I really like this idea. Hope Horne doesn't think I'm stealing his thunder but I want in on the action. There will probably be some similarity but hopefully some stark differences as well.
Trevor's Top Ten Sports Days/Events of the Year. *with one exception
#10 MLB Off-Season
Baseball is far and away the sport I pay attention to the closest now a days. Besides everything about the Sox I try to keep up with what players are hot, who's not, who's hurt, etc... all season. But I'd be lying if I said that stopped after the World Series. I easily keep up with trade rumors, retirement (and out of retirement) moves, and all the mud slinging that takes place in the winter.
Of course this is going to be on here. I like football, and grew up a football fan most of all compared to the other sports but in the last couple of years, it just seems that it is going the way of the NBA (which didn't make the list at all). It's becoming a very single player sport and I hate that. I have to admit I got a little caught up this year with four teams duking it out for an undefeated season (only lasted 8 games) but it got me interested and when it came to the Superbowl there I was like half the country in a friend's apt eating 47 pounds of chips and dip watching the game.
#8 Nadal vs Federer
I love tennis. It might be my favorite sport to play along with soccer and watching tennis is surprisingly fun too. I love the singularity of it. Emotions in this sport are top notch. Really any grand slam event would suffice but after last week's events I had to put what is now the biggest rivalry in the sport. Federer is unstoppable... unless he's playing Nadal. A week or so ago they scheduled a crazy looking game on a half grass, half clay court to see who was really the better player (Federer wins everything on grass, Nadal wins everything of clay). Federer has reached that point where he's so good you have to not like him a little bit, so when Nadal takes the court sporting his ever present head band and capris and defeats Federer it feels great.
#7 Any Game at The Hump
Humphrey Colosseum. One of the best college basketball venues in the country relative to its size. We don't have extreme numbers the likes of Duke or UK but man do we bring the house down. Every game is post season intense whether we're playing Alabama Birmingham at Montgomery or Florida. Despite smaller numbers Bulldog fans easily get as loud as some of the largest arenas (and that's without our obnoxiously loud cowbells). If you ever have a chance to see an SEC basketball game at MSU, take the opportunity.
Horne's right. The BCS (despite her flaws) is a great series. No other sport comes close to the number of high profile games. Not too mention the refreshing break from a play-off post season. Just Bowl games baby! All over the country for a period of a two weeks there are vast numbers of people painting themselves and wearing stupid hats for their Alma Mater. Every game is important and each game feels it. Even if your school didn't make it to a bowl you still have teams you want to win and lose in almost every game. The Outback bowl is still a piece of crap though. Don't ask.
#5 Sox vs Yanks
Who saw this coming? I'll be as impartial as I can. Despite my allegiance to those who don red socks, this is still a great series every time. Their truly isn't a bigger rival in pro sports and is right up there with UNC / Duke basketball and Ohio / Michigan football. Compound that with the complete opposites of the team members, staff, and owners and this series is heart-throbbing. Every pitch you sit at the edge of your seat, with every swing you are either hoping it sails 500ft or praying it doesn't. And it's not over till out 3 in the 9th, as this series has proven time and again.
Continuing with baseball. The American League Championship Series is usually better than the World Series itself. Aside from the fact that more often than not it can end up being the previous stated match up of Sox & Yanks but aside from what every National League fan will tell you, the American League is just better. True, the NL puts out a good team or two every year with real aspirations for the ring but the AL always has a minimum of about four that are each as good enough to go to the World Series and that's where the ALCS comes in. There is an in house hatred for other AL teams. Sure you play with all your heart at the WS but it's usually against a team you haven't played all year or at most one series with. The ALCS is a time for vengeance, revenge, or continued domination. There is just something different in the air.
#3 NCAA Basketball Tournament
My favorite month is definitely March when it comes to sports. Opening Day was a contender for the list but The Tournament is bigger still. Technically it should probably be first on my list but I cheated with #2 and am extremely biased when it comes to #1. The NCAA Tourney is as good as it gets as far as play offs are concerned. So many teams each having to fight through one to get to the other, and all for the glory that comes with being the BEST in college basketball. Pro sports could learn a great lesson watching grown men cry at missing a free throw or the immense jubilation from nailing a three-pointer as the red light cuts on. The loyalty players feel towards their colleges, and the loyalty us spectators have to our respective college is something pro teams can't hardly compete with. Brackets are incredibly enjoyable to make out and follow. You end up competing with friends as the teams compete on the court. This tournament is the epitome of what sports is suppose to be all about.
#2 The World Cup*
Okay, I know the topic is Sports Events of the Year but I have to include this, sorry. This is like the NCAA Tourney on super steroids. Loyalty to a college doesn't compare to the patriotism of these players. The US is still a baby when it comes to the world's sport. Point in case, soccer IS the world's sport and the Cup proves that time after time. Near the top of the "Things to do in my lifetime" list is go to an overseas World Cup game. Whew... I can't imagine it. I love this thing, and I think the hiatus between Cups in part has to do with it's allure. In pro sports here, you get a year of bragging rights tops unless you can repeat. With the Cup you have years to enjoy while others sulk and plot their triumph. The World Baseball Classic is trying but the World Cup, if only for a span of a month or so, really unites the entire world and enjoys a game. How powerful is that. Watch some of the Cup commercials. They really are moving when you think about it.
#1 The Egg Bowl
I know it hasn't been that exciting for a while now, but the Egg Bowl is still the most important day of the year to me. I was born with maroon and white blood and taught to hate those that bore the blue and red of Col. Reb. In no other collegiate sport is the match up more important than in football and the Egg Bowl proves that. It's quite queer that even in a 4 or 5 win season, you really can justify it if you just win the Egg Bowl. Sometimes it's actually even sweeter when the dawgs haven't done that well and the rebels have and then to upset them in the last game of the season. Everywhere you go for a period of about a month, whether it be church, grocery store, the mall, you can hear people singing Hotty Totty or Go to Hell Ole Miss. It might not be the biggest rivalry in college football, but it sure is as far as I'm concerned.
You'll notice the increase in length of the descriptions as you move down the list. I think that in and of itself is a good representation of just how much each of these events mean to me. Please comment or leave your own abbreviated top ten list.
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