January 1st. The start of a new year. A fresh start with the anticipation of things to look forward to. For the upcoming year, what weekends should we most anticipated from a sports perspective. What would be the Mount Rushmore of sports weekends? What are the top 4 best weekends in sports? In honor of the new year, here are the undisputed 4 greatest sports weekends of any year with the 2020 dates to look forward to.
4. Labor Day Weekend (September 3-7)
The opening weekend of college football and the final month of the MLB season when the pennant races heat up. While there isn’t a slate of amazing college football matchups, there’s a top 25 matchup, and games Thursday through Monday. It’s tough to beat 5 straight days of college football.
This weekend is fun from a baseball standpoint as the season enters it’s final stretch. Starting with Labor Day Weekend, the pennant races have come into picture, giving every game that tense feeling that gets lost in the rest of an MLB season.
What would push this weekend up higher on this list would be Major League Baseball bringing back double-headers for Labor Day. There would be no better way to spend Labor Day than at a ballpark watching your team play two.
3. Weekend of the Masters (April 9-12)
Growing up, there wasn’t a sound that made summer sound right around the corner than hearing Jim Nantz’s “Hello friends, and welcome to a tradition unlike any other”. Truly a tradition unlike any other, as those who don’t watch golf watch the Masters. I love to golf, only watch a couple final rounds of tournaments each year, but every April I have the Masters on Thursday – Sunday. There’s something very endearing about that weekend. Maybe it’s dozing off on the couch to Jim Nantz’s voice on Sunday afternoon. Waking up to watch the suspense and pressure of the final pairing take on Amen Corner and see who gets to don the green jacket as the sun sets.
2. Thanksgiving Weekend (November 26-29)
Throughout my life, nothing has gotten me more in the holiday spirit than this weekend. These four days are defined by fellowship, fun and football. Growing up in Texas, I’m convinced everyone plans their Thanksgiving meal around the Cowboy game. If God’s watching his favorite team, so should you. What makes this weekend #2 on my list is the weekend starts out with arguably the largest, most variety filled, complete meal anyone eats all year. America’s Team plays every Thanksgiving, and it’s rivalry week in college football. Sometimes Thanksgiving night would have Texas – Texas A&M, or Mississippi State – Ole Miss giving that day the perfect night cap. Regardless, there’s nothing more festive than decorating for Christmas that Friday & Saturday to rivalry week on the TV. If that’s not enough football for you, there’s still 12 NFL games on that Sunday. One last aspect that makes this weekend so great, is in the tiny windows between the Dallas Cowboys and rivalry week games, there are terrific college basketball tournaments that weekend, with several big name programs squaring off.
As a disclaimer, this weekend would probably be #1, but has lost just a tad of luster since Texas – Texas A&M do not play anymore. I just really don’t care about Texas – TCU that weekend. This has created a ripple effect of games that don’t happen on Thanksgiving weekend anymore. A very disappointing effect of Thanksgiving games lost: LSU – Arkansas for the Battle of the Golden Boot. Kansas – Missouri in the Border War.
1. First Weekend of March Madness (March 19-22)
This is by far the greatest sports weekend of the year. 48 basketball games in 4 days! With the certainty of upsets and buzzer beaters like death and taxes. Spring is in the air and the name Cinderella gets spoken more at CBS these 4 days than in the actual movie. Thursday through Sunday, from lunch to midnight, it’s a basketball fan’s paradise. You see tears of pure joy to tears of despondency and regret.
Outside of the actual sport itself, the atmosphere in unmatched. Even those who don’t like basketball or know anything about it get infected by the mental state known as “March Madness”. Everyone hangs on each game that weekend, hoping their bracket doesn’t bust and their upset pick pulls of the miracle. It truly is the best sports weekend of the year.