By Chad Underwood
With football out of season, most will assume that we will have to wait until August to see anything meaningful when it comes to the world of sports. Truth is, this may be the best time for sports of the entire year. So much is happening this summer that it is making me sad that I have to get a job and become an adult. Below are the Top Five Sports events heading into what should be an amazing summer.
1. THE WORLD CUP
This is, without a doubt, the premier sports event of the summer. The World Cup is just that, a global tournament for the sport of soccer that is seen by billions of people. In the United States, many die-hard and even casual fans remember Landon Donavan’s stoppage time heroics at the 2010 World Cup vs. Algeria. The United States will face a much tougher task this time around, playing in a group that features soccer world powers Portugal and Germany, along with a Ghana team that has given the US lots of trouble in the last two World Cups. No matter what happens to the United States men’s national team, this is a tournament that holds a lot of importance globally and one I will definitely be watching.
2. THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
(Warning, this is the most biased opinion anyone could ever have. The sport of hockey means everything to me. Just thought I would make that clear).
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are for me the best part of the summer months. As we are already through the first round and into the second, the competition and matchups only continue to get better as we inch closer to the Stanley Cup Final. Hockey is a sport you have to give a chance in person at least once. Nashville is the closest NHL team to Montgomery, but the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League are only about 90 minutes away in Georgia. The playoffs will last until around mid-June, so all you suffering football fans hop on the bandwagon now!
3. THE NFL DRAFT
To kick off the Summer break from May 8-10 is quite possibly the sports-nerdiest thing of all time. The draft always used to fall during finals week (which was complete and utter torture), but now it has been pushed to the next week, and I will get to watch hours and hours of coverage. At times, it is not the most entertaining event, but a very important one that shapes the foundation for the future of the National Football League. The first round is must-see television.
4. THE NBA PLAYOFFS
I am far from an NBA expert, but the playoffs are always a fun time to watch and learn about the sport. There are many interesting storylines that have already surfaced in the first round of the playoffs, but mainly one about Miami Heat forward Lebron James’ alleged stare before a dunk at basketball legend/owner of Charlotte Bobcats Michael Jordan. Lebron is playing with an edge to his game I have not seen since his days in Cleveland. I love the confidence he brings to the floor and his teammates. Hopefully, we get to see an NBA Finals that features him and the Miami Heat once again.
5. MLB BASEBALL
I always pick baseball up in the summer months because the season is so long. It is impossible for me to watch 162 games and still maintain anything that resembles a normal life. So around mid-July, typically after the All-Star break, I really start to pay attention. Is it the best option in May and June? No. But, is it always on to cure one’s sports fix? Yes.