As March 2009 fades into the distance faster than Usain Bolt gains a monumental lead in the 100m dash, I set out to tackle “The Best Sports Month.”
An elementary task on the face, there are many questions one is left to ponder; for example, what if, by a freakish scheduling mishap, the Olympics, World Baseball Classic, and World Cup are all scheduled in the same year?
I have already solidified a last place finish in my offices March madness pool, but by the sanest means possible …
(1) January v. (12) December – December rolls in as a heavy underdog, but could it pull the upset? The 31 days are held together by a string of consistently entertaining bowl games that provide for ample trash talk and betting opportunities, but it lacks a true star. There is no All-Star game to speak of, no playoffs (shaking fist at BCS), and no Olympics. A highlight could be the end of NFL playoff chase or the World Cup of skiing, but is matching up against January’s star studded lineup of the BCS, NFL playoffs, and the occasional Super Bowl. January lacks consistency, but in a near upset, pulls off the victory.
(2) February v. (11) November – Here is a snoozer for you. November has… nothing; how it made it into the tournament is certainly to be debated. Its highlights are limited to college football matchups, the Thanksgiving games, and your run of the mill golf and tennis tournaments. It dabbles in the World Series, but is that enough? February roars in with the start of Spring Training, the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, and Daytona 500. No contest – February takes it.
(3) March v. (10) October – Here’s a good one. March – home to the Winter Olympics, March Madness, the World Baseball Classic, and Hockey All-Star game. October – the month of baseball playoffs and most of the World Series'. Consistently speckled with NHL, NFL, PGA, Tennis, and more. This could be the best matchup in the whole tournament, but it has to go to the 3 seed, as March just captures the attention of the nation, the continent, and now, the world.
(4) April v. (9) September – Another tough bought, with September as a potential giant slayer. The ninth month has a roster which included the beginning of the college football season and NFL season, as well as the MLB playoff push. April, however, comes in The Masters, the Final Four, the MLB season beginning, and the Championship League Playoffs. What looked close in the beginning isn’t – April wins.
(5) May v. (8) August – May surely disappoints in terms of sporting events. Its lineup includes the Senior PGA Championship and a few Nascar Races. Not to be ignored are the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, which bring out the gambler in all of us. However, August signifies very much the same as September: Little League W.S., NFL kicking off, and NCAA kicking off. While horse racing does capture a few Sundays, it cannot compete with capturing the attention of college students, adults, gamblers, and parents that pay too much for baseball equipment across the world. Oh, by the way, it has the Olympics too. Our first upset – August wins.
(6) June v. (7) July – Both months capture the World Cup, so this is a non-factor in the calculations. June hosts the Belmont Stakes and a potential run for the Triple Crown, as well as PGA US Open. July has the storied Brickyard 400 and the MLB All-Star events. In what should be a wash, I will declare July the winner as it boasts of NFL and College football anticipation.
Since the arguments have been made for each month, we will breeze through the rest.
(1) January v. (3) March – January lacks the consistency to pull off the win. March Madness trumps the BCS as 64 games are more entertaining than five, and it lacks the controversy that annoys sports fans of many schools. The time frame of the WBC matches the lack of Super Bowl in January of every year.
(8) August v. (7) July – An easy decision, with the World Cup coming back into play. The LLWS only has so much entertainment value and preseason has no true implications besides injuries. The 7 seed takes the cake.
(4) April v. (2) January – The battle of the star studded lineups. January with the NFL’s big game (and commercials), NBA’s mid season drama, and NASCAR’s big race. April equally impressive with College Basketball’s big games, the PGA's big game, and real soccer. In a close battle, the bench helps April pull of the lower seeded sweep by tagging in Wrestlemania, the NBA and NHL playoffs, and the NFL Draft.
ROUND THREE – Round robin style
(3) March matches up with July well, a little too well, and takes this one pretty easily – it just has so many tools. Against April it is tougher, and the four seed takes it. April is your ideal month, with every sport, big contests and little ones, and even events that are more acting than actual sports. March goes 1-1
(7) July has already suffered a loss to March and must muster up the energy to play April. Not happening. July falls out of contention for the championship, going 0-2
April takes the cake, trumping March with its all around talent and eking out a victory over July in the same manner.
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