Saturday, January 31, 2009

Coming Soon... Spring Training

With the end of January upon us, it usually means 2 things in the land of sports.

1. The Super Bowl in near. More on that in a second.

2. Pitchers and Catchers are reporting soon.

This year, with the World Baseball Classic being played in the month of March, the mandatory reporting dates for teams have been pushed up. The Chicago Cubs pitchers and catchers report on February 13th and the Chicago White Sox reporting date is February 14th. The dates being pushed up means that a baseball fan like me has a lot of spring training reports to look forward to. The downside is that because of the WBC, the season will start later this year. Opening day is set for April 6th this season, a week later than this past season. It'll be good for most of the midwest and northeast teams as the later start will hopefully make for some warmer games in those seasons and lower the chance of snow outs.

As for the Super Bowl, this year's matchup obviously has less appeal for the country than last years matchup of the undefeated New England Patriots vs the New York Giants. Lots of people tuned it to see if the Giants could be the teams to hand the Patriots their first defeat of the season. To add into it that you have a team from the #1 TV market in North America and the NFL has a match made in heaven.

On the other hand, this year we have the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. One team that has been the league doormat for many, many decades. The other is trying to become the winningest team in Super Bowl victories. Add into the fact that one team is a 6 and a half point favorite and you have a drama-less game. The Cardinals can surprise people and there is a chance that they end up winning the game, but what NBC is probably rooting for is a close game so people won't tune out as quickly. I'm actually going to say that the Cardinals win this one 34-31 in a close shootout and Kurt Warner picks up the MVP.

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