October is great for many reasons. Colors dominate the terrain, pumpkin permeates the air and apple cider is more readily available than ever. October is also the absolute best time of the year to be a sports fan. All the major sports in North America are in full swing, leaving 50-year-old sports fans giddy like children eating cotton candy at the theme park. Here is a list of all the exciting sports events circulating our culture in October:
1. The NFL.
Any time the NFL is in season is better than a time when the NFL is not in season. But right now is an especially good time to be a professional football fan. It's still early enough in the season that every team, even if they only have one win, still has hope of making the playoffs. (Playoffs!?) However, teams are beginning to distinguish themselves and stars for the season are quickly emerging.
2. MLB Playoffs.
There is nothing like baseball in October. The crack of the bat is crisper in the crisp autumn air and the warm hot dogs are never more satisfying. And there is everything to play for – the World Series is on the line and only 4 teams are left. And the perennial questions remains: will this year be the Cubs’ year?
3. The NHL has begun.
Last Wednesday was opening night for NHL hockey. After a summer that featured the World Cup of Hockey, the sport has as much attention as ever and the hype preceding the season is immense. The 30 teams have hit the ice and the season is underway.
4. NBA Basketball is around the corner.
Tip off for the 2016/17 season is set for October 25th. The dust of the ever-tumultuous free-agency season is settling and teams are beginning to form identities for the upcoming year. Also, pre-season is in full swing giving fans cheaper tickets, but still great (well… maybe okay) basketball.
5. The MLS playoff race is heating up.
Major League Soccer is in its final week of the regular season. Playoff spots and conference-byes are still up for grabs, making for a tantalizing final weekend slate. Then the playoffs promise to bring no shortage of drama as knock-out play commences.
6. NCAA Football is more hype each weekend.
The race to be in the invariably controversial 4-team playoffs is in high gear. Those who had the privilege to watch the Clemson-Louisville game on October 1 know exactly the energy and desperation that go into each game. With undefeated records paramount, each week brings rising intensity.
7. That’s not all!
Other sports are also treating for entertaining match-ups. The Ryder Cup two weeks ago saw the U.S. team win for the first time since 2008. International soccer World Cup Qualifying is in its final stages as the pool dwindles to the final 32 in Russia. And high schools across the country are approaching playoff season for all of their respective sports.
With such a plethora before us, one can only sit back, breathe deeply and enjoy October.