Today is media day at the Super Bowl. It's one of the worst days in sports. Hours of live coverage of a non-event. Reporters asking lame questions. Players doing outlandish things to get attention. Meanwhile no news of any consequence to report. And any analysis of the game is already ovecooked after a week of breakdowns.
So today had me thinking, what are the worst days on the sports calender? Here's my list:
1. The Tuesday after the end of the MLB regular season.
All season long you've been hooked on a daily routine of boxscores, checking your fantasy league, watching highlights and seeing if your pocket favorite on your home town team finally had a good night. Then suddenly on Tuesday morning it hit you hard: it's all come to an end. And unlike the end of the NBA, NFL or NHL season, there's no other sport going on during the weekdays to ease your pain. The newspaper sports section is thin. Your scan of ESPN and Yahoo end quickly.
2. The weekend between the NFC/AFC championship games and the Super Bowl.
The years that have a bye before the Super Bowl leave you cold turkey from a healthy six-month addiction to football. On years when there's no NHL or NBA All-Star game on the weekend before the Super Bowl, (like this year) it's especially bad.
Don't tell me last weekend on a dreary January day that you were not jonesing for some sports on tv during the day and had to settle for some crappy college hoops game you didn't even really care about. Sure if your college hoops team is playing you're ok. But it's this weekend when you suddenly realize your fun of watching NFL each weekend is now over.
3. Media Day at the Super Bowl
This is like being forced fed your least favorite meal at your mother in law's.
4. The Wednesday night/Thursday morning after the All-Star break.
There are NO sports during this period. No box scores. No MLB news. No other sports are playing. If you want to watch sports on tv, you are looking at women's soccer or bowling or some area you dare not go. As much as I hate the ESPYs, at least when they used to hold them on this Wednesday night it made some sense for sports addicts to watch. (Now, there's no excuse).
And what are the best days? Here's my take:
1. The first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament
Even if you are not a college hoops fan, you still have to get psyched for the orgy of games that starts in the early AM on the West Coast and ends after midnight in the East Coast. Everyone has their brackets out. You can watch four games at once. You're shuffling back and forth among buzzer beaters. Nothing like it in sports.
2. MLB Opening Day.
Not the one-game Sunday thing or the one-game Japan thing. The first full day of the season. Everyone is a contender. Every fantasy team can win it all. Real-time scoring! Tons of highlights to watch. The joy of awaiting the boxscores and your fantasy team's results the next day.
3. AFC & NFC Chamionship games.
These are historically the best games. And really this is where it hurts the most when your team loses. For teams who haven't been to the Super Bowl, each year you just hope they can make it to the big game. Plus you get two games on the same day. Yes, I know this year was a downer, but usually it's the best.
I'd probably then add the first full slate of games in the NFL, NBA and NHL (assuming you are into those sports) and then the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 (if you are into racing). All those don't quite have the same impact because other sports are going on and the other leagues have more staggered starts. And if the NHL playoffs all started on the same day, that may jump into the top three. But all NBA and NHL playoff action is too staggered.
And the one day that used to be in the top three but has fallen out is New Year's day bowl games. I'd say it used to be No. 2. But now with the BCS, it's watered down. The championship game and at least one other key bowl game are on other evenings. Like all things BCS, it's taken out all the tradition and given us no certainty of a national champion in return.
Posted by Peter Schoenke at 1/31/2006 11:02:00 AM