October: The Sports Fan Nirvana

John C. PearsonContributor IOctober 12, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 16:  Yankees fans celebrate in the famous Stan's bar near the new Yankee Stadium before the first pitch on opening day April 16, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The New York Yankees are playing against the Cleveland Indians in the first regular season MLB game at the new venue across the street from the old Yankee Stadium.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

"Nirvana" - a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world.   - Webster's Dictionary

If you are a sports fan, then October is Nirvana.

The NFL and College Football are in full swing. You have the NLDS, ALDS, NLCS, ALCS, and ultimately, the World Series.  Finally, you have the NHL and NBA kicking off.   What could be better?  But this year, to put some icing on the cake, the Presidents Cup is being held.  There would be a picture of me under the definition of “couch potato” during October. 

Allow me to recap the cornucopia of sports I witnessed last week.

Starting last Tuesday, I watched the Twins and Tigers battle for the last playoff spot.  What, they could not figure it out after playing 162 games so they had to go to a 163rd game to determine the winner of the American League Central?? 

And even then, it took three extra innings to determine a winner in game 163.  Guys being thrown at home, pitchers getting out of bases loaded situations, it was one of the most exciting baseball games I ever witnessed.  I knew it was going to be a good week of sports.

On Wednesday, there were only three baseball playoff games available.   10 hours of playoff baseball.  But they did not overlap so I could tune into all three (can you tell I am currently unemployed).  It is amazing how much the energy gets amped up in baseball once the playoffs start.  It is a whole different game. Every play is important. 

The conflicts of the sporting events start on Thursday.  There are three more baseball playoff games, the President’s Cup kicks off , and the Missouri-Nebraska comes on at 6PM PT.  Rut roh, what do I watch?  Well I Tivo’ed the Presidents Cup.  And I would watch it in fast speed in between innings of the baseball games (after all it is only the first round of five rounds to be played). 

I was back and forth between the Missouri-Nebraska and the Boston-LA Angels game.  Now generally I would not be interested in some Big 12 College football game, but I had Missouri in my college football confidence ranking pool so I had to keep an eye on that.  

Friday rolls around and there were only two baseball games and the Presidents Cup.  I focused my viewing efforts on golf.  Besides it being the Presidents Cup, admittedly it is the red headed step child to the Ryder Cup, it was being played in my home region of San Francisco at Harding Park Golf Course.  I frequented the Harding park course when I lived in the City. So this had a little more intrigue for me.  

A little aside: I believe that one of the fascinating aspects about golf is that amateurs can actually play on the same venue as the tour players.  You can’t say that about any other sport. 

You can’t go to Oracle Arena and start a pickup basketball game.  You can’t go into Candlestick Park for a game of touch football.  You can’t go into ATT Park and throw a ball around and take batting practice. 

But you can play golf at the exact same venue as Tiger Woods.  Now I know that we do not play under the same conditions, the length of the course, the speed of the greens, or the length of the rough.

However, we can walk down the same fairways, putt on the same greens and once in awhile have the same shot that we saw on TV.  I have played at Harding Park, Poipu Bay, Olympic Club, Torrey Pines, Stanford, and Pebble Beach.  All venues the greatest golfer in the world also played. 

Saturday comes along and I do need to get some exercise before my wife has to call someone to surgically remove the couch from my butt.   So I get up early and go play golf.  But with the magic of TIVO, I can get back and watch the both rounds of the Presidents Cup.  And what matches they were! 

Tiger Woods is the most amazing athlete in any sport of our time. The putt he made on 17 to extend the match was amazing; but to follow up with the 240 yard four-iron that he put 10 feet from the cup for an eagle chance took his legend up another level.

Fortunately my wife does like to watch the premier golf events so we shared a nice bottle of wine, bar-b-qued a nice steak and watched the end of the second round of the golf match.  We got to know each other a little bit again. 

The weather helped me out with baseball so there was only one game on – St. Louis and LA Dodgers. I was going back and forth between the baseball game and golf but I think the Cardinals packed it in after the way they lost on Thursday.  So it is not much of a game.

With the technological wonder of ESPN 360 I could watch and keep up with all the college games that were in my pool right on my computer (I finished the weekend 202nd out of 360 people in the pool.  It was not my best week at picking the winners).

With access to games on the Internet, with high def TV, with text messages updating you on your fantasy players’ status—do we live in great times or what? 

On Sunday, I get up and set my lineup for my fantasy football and then go out for another round of golf.  I get back and turn on the President’s Cup about an hour into the matches.  It is apparent this was going to be the American’s year.  They took a commanding lead and had the Cup wrapped pretty early. 

So though I was watching the matches, I was also flipping back and forth between the golf and the NFL games (I have NFL Sunday ticket and I get EVERY NFL game on TV).  Nothing really exciting going on with the NFL games so I switch over to watch the Boston-LA Angel game while monitoring my fantasy team online.

Angels are losing 5-2 in the eighth.  The Angels score two in the eighth and three in the ninth to win the game and the series.  Beautiful—I hate the Red Sox.

I am also in a NFL Survival League and I can’t remember who I picked.  I looked it up and it was Dallas over KC.  I look at the score and KC is winning.  I can’t believe it! So I tune into the NFL Sunday ticket channels to watch the end of the game. 

Romo gets hot, and Dallas takes the lead.  Then KC scores to tie the game and send it into overtime.  I am screaming at the TV.  I hate the Cowboys and they are going to blow my Survival League season for me.  Dallas does pull it out at the end in OT, thank goodness.

 I am kicking my sister’s butt in my fantasy football game and the Americans are wrapping up the Presidents Cup.  Life is good.  I watched the second half of the Denver-New England Game.  A great football game (yes, Denver is for real).

 In between the afternoon NFL games and the Sunday Night Game I take in the NYY-Minnesota game.  Then turn in to watch Titan and Colt game.  The Colts had the game in hand at half time so I turned my focus to the Colorado-Philadelphia playoff game. 

Around 10PM, I finally stumble to bed to get ready for a long week.  But not a long week of work (remember I am unemployed) but a week of NFL Football, more baseball playoff games, and some great college football games. 

As I write this I am watching game four of the Colorado-Philadelphia series.  And then it is Monday Night Football.