Thursday, 13 May 2010

Its Playoff Time! (All the Time)

With a game seven victory in Pittsburgh last night, the Montreal Canadiens advanced through to the third round of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 1993. That was also the last time they – or any Canadian team – won the NHL, so you can understand why people in Montreal right now are going a little crazy.

Not everyone is celebrating though. Here in Vancouver, with the Canucks already eliminated, many locals are already thinking about next season. For them, once the Canucks are out, the season is over, and all that’s left to do is wait out the summer until the next season starts.

Vancouver fans aren’t unique here though. Many sports fans, who really only like one team, or one sport, go through this every year. Back in Australia, thousands of fans go through a football withdrawal every year between AFL, NRL or Super 14’s seasons.

One of the (many) benefits of being a fan of sports throughout the world though, is that there is always some big sporting event, or league getting into playoff action, so that I’m never left without something to follow.
The year 2010 has already given us, amazing NFL playoffs in January, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in February and the NCAA tournament – or March Madness – which was quickly followed by the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs

Right now, its playoff time in the NBA and NHL, and while the NBA playoffs have so far being somewhat underwhelming, the NHL playoffs have been anything but, with the Montreal Canadiens defeating last season’s champs in the conference semi finals, after defeating the top ranked Washington Capitals in the opening round.

What happens when the NBA and NHL playoffs finish up next month? By then we’ll be into the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which has almost daily football action for five weeks. This is followed quickly by the FIBA basketball World Championships for men and women, the US Open Tennis and then Australian Football League Finals and Major League Baseball playoffs. And after this? Well the NFL, NHL, NBA and college football and basketball start up again.

Some people aren’t as enthused by the constant stream of sport as I am though. A friend of mine, based in England, once told me that she was so happy that her husband was a fan of Rugby rather than football (soccer). This was because, while it was impossible to get him to concentrate on anything but Rugby during the Six Nations tournament every year, it only went for five weeks, as opposed to football in England, which (along with internationals) is virtually year round.

While many don’t like sport to dominate their lives year round – I live for it.

Tonight sees an incredibly important game in the NBA Playoffs, with LeBron James and the Cleveland
Cavaliers facing elimination at the hand of the Boston Celtics.

While Cavs fans will be distraught if their team loses, I’ll just keep reminding them, that the world has not ended – its always the playoffs somewhere in the world.

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