It’s a relatively simple question: what is the worst sports month of the year, and why? A year and a half ago, we did a roundtable about the best sports month of the year, and the responses were all over the calendar.
We polled our staffers, and here are their answers.
Andrew Bucholtz: If I wasn’t a CFL fan, I’d probably say July or August, but I love those months for the CFL season. They also have MLB and MLS, and those months also tend to feature the World Cup (men’s or women’s World Cups usually run into early July, as do the European Championships) and the Summer Olympics (usually in August). I’m also tempted by February, as it has no MLB, NHL, and NBA games that aren’t even part of the playoff push yet, and no football beyond the Super Bowl (plus, it’s peak season for dumb NFL draft takes), but I love the Winter Olympics every four years, and the Super Bowl is a lot of fun too.
March is a possibility, as it’s the worst month for football and doesn’t yet have MLB games or NBA or NHL playoffs, but it’s saved by March Madness. So I’m actually going to go with December, as it has no championships and is after the MLB postseason, after the Grey Cup, in the peak period of the regular season doldrums for the NHL and the NBA, and not even that great for NCAA football or the NFL.
I enjoy the random college football bowls as something to watch in the background, but they’re not particularly meaningful.The CFP national championship is always in January, as are many of the big bowl games (Jan. 1), and even the CFP semifinals are in January at least every three years. And while the first-week-of-December conference championships are fun, as is the following week’s Army-Navy game, that’s not enough to elevate December. It’s also the last month of the NFL regular season, so January and February have an edge thanks to featuring the NFL playoffs. They’re all good sports months, Brent, but December and its lack of championships only gets an 11/10 from me.
Phillip Bupp: If anyone tries to tell you the NFL is dying or is hurting because (insert any reason), show them anything regarding the NFL that has come from this month to easily prove them wrong.
April used to be a great sports month. March Madness is wrapping up; you have The Masters, the first weeks of the baseball season and the start of the NBA and Stanley Cup Playoffs. But all this has been overshadowed by the NFL Draft and offseason NFL rumors and innuendo that have varying degrees of believability.
The NFL Draft sucks now. It used to be great. It used to be two days and was more about figuring out who your team got and how they are going to fit with your team. Now, it’s more about the spectacle, trying to cram in as many fans as possible and is now seemingly on every network. And because of social media and the fact that the NFL needs to delay announcing picks to make sure every broadcast is ready to televise the pick, we know that pick way in advance on Twitter. But even that wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t have a month full of insane rumors about draft prospects that can get personal and have nothing to do with football.
And BS rumors and reports aren’t limited to the NFL Draft. The ESPN story about Tom Brady not being committed to playing in 2018 is a perfect example of how terrible this month is. People are so desperate for news that a story like that, where the two people Adam Schefter talked to both think he’s coming back, is being talked about all day and is dominating the sports world. Let’s get this draft over with and get the players on the field because this has gotten farcical.
Ian Casselberry: Put me down for July, although I think we’re really only talking about one week, rather than an entire month. The days after the MLB All-Star Game — especially Wednesday and Thursday — are the bleakest on the sports calendar. All of the recaps and post-mortems are about an exhibition game. While the All-Star break provides a bit of a reset for baseball season, it’s also a reminder of just how long the season is. (And if there are no compelling storylines or division races — which there usually are, thankfully — it feels even longer.)
No NBA or NHL games are on the calendar, even if we could probably use a break by then after the playoffs. NFL training camps open, but there’s nothing of interest unless you like watching highlights of linemen pushing sleds, players running in 90-degree heat, and coaches wearing shorts and straw hats. But hey, everybody looks good running, catching and throwing, so optimism abounds. Maybe worst of all, there are no college sports. College football practices are still a month away, and the regular season doesn’t begin for another two months. Even in an Olympics year, the Summer Games don’t usually begin until August.
So whether you want to or not, July is your chance to take a break from sports and recharge. Go to the movies (if any good ones are showing). Binge those TV shows you’ve been putting off. Especially if you’re nursing burns from your 4th of July fireworks accident. But you should probably go outside. At least on the patio. July is prime grilling time. Plan a trip with family or friends. Sports will be there when you get back.
Matt Clapp: This is all about personal taste, but for me, it’s easily February.
Here’s why I especially think February sucks as a sports month: I love the NFL as much as anyone, and the Super Bowl still doesn’t do much for me. Honestly, it’s my least favorite week of the NFL season, (unless Week 17 has no meaningful games in that year). Give me every other playoff round above it — especially Championship Sunday — without question. The two weeks of hype, hot takes, and overanalysis are unbearable, and then we get a four-hour game (after like 15 pregame shows) known as much for the commercials and halftime show? It’s just not my thing, and I love the sport.
Additionally, we’re talking NBA games in peak rest and tank mode, and how many people really give a hoot about February hockey? Spring Training getting started is fun, but in general it’s still at crappy month on the MLB calendar. At the end of the day, it’s really about the Super Bowl and how much you value it. And I value it less than your average July or August baseball day.
Ben Koo: It’s July and I’m baffled these dipshits are inventing reasons to not say it’s July. Even if you love baseball, you know what sucks? The days after the All Star Break where there is no baseball at all. There is nothing. Worst days of the year on the sports calendar.
I guess if you loved golf, tennis, baseball, and soccer, and absolutely nothing else, you could maybe say the winter months were worse, but I just refuse to think the masses agree with me here. July sucks. It’s hot. All of the good TV shows are out of season. You have friends who are teachers trying to get you drunk on week nights. You have conflicted feelings when Chris Berman is not doing the Home Run Derby. You go back and forth if you should wear your American flag tank top despite you gaining 10 pounds from last year. And oh yeah, there is no football, basketball, or hockey and you’re in the middle of the MLS and MLB seasons. There are no collegiate sports at all. So yeah, don’t even come at me with this “not July” bullshit.
Joe Lucia: In my book, February is pretty clearly the worst month. It starts with the Super Bowl, and the two weeks of mindnumbing coverage that lead into the game (most of which, thankfully, comes in January). After the Super Bowl ends, we get smashed in the face with days of stupid breakdowns and reactions to the game (remember all of the Malcolm Butler stuff this year, and the Nick Foles/Carson Wentz takes?). In the NBA and NHL, we are forced to pretend the All-Star Games matter and are entertaining in February. Every four years, the Winter Olympics occupy far too much airtime.
Meanwhile in MLB, Spring Training is starting and people are getting really excited about pointless games that don’t matter, and over in Europe, the Champions League gives you a brief taste of knockout action before retreating into its shell for a month and the Premier League season is screwed up by the FA Cup and EFL Cup. WHEEEEE!
February is bad, and the weather doesn’t even give you an excuse to not watch sports.
Alex Putterman: If I’m looking at this from the perspective of an average sports fan, I’ll say July, when only one big-four league is active. But as a baseball diehard, I can’t pretend I don’t enjoy those summer months when MLB is the only game going. With that in mind, my answer is February, which features the Super Bowl right at the start and then… the doldrums of the NBA and NHL seasons and a flurry of college hoops contests that don’t quite matter yet. Given that March is my favorite sports month, February feels like a tease.
Jay Rigdon: It’s either July or August, but it’s probably August. July is almost as bad, yes, but July also has the British Open, Wimbledon, and depending on the year, the knockout rounds of the World Cup or the European Championship. Plus baseball.
August, though? August has nothing. you get maybe one college football weekend depending on the calendar. You get some other baseball, although by then the fun early season surprise teams have likely fallen out of contention, and things like the waiver trade deadline get headlines because that’s how boring it’s gotten. You get a couple of weeks of EPL soccer, you get MLS (which, as near as I can tell, is in season for 11.5 months of the year), and you get a couple of days of U.S. Open tennis. Starting next year you won’t even get the PGA Championship, which is moving to May. Every four years you get an Olympics, which is nice, sure, but still.
August is bad.
David Rogers: Originally I was going to suggest July, but now I’m feeling confident that August is the clear winner for worst month in sports. Sure, there are some big events that occasionally call the month home, but in terms of pure consistency, August is the month the sporting world seems to have forgotten.
August is home to the incredibly annoying NFL preseason, which might be enough ammo to end this discussion before going further. If your month is loaded with NFL mock drafts, it’s probably a terrible a one. Adding on, August is home to the dog days of the baseball season that only really matter to a handful of teams, and it’s void of any real NHL or NBA conversation.
If August didn’t have the beginning of European soccer, it’d be a month you could entirely remove from the sports calendar.