An early Christmas for sports fans


Photo by Shawn Medow

Landon Donovan of the U.S. Men’s National team pivots in a match against South Korea at the StubHub Center on Feb. 2

Shawn Medow, Contributing Writer

October and November is the time of year when sports fans in the United States cannot leave their sofas as they take in a vast variety of sports.

There are six major sports that take over sports fans’ lives for these two months. Many fans rush home from work or school in order to watch events that continue into the night. This can cause a mass amount of struggle for students who want to watch games after school but have homework to do.

When it comes to sports in October, nothing is bigger than postseason baseball. According to, viewership has spiked 20 percent from last season during playoffs.The variety of teams in the playoffs this season has caused different people to watch leading to more viewership. East Coast and West Coast teams are in the hunt for the World Series trophy including the Kansas City Royals, a team that has not been in the playoffs for 29 years. The Royals have played two games against the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

The NFL, is in the middle of its season, and the league is thriving as usual. According to, every weekend the NFL averages 20.3 million views worldwide. This number may rise due to the fact that no team is undefeated. The biggest shock of all is the struggling defending champion Seattle Seahawks (3-3-0).

“Some teams are looking good right now, like the [Dallas] Cowboys, and the Eagles [are] decent,” senior Gio Gaz said.

The NHL, is more popular than ever. Underdogs keep winning the Stanley Cup year after year. In the last decade, the best team in the league has won the cup once (Chicago Blackhawks 2013), which was a half-season due to a player lockout. According to, the NHL’s viewership has spiked 12 percent in only one year.

“There’s a lot of talent,” senior Collin Harms said. “It’s fun to see these young kids [rookies] show off their skill.”

According to Comcast Sports Network, the NHL has more sold out games than the NBA. Last season, the Detroit Red Wings played the Toronto Maple Leafs outdoors at Michigan Stadium in below-freezing weather. However, the stadium crammed in over 105,000 fans to watch a game worth only two points in the standings.

A sport this time of year that takes control is National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, NASCAR. The NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup (the playoffs of NASCAR) has changed its format and now features 16 racers in 10 races fighting it out for the title instead of 12 racers tallying up points in 10 races to be the champion. After three races, four drivers are cut, and eventually the final four go after the title in one final race.

Auto racing dominates October and November in the United States. Formula One’s United States Grand Prix takes place in Austin from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. This is the second year that the United States will host the Grand Prix in Texas, and it is quickly becoming a favorite track for both racers and fans.

Another American sport taking off this time of year is the NBA, which is currently in preseason. There have been big trades and free agent acquisitions over the offseason including: Kevin Love and LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks.

“I think the [Cavaliers] are motivated and could win the whole thing,” senior Ryan Taylor said. “I think a standout player will be Kyrie Irving, leading the [Cavaliers].”

In America, Major League Soccer, better known as MLS, wraps up the regular season, and the MLS Cup Playoffs begin. It is a special playoff year for one player in particular, Landon Donovan. Donovan, the Los Angeles Galaxy forward who is playing his final season. He holds the record for goals and assists in MLS, and is one championship away from having the most titles as a player.

MLS has gained popularity over the last year. In a poll conducted by ESPN, children plan to watch MLS as much as they watch MLB this year. Soccer’s growth in America is most likely due to Landon Donovan’s heroic efforts with the United States Mens National Team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.