All Hail April: Why It Beats October As the Best Sports Month

After careful deliberation, April has officially supplanted October as my favorite sports month. Let me count the ways (in no particular order):

1. NCAA Men’s Basketball. I believe the tournament is most exciting in the first two rounds, when relative unknowns clash with heavyweights at venues from coast to coast. But April is when the top teams collide, culminating in arguably the best basketball on the planet.

2. The kids are back. Major League Baseball makes even the oldest fans feel young again, kicking off its 162-game schedule. Off-field issues have made the headlines all winter, but it’s time to play ball and remind ourselves why we love the sport.

3. NHL playoffs. I, for one, don’t care how long the season is. Once the run for Lord Stanley’s Cup begins, I’m like a kid in the candy store. It’s just a shame that a majority of the country would rather watch bowling.

4. NFL draft. In the old days, the draft was as much of a non-event as the Pro Bowl. Today, I consider it to be two days of must-see television. And, for the record, I do like Mel Kiper, Jr.

5. NBA playoffs. The best basketball players in the world square off, making the NBA worth watching for the first time since the season opener. The Western Conference is so competitive this season, it’s going to be like watching the finals before the finals. Never before have so many teams been so good. Grab a beer and take a seat.

6. NASCAR revs up. Is it me, or has NASCAR become more than just one continuous left turn? The cars have personalities of their own, matching those of their drivers – who happen to be as interesting and competitive as ever.

7. The Masters. I think the PGA should be renamed TGA – as in “Tiger’s Golf Association”. It’s Tiger versus the world in the first major of the season. Other than Lefty and a handful of others, I’m not as familiar with the new regime as I am with the guys playing the Champions Tour. But it doesn’t matter. The battle for the green jacket, coupled with an exquisite golf course, makes The Masters my favorite tournament to watch.

I must give kudos to October as well, my second favorite sports month. The World Series champion is crowned, the NFL is a month into its schedule, the NHL and NBA seasons begin, and NCAA football rocks every Saturday. April is my champ, though, because it brings so many quality sporting events into focus.

Mike Russo is a freelance writer and editor. He is single and has two daughters.

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