Dan Rattiner's Stories

Sports Doldrum: The Long Wait from End of Football to Start of Baseball

February and March mark the black hole between our favorite national sports.

I love watching baseball and football. For me, the NFL and MLB are our twin national games. I watch them 10 months a year. The other two months are February and March. These months I call the Black Hole. Nothing happening.

Football and baseball teams show strategy, teamwork, cunning, strength, daring and luck, which often results in an underdog beating a favorite, which, if they do it again and again, they win everything and everybody goes wild. I like that.

With winter sports, on television anyway, all it is is a lot of big-muscled or extra tall people on two teams going up and down a rink or court, back and forth and back and forth, shooting at a hoop or trying to injure, but not badly injure, one another while keeping that from the officials to avoid getting penalized. I don’t get it. Instead I watch nothing, sulk, and wait for the return of baseball and football.

The situation this February and March is exacerbated by the fact that four out of the five hockey and basketball home teams are simply awful. In hockey, the New York Rangers would be in last place except that the New Jersey Devils are there. The Islanders, the Long Island hockey team, are a bit further from in the cellar. But they are only three points ahead of the Rangers. In basketball, the Brooklyn Nets fired their coach, as did the New York Knicks, who are only one game out of last place in their conference cellar.

The NFL is discussing the possibility of having the teams play 17 regular season games a year instead of 16. I hope they do that and football spills over into late February. Then we’d just have to get baseball to begin starting their season by the second week of March.

The hole then would be just three weeks. I think I could live with that.

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