Pro Sports In September are Booming


Graphic by Ella Ermshler

Jotham Israel, Sports Editor

I said that October was the best month for sports last year. In normal circumstances, I would still stand by that comment, but with sports being postponed and cancelled left and right and because everything is anything but normal in 2020, there’s a new month that reigns supreme in sports content for this year. That month just so happens to be the month we are in right now: September.

October would normally see all four major professional sports playing at the same time for maybe a week or two. That will still be the case this year, but because of all of the postponements to the NBA and NHL seasons, the intensity is surely kicking up this month with more leagues joining the party!

Yep, you know what that means. The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, WNBA and NCAA football will all be going on at the exact same time!

The NFL will operate just like it normally does, starting in September and ending in February while the NHL and NBA, leagues that normally begin in October and end in June, will have their postseasons run from August to October. The MLB, albeit the delayed start, will still end the regular season in September and play their expanded postseason in October. 

The FBS colleges that decided to play football in the Fall will start their seasons this month like normal. FCS schools Austin Peay and Central Arkansas played their first game on Aug. 29. The MLS and WNBA, usually starting in February and May respectively, rebooted in July and will conclude in the Fall.

Now from a moral and humane perspective, I still highly question playing sports eight months deep into a global pandemic, but as a fan, you can’t do anything but watch the boatload of games that are coming on television.

Both the NBA Playoffs and Stanley Cup Playoffs would normally occur in the Spring and early summer, but because of the pandemic, they had to be pushed back, and they got pushed right into the month where other professional leagues start their seasons.

It has been a blast discovering the weird and surreal feeling of having both postseasons in the Fall and not the Spring. Nobody is used to the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Final starting in mid-September and not late May.

From a high school student’s perspective, a lot of my peers are fans of the NBA, and they have the most intriguing and energetic discussions about the playoffs. Statements like “If LeBron wins in the West, he’s the GOAT” and “The Bucks will win it all” really do bring a lot of people together.

Having something that fun to talk about has helped me build a lot of chemistry with my teachers and classmates during the e-learning era. As soon as I brought up any topic from any sport, people who knew what I was talking about chimed in and talked to me about it.

Remarkably, the NFL is going to attempt to do something that no other professional sports league in America has done: Successfully start and completely finish a season as they normally would.

The NFL was lucky enough to complete its season and get past the Super Bowl in February, right before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the United States. Can they get luckier and pull off a full season ending with Super Bowl LV in Tampa on Feb. 7? I would strongly hope so.

The regular season started on Sept. 10 with the Texans and Chiefs playing the Kickoff game. The first two weeks have been exciting and filled with mystery, even with all of the unfortunate injuries in week two. So far, so good for the NFL.

You can say the same thing for college football. The first few weeks have been very entertaining, and with the Big Ten set to come back, the path towards a College Football Playoff looks to be more intense, especially with the SEC, Big 12 and ACC starting to get into the thick of their conference seasons.

The MLB has also joined the party now that playoff races are starting to really heat up. The season may have been shortened by 102 games, but the postseason was expanded from 10 teams to 16.

That means there are going to be a ton of surprise teams in the playoffs. If I told you back in February that the Blue Jays, Marlins, Giants, Reds and Padres were going to legitimately fight for playoff spots, you’d call me insane. The same proposition applies for if I would’ve said that, at some point late in the season, the Astros and Yankees were constantly fighting not for home field advantage in the AL, but just to get in the playoffs as wild cards.

That’s just crazy, and no one saw this coming in the MLB! The last week of the regular season is going to be a fantastic race to the finish line.

The WNBA Playoffs started on Tuesday. Five teams, each with three games remaining on their schedule, are mathematically still in contention for the final playoff spot. The MLS is also currently inching closer to their postseason as the regular season slate ends on Wednesday.

This is the month for sports, everyone. There are playoff games everywhere nowadays. This is what sports fans have been looking forward to since this pandemic started. Let’s enjoy it while we have it!