The NFL: Not For Long
So, we have just passed the first Sunday since August where there was no NFL football on TV. It might not feel that bad, but this is only the beginning. Soon enough, we will miss seeing the thrills of the NFL season take over our boring Sundays and social media every week.
As of Feb. 20, there are exactly six months and 17 days until opening night in the NFL. Tuesday begins the process of free agency, where teams can negotiate with their own impending free agents before they consider other options. March 13 is the day when the legal tampering period begins, or in other words, free agency starts, but even still, it’s not the same as watching your favorite player take the field.
So what do you do?
Well, believe it or not, there are many other leagues still in season, and they all have something exciting to offer. So, if you are like me, the next six months may be a lot of experimenting and waiting for the Vikings to begin again in August. Here are some other leagues to pay attention to in the meantime.
NBA: Coming off of All-Star weekend, the NBA will not be starting back up again until Feb. 23, but the second half of the season will be one to watch. Most teams have around 24 games remaining in the season, each with their own goal. For championship contending teams like the Bucks, Suns, Celtics, Mavericks or whoever you would like to put in that category, they have very little time to gel for the playoffs.
For teams like the Hornets, Rockets, Pistons, etc. it is an all out suck-fest to see who can land the number one pick and the honors of drafting superstar prospect Victor Wembanyama. If you are a team in the middle, like the Hawks, Timberwolves, Heat, or others, it’s time to experiment, play some young guys, and look to get hot and push to win a playoff series or two, and develop some sort of new culture for the organization.
NHL: I’m gonna keep it real, I don’t know much about the NHL. What I do know is that my roommates love watching hockey, it gets a lot of people pretty excited, and there are a lot of fights. Sounds pretty fun right?
Apparently, the NHL season goes until April 14, so there is still a lot of time left for teams to establish themselves as contenders or pretenders. I even found out that the trade deadline is coming up, so now would be a great time to start following the NHL as players settle into their new homes and collectively try to push for the Stanley Cup.
XFL: Whatttttttt, the XFL? Yes, the XFL has returned for another season, and just in time. Week one just passed, and many former NFL players and coaches were out on the field again. The XFL is like the NFL, but has a couple of different rules to make it different from the NFL. The most interesting new rule will make a lot more sense if you have ever played Madden’s ‘The Yard.’ That game mode sucks, but you are allowed to throw two forward passes in one play. One behind the line of scrimmage, and then one downfield, if you so choose.
There are a variety of other rule changes, such as new overtime rules, removing the kick extra point, and adding tiered point after tries. That’s not all though, be sure to watch at least one XFL game before the season ends, even if it is like substituting margarine for butter.
MLB: Ah, the most boring and long sports season of all. In my opinion of course. However, with spring training right around the corner, the MLB is going to be ruling the summer once again. Opening Day is March 30, and for the first time since 1968, all 30 teams are scheduled to play their first game on the same day.
There are obviously many more sports leagues that you can follow, but these are some of them that will be ruling the media. Personally, I will be paying a lot of attention to the NBA and XFL, but until further notice, Sundays won’t be the same. Skol.
Write to Hayden Lee at Hayden.Lee@my.smsu.edu