Certain times during the year feature a whole lot of sports action going on -- a couch tater's paradise. The NFL playoffs are one example. Two games on both Saturday and Sunday between quality teams? Bring it on.
At that time of year the Godzilla in the room of American sports is building towards a climax. Also, though the NBA and NHL have long begun play, the attention won't shift to them until after the Super Bowl has been played.
Then comes the Daytona 500, always a big deal. Major league baseball teams reporting to spring training? Not such a big deal. (And why do they call it spring training when it's in the middle of winter?)
Then a bit of a crash happens. Nothing exciting going on for a while. Opening days at the ballparks? So what. It's the first game of 162.
In early April the glorious Masters golf tournament comes about. But after the latest green jacket has been awarded, we face another lull. True, NBA and NHL teams are making their final pushes for the playoffs, but nobody cares much about hoops and pucks until the post-season actually begins.
The NFL draft, which is hyped to the max, comes and goes. Every team will say they got exactly the players they wanted and their local media/fans will believe it. Some will turn out to be stars, while others are busts. It's just the way it goes. Watching the NFL draft is a bit like waiting for your number to be called at the Secretary of State to do some business regarding your vehicle(s). Time seems to stand still and there are way too many people in the room speaking in hushed tones. Both are nothing more than sheep reporting to their masters. Did I mention agonizingly slow? When your team or number is eventually called, it's almost a cause for celebration. Thank you Lord for finally delivering me to the promised land. Let's hope it works out.
Come May, tennis and golf tournaments are being played somewhere and NASCAR will feature their weekly roundy-round event. More importantly, the NBA and NHL playoffs have come into full bloom like flower garden early perennials. A joyous time.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the equally glorious Indy 500 ran it's centennial race. A hundred years of the fastest cars, cutting edge technology, and drivers a heart-beat away from not living through it. Yet like the Dayton 500, a whole lot of pre-race hype is generated, but the contest itself only lasts for a few hours. And then it's over for a whole year. Bummer.
It should be noted that the thoroughbred ponies were galloping around in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, etc. When it comes to hype versus substance, the KD is far and away the king. People spend huge amounts of money to come from the world over to witness a spectacle that only lasts about 2 minutes? Really? That doesn't seem like much bang for the entertainment mega-buck. And last time I looked, horses give really lousy post-race press conferences and aren't much into mingling with their fans to sign autographs either. Where's Mr. Ed when you need him?
Currently, both the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals are underway. This is a great time of year. In their infinite wisdom, or perhaps by accident, the leagues have staggered the games the best they can to avoid bumping heads with the other in prime time. Night after night, we can watch one or the other. A good thing that spoils the legions of taters.
Then came Friday. No games. A mini-crash. Why are they giving these guys three days off? Don't they understand thousands of sports junkies will go into withdrawal and curl up in the fetal position sucking their thumbs -- or another brew -- while babbling incoherently due to the lack of action? What are they supposed to watch instead while desperately clicking the remote for a fix? Politicians slamming each other with the hordes of talking heads dissecting and twisting every word to suit their own biases? It's cruel and unusual punishment for tater nation. Pretty sure there's a law against that.
Mercifully, the playoffs get back underway on Saturday. But there will come a time in a couple weeks when they will be over too. Major crash.
Then what's to look forward to? The dog days of baseball? Yawn. Wake me up in September when things get semi-interesting. Even the NFL preseason doesn't start until August. All the claptrap about organized team activities and who looks good in practice matters about as much as the Iowa caucuses or first round matches at the French Open in the whole scheme of things. As in much ado about nothing.
We'll catch a break in a couple weeks when the US Golf Open tees off. All the big guns will be there to slug it out and it should be an exciting four days indeed. But you never know. Didn't some guy we never heard of before named Willett win the Masters?
The point is -- enjoy the NBA/NHL playoffs while they last. Because when they're over, another crash is coming.