Clear perception: The Insight Bowl will have you forgetting about that whole Bowl Championship Series fiasco.

Fri 12/26
Granted, it's a far cry from being college football's most attractive postseason invitation, but this year's Insight Bowl has a great personality -- really.
The match-up pits the Golden Bears of California-Berkeley, who handed first-ranked Southern Cal its only loss of the season, against Virginia Tech's Hokies, who put a stop to the mighty Miami Hurricanes' 39-game regular-season winning streak last month. Add to the subplot the fact that this is Cal-Berkeley's first post-Christmas game in seven years -- and that the Hokies are a bit peeved with themselves for losing three of their last four -- and a gridiron fanatic might just forget about this whole Bowl Championship Series fiasco.

The big game kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, December 26, at Bank One Ballpark, 401 East Jefferson. Tickets start at $12, and can be purchased by calling 480-350-0911. For more information, see www.insightbowl.com. - Joe Watson

Wooing The Pooch

New dog park opens at Pecos Park

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The leashed among us can roam free at Pecos Park, 48th Street and Pecos, where the new PETsMART Dog Park welcomes waggers into 2.5 fenced acres, plus a space for smaller dogs. The area's first bark park also features a sidewalk entryway, double-entry gate system, water, information kiosk and "mutt mitt" bags.

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Get fit for the New Year

If there's strength in numbers, then keeping your New Year's resolution to get in shape should be a cinch with the help of the Arizona Outdoor and Travel Club. From hikes around the Valley and the state to biking excursions, 4x4 off-road trips and campouts, the nonprofit group offers fresh-air fun for families and singles alike. Visit www.azoutdoortravelclub.com for details. - Michele Laudig

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