As an avid sports fan, I can officially say that we have entered what I would label as “Sports Heaven.” Imagine any semi-major sport and chances are, it’s currently ongoing and viewable in some capacity. Between the back-and-forth battle between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies that closed out the MLB season, the start of the NBA and NHL, the progression of this year’s turbulent NFL season (congratulations to all my New York Giants fans, it finally seems like this team has figured it out), the ongoing and frequent tennis and golf tournaments and of course, the approaching start date of the 2022 World Cup, it feels overwhelming trying to keep up with everything!
Genuinely, we are living in a time of an unprecedented sports climate, and we, the viewers, fans, and maybe even firsthand spectators, have the privilege of watching as much of it as we can.
I’m a bit biased in my sports preferences, so I apologize for my excessive discussion about the Chicago Bulls’ shaky start to the 2022-23 season and the unusual emergence of competitive teams that were initially thought to be perceived as “bottom-tier” teams. Unfortunately, it seems that our starting point guard Lonzo Ball has shown no signs of improvement from his knee injury. Thus, he will remain sidelined for an extended period of time. With that said, our young core looks awesome, so I guess the future might be bright.
Anyways, all of you from Milwaukee and Boston, assuming you have followed the NBA’s start, must be happy, considering each of these teams look healthy and dominant. To everyone from Atlanta and Cleveland, it’s hard to say where I see these teams in the future. For right now, they both appear extremely competitive and determined to prove their worth in a cutthroat Eastern Conference. For my Philly fans, more to come later in the post, but the James Harden injury is very concerning and may ruin the team’s season.
The Western Conference has me more confused than my multivariable calculus class. With the defending champion Golden State Warriors off to a slow start, both the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers reeling early, and the continuous high level of play from a Utah team, which the league assumed would be near the worst team, it’s hard to gauge where I see these teams in the future.
Consistent with the NBA’s recent beginning, is the NHL’s daily slate of regular season games. Truthfully, I am not a hockey fan whatsoever, so I cannot speak on how the season has progressed and who has emerged as early championship contenders. With that said, I hope the Chicago Blackhawks are playing well— though I couldn’t tell you their record if you asked me.
Sadly, the 2021-2022 MLB season has come to a close. For my Phillies fans and, more importantly, Astros fans, this World Series was nothing short of epic — solely because of the lingering threat that if the Phillies were to win, the country would enter another recession (seriously, look it up if you don’t believe me). From the back-and-forth battle between each team, Bryce Harper’s heroic postseason run, and Jeremy Peña’s record-breaking rookie World Series performance, the Astros slowly wore out the Phillies with their depth, experience, and talent.
With that said, if there were a city that can will a team to victory, it most definitely would have been Philadelphia. I’m not even that big of a baseball fan, and I watched nearly every pitch of this series, oftentimes switching up who I rooted for based on who’s winning. Nonetheless, I watched almost the entirety of this series. As of Nov. 5, the Houston Astros are the newest team to be crowned World Series champions, hopefully pushing aside their cheating scandal a few years prior.
Not much has changed with the NFL. Concussions remain at the forefront of the league’s focus, the Buffalo Bills are getting better every year and yet again, the city of Philadelphia is shining brightest amongst all 32 teams in the league as their Eagles remain undefeated. On a more somber note, unless you’re a New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers or Atlanta Falcons fan, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are struggling. Simply put, the team seems disorganized and unmotivated, and combine that with Brady’s recent divorce of his longtime wife Gisele Bündchen, it appears that this team isn’t going anywhere far. The Brady fan within me is deeply saddened this season is most likely his final with the league, regardless of my distaste for Brady’s former team where he won six Super Bowl titles, the New England Patriots.
Ah, the best for last (one might say): The World Cup. Perhaps the only sporting event other than the Olympics that can bring the entire world together, the World Cup is slated to start on Sunday, Nov. 20. Prior to this year, I was not the biggest follower of soccer, or fútbol for my non-Americans, so my overwhelming amount of excitement for Nov. 20 has definitely been a recent development.
For my fellow Americans, it appears that the United States might be another early exit for the sole purpose of us just being a younger and less experienced team than our competitors; a rather depressing sentiment, but a true one I must say. The United States is scheduled to play Wales on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. and England, one of the heavy favorites, on Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. With this tournament being Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s final World Cup, supporters of both Argentina and Portugal will make sure to tune into each team’s first game. Viewers should also make sure to look out for France and Belgium, both of whom are expected to make a deep run, as they will surely be in the early headlines of the tournament.
Sports fan or not, I cannot encourage all of you enough to tune into the World Series, World Cup or whatever sporting event you prefer. Please put the books down, leave the office early or skip that night out, and take some time to enjoy yourself! Sports have the power to demand our emotional and physical support, send us through a whirlwind of emotions and entertain us in ways a movie or book cannot. Who knows, you might even learn a thing or two while watching!