Sports fans, set your DVSs – Kentucky Derby, Mayweather-Pacquiao Bout, NFL draft, champions league (and more!) take center stage.
We may never see a week like this in sports again.
There are always mind-blowing events and over-the-top spectacles, but never have the best leagues and sports from all around the world, both present and past, converged to create a high-level menu like we’re about to see.
Boxing, horse racing, basketball, football, baseball, soccer, hockey, golf – you don’t expect all of those sports to ever be mentioned in one breath. But it all starts April 29th in the US and concludes the next Wednesday in Europe.
Where do we start?
It all begins in San Francisco in a golf tournament that garners the most international attention outside of the four majors: the Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championship. The WGC Matchplay Championship pits the 64 best golfers in the world, including those from Europe and Asia, in a format that’s a cross between the NCAA basketball tourney March Madness and the World Cup soccer tournament.
By the time the weekend rolls around, 16 players will be vying in a single elimination format that will conclude in prime time on the East Coast both Saturday and Sunday amid a California sunset. Maybe this could be the showdown of the two youngsters Masters Champion Jordan Speith and three-time major champion Rory McIlroy.
Meanwhile, the NBA and NHL playoffs continue this week in what already has been a terrific start. Defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs will try to hold off the Los Angeles Clippers in their first round series with the winner likely to face Houston. And Cleveland and Chicago will be starting their series in what ultimately may decide the NBA champion.
The four second round series in the NHL start this week with the Chicago Blackhawks bidding to win to their third Stanley Cup since 2010.
You already need more than one television, and we’ve got a long way to go…
This marks the first weekend in May, and with warmer weather the crowds will be some of the biggest of the baseball season. It is headlined by the New York Yankees visiting the Boston Red Sox as both vie for first place.
It’s not even football season, but the NFL continues to dominate sports radio and media coverage as it holds its annual draft starting Thursday night in Chicago and continuing on over the weekend. Interest in the draft usually topples any live sporting event this time of year as fans look for a glimpse into their team’s future.
And two sports that were once among the most popular in the US decades ago re-enter the spotlight this weekend. First, the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs May 1 means everyone who never watches a horse race all year will be putting down their $2 and tuning in on television. Later that night in Las Vegas, in what’s billed as the fight of this century even though fans wanted it years ago, is the championship boxing match between Floyd Merriweather and Manny Pacquiao. Many will be getting together with friends to put down $99 to watch and hope it lives up to the hype.
That gets us through the weekend, but for American sports fans who follow soccer, there’s already anticipation for the start of the Champions League semifinals in Europe next Tuesday and Wednesday. Club teams from Italy, Spain, and Germany will square off in some of the most highly anticipated matches since last year’s World Cup.
By that time, you may be out of breath or need a vacation. At the very least, I hope you have a DVR to help.
There are rarely big boxing matches any longer, and this is a major exception for golf and the NFL to hold such big events the first weekend in May. The soccer matchups are yet another plus.
It might be more common to see a full eclipse in your lifetime than catch another week of sports like this ever again.