February 17, 2012

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Sports World is Abuzz with Anticipation, Action and Speculation

By: Matt Bowen

Sports fans are in for a smorgasbord of action in the upcoming month. Whatever your sporting fancy may be, there will be plenty to speculate, watch and love. The next month will be stuffed with non-stop rumors of trades, free agent signings and March Madness bracketology. 

Fans should cancel their plans, hunker down and plan on ingesting all things sports over the next month.

Here’s a run-down of things to come:

MLB: Spring training is near as pitchers and catchers report to their teams any day now. This means that baseball fans can breathe easier as our national pastime resumes. Just when all are tired of the long, cold winter, baseball swoops in to save the day.

Fans won’t be disappointed as plenty has happened in the offseason to stir the chili.

The St. Louis Cardinals look to defend their title as teams like the Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim all made considerable noise in the winter months.

The St. Louis Cardinals will have alot of reloaded teams hoping to prevent a repeat of this image next season.

This season will be nothing short of spectacular.

NHL: The NHL trade deadline is February 27 as teams look to shake up their rosters in a last ditch effort to solidify themselves as playoff contenders.

While some may be skeptical that things will be rather calm—be patient.  While there may not an abundance of chatter at the moment, there will be plenty of moves to satiate our desires.

From now until the Stanley Cup is won, the NHL will be nothing but excitement.

NBA: The NBA has rebounded quickly after the lockout that cut the season short. Thanks to stars like Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and some kid from Harvard named Jeremy Lin, the NBA has plenty of momentum.

Speaking of stars, the NBA All-Star break in Orlando takes place the weekend of February 24-26—Magic will be in the air.

This year there’s a kick to the star-studded event as the Rookie/Sophomore teams will be selected and coached by NBA legends Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley. This matchup between the NBA’s best young talent will be highly amusing as the coaches are two of the NBA’s All-Star personalities.

Shortly after All-Star weekend, the NBA gets serious as the trade deadline is March 15. With a shortened season, the NBA is all business as massive trades will go down as always. The NBA deserves credit for always providing entertainment with at least one eight-player, three-team deal before the deadline.

Expect the unexpected from the NBA the rest of the season.

NFL: The NFL may have been somewhat silent since the Super Bowl, but that all changes when the NFL Scouting Combine takes place in Indianapolis from February 22-28. The scouting combine has become primetime television as NFL fans must fill their football needs. NFL die-hards will then have a better idea of which player may be on their team’s roster come April.

Something else that will have NFL fans stirring is the upcoming opening of free agency. This year, March 13 is when millions of dollars will change hands as players will be on the move.  

An interesting twist to the new NFL collective bargaining agreement is that NFL teams will be able to carry over leftover cash from the previous year’s salary cap. Teams that have loads of cash heading into the free agent market include the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins.

The NFL has gotten to the point where no one can get enough. We’ll get plenty of football in the near future.

NCAA: Well, the month of March is just a few weeks away and that can only mean one thing—March Madness.

The showcase of 68 well deserving colleges and universities is the best sporting event the United States has to offer. Besides the Olympics and the World Cup, March Madness is the best thing on earth.  

Who doesn’t love it?

From the future NBA stars to the Cinderellas of the big dance, March Madness is the sporting world’s cherry on top.

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