SPORTS

Could shorter winters be better?

Posted 2/3/21

We are now a few weeks into the winter season and I have already seen a handful of our teams drop tough losses. Obviously, this winter season got off to a late start and is being crammed in time for the third season to hopefully begin in March. Schedules

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in
SPORTS

Could shorter winters be better?

Posted

We are now a few weeks into the winter season and I have already seen a handful of our teams drop tough losses.

Obviously, this winter season got off to a late start and is being crammed in time for the third season to hopefully begin in March. Schedules are condensed and the season is going to be over in a blink of an eye.

It’s never fun having to cover a team that comes up short. Well, as a sports fan, I have fun covering all games. But it is always a little sweeter when your team wins.

I have covered a handful of losses to this point, most recently the Pilgrim girls basketball team and the Cranston West boys. Each game was competitive and each team had its moments, but unfortunately they just came up on the short end.

The question that I had to ask the coaches afterwards was, “How important will it be for your team to rebound considering how short the season is and how much each loss means now?”

I feel bad for the coaches and players from that perspective. Each game has even more pressure. The point is to have fun and we are all grateful to have a season at all, but these teams are competitive and they want to win and the sting of a loss in the shortened season must be heightened … right? Regardless of playoff formats and seeding and whatnot, just simply losing when you only have a small number of games will burn, especially those seniors who are finishing their final seasons.

The more I thought about it though, maybe that will make it more exciting. Not only for fans, but for those teams. There are no fans in basketball and limited fans in hockey, but there still was a playoff atmosphere in those games. It just felt that way. Maybe the participants will disagree, but these games have been very competitive and the kids seem to be going all out to win.

It’s a mix of things. The shortened season, being cooped up for much of the year and having energy to use, wanting to make the most of the season considering nothing is certain. You can tell that these teams are playing with a little more fire than the norm.

However, back to the schedule, it does make me wonder if this could trigger things to come, or if it should, rather.

The winter sports season is long most years. It usually is about four months or so, and teams have plenty of games in the regular season and playoffs.

Again, the whole point of high school sports is to provide kids with an opportunity to socialize, have fun, learn a sport and build a college resume. I am not saying we slash the season in half just for my entertainment.

But what if we scaled back the games just a little bit? Basketball for example usually has 18 games. What if we scaled it back to say, 15? Or on the flip side, maybe even make the playoff picture more exclusive. Most teams qualify, but what if we once again scaled it back?

I also am not trying to deprive kids the chance to feel the playoff atmosphere. There is nothing like watching a game in a packed gym with the season on the line. I wish that every high school athlete had that opportunity.

So, I am not saying we go from, for example, 10 teams to four. But maybe 10 teams to eight? Eight teams to six?

Don’t get me wrong, either. I don’t have any gripes with the winter season. I am not spitballing here because I feel like these are big issues. I am simply thinking out loud when examining the current landscape. Not that I would want this to be the norm moving forward, but I think that this could give the league a chance to take a step back and consider a few things for the future.

I love the winter sports season, I love seeing kids out there playing, and I am nothing but satisfied with the typical format. But, there’s always room for improvement. Surprise, surprise, Tom Brady will be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend.

You probably won’t believe me when I tell you this, but since the summer, I have been calling this Super Bowl matchup. I never put it on paper unfortunately, but trust me when I tell you that any of my friends and family that watch the NFL with me will testify on my behalf.

My original prediction was that the Tampa Bay Bucs would go 12-4 and beat the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Tampa went 11-5, so I was a game off in that regard, but I am sticking with that Super Bowl prediction just for the sake of being consistent. I am not backing off.

However, I don’t think the Bucs will win. I look at this Kansas City team, especially the offense, and the efficiency is incredible … unlike any offense I have ever watched.

The reason why I was so high on the Bucs going into the season was because of the sheer talent they have on their roster. I did a small breakdown last week, but on each side of the ball the talent is borderline ridiculous. Honestly, maybe I am a prisoner of the moment, but I’m not sure if I have seen so much collective talent on a 53-man roster.

The one area that the Bucs are a little light on is the defensive secondary. Antoine Winfield has been stellar as a rookie and Sean Murphy Bunting and Jamel Dean are decent, but I have my doubts about how they will be able to consistently cover the likes of Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Travis Kelce.

The Chiefs defense is solid but not great, either. I expect this to be a total shootout. It’s hard to bet against Tom Brady and I am sticking with the Bucs just because I have to, but I do think the Chiefs will get it done.

Let me make myself very clear. I am not trying to steal credit by saying, “My original pick was Tampa so if they win I was right, but now I am choosing Kansas City so if they win I’m right.”

Nope, I’m staying fair and consistent.

My prediction: Bucs 34, Chiefs 31

My Pitch, sports

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment