There is no offseason for a sports fan

Sports never stop, and it's tough to keep up

Some people see the year in seasons. Winter breaks to spring, and that turns to summer and so on.

I think in seasons too, they’re just called "baseball," "football," "soccer" seasons instead.

That’s how it is for many sports fans not just in America, but around the world. However, America takes it up to the next level. It’s very easy to get lost in the world of sports.

Throughout most of my time in high school, my day would start with SportsCenter on ESPN. After suffering through school, I’d usually have an hour of time to watch "Around the Horn" and "Pardon the Interruption" before work until I got home at night and watched the nightly SportsCenter.

I’d wake up the next day and do it again.

So, if that could be understood as a good example of how busy a sports fan’s day could be, it’s easy to see what a whole year could look like.

Like a fiscal year, my sports year does not begin in January. I like to celebrate the new year on the first day of spring training. Winter is over, the sun warms up and we get the privilege of cheap baseball. I like to start my year on a high note; I can, it’s my year.

Spring training eventually leads to Opening Day, and by this time in early April I’m at peak baseball fandom and haven’t yet given up on my fantasy team.

Baseball carries us through to the NBA Finals, arguably the first big event in my sports year. This year, we watched the Cavaliers bring home Cleveland’s first title in decades.

Over summer, as I give up on my fantasy baseball team, I start to pay more attention to Major League Soccer, because by this point in the year they’ve been playing since February. I usually catch up just in time to watch baseball’s All-Star Weekend while I revive hope that my fantasy baseball team will turn it around before October.

Summer’s end brings the beginning of the British Premier League, which means I can find myself up irresponsibly early to watch games from England. Zack Sanchez, a fan of soccer himself, can attest to this.

“I love watching the Premier League, but being a fan in America means you have to struggle to watch it," Sanchez said. "Waking up at the crack of dawn, trying to find a stream that won’t buffer during the entire game, or just having to listen to it off an internet radio station are some of the hurdles you have to go through to watch a game."

Before I can catch a breath, I start adding “NFL updates” to my newsfeed.

That’s right, around this time, football starts to warm up in America. Players hit training camp and warm up in the pre-season during the end of summer, and before you know it we’re back to watching games every Sunday.

In case you’ve lost track, so far I’m following around eight teams in at least five leagues on two continents. We’re only around halfway through my sports year.

With professional football comes another fantasy league, which is perfect because I’ve by now officially given up on my fantasy baseball team. There’s also a seemingly limitless supply of college football to watch.

Soon it’s the end of October and the World Series is here. I’ll tell my great-grandkids about the 2016 World Series and how great it was watching a team snap a century-old drought.

Luckily now, both MLB and MLS have ended so I get a little bit of a breather to focus on football and the occasional basketball game.

My solace is quickly shattered, though, as out of the cold depths of winter comes the football postseason, kicked off with college football bowl games around the new year.

Next, we’re entering Super Bowl hype and nearing the end of my sports year. Even though it happened at the end of my last sports year, 2016’s Super Bowl was a thriller. I will forever thank it for all the memes.

After the Super Bowl, I immediately start chasing down baseball trade rumors until spring training begins and my year starts anew.

There’s no offseason for the dedicated fan, and following all these sports feels like a sport itself.


Reach the columnist at cjwood3@asu.edu or follow @chriswood_311 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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