Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sports Week of the Year: 2012

Two years ago last April I attempted to live a sports dream by attending two events in the same day: a Masters Monday practice round and a Opening Day Braves game. I left Auburn, Alabama around 3:30 AM on Monday morning to drive to Augusta, Georgia. I soaked in the sun at Augusta National from 8:00am into the late afternoon, all the while watching the best golfers in the world try to figure out how they would attempt to win the 2009 Masters. After a long day in the sun, I had my sights set on attending the Atlanta Braves home opener. I faded in and out of sleep on the the drive back from Augusta ( I was not driving). I awoke as the Braves the start of the Braves game crackled on the radio, “Welcome to the BIGS!” Jason Heyward had just gone deep for a three run home run in his first major league at bat.

Jason Heyward hopes to rebound after a sluggish sophomore season.

I would not see the Atlanta Braves home opener that day but I had an unforgettable first experience at Augusta National.
Every sports fan out there has certain sports that they are drawn to with a passion. As we bring in the spring and the month of April for 2012 a new sports season dawns upon us. I consider this week in April to be the best sports week of the entire year.

Early Monday on April 2, 2012 Masters week will begin. If you have ever been to Augusta National you will understand the significance of the first major of the year. The dogwoods will be in full bloom in the most superb course in the world. Players from across the world come to this prestigious private course believing they can come out Sunday evening wearing the infamous Green Jacket. If you haven’t been to Augusta National please go it is an experience you will never forget.

An early morning sunrise at Augusta National.

Then we look at the storylines for this year’s Masters; Tiger Woods just came of an impressive victory at Bay Hill. Many consider him to be the favorite to win in Augusta. Personally I stand beside my favorite golfer young Rory Mcilroy. After seeing a 54 hole lead slip away last year in Augusta, I believe he will mentally be prepared to come away with the title. This will hopefully be the first of many Green Jackets for the young Irishman.

Rory Mcilroy will look to avenge last year's meltdown at Augusta.

Monday evening sports fans will tune in to the NCAA basketball national championship game. Tuesday will be a day to prepare for the rest of the week ahead. After watching the always-entertaining par 3 contest on EPSN Wednesday golf fans and sports fans will be fired up for the Masters to begin.

Shortly after the par 3 tournament ends another major sporting event begins; opening night in Major League Baseball. While I personally will fade in and out of the opening game (in America) I will mentally be preparing for the Atlanta Braves opening day at the New York Mets. I have been longing for the first pitch of 2012 since the Braves suffered the now infamous September collapse where they proceeded to miss the playoffs after a torrential final month of the season. A loaded National League East could make for a very entertaining season. At very least I believe the Braves will win a wild card spot to send one of the games the longtime face of the franchise Chipper Jones out in style.

My predictions might not be accurate. Young Rory could come short at the Masters. The Braves could very well suffer injuries that prevent them from reaching the playoffs. All things set aside, come Sunday night my adrenaline will be rushing for the greatest sports week of the year.