Is This the Worst Time of the Year or What?

We’ve all heard about the dog days of summer, but what about the dog days of winter?  Is there a worse sports month than February?  The best thing about February is that it is always the shortest month of the year, but this year, the torture is extended by a day thanks to Leap Year. 

There is absolutely nothing going on in February.  Yes, the Super Bowl has been moved to February, but that’s the first Sunday of the month, leaving plenty of boredom ahead.  The NBA and NHL are in the middle of their endless winters.  Game after game, boredom after boredom.  The NHL’s trading deadline is today, but with the salary cap, how many crucial moves will be made?  The playoff push for the bubble teams doesn’t really begin until the second week of March.

Ditto for the NBA, even though the 2007-2008 season has been an exciting one.  In the Western Conference, there are nine teams with a record of 32-20 or better, meaning that a team might win 46-50 games and NOT make the playoffs.  Of course, in the East, a team might make the playoffs with 50 losses.  Once again, it’s too early to call a February game a must-win situation.  That’s what makes February so annoying.  The games count, but it’s tough to take them as such.  The beginning of the season has that intensity as your interest is keen because you want your team to start well.  The end of the season is keen because teams are jockeying for playoffs and playoff positioning. 

As horrible as February is, it will come back to haunt somebody.  That four game losing streak, the blown three goal lead that results in a team missing the playoffs will be looked back on.  That said, there isn’t much cause for celebration in February.

College basketball is in a similar predicament.  In February, teams go ’round the conference for the second time, so I guess there is a bit of a revenge factor at stake.  In their first meeting, Texas A&M destroyed Texas, so last night Texas did the same to A&M.  That’s all well and good, but for college basketball fans, February is spent waiting for March Madness to begin, and because of the calendar, Selection Sunday is still four weeks away on March 16. 

Baseball shows signs of life with the words “Pitchers and Catchers,” and “First Full Squad Workout,”  but raise your hand if you are excited about hearing reports from Florida and Arizona.  If you live in the Northeast or Midwest, hearing about Florida and Arizona just depresses more.

Even the NFL, which is now a 12 month sport is pretty dull in February.  The overrated combine and Mel Kiper’s draft boards still aren’t here and all you hear is the names of a few players losing their jobs. 

I guess February is good for catching up with the family and friends.  There are no must-see games on the tube.  Sleep is probably a good option as is taking the kids to Chuck E. Cheese.  Once again, let’s give thanks that February is usually only 28 days long.

Only 10 days ’till March!

Johnny Furgele

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