Greatest Week in Sports?
Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration for the upcoming sporting events this weekend. It might even be way over the top but this may be the most jam packed few days in my sports filled life.
The weeks of the NFL Divisional and Conference Playoffs are in the conversation each and every year but that’s still only one sport (albeit the most popular one). This first weekend of May isn’t about just one sport but rather seven from all over the world.
Clear your schedules and buy some beer because this week is going to be a doozy!
Major League Baseball
Let’s start with the MLB:
The sport of baseball has been around for nearly 150 years. It’s one of the oldest and most traditional sports you will find in the world and the amount of games played throughout the years would have you thinking you’ll never see something you’ve never seen before. Baseball somehow continues to surprise us with with new, unusual happenings and there’s one today that may be the strangest seen in many seasons.
Everyone knows at this point what’s going on in Baltimore. Nevermind your stance or opinion on the situation, the entire thing is unfortunate and bizarre. It’s rare to see a game affected by outside circumstances but due to the rioting and danger outside the gates of Camden Yards, the police advised the team to not risk further issues with a large crowd. The team decided that they wouldn’t delay the game against the Chicago White Sox but rather would do something that has NEVER been done in the history of the sport. There will be no crowd. There will be no fans. There will not be one single spectator outside of the media. Bizarre. No one knows what to expect and as it’s a free game on MLB T.V, everyone should check it out and watch this little bit of history. (Prayers and thoughts for Baltimore in this tough time)
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivalry is surely not what it once was. The fire isn’t there, the fighting isn’t there and the once inevitable drama has disappeared. Still, it’s the biggest rivalry by name in the sport and that makes it something worth watching. The 2015 baseball season is still in it’s infancy but there are plenty of worthwhile games and match ups to check out this week.
As a Colorado Rockies fan, I have to mention that they play the Chicago Cubs at home this weekend and both teams have a lot of youth, talent and upside. The Cubs especially have a young team that’s as exciting to watch as any group in baseball. Both teams are trying to keep pace in their Divisions early on and it should be a fun series to watch whether you’re a Rockies or Cubs fan or not.
The 2015 baseball season is still in it’s infancy but there are plenty of worthwhile games and match ups to check out this week.
Baseball, however, is by far the least interesting sport of the week. Think of it as a filler during the commercials of the other fantastic programming.
National Basketball Association
The playoffs are a bit up in the air at the moment for what games will be played this weekend. Depending on what teams move forward from the first round or whether teams can keep their respective series alive.
Friday you could see game six of the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trailblazers but as Memphis leads the series 3-1 the Blazers need to win on Tuesday to get to game six. There will be a game six between the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks as that series is currently 3-2 in favor of Atlanta.
Needless to say there will be excitement and attention payed to these playoff match ups and it should be a full week of awesomesauce from the National Basketball Association. Spurs/Clippers should be really good and if they go to game seven it’ll be insane and must watch! Definitely some games to tune in for this week…if you have time.
National Hockey League
Then there is maybe the greatest playoffs in sports each and every year…the NHL postseason.
Does it even matter who the teams are in the playoffs for the National Hockey League? Every game gets you on the edge of your seat, every period has that explosive energy and every goal is just lights out crazy. If you aren’t already watching the playoffs….get with it and start NOW!
In the second round of the playoffs you’ll see the Montreal Canadiens, the Washington Capitols, New York Rangers, Anaheim Ducks and obviously more.
I’m going to admit sadly that the NHL is the sport I know the least but I would still sit and watch a random playoff game rather than an NBA playoff game where I know and understand the game and teams much better. Just turn on the game sound in the background and you can feel the energy that is unmatched in ANY other playoffs.
UEFA Champions League
Futbol..football..soccer…the world sport may actually have the biggest event of all this week. Though here in the U.S there are relatively few who will give a care. This week is the semi-finals for the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) which is taking place in Spain and Italy.
Three of the top teams in the world are involved in these two games and it should be some of the best soccer action we see all year. Real Madrid squares off against Juventus (from Italy) while Barcelona matches up against Bayern Munich.
These teams put some of the greatest sports stars in the world on the field and that in itself should be a must watch. Christiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger are just a few of the names that will play in these matches. I’m no soccer guru but I know all of them as household names and four of the best teams in the world in on semi-final has to equal greatness. Right? We will find out next week. The games are on March 5th (Read Madrid at Juventus 8:00 pm ET) and March 6th (Bayern Munich at Barcelona 8:00 pm ET)
Fortunately they are on relatively slow nights for the next week and they are an absolute must watch for any true sports fan whether you like the sport or not. (I’m pulling for Bayern since my girlfriend is from Germany….though she hates Bayern….)
National Football League – Draft
So far we haven’t even touched on the event from the most popular sport in the UnitedStates. Though it’s a highly overrated and not incredibly entertaining watch, the NFL draft is an immensely important few days for any die hard football fans. The future of every team could be changed for better or worse by each and every pick of the draft. The lives of these young men hang in the balance and the human drama is part of the huge draw of the goings on.
Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and a few hundred names that only a handful of people know will have their fortune made or lost in just a few hours. ESPN has the complete coverage and at very least the first round on Thursday night is a must watch event of the year. Fans for every team in the league have something at stake and there’s just something about the nonstop coverage that’s addicting. Coverage on the four letter network starts at maybe 11am but you won’t see a draft pick on Thursday until maybe 9:00pm ET. It’s a slow process and can get dry at times but still it’s one of those things that everyone will stop and watch and it’s maybe the most anticipated event of every Spring.
The Kentucky Derby
Of course on May 2nd we have the greatest two minutes in sports. The king of buildups and anticipation, culture and tradition, the Kentucky Derby.
Let’s be honest, horse racing is not hugely popular in America. In some circles and maybe in some states it’s bigger than others, but in general most folks couldn’t name a single horse in a single race of the year. That is until the Derby. One day of the year millions of people throughout the country are race fans and horses with crazy names have a chance to become part of legend. It’s an old sport, an old event and the tradition is unlike any other. The only comparison perhaps could be The Masters in Augusta as the first major golf tournament of the year. Still, it’s a day that stands by it’s own in terms of what it offers. Besides, who doesn’t like putting a few bucks on a horse named “Woah, Shut Up!”. Ha…..
Boxing – Mayweather/Pacquiao
Finally, the one event that I think puts this week into the discussion of greatest of all time.The welterweight fight that folks have waited on for far too long is finally, finally here.
The fight that should have taken place five or even ten years ago has arrived and it should be good and could be great. Sure, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr are getting older ( 36 and 38 respectively) but it’s the most anticipated fight that I can remember. Since I was born in 1989, I haven’t gotten to experience many of the great boxing matches. The days of Frazier and Ali, Tyson and Holyfield are over and it’s been quite a while since an fight has had anticipation of any kind.
The drama before the fight has been nothing short of epic and drawn out for way too long. The accusations of drug usage, delay after delay after delay and finally the long awaited contract have made this a must watch over any other. So much so, the pay-per-view is costing each bar that chooses to purchase it, $30 per person. That’s per person that can POSSIBLY fit in the bar per fire code regulations and not just per person that shows up. A bit much? No doubt that some bars are still buying the package and will be packed beyond anything they’ve ever seen.
Like the Kentucky Derby this is a night that if you’re a boxing fan or if you’ve never seen a match in your life, you just must watch. It could possibly be the last great fight we see in ten years because the sport is just simply not in good shape. There are no newcomers that have the household names of Mayweather and Pacquiao and it could be years and years before we see another match up like this one. Watch it if you can, enjoy it for what it is and appreciate that you may never again see another fight with the hype that this one has.
We’ve gone through seven of the biggest sports in the world and they all have some of their largest events THIS week. Baseball craziness, NHL and NBA Playoffs, NFL Draft, European Soccer Championship matches, The Kentucky Derby and the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight make this an absolutely insane week of sports.
If you can name a week that you can remember a week of anytime of any year that has more going on in the world of sports than this one, I’d love to hear it.
Whether agree or not that it’s the greatest week ever, sit back, relax, pack your fridge and get ready for one heck of a week of sports.