April is arguably the greatest month of the sports calendar. Starting things off we had a near “David over Goliath” experience in the NCAA Men’s basketball championship as Butler nearly pulled off the upset against the mighty Duke. A finish for the ages was not to be as a Hail Mary heave attempt from half court was not to be answered. Although the majority of the event takes place in the month of March, the culmination of sports greatest event kicks off April, the best month in the sports year.
How could you not love a month in which not one but two postseason’s begin with the NBA and NHL playoffs getting underway this week? Once again I’ll be on the edge of my seat rooting for the Lakers to win their 16th championship. With the recent injuries and poor play down the stretch along with the improvement of the entire western conference and Cleveland and Orlando in the east, the Lakers will certainly have their work cut out for them.
While I’m excited for another post season run by the Lakers, I am beyond happy to see my beloved Los Angeles Kings return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. During this time I, like many other Kings fans, have suffered through some lean years, but tonight when they hit the ice in Vancouver to begin postseason play, all those rough times will be forgotten.
The Kings are proof that if you have competent management that has a plan and is committed to seeing that plan to fruition you will find success sooner rather than later. I’m realistic in my expectations. I don’t believe this is the year the Kings will end a 43 year drought and hoist the Stanley Cup, but I do believe that a second round appearance is a realistic possibility.
Nothing is better than playoff drama with teams going all out to win the championship in their respective sports. I love the playoffs in all the major sports. I enjoy a major league baseball playoff game from first pitch to final out. The NFL playoffs are three hours of pure joy. As a confessed sports junkie, I’ll take two playoffs going on simultaneously over just one any time.
In addition to the great playoff action, April is a time of new beginnings and a renewed sense of hope for baseball and football fans. For fans of America’s past time, a new season has just begun. Fans of all the teams come out of spring training with a hope and an optimism that this could be the year their team is celebrating October glory. For some that hope is realistically attainable, for other that’s all it is…hope. But the beauty of sports is you don’t know how things will play out which is why you have to watch and see it all unfold day by day, month by month.
For NFL fans, April marks the annual entry draft which is the beginning of a new era. Fans of teams that finished amongst the worst the year before have a renewed sense of excitement with a highly touted draft pick set to come their way. For the fans of the good teams, you hope your general manager will be unable to uncover a hidden gem and keep your team riding the wave of success.
The sports calendar has something for every fan throughout the year, whether Indy 500 in May, the baseball all-star game in July or the Super Bowl in January, but for my money, I’ll take April any time of the year.