Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Debating the Best Month in Sports

When Adam Scott lined up his 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole of the Masters on Sunday, the pressure was on. Obviously. But while it’s one thing to have the winning putt in the most famous golf tournament in the world dancing through your head, Scott had quite a bit more riding on his third stroke.

He was putting for posterity, the chance to be a hero remembered for emerging as the lovable winner in the year of the Tiger Woods drop scandal. He was putting for his home nation of Australia, which had yet to produce a winner at picturesque Augusta National. He was putting for himself, having come agonizingly close so many times to that elusive first major title. And whether he realized it or not, Scott’s putt on the 10th hole on Sunday was for the month of April.

Yes, the month of April had a lot on the line, too, as it attempted to stake its claim as the best sports month of the year. So when Scott sank the putt and earned himself the famed green jacket, he only added to the list of high-quality sports moments we see every fourth month of the year. But is April the best? Here is my list of the top three sports months of the year.

3) June — School’s out, and that means the end of the NBA and NHL seasons. For sports fans, this makes that sweet summer feeling even better. The Stanley Cup, the most storied trophy in sports, is on the line, a fleeting chance to see the next lucky team carve their name on Lord Stanley’s namesake.

For many, though, even that takes a back seat to the NBA Finals, the one championship series that rarely seems to disappoint. With so much history coalescing, like LeBron James duelling Kevin Durant as memories of Magic versus Bird fill the airwaves, the NBA Finals combine modern-day intrigue with historical significance for a captivating series. The transition between the two is nearly flawless as well, with just a few days’ wait — if any at all — between the end of the Stanley Cup and the start of the NBA Finals.

But June has much more to offer than just that, with the premier competition in American golf taking place smack in the middle of the two. The U.S. Open brings the finest from around the world to the States to showcase their skills on flawlessly groomed courses throughout the nation. An added bonus comes every four years in the form of the World Cup, the world’s greatest sporting competition. The passion and the skill level are unmatched, but the infrequency of such a must-see event holds June back from even loftier heights in these rankings.

2) April — April is no stranger to some of the grandest events in sports. For one, the start of April means the start of our national pastime. Opening Day, a quasi-holiday in this country, packs the pageantry and spectacle of our nation’s game neatly into one day. Planes zoom past overhead and the ball is finally placed on the mound once more. It’s a ritual that has been done countless times before but that still holds such spellbinding power over fans everywhere.

April also gives us the Masters, another event that knows about tradition. Just ask Adam Scott. There is something sublime about seeing the many shades of green at Augusta National in April. It is perhaps the most magical place in sports. All seems perfect there, and with good reason, we tune in each year to try and see if any of the players can replicate the excellence before them. Despite the annual astronomical expectations, the Masters consistently entertains for four days each April.

1) March — The figurative and literal madness of the month places it at the top of this list of the best sports months of the year. March, it is said, comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but thankfully that’s just not the case for these wild 31 days. College basketball conference tournaments dominate the headlines early on, and rightfully so; they joyfully foreshadow the coming of something far greater, a warm-up for a main event just waiting to add another chapter to its storybook history.

This sweet prelude soon gives way to the best sporting event in America: March Madness. Nothing can compare to the craziness of those final two weekends in March. Wall -to-wall games, upsets and buzzer beaters, heroes and villains, storylines and fairytale endings all come together in the most insane way possible. Everyone gets involved because everyone can find something to keep him or her invested in the madness of March.

It’s the month that has given us some of the most enduring characters and moments in sports. Christian Laettner’s shot. Stephen Curry. Butler. No matter your level of fanhood, from casual observer to diehard fans, March is synonymous with the NCAA Tournament. At the same time excruciating and exhilarating, unbearable and unbeatable, March provides those moments that are sure to be remembered for a full 365 days. And nothing tops that.

The stage of March sports is reserved for college basketball, and the show certainly does not disappoint. March Madness stands alone under the bright lights. It is a stage deservedly vacated. All make way for the madness.

Peter Barston is a freshman in the McDonough School of Business. RAISING THE BAR appears every Tuesday.

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