Here in Germany, September and October is fest season. Oktoberfest is the most famous but every little town has their own little beer or wine fest and they are one of the highlights of Europe. Fest season also means that Steve Lester will be visiting. I love fest season.
But forget all that. The real reason why I love September and October is because it is a virtual cornucopia of sports. The beginning of September brings with it the start of the college football season as well as the National...Football League. It also means that the "real" football (read: soccer) seasons are underway in just about every country in the world (except in the US which, for some inexplicable reason, starts its season in April). On any given weekend I can go to the pub to watch some European soccer or, if AFN is showing them, watch Notre Dame or the Patriots. The weekends are filled with previews and highlights of college and pro football. In baseball, September means pennant races and October means the World Series. October also brings the beginnings of the NBA and the NHL.
Unfortunately there are dark clouds hanging over this September 1. For one thing the Red Sox are collapsing. Less than a week ago they were up 8 games on the hated Yankees as they began a three game series. One win out of three would have given them a 7 game lead with a month to go in the season and some much needed breathing room. They were coming off a 4 game sweep of the Chicago White Sox in which they outscored the Chisox by an unheard of 46-7 and they had their top 3 pitchers lined up against the Yankees. Life was good. They were about to drive the nail in the Yankees coffin. Instead - and in typical Red Sox fashion - they get swept by the Yankees which not only cuts their lead down to 5 games but puts the Yank-me's in first place for the Wild Card. If that wasn't bad enough, they lose the first game to the Baltimore Orioles last night and have now lost 4 in a row. It's so hard to be a Red Sox fan - being a Sox fan means that even when the team is in first place you're never happy. We truly are a miserable bunch.
As painful as it is to watch the Sox get raped by the Yankees again, I woke up this morning to some news that is equally troubling to me, albeit for different reasons. One of my favorite players on the Patriots, Rodney Harrison has admitted to using human growth hormone and has been suspended 4 games by the NFL. I've always loved watching him and was ecstatic when the Pats picked him up a few years ago. I was disgusted last year when Shawn Merriman tested positive for steroids. But now it's one of our own. Harrison has been a leader on field and off, being involved in several charities and such so it's a shame that this will be a black mark on his Hall of Fame career. It also means that a Patriots season in which most experts are picking them to win it all is beginning with a huge dark cloud over it.
Oh well. This is the beauty of September and October - anything can happen. By the end of October, I will either be miserable because the Yankees overtook the Sox, the Pats are in last place in the division and Notre Dame are winless...or elated because the Sox are once again World Series champs, the Pats are undefeated and Notre Dame upset both Michigan and Penn St.
I love this time of year.