Bears 17. Now, as the unofficial five-year sports statute of limitations expires, it's probably time to stop mentioning it. In other words, quit bragging on that old success and see about repeating it.

The Feb. 5. Super Bowl this year matches the New York Giants against the New England Patriots. The Pats are more or less a favorite for the big game every year, while the Giants struggled mightily to make the playoffs and weren't among the odds-on favorites for the title. None of that matters now. These are the two teams left standing.

Wouldn't it be something if the younger and, by consensus, less-talented of the two Manning brothers, Eli, won his second Super Bowl with the New York Giants, while his superstar older brother, Peyton, has won just one Super Bowl (did we mention that we predicted the score of that game precisely?) and now faces a career crossroads because of injury? That is one of many back stories surrounding the Super Bowl.

Come kickoff, we'll bet on the Patriots. Too experienced, too talented, too versatile for the Giants. (Yes, that's what we said four years ago, when the same two teams met in the big bowl. But the Giants won that one.)

Pats 33, Giants 20. Look for more Super Bowl coverage and opinion in this Sunday's edition.

Here's to a good week.