Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

What is the best sports day of the year? Here is the St. Petersburg Times' top eight

Best sports day of the year
What is it?
Opening day of NCAA Tournament
Super Bowl Sunday
Derby Day
New Year's Day
Second weekend of college football
Sunday at Augusta
MLB opening day
Thanksgiving Day

That slumberous sigh you will hear Wednesday will be the collective yawn of a nation deprived of its daily sports fix. The day after baseball's All-Star Game is generally considered the dullest on the sports calendar. Major-league baseball has the night off, and it's a dead period for football, basketball and hockey. Golf and tennis are between majors, and the only competitive baseball involves minors (leagues and people, i.e. Little League). Not exactly sports-bar fodder, which leaves us with this sports-bar debate: What is the best sports day of the year? Here, in no particular order, are our top eight.

Super Bowl Sunday

This is a no-brainer, even if only a fraction of the 45 Super Bowls has matched their hype. This day has evolved into a de facto national holiday, and all the game's surrounding elements — commercials, concerts, etc. — often make the game a subplot to a bigger story. Even when the game is boring, the day is transcendent.

Second Saturday of college football

Aside from two or three glitzy matchups, Week 1 is essentially colleges' preseason, with most Top 25 teams working out their kinks against a for-hire directional school. Week 2 is when things really get rolling. Check out the second Saturday of this September: South Carolina at Georgia, Notre Dame at Michigan, Alabama at Penn State, Utah at Southern California, Mississippi State at Auburn.

Sunday at Augusta

Is there a more sublime setting in golf than the final pairings approaching Amen Corner as the Sunday sun begins its descent at the Masters? The azaleas and intensity are in full bloom at that point of the year's first major, setting up arguably the most compelling two hours of golf you'll witness all year.

March Madness, opening day

If we were forced to rank our days, this would be our No. 1 by a buzzer-beater. If you're like us, you're gazing at your NCAA Tournament bracket over breakfast, catching the early games over lunch and watching the late-night games over the objections of your spouse, who wishes you'd turn the TV off after 12 hours of hoops.

Thanksgiving Day

It's a pumpkin-spiced fusion of gastronomical and gridiron nirvana. What could possibly be better than gorging yourself, watching football and dozing off in a recliner? Repeating the process. Blissful.

Kentucky Derby day

The most exciting two minutes in sports annually is preceded by two (or more) hours of some of the best buildup reporting you'll see all year. NBC's prerace coverage is always teeming with poignant features and sharp analysis, and the Churchill Downs pageantry is a hoot to behold. Moreover, by day's end there's still hope of having a Triple Crown winner.

New Year's Day

This day has lost a lot of its juice. Its onetime fixtures — the Sugar, Orange and Cotton bowls — have been pushed back a few days, and the BCS title game doesn't arrive for another week. Still, nothing soothes a New Year's Eve-produced headache like a couch and college football.

Major-league baseball's opening day

This day has inspired poetry, which we'll leave to the poets. We like it for the fresh start it symbolizes. The grass looks greener, the uniforms seem brighter, and Tropicana Field is fuller. Then comes Day 2.

What is the best sports day of the year? Here is the St. Petersburg Times' top eight 07/09/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 10, 2011 5:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves


    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  2. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure


    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?


    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  4. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois


    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

  5. Kentucky recruit, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox among top prospects for 2018 NBA Draft


    Less than 24 hours after the NBA Draft, analysts have already begun looking ahead to 2018.

    Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox finishes a layup during the McDonald's All-American game in March at the United Center in Chicago. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]