In bars, living rooms and group texts across the country, sports fans have argued about the best times on the sporting calendar. Depending on your preference, you might like the spring, when March Madness is raging and baseball is ramping up. Or you might favor January, when during NBA and NHL seasons are in full swing, and the NFL playoffs are underway. There are plenty of acceptable answers.
But if we’re narrowing our search to a single weekend, you will not find one better than one that is upon us.
Friday is arguably the best day of the baseball year, with four Division Series games stretching throughout the afternoon and evening. It’s MLB’s answer to the opening weekend of March Madness, some sort of heaven for baseball fans.
Saturday, the baseball playoffs continue with a pair of NLDS matchups, but we’re also treated to a full slate of college football games, with juicy conference matchups like Miami-Florida State, West Virginia-TCU, Alabama-Texas A&M, Michigan-Michigan State and more. All in all, 21 of the top 25 teams in the nation will be in action Saturday.
Sunday brings more MLB postseason, with Game 3’s in both ALDS series. It also, of course, brings 12 NFL games. Though the Patriots played Thursday and the Falcons are among the teams on byes, Cardinals-Eagles, Cowboys-Packers and Chiefs-Texans should be solid games. For millions of Americans, there is no such thing as a bad NFL Sunday.
This weekend really has something for everyone. The NHL season is getting underway, while NBA teams are playing preseason games. If you like soccer, tune into the U.S.’s must-win World Cup qualifying match against Panama on Friday night. If you like NASCAR, there’s a race Sunday afternoon in Charlotte. Golf fans can watch the Safeway Open, which is not the highest profile tournament but does feature a few recognizable names.
For those counting at home, that’s baseball, two kinds of football, futból, hockey, basketball, golf and racing.
Now of course, how much you appreciate this weekend may depend on your particular preferences. Diehard NBA fans may prefer the first round of the league’s playoffs, and NFL devotees perhaps like a weekend in January. But from a broad sports perspective, taking into account everyone’s needs and wants, this weekend is the best that we’ve got, as some sports (baseball, NASCAR) wind down, others (basketball, hockey) get started and the country’s most popular sport (cricket… just kidding) roars on at top gear. No matter who you are, you can probably find a game to watch.
So yes, you may be tempted to enjoy the final days of warm weather or rejoice in the beauty of autumn this weekend, but if you spend too much time outside, you’ll be doing it all wrong. With so many games across so many sports going on at once, any fan’s rightful place will be home on the couch, remote in hand.