It's often said around this time of year. It's been written about time and again. April is the best month on the calendar for sports fans. But how can that be? There's no NFL or college football, the two most popular sports in the country at the moment. Still, for sheer volume of choice and prestige, nothing beats April. Don't believe me? Let's go through a comprehensive list of all of the sports options available during the month of April. But before that, what are some other contenders? And why don't they stack up...
-Well, there is that little game called the Super Bowl. There's also the NBA All-Star Game, regular season NHL action, and plenty of college basketball. The most important NASCAR race of the season, the Daytona 500, also kicks off the stock car season. But, college football has just ended and baseball is still on the horizon. Add in to that the monotony of the long NBA and NHL season settling in, Feburary isn't a well-stocked sports month.
-Well, there's March Madness... duh doy! Championship Week is also an amazing time of year for college basketball. But even though March Madness might be the single best event on the sports calendar, there's not a lot of depth to March. Football is well and truly in the middle of their offseason and the NBA and NHL are winding down to the playoffs. And God have mercy on your soul if you actually sit down and watch 9 innings of Spring Training baseball.
-Clearly the Fall Classic will always be the main attraction in October, even if Bud Selig continues to try to pull the World Series closer and closer to November. The NFL is in full swing and the college football landscape is beginning to settle, even though ESPN now finds it necessary to give every Saturday a label like "Road Test Saturday", "Validation Saturday", or "Start Drinking at Your Tailgate at 7AM Saturday". But, the PGA Tour and tennis have already decided their major champions and the NBA and NHL have just kicked off.
-June would be my personal second choice because of the finality of the NBA and NHL Finals. There's nothing like alternating hot summer nights with competitive seven game series to decide champions in two different sports. There's also one of the more underrated events on the sports calendar, the NBA Draft. You have the staging of prestigious tournaments like Wimbeldon in tennis and the U.S. Open in golf. Every four years there's also the FIFA World Cup for soccer fans. But, there's zero football (unless you count Organized Team Activities) and the dog days of sports like NASCAR and MLB have begun to sink in to a seemingly neverending funk.
-Ok, this really isn't a contender, this is by far the WORST month on the calendar for sports fans. As I've written about before, ESPN has somehow put all of its eggs into the Little League World Series as the marquee event of the month. There's also the doggiest of the dog days of MLB, the 4th of the golf majors (PGA Championship), and the WNBA! Preseason football also kicks off, but it's the only NFL product that everyone wants less of... well, maybe except the Pro Bowl. August is just the worst, and it's not even close.
All of that brings us to the unquestioned kind of the sports calendar, April. For NFL fans looking for a football fix there's the NFL Draft, which has now moved in to primetime. For NBA and NHL fans the playoffs begin and the regular season comes to a close. College football fans can look forward to annual Spring games, the highlight of the offseason. Golf has the most prestigious single event in any sport, The Masters. College basketball has both the men's and women's championship games. Even world soccer is coming down the home stretch in the most important global competitions like the English Premier League and the Champions League. There's also the mystique of Opening Day for baseball fans, a day when even Cubs fans have hope this could be their year. Well, except for this year with that fake Opening Day that already happened in March over in Tokyo, but let's try to forget about that.
Nevertheless, there's no doubt about it. The month of April is stacked from top-to-bottom with an unbelievable variety of options for sports fans of all kinds. Even without football games that matter being played on the gridiron, the 4th month of the year rises above the rest by a substantial margin. But, that's just my two cents. What's your opinion? Is there another sports month that you enjoy more than April? Let us know by leaving a comment below and enjoy the rest of the most wonderful time of the year for sports fans.