Forman: Worst month in sports

Matt Forman

For the last five months, sports fans everywhere have framed their weeks around Sunday – a day for football. A day to sit down in front of your TV and watch several hours of pads pounding against each other.

Now that the Super Bowl has come and gone, Sundays just won’t be the same. (Unless you’re looking forward to the Pro Bowl.)

But it’s not just Sundays.

The passing of the Super Bowl is devastating for sports aficionados. The Super Bowl is a momentous occasion of filling oneself with unhealthy food and drinking plentiful amounts of alcohol. It’s an occasion of attending parties and spending time with friends.

It also marks the beginning of the worst month in sports – February.

Some argue that July is worse: the dog days of summer with football still over a month away. I say it’s not even close.

And there’s only one reasonable explanation as to why February is only either 28 or 29 days long… so sports fans can get through the wickedness that the month presents.

Yep, pitchers and catchers report in a little over a week. Spring training baseball is great if you live in Florida or Arizona. Otherwise, we’re so close to actual games that split-squad games aren’t intriguing. Maybe Manny Ramirez will sign sometime soon?

Sure, the NBA and NHL seasons are hitting stride. Both leagues have played just over half of their 81 regular season contests. But Lord Stanley won’t be awarded until late May and a title won’t be handed out until mid-June. The NBA All-Star Game and Skills Competition will be played in less than two weeks. Nate Robinson trying to dunk a few years ago was cute. But until LeBron James is in the dunk contest, I won’t take it seriously.

Granted, national signing day for college football is this Wednesday, but every coach in the country will be saying what a great recruiting class they landed, what quality, character student-athletes will be on display for the next three to four seasons. The thing is, players don’t actually have to sign on Feb. 4. Last year, Terrelle Pryor was the center of national attention until mid-March, when he committed to Ohio State.

Someone recently told me that the NASCAR season gets underway in February. I’d rather watch wet paint dry on a wall than cars go in circles.

There’s only one saving grace…college basketball. It will get us from one great Sunday to the next, Selection Sunday. On March 15, the field of 65 will be released, marking the beginning of March Madness, one of the single greatest events in sports.

Until then, college basketball controls the sports world. Weekly games between top-25 opponents. Daily RPI updates. Upsets. Conference championships. And the greatest of all the rage – bracketology – the science of predicting who will be in the Big Dance and who will be sitting at home, scribbling out bracket after bracket.

Where does Northwestern fit into the whole scheme?

For the first time all season, a major media outlet projected the Wildcats to be headed to their first NCAA Tournament appearance ever. listed NU as an upset-favorite 12-seed to face Gonzaga in the opening round.

So, Cats fans, don’t catch the February blues; embrace the opportunity at hand. Learn the ins and outs. Become a bracketologist.

Sports editor Matt Forman is a Medill sophomore and wishes he could major in Bracketology. He can be reached at [email protected]