In 11 days, we will turn the calendars to September. Summer is over. The kids are back in school. And we have a lot of fall holidays on the horizon. But before we celebrate these glorious holidays with our family and friends, we have to get through the best sports month of the year. It's 30 days of heaven for a sports fan. All 4 major team sports have something going on in September.
The pennant races heat up in baseball. Six division winners and two wild card spots are up for grabs. And this season, it appears that 15 or 16 teams will still be fighting for these 8 spots the final month of the season. And for the teams that are not fighting for a playoff berth, we get to see September call-ups. The kids who have fought so hard all year in the minors for their crack at the big club. And some of them will impress enough to earn a spot on the roster next year. This is not only important for the player and fans of that team, but for us fantasy owners too, to figure out who next year's sleepers are.
The NFL season kicks off. And the nice thing about September this year is no bye weeks. That's right, all 32 teams will play every weekend in September, starting September 10. There is nothing quite like waking up on a Sunday morning with a hang over, popping a couple of Tylenol, and then firing up the grill. And then, sitting on your ass from 1:00 - 11:30 watching 15 different games. Of course, you have to watch all 15 games, because you're probably in 6 different fantasy leagues, so in each and every game, there is a player on either your team or one of your opponents' teams. And then of course, there's your favorite team, and you can't miss that game.....unless of course Indianapolis is driving on the other channel and you have Peyton Manning.
College football gets underway in September. Granted, we don't usually get our best match ups in September. We have to sift through the University of Florida vs. Charleston Southern (incidentally, Vegas just released the spreads and UF is a 73-point favorite. I mean why even play the game? When the Gators win, it will be like they just won the Special Olympics, so really, what's the point?). But if you can make it through a few out of conference cupcake snoozers, this September does offer up Miami - Florida State, Oklahoma State - Georgia, and USC - Ohio State. And of course, there is always some out of nowhere upset that makes us laugh, unless you went to Michigan, of course. Plus, September is always fun in college football because you can argue over the validity or ridiculousness of pre-season polls.
The NBA and NHL are in pre-season mode, the NHL actually playing pre-season games and the NBA practicing (except for Allen Iverson, of course). With the anticipation of both season's nearing, fantasy hockey and basketball leagues start popping up and it's time to study up on these players, while making sure you drafted the right football team and checking out MLB's September call ups for potential 2010 sleepers. But since players switch teams so frequently in the NBA and NHL, September is a great month to figure out who went where and laugh when you are reminded that Marian Hossa really did sign a 12-year contract.
September has something for all sports fans. It's the best sports month of the year. It's like the anti-February, where football is over, pitchers and catchers haven't reported yet, and basketball and hockey are in snooze mode until the playoffs (unless you are the Florida Panthers, sitting in 10th place and scratching for that 8th seed in the East you know you're just not going to get). All February really does for the sports fan is remind him/her that they need to get their sweetheart something nice for Valentine's Day.
Ahh, September, you're only 11 days away....