Martin Rickman: It’s an argument I’ve had with friends in a bar so many times I barely remember which one started it first: What is the best sports month? Every time we come close to reaching a consensus, somebody else brings up a good point, or buys another round, or I wander off to play pinball. And we have to start it all over again another day.
But this time will be different. I do not have a pinball machine at my house. I am not drinking because it is 9 a.m., and you and I are very respectful in light of the fact that we’ve both watched so many law-based shows (miss you every day, Franklin & Bash). I know we can do this.
I don’t want to settle the simple question of which is the best sports month. I believe we can do even better than that. Let’s rank ALL of the sports months, from 1-12.
I’ll let you take the floor, Mr. Grubb – what is No. 1? And we can go from there. If I have any specific disagreements, I’ll stop you, but I already have a feeling I know which month you’re going with.
Brian Grubb: This is hard for me because I am strongly and controversially on the record as anti-Fall (days getting shorter, everything around you dying, Winter coming), but I think the best sports month is probably October, if only because there’s so much going on. College and professional football is in full swing, with teams working out their early season kinks to reveal who’s going to contend and who is going to fade away; The last remaining teams are duking it out in the baseball playoffs; and the NBA season is counting down to its end-of-the-month tip-off. You’ve got a beginning, a middle, and an end, all in one month.
As a fan of Philadelphia’s teams, I will be triple miserable. But it should be nice for everyone else!
MR: This is going to be a surprise on my end of things because I am a #college #football #guy, but I’m not going with a fall month at all. Although I do agree that October is pretty, pretty, pretty good, I’m all in on April. Here’s why – baseball is starting, you have the Final Four, the Masters, the NBA and NHL playoffs, spring ball for college football, and even NASCAR is getting good. It’s that month where everything finally thaws out, people wake up from their winter malaise, and people are excited again. I like it when people are happy.
So, what do we do? It does have to be one of those two at No. 1, right?
BG: Well, I just flipped a coin and won the toss — OR DID I? CAN I BE TRUSTED? HOW HIGH DOES THIS CORRUPTION GO? — so my vote is that we go…
… but as a consolation, I think you should have first shot at picking the third month.
MR: Fineeeeeeeeee. Okay, so what months are also good. September? People like September, right? College football and the NFL come back, baseball is still humming along, and life is pretty okay because the great frost hasn’t yet come upon the North. It’s either that or March – for NBA + March Madness purposes because as weekends go, the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament might be overall the best weekend of the year. Mr. Coin Flipper, I’ll let you weigh in and rank those two because I am terrible at decision making and I actually own dice that help me decide what to make for dinner given to me by a friend who knows how bad I am at making said decisions.
BG: Yeah, I think we have to go with March just for the first weekend of March Madness and, to a lesser extent, crazy finishes in conference tournaments for conferences you’ve never heard of. I feel like there are three of four of those every year, where the NIALABCBBD or whatever ends on a half-court bank shot by the coach’s 5’11 son and then all 120 fans in the gym lose all of their minds. I love that.
But again, mostly this is about those four days of March Madness where there are a zillion things happening at once and Twitter is like “EVERYONE PUT ON COURT TV VILLANOVA IS LOSING TO NIALABCBBD CONFERENCE WINNER VERY NORTH MONTANA STATE.” That is extremely good sports.
MR: Okay, so we have:
But here’s where it gets kind of tricky. May has a lot of neat one-off sportsy things, like the Kentucky Derby, and the NFL Draft, and the Indy 500 and all this other random fun stuff. Plus NBA/NHL playoffs, and still baseball. I’d lean toward that. Because, again, I’m someone who really likes it when the weather is warm. Any objections there? I feel like Nos. 6-8 are going to be pretty much splitting hairs before we get into the SPORTS ARE DEAD months.
BG: May it is. I think next we go with, what, November? It’s basically just October, but with Thanksgiving football games at the end and the World Series at the very beginning, leaking over a few days from October. In fact, now that I think about it, how the hell did we let November slip to sixth? I love Thanksgiving and the World Series!
MR: From there, it’s a matter of whether or not you like football or basketball more. But I’m a sucker for football games that matter, so I’m going to go with January because you get the NFL playoff race, college basketball and the NBA are hanging out, and those New Year’s games – plus the national title. But I think it’s close, so if I had to rank the next couple months, I’d go:
There’s something about the NBA and NHL playoffs that sucks me all the way in, even if my team(s) aren’t playing in them. Those are dang good playoffs, and the Stanley Cup Final is in June. So, that’s why I like June. I could be swayed to move June up, though. I’ll let you be the final arbitrator, all great and powerful Grubb.
BG: So, here’s the tricky thing. What do we do with February? Because February is bad, in general, and I’ve made the case a number of times that we just eliminate it entirely. And sports-wise, outside of two events, the only thing happening is the NBA’s midseason slog.
Those two events — two one-night oases in a snow-covered desert, to the extent that’s a thing — are the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Saturday Night. Those are biggies, especially after this year’s dunk contest. My word, was that fun. I… I almost feel like we should bump February up? It’s tough. A total all or nothing month.
MR: This is the one that’s going to make people mad at us no matter what we do, isn’t it? Oh hamburgers. Fine, scientifically, using that machine they used in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, but repurposed for sports, I am going to plug this month into the server, and [BEEP BOOP BOP BEEP COMPUTER NOISES], February is the sixth best month. Science did it. This was not arbitrary at all. Blame science, not me.
And really July and August are exactly the same. But now I want to move June up because it’s a lot better than those two months. What do you think?
BG: Martin, I just realized June has both the NBA Finals AND NBA Draft, which is the only fun night of the year for my beloved and miserable Sixers. And it’s the official start of summer, when baseball really starts feeling like baseball. We gotta
Way up. I’m thinking, like…
I gave July the nod only because of the Home Run Derby. Dingers are very important to me. What do you think? Any tweaks?
MR: That’s it. We solved this bad boy. Now everyone can get mad at us. But at least we tried. And trying is important.