Fall is the greatest time of the year
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 00:10
There is something special about watching the leaves turn on a sunny afternoon as the fall breeze gently passes by and cools that pumpkin-flavored beverage you just bought at Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe it is the “New Englander” in me, but I will take a crisp autumn day over any other day of the year.
Aside from the aesthetics and great sleeping weather, fall is also the greatest time of the year for sports. With the baseball season nearing the playoffs, with both college football and the NFL partway through their seasons and with basketball about to start, there is a lot to be excited for.
On Wednesday, the MLB will be wrapping up the regular season. For anyone who loves baseball, October is a very special month, as the coveted Fall Classic is just around the corner. As we prepare for the playoffs, memories of Octobers past enter our minds. Kirk Gibson’s walk-off in the 1988 World Series, Joe Carter’s in 1993, Luis Gonzalez’s Game 7 walk-off hit in the 2001 World Series and, of course, Boston’s improbable 2004 World Series run.
As the playoff teams are basically set, pending some incredible collapses, this new wave of teams is staged to make some new memories. This year is also the introduction of the one-game playoff between wild-card teams. Each league now takes the two teams with the best records sans a division title and has them battle in a one-game playoff for the respective National and American League Wild Card spot. This game will have new strategic implications for how a team uses their pitching staff and how the lineup is managed, adding a new element to the playoffs. Expect a lot of intensity and excitement in these one-game playoffs.
Moving to football, we are four weeks deep into the NFL season and five into college ball. It has been an excellent beginning to both. I know West Virginia is a turncoat for leaving the Big East, but did you all see Geno Smith’s stat line on Saturday? Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns, which looked more like video game numbers than real stats. Or what about those wonderful Sunday afternoons spent between you, a couch, the television and a hang glider of honey barbeque wings from Wings Over Storrs? Not to mention our football team is 3-2, coming off that 24-17 victory over Buffalo.
And who does not love tailgating? Whether it is at Rentschler or elsewhere, tailgating holds a special place in football fans’ hearts. This is the only time of the year where I would be willing to get up early on a Saturday, and why would I not? Before I get to watch football, I get to spend hours eating hot dogs, playing ladder golf and drinking Oktoberfest and pumpkin-flavored beverages. Sounds a little like heaven to me.
As if that is not good enough, both UConn men’s and women’s basketball tips off in a month. Husky Run is scheduled for Oct. 11. First Night will be the following day. The men and women begin their exhibition schedules on Nov. 1 and 2, respectively. With arguably the best recruiting class ever for the women and with Kevin Ollie taking over for Jim Calhoun on the men’s side, there is going to be a lot to look forward to. Oh, and before I forget, the NBA season starts Oct. 30. Unfortunately for hockey fans, we might not see any NHL action until January at this rate.
With all this to look forward to and more, it is hard to argue against fall being the best time of the year for sports.