Warm Sports Takes: Dreaming of May 2nd

It’s hard not to think about Spring. Not only are we in the middle of what is probably one of the snowiest winters ever in New England with no end in sight, but we are also in the middle of the stretch in the calendar between the Super Bowl and March Madness when nothing all too exciting happens in the world of sports. It’s hard waking up every day, seeing a temperature lower than your age and trying to get excited about things like the NFL Combine. But when I think of May 2, I can’t help but get excited.

Last week, it was announced that both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally signed contracts for the fight that has been rumored for months and desired for years. The bout between the two best fighters of a generation puts boxing back on the front page for the first time in recent memory. With no offense to Super Bowl Sunday, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, or any other day, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will be the night cap for the most exciting sports day of the year, May 2.

The day starts with an afternoon baseball game at Fenway between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Though the rivalry has lowered in intensity since its peak in the early 2000s, and it’s just an early season baseball game, a Sox-Yankees game is never a bad way to start an afternoon. Both teams enter the year with many questions: Will Alex Rodriguez play? Do the Red Sox have enough pitching? Will the Yankees survive without Derek Jeter’s .256 batting average from last season? This game will be a great check-in for the state of both teams at the beginning of baseball’s second month.

The next game is definitely not set in stone at the moment, but with the NBA’s second round set to start on May 4th, there is likely to be at least one Western Conference Game 7 on May 2nd. As Danny Kossow ’15 highlighted in The Echo recently, the West is as loaded as its ever been, and all eight teams that make the playoffs are title contenders. My dream is an afternoon Game 7 between Golden State and Oklahoma City. The loaded, best all-around team of the Warriors vs. Durant and Westbrook in their current “Us against everyone” mindset would be a can’t miss game.

The first Saturday in May also means the running of the Kentucky Derby. I don’t have any particular interest in horse racing, but I can’t remember the last time I did not watch the Derby. There has not been a Triple Crown winner since 1978, and the Derby always provides us with a horse to root for over the next month to try and accomplish that feat. It’s very early, but I like Dortmund for the win.

Now, to the main event: Pacquiao/Mayweather. After warming up with baseball, basketball, and horse racing, the night cap of boxing will cement the day as the best sports day of the year. Watching this one live will involve shelling out some big pay per view costs (likely around $90) but with a group of people that cost is not too high.  I’m not a huge boxing fan (is anyone these days?), but I know an important sports event when I see it. I’m tuning in because this fight has potential to be a “Where were you when…” sports event, maybe even a 30 for 30 in ten years. Both fighters are past their prime, but each of them is great enough so that this fight will surely entertain.

Sports fans will need to grind out the next few weeks, but with March Madness, Opening Day, and ultimately May 2nd, 2015 on the horizon, there is plenty to be hopeful about.

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