There’s always something to look forward to in the world of sports

Some of our favourite sports dates on the calendar

Every sports fan has their favourite day or days of the year. File Photo

For everyone else, March 22 marked the beginning of spring, but for those in the baseball world, spring is over. The preseason, known as spring training in baseball, has wrapped up, setting the stage for April 1––Opening Day for Major League Baseball. The birth of a new season is an unofficial holiday for baseball fans around the world, but it is not the only day in a calendar year that brings sports fans to the edge of their seats. Here are some of The Link’s sports writers’ favourites.

Dylan Buvat – NHL Trade Deadline

Anticipation. Intrigue. Uncertainty. The NHL’s trade deadline is considered to be the most hectic day in hockey, for players and fans alike. Trade deadline day consists of non-stop phone calls between NHL general managers looking to make a few last trades before the 3 p.m. deadline. Teams at the top of the standings are looking to add those extra pieces to bolster their club into a playoff berth, while those at the bottom are looking to sell high. We as fans bottle up the many trade rumours we come across leading up to the deadline and remain glued to our TVs waiting for our team to make a trade. Stressful perhaps, but the NHL trade deadline is one of the most exciting and thrilling days of the year, especially when a few big-name players are rumoured to be on the move.

Peter Vryonis – NCAA March Madness opening round

As a basketball fanatic, nothing is better than the opening round of March Madness. However, I never tend to keep up with college basketball until the tournament begins. I look forward to the opening round the most because of the upsets that happen year after year. 

The tournament is a cycle. We basketball fans fall in love with an underdog squad and get real upset if they eventually end up losing. Every year a new player emerges that not many have heard about and they become March Madness legends. This year, that legend was Max Abmas of Oral Roberts University, who had a total of four scholarship offers out of high school. Next year we’ll have more players and teams that will emerge.The name is justified-it truly is madness.

Evan Milner – Sunday at the Masters

The azaleas are awoken by the rising sun as the gates open to Magnolia Lane; it’s Sunday at the Masters, and there’s nothing quite like it. There aren’t many Sundays in a calendar year where my alarm clock is set––but this is one of them. 

The anticipation of the Masters is unmatched. It’s like four days of eye candy on television. Augusta National in itself is enough for me; add the world’s best golfers going toe to toe and I’m in––like all in. You won’t catch me talking about any other golf tournament like this, and that’s simply because nothing can, or ever will, live up to the hype of the Masters. As Jim Nantz would say, it is a tradition unlike any other.

Matthew Skelhorne – UFC’s International Fight Week

Unlike many sports, the Ultimate Fighting Championship never stops. Almost every UFC event is a treat for me. As a mixed martial arts fiend, I am blessed to be able to watch fights practically every single weekend. However, they always hold a massive event in the summer called international fight week. They build up an insane card with so many big names. It usually feels like Christmas in July. 

This year’s international fight week shapes up to be just as exciting as any other one in the past. There is the pound-for-pound best fighter in Jon Jones that is currently gaining weight to make his long-awaited heavyweight debut. Speaking of heavyweights, ‘The Predator’ Francis Ngannou recently took out the long-reigning champion in Stipe Miocic. The timing is perfect for both Jones and Ngannou to square off for the heavyweight strap at UFC 264 in July. Another blockbuster fight that may headline the UFC’s biggest event of the year is the trilogy fight involving Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. The remarkable thing about international fight week is that the main event is just the tip of the iceberg. The card is usually stacked from top to bottom, and I am beyond excited to see how it will play out. Fight fans are in for a wild 2021.

Benjamin Zelniker – Opening night NBA

My favourite sports day of the year is opening night of the NBA season. It's almost like a blank slate if your team performed poorly in the regular season, and a chance to make a big statement, after a successful previous one. Seasons can often be dictated based on how the opening night's game goes. It's a night of passion for the home team, who have to show their might in front of their fans, and an opportunity for the away team to spoil their chances of victory.