The best time for a sports fan


March Madness can explain more than just the frenzy that is the NCAA Basketball Tournament. This time of year is one of the more exciting times for diehard sports fans like myself.

Along with the bracket-busting, buzzer-beating, upset-galore ridiculousness coming from college hoops, we are on the brink of the NHL and NBA playoffs. This year in particular has been crazy, especially in the NBA. The Eastern Conference has had more drama than Sammi and Ronnie, with the Miami Heat at the front of the headlines. The Celtics, Heat, Bulls, and Magic all have a legitimate shot at coming out of the East, and we can’t forget about the Knicks, who could easily upset one of these powerhouses. The quality of regular season play has risen to a whole new level; maybe we could blame Twitter for this, as the constant chirping between athletes at other teams (for example, CryGate) seems to have elevated these players’ games, because they want as much momentum as they can get. Home-court advantage also seems to have a bigger impact in the NBA than other leagues.

The NHL has been dramatic as well, but for other reasons. Like the NFL, it seems that every week we’re discussing headshots and questioning whether or not we should take contact out of the game. Sidney Crosby has been out for just over 30 games, but no one talks about how the Penguins are still in the run for the first overall seed in the Western Conference. Daniel Sedin may be the MVP this year, and I’m banking on this meaning it will be the first time brothers in the NHL go back-to-back to win this honour. The Canucks are the best shot for Canada to bring home the Stanley Cup since the Canadiens in 1993. The Western Conference race for the playoffs is going down to the wire, and the increased parody we have seen in the game can only be beneficial.

The NFL Draft is approaching, now for the football fans out there, this year’s draft is more depressing than others because it seems very likely that this may be the only memory we have of the 2011 football season. The greediness shown by both the Players’ Union and the Owners is surely taking its toll on the fans. Rumours are blazing about current players looking into other venues, including the UFL, Arena Football, the CFL, and for Chad Johnson, a tryout with Kansas City’s MLS team. For the love of God, I hope the NFL works something out!

One event that sometimes gets overshadowed by the major sports is the Masters. I believe the Masters should be viewed by every sports fan, no matter if you love or hate the game. Augusta is a legendary course with an abundance of historic moments and breathtaking scenery. The anticipation of whether or not Tiger Woods can figure it out and win his first major since his scandal will be the talk of the tourney, and if he is in contention after Friday, expect ratings to go through the roof. We are also about a month away from the UFC coming to Toronto which will be a record-breaking, media-crazed event that Canadian MMA fans will thoroughly enjoy.

All in all, even though this is the time for 15-page essays, exams, constant stressing, and aspirations of partying afterwards with a drink on a beach… sports fans can savour the fact that when they take a break from reading and writing, they can just fall back on their favourite sports channel and enjoy.