That is what all the pundits like to say every year come this first week in April. “It’s the best week in sports!”
Yeah, there is a lot going on, what with the NCAA basketball championship game tonight, Major League Baseball’s opening day today, The Masters starting on Thursday, and the NBA and NHL winding down their regular seasons with teams fighting for playoff spots. Sure is a lot going on. But “best”? Not a chance.
A week without football, be it college or pro, is simply discarded from the discussion out of hand. By my definition, there are no sports going on this week. Yeah, there are some distractions. There are some TV events. But you know what? I’m watching about 1 SportsCenter a week now. Obviously, if I’m not watching SportsCenter, there ain’t no sports.
I know a lot of you out there are fans of baseball, basketball or hockey. I get that. I get that you have favorite teams and love the sport and get all wrapped up in it. Here is what they mean to me. Basketball = something on TV in the winter that I don’t watch… fill out a bracket in March. Baseball = ahh, summer time. Great to “watch” while napping on Sunday afternoons… hey doesn’t football start soon? Hockey = Hmmmm, didn’t that used to be on TV? Golf? Come on. I’m interested if Tiger’s playing, but I’m certainly not interested in the goings on of Tiger otherwise. (As an aside, can we please stop having press conferences about his dalliances? It’s all been said at this point. I LONG ago lost interest.)
Which leads me to football. I am the same guy who damn near overdosed on football a few years ago. For my money, the greatest week in sports is that last weekend in August / first week in September. College football kicks-off their first weekend, and ESPN in all their glory have games Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and maybe Tue and Wed too. Boise State starts their season in there somewhere. Thursday night is usually the kickoff of the NFL season, followed by more college football week 2 on Friday and Saturday. The rest of the NFL gets it going on Sunday and caps it off with Monday Night. Plus, baseball actually starts to matter as the regular season is winding down and there is nary a basketball game in sight clogging up my sports channels. You want my definition of heaven? That’s it. And I get to experience it every single year.
Second place in the best week in sports list would probably be rivalry week in college football, 3rd week in November. That’s always good.
I used to consider myself an all around sports fan. But as I’ve grown up, it has become abundantly clear that I’m a football fan and lightly pay attention to other sports. Just the way I roll. If my love of football was on a 0-100 scale, I’d put it at about a 98. Baseball would be next, with about a 65 (will go higher if it’s going to a game in person, or watching late season/playoff games). Hockey used to be about a 90, but after the lockout and TV fiascoes over the past years it is now probably about a 30 (which kinda makes me sad). College basketball would be about a 25 (will bump to 40 if Boise State is any good). The NBA? Um… probably like about a 15. It’s a dark day if I EVER sit down and watch an NBA game on purpose.
That being said, it is It is 150 days, 6 hours, 34 minutes and 58 seconds until college football kicks off on ESPN with Southern Miss at South Carolina on September 2nd. More importantly, it is 154 days, 7 hours, 3 minutes and 26 seconds until Monday, September 6, and Boise State vs. Virginia Tech. Oh man, I cannot wait!
Bring on football.