These are my five favorite days of the year in sports:
5: The first Saturday in December. This has quickly become the best day for college football, with as many as five different conference championship games having an impact on the national championship. With a four team playoff happening after the 2014 season, this day will only get better. I do wish, though, that North Carolina and Kentucky would renew their annual basketball game that was played on this day. That would make it enter my top three.
4. The final Sunday of the NFL regular season. Many football fans prefer week one, but there's a game on Thursday, and two on Monday night to start the season. With as many as twelve or thirteen games having some sort of implication on the playoffs I prefer the final week. And more importantly, all sixteen games are played on Sunday. In fact, fifteen of them are played in a six hour span, with the final game being decided on Sunday night. If you're a fan of playoff scenarios, you can't beat it.
3. The first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament. This used to be my second favorite, but it's slipped a bit since the committee made the senseless decision to add four more teams over two extra days. This is still my favorite day of the tournament, with 16 games being played, but it felt bigger when it truly started the event. But I still love the upsets, the buzzer beaters, and the yearly excuses for getting out of work.
2. The third Sunday in January. The final four in basketball is a great day, and it would crack my top ten, but the final four in the NFL is better. In fact, it's my favorite day of the year for football. The two winners reach the Super Bowl, yet the pre-game shows don't last eight hours and there's no corporate feel. It's just football. And typically one or both of the games go down to the wire.
1. Today. Sunday at The Masters. More than eighty years ago, Bobby Jones dreamed of creating a place that would stage the greatest golf tournament in the world, hosted by people firmly committed to putting on an event that always strived for perfection. I'm amazed that he was able to carry out that dream, and that his mission is just as strong today. The condition of the course, the treatment from club members, the reasonably priced food and merchandise, and the greatest golfers in the world battling for a green jacket makes this the best day of the year in sports. If you've been here to experience it, chances are that you agree. If you've never been, you must cross it off of your list.
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