Every month there is something going on in the world of sports, but only in October does it feel like magic in the air.
Sports are ingrained into American culture, going back to the middle of the 19th century with professional baseball, thus creating America’s pastime. However, October is not special solely because of baseball; there are many different elements that create the allure and excitement.
The winds of change generate a crisp, coolness of the air that can be felt when you walk out your door at night. It is during this time that hockey season starts and puts the sports fan on notice that fall has truly begun.
Football season is also now in full swing, with the National Football League reaching its midway point, and the college football season coming near the end. What sports fan doesn’t want to watch a compelling football game in rugged weather?
The New England Patriots game over the weekend was played in snow, producing a majestic scene with atmosphere that every viewer can enjoy.
During this time, football fans begin to know whether or not their favorite team is a contender or pretender. Will they be watching the rest of the season deeply interested or will they casually follow along as their team fades into winter?
As the month moves along, so to does the NCAA season. In college football, every game counts. You cannot afford to lose a single game, no matter how good you are.
Just look at USC; every year, usually in October, the Trojans lose to someone that they shouldn’t have. It is always argued that they are one of the two best teams in the country, but they don’t get a chance to prove it. If the program would stop looking for November and pay attention to what is in front of them, they might not lose that game.
At the end of the month, basketball season begins. Ever since Magic Johnson and Larry Bird firmly placed the sport on the American consciousness in the 80’s, basketball has captivated the American public.
With the recent ascension of the Boston Celtics, along with the current success of the L.A. Lakers, basketball has rightfully gained the attention of millions once again.
All of these events are important and stand out from each other in the sports realm. Nonetheless, most of the magic is created by the Major League Baseball playoffs and the World Series, otherwise known as the Fall Classic.
Football may have surpassed baseball in this country in popularity, but you can never find as hard-core a fan as you will a baseball fan.
Baseball fans can hold their breath on every pitch, especially during the playoffs. Their team winning or losing can be the difference between a happy winter or another pain-enduring time of their life.
I, being a die-hard Red Sox fan from Boston, have been victim of this many times. During the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees, the Red Sox trailed three games to none. They went on to become the first team in history to win a series under such conditions. That was the greatest week of my life. I literally cried when they defeated New York and was silently in awe when they swept the Cardinals to win the World Series for the first time since 1918.
Some people say that they can’t watch a baseball game, that it’s too slow. It’s not that it is slow; it is that they do not understand the subtleties of the game. They don’t know that when the batter hits a single to right field, it’s the center-fielders job to back him up. It is also the shortstop’s job to help align the second baseman for the cutoff.
Not to mention the chess game that goes on between a pitcher and a hitter. Is he going to throw a splitter in the dirt or a high fastball? What are this hitter’s strength’s and weaknesses? How do I get him to chase this pitch?
All of this is magnified in October. It is when the best teams and the best players get a chance to shine on the world’s biggest stage. As a fan, you see the frost spewing from their mouths, as they struggle against each other as well as the elements. It is October at its best.
All of this occurs but once a year, and when it comes everyone takes notice. It is the conversation piece at the water cooler and the topic among friends at the bowling alley. It is everywhere and nowhere, and the memories of October will live with us forever.