Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Four Seasons #2: Hockey (and to a lesser extent Basketball)

This begins with the Winter Classic. A recent phoenomon that takes a regular season NHL hockey game and moves it outside. This is an attempt to make the rest of us feel nostalgic for those good old days when we all went out and played shinny on the pond. I never played on a frozen pond, or frozen water for that matter, but I do get a little teary eyed seeing the sun gleam off the outdoor surface with the nostalgic background music.

Youth hockey kicks off in August with evaluations, and practices. The actual season begins in October, but with the Thanksgiving break and then Christmas and New Years the youth hockey season seems to really get into gear in January. The run up to the playoffs begin in February and by the end of February it's time for the end of year tournament. Busy weekends, running from rink to rink for team practices, skills clinics and games. Loads of opportunities to avoid house work. Can't work around the house if you're taking your kid to the ice rink.

Youth hockey ends and the NHL playoffs begin in March. With 8 best of 7 game series going on at the same time it really is March madness. The Divisional rounds lead to the Conference Finals and then the Stanley Cup Finals in June. It's still kind of strange to see hockey being played in June, but I love it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Four Seasons: #1 Football

I've lived in the Portland Metro area for the last 30+ years and this has been the wettest winter in memory. Now that summer is starting to poke it's head around the corner I'd like to use the next few posts to take you through my four seasons. My year starts in the fall and if you think that's because of the beginning of the school year I'd bet you'd be right.

Football Season

This starts with the NFL's Hall Of Fame Game which is usually held the last weekend in July. The new class is inducted into the hall on Saturday and the game is played on Sunday. Football season takes me through the turning of the leaves and the shortening of the days. 

Watching NFL pre-season games through August, then the start of high school and college seasons in September. I even got to spend the last three years watching Cam play youth football, complete with 2 hour practices every weekday in August. 

The season can be marked by discrete events. 

Monday night football celebrates Halloween is a favorite. It's nice to see someone besides Raider fan in costume at the game. 

The Civil War game between Oregon State University and The University of Oregon establishes bragging rights for the rest of the year. 

High School playoffs start in November and gives parents across the state a chance to take a child's game too seriously. I'm not looking down at them any more. It turns out I'm one of them. 

Thanksgiving in the USA provides us with an opportunity to watch the Detroit Lions play. I'm convinced that this is a public service provided by the NFL to keep us safe while in a turkey induced coma. 

Bowl Season in college football begins in the middle of December. The best of the rest play in bowls like the New Orleans Bowl, Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, the Hawaii Bowl, and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl to name but a few. It used to be that the big boys played their bowl games on New Years day, but that date keeps getting pushed off into the new year. The 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game will be played on January 9th.

In the NFL the playoffs get into gear in January with Wildcard weekend, the Divisional playoffs, and the Conference finals all leading up to The Super Bowl.