As temperatures drop — at least in most places besides San Diego — and the holiday season approaches, many get excited for all the fun that holidays entail. Time to gather with loved ones, great food, music and holiday traditions are a few things people look forward to.
Holiday celebrations will look different for most people this year, since the coronavirus restrictions will limit travel and the size of gatherings. However, there is still one thing to comfort those missing familiar holiday traditions: sports.
Although some may find them trivial, sports are intricately connected with holidays, and for people who long for some semblance of normalcy this holiday season, sports can comfort you.
To celebrate sports and their significance on holidays, The Point ranked the best holidays based on what sports are offered at the time. On the bright side, the top three holidays for sports are all coming up soon!
Football is integral to Thanksgiving. One of the best parts about Thanksgiving is the chance to eat an inordinate amount of food. When you are so full you can barely move, the best thing to do is watch football and maybe take a nap while you recover. Three games are the perfect amount of football that still allows people to enjoy family time while having a distraction from the food and potentially heated family discussions.
The football is nice, but what puts Thanksgiving over the top is college basketball. Though there are no games actually on Thanksgiving, ESPN dubbed the whole week “Feast Week,”’ and packed the week full of great nonconference tournaments — the perfect way to recover from Thanksgiving on Black Friday instead of going shopping. To make it better this year, college basketball’s delayed start date will not disrupt Feast Week too much, since the season will begin the day before Thanksgiving.
While I personally enjoy the NBA slate of games on Christmas more than Thanksgiving football, Christmas clocks in at number two on the list. The NBA games can be too much of a distraction early in the day, a time often reserved for presents and playing with new toys…I mean, trying on new clothes and reading books people give you. The greatness of Christmas can overwhelm the sports early in the day, but the NBA always saves a few premier matchups to watch later on.
Bonus: the NBA elected to start the 2020-2021 season on Dec. 22, so we will still get to enjoy the NBA Christmas slate.
3. New Year’s Day
I wanted to make this number one or two, and a few years ago, it would have been. College football has always owned New Year’s Day with bowl games all day. After you ease your way out of bed after a late night and your mom watches the Rose Parade, the focus is on college football bowl games for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, the bowls have gotten more spread out over the years, so all of the big games are no longer on the same day, which waters down the enjoyment of the holiday. On the other hand, the College Football Playoff semifinals will both take place on Jan. 1, 2021.
4. Father’s Day
One thing makes Father’s Day special for sports: the U.S. Open. Every year, golf schedules this major event on Father’s Day weekend, and fathers and their families can gather to watch golf together. How better to celebrate your dad than watching golf with him? Additionally, the NBA Finals occur mid-June, so there is a chance for an NBA Finals game on Father’s Day.
I love the moments that display athletes’ close relationships with their fathers as well, like the winning golfer going to share an ecstatic hug with their dad, or even Michael Jordan crying on the locker room floor on Father’s Day after winning the NBA Finals for the first time since his father died.
5. Memorial Day
It’s a close call between Memorial Day and Fourth of July, because both holidays offer similar things for fans: baseball is the main sport to watch, teams wear fun jerseys and fireworks occur at the end of the night. Memorial Day stands out because it focuses the celebration on those who served in the military and those who gave their lives for the U.S. The moment of silence is chilling and powerful.
NBA playoff games also take place on Memorial Day, an added bonus for sports fans.
Written By: Andrew Hansen