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The End Zone Seat: October is a Sports Cornucopia

 

October might well be the best month of the year for sports fans.

The NFL and college football seasons are hitting full stride; hockey season opens; and the Major League Baseball and NASCAR are inching closer to naming a champion.

Of course, the high school sports have reached the mid-point of their seasons.

As a long-time 49ers fan, I’m certainly heartened by their 3-1 start. Realistically, I don’t believe they are going to go 15-1, but barring injuries to key players, I do think they are headed in the right direction and should stay in contention for the title in the perennially weak NFC West.

Unlike last year, I don’t have any real rooting interest in the baseball playoffs.

The Giants’ season imploded almost from the start as injuries robbed an already weak-hitting team of offensive firepower.

With no run support, the Giants’ pitching staff, the strength of the team, had to be perfect.

It wasn’t. They never found a solid fifth starter after Barry Zito and Jonathon Sanchez went down with injuries. Tim Lincecum went through a rough spell in mid-season. Madison Bumgarner had solid outings, but was shelled in a couple of starts. Matt Cain, as usual, didn’t get any help from the offense. The bright spot was the resurgence of Ryan Vogelsong.

Oh, well, we waited 56 years between championships the last time. If it takes that long again, I won’t be around to care.

I’m sure I’ll be watching the ongoing playoff games as soon as I figure out which of the channels the games are on.

In hockey, it’s a long season ahead, but if the Pittsburgh Penguins can keep Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin healthy, they should be Stanley Cup contenders.

I don’t get to watch nearly as much hockey as I’d like. The bulk of the season is played during the winter high school sports season when I’m out five or more nights a week.

The same holds true for the local minor league teams. Between work and the unpredictable winter weather, it is hard to plan a trip to Binghamton or Wilkes-Barre to catch a game except for very early or very late in the seasons.

I’ve always enjoyed auto racing as much as any of the major sports, but I find it very hard to get excited about NASCAR after Labor Day.

The Chase format is very contrived and when one guy wins it five straight years, I’m not sure how good for the sport it is.

I might watch the race at Talladega if only to see if there is a “big one.”

 

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