There is so much going on in sports this time of year. Spring is without a doubt the best time of year for sports and I don’t care what any die-hard football fan says. I will even make the argument why this isn’t exactly a dull time for football. Let’s start it off with a list, because why not? Practically every other blog I write has some sort of list. Here are the reasons why Spring is the best time of year for sports.
- IT’S SPRING – Yes, that’s right. My first point has absolutely nothing to do with sports besides that it’s getting nice out. Last weekend I added a nice red layer of fried skin to my shoulders and I couldn’t be happier about it. I was playing beach volleyball by the water and that’s a big reason why Spring is great for sports. It brings people outside and gets them to be active. Ok, you get the point. Moving on.
- PLAYOFF HOCKEY – Playoff hockey is probably the best period of sports there is. I’m a basketball guy at heart. I played basketball in college. However, you probably don’t know that I played hockey up until I had to choose between the two sports since they play during the same season and I couldn’t do both. But back to my point. There is something about playoff hockey that just gets me going. If I had to summarize it into one word, it’d be “intensity”. I was watching an NBA playoff game the other night and saw Brook Lopez and Andre Drummond laughing with each other mid-game. I hated this!! I don’t want to watch buddy ball. I would rather see them fighting. Every fan wants intensity. And when you see two people from opposing teams laugh with each other, it portrays the image that they don’t want to win that bad. Now, I’m sure they both want to win. But that’s not what the average fan thinks when we see this. My point is this would never happen in Hockey. Hockey players are savage in the sense that it’s all about toughness and having your teammates back. It is very similar to going to war with your country. You want to rip your opponent’s heart out and you will do whatever it takes to do so. And you and your team stand as a unit. You have your countrymen’s back. This is partially why so many people go crazy for playoff hockey. It brings us back to the medieval ages in a sense. I think it’s a genius move to build a league that lets the boys fight. The fans want to see the players go all out and they can’t necessarily do that when they’re playing buddy ball. I’m sure some of these guys are friends with their opponents, but they understand it’s war and set aside that friendship for the 3 periods while they give it their all. The fact that fighting is tolerated in the NHL allows the players to bring in their emotions and take things personal. When this happens, it elevates the level of play from the players and makes it way better to watch. Furthermore, hockey is not only a sport for the tough guys, but it’s also a gentlemen’s game when the game is over. What other sport lines up to shake the opponent’s hands after each contest? Sometimes you see it in basketball, but it isn’t required or a formal process. In hockey, everyone lines up to do this. This to me is important because it shows that players can brawl it out during the game, yet still be man enough to put that aside to show some respect for the game and each other. They understand that fighting and getting in each other’s face is part of the game. And most of the confrontations stay on the ice. Another thing to be said about Hockey is that there is never a clear winner. For example, the Tampa Bay Lightning was supposedly one of the best teams ever assembled and they got swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. This makes it so much more enjoyable when anyone can win on any given night. With all that being said, Go Caps!!!
- PLAYOFF BASKETBALL – I know I picked on basketball a bit above, but I didn’t mean to generalize the whole sport. I love basketball. Love playing, love watching. And the point I made above was just one occurrence that got under my skin. Playoff basketball is still great to watch. And for the similar reasons to the reasons I listed out for playoff hockey. The level of intensity is multiplied compare to the regular season. I have a love/hate relationship with Russel Westbrook. I hate the way he plays and carries himself off the court, but I can’t help but respect the hell out of him because he brings it every night. He never takes a night off and this continues on into playoffs. Last night, him and Damien Lillard were getting under each other’s skin and Westbrook looked like he wanted to pound in Lillard’s face. You see a lot of that going in the NBA playoffs and that’s why it’s magical for the fans. Outside of the case that I already brought up with Brook Lopez and Andre Drummond, opposing teams are not friendly during these games. And that’s what we want to see as fans. We love the scrappy defense from Patrick Beverly. We love the retaliation from Russel Westbrook. We love the hard screens from Steven Adams. We love the unbelievable performance out of Lou Williams to give his team a comeback win against the “Thanos-like” Warriors. This is what makes sports great. When there’s a lot on the line, we as fans can’t help to sit on the edge of our seats in excitement. This brings out the best in competition. If you ask me, the NBA should be more lenient about players going at each other and the harder fouls. I’m not saying let them fight, but the refs these days are way too quick to give out technical fouls. This is forcing players to suppress their emotions, so they can be “more professional”. This is great and all, but it’s taking away from intensity we love to see.
- THE MASTERS – If you live under a rock, I’ll just go ahead and fill you in. Tiger Woods is back. Yes, that balding guy that used to have his own video game and sports drink. This may be one of the biggest comebacks in sports and is definitely the biggest sports story of 2019 so far. The once golf prodigy that had it all, who paved the way for a lot of the new age golfers, who lost it all from scandals and injuries, came back from having concerns about not being able to walk again and won the masters. However, if this was anyone else, this wouldn’t be as great. The reason it’s great is because it’s Tiger. You can say he’s grandfathered into our hearts. I think just about everyone was rooting for him when we saw him take the tee box in his Sunday red. I would say even the golfers he was going up against were rooting for him. Why? Because it’s Tiger. We all love a comeback in sports and when it’s someone as loved as Tiger that does it, it just makes it that much more special. This was the most exciting Masters that I remember and it’s all thanks to who ended on top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.
- HORSE RACING – I understand that this one may not get as much mainstream love as the others, but I love horse racing. I grew up near one of the nicest racetracks in the country in Saratoga. And I have amazing memories at that place watching the horses, researching them, and learning about the trainers and jockeys. So, horse racing will always have a special place in my heart. As for horse racing in the spring, this is the buildup to the first two legs of the Triple Crown. The first leg being The Kentucky Derby and the second leg being The Preakness. I’ll be attending my first Triple Crown race, The Preakness, this year. And the buildup around it gets me excited every time. Memories of sitting down and figuring out what the best horses are, start to settle in. Now, peak horse racing season isn’t until later in the summer, but the hype starts to build during the Spring. After the Kentucky Derby, we’ll know who the next potential Triple Crown winner may be. The Triple Crown is one of the biggest accomplishments in sports and that’s what makes this an exciting time of year for horse racing.
- FOOTBALL MOVES – I know I said I’ll make an argument for football and here it is. Obviously, this isn’t the best time of year for football, but there is something to be said about the trades and drafts that happen during this time of year. For anyone that was upset about the outcome of their team in the post-season, there’s been enough time for them to get over it. So, no one is losing sleep over the outcome at this point in the Spring. Furthermore, Football is one of those sports where there is never a clear winner. Hockey is very similar to this as well. For Basketball, there are practically 3 teams that have a realistic chance at winning the championship. In Football, a team could go from last place on year to first place the next year and vice versa. That’s what makes this time of year exciting for football fans. A lot of moves are made during this time of year and the right moves may give hope to the fans of poor performing teams the prior year.
- BASEBALL STARTS – The two best times in Baseball are opening day and the playoffs. Unfortunately, the latter picks up in the fall. But we still have opening day and that is an amazing time. Going to an opening day game or even an early game in the season is a great experience as a fan. At that point it’s been a while since you’ve seen some Baseball, so it feels like something new. Everyone has a good time at opening day and it’s arguably the best time to see a game. It’s a nice change up from the other sports you’ve been watching, and you get to spend the time tailgating and enjoying the nice weather spring has to offer.
If anyone can make the argument that another season is better for sports than I’m all ears. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you had any doubts about what season is best for sports, hopefully now I provided some clarity for you. Hope this helps.