Who’s ready for an early January weekend jaunt to frosty Winnipeg next year? If you’re a UNO hockey fan that trip could be a reality as the Mavs and the University of North Dakota are reportedly close to finalizing a deal to play a game in Manitoba’s capital city Jan. 7, 2012. I’ll confess to not knowing much about Winnipeg other than it’s about three hours north of Grand Forks and therefore likely colder than Omaha, but I did spend some time on the city’s tourism website to cull some valuable facts. Winnipeg is the coldest city in the world with a population greater than 500,000 meaning more people consciously choose to be miserable for months there than anywhere else. The name Winnipeg is the Cree Indian word for “muddy waters” and totally changes how I’ll hear “Mannish Boy” forever. Top exports include furniture, car frames and badass hockey players which, I’m guessing, is the reason both UNO and UND are interested in going to Winnipeg in a month when the average high temperature is 9 degrees. See you there. –In a blockbuster trade, local stations 1620 AM (KOZN) and 590 AM (KXSP) have agreed to swap malcontent radio hosts Colin Cowherd and Jim Rome starting Feb. 1. Actually, the stations are switching entire affiliations with KXSP becoming your new home for ESPN Radio and KOZN taking on FOX Sports’ programming. So far the move doesn’t signal any changes for 1620’s local sports shows other than moving the Schick & Nick show up an hour to 8 a.m. to allow the full allotment of time for the mouth-breathing “clones” to call into the Jim Rome Show. Unsportsmanlike Conduct will remain in its usual afternoon drive time slot. Most interesting, however, is that KXSP says it’s looking to fill its afternoon slot with local programming. It will be tough to unseat Unsportsmanlike Conduct as the “top-rated local afternoon sports show” but now at least Kevin Kugler and Mike’l Severe will have to beat somebody for that title again. And don’t worry Cubs fans, the Northsiders will still be heard — sans Santo, sadly — on 1620 while the Royals remain on 590. Thankfully for both fan bases, the Cardinals aren’t on anywhere in Omaha.

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