It's a tough time to follow sports. I didn't realize it until my friend Mike pointed it out to me, but here in the NY/NJ area, we're having a tough time watching it all. And I'm sure we're not the only ones.
We have three teams currently in the playoffs. The Devils and Rangers are both in the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs. The Nets are in the first round of the NBA playoffs. New York is a baseball town so the Mets and Yankees are always on and they're both competitive teams.
This isn't the only area dealing with that. The West Coast has similar issues with multiple teams playing in multiple sports. And with more and more people not exclusively rooting for their regional teams, it's getting tough to keep up with all of your teams. Then there are all the other games in these playoff series, and they're exciting games. Dallas is getting whooped up by the Golden State Warriors. How can you not watch that?
So what do we do with all these options? Since we can't watch them all and maintain our day jobs at the same time, I've compiled a list of rules that may just help you through this.
1. Always choose your team over another in the playoffs. If your team is on, and it's not a complete blowout, that game should take precedence over all others. Follow the rest of the games with quick flicks of the remote, but concentrate on your own team. You don't want to take a chance of missing a play that could go down in your team's history. Not many Chicago fans talk about missing "The Shot."
2. Choose the playoffs over the regular season. In other words baseball comes last. If two of your teams are playing, it's common sense to concentrate the most on the one that matters most. I made that mistake tonight. I was watching the Mets, and completely forgot about the Nets. My mother had to remind me and I could have missed the exciting final seconds of the Nets game. They lost, but if they won, I would have been pretty devastated having missed a nice comeback on a last-second shot.
3. The playoff team closer to elimination is more important. Tonight, the Nets (up 3-1) and the Rangers (down 2-1) had a game at the same time. I'm not a Rangers fan, but if I were, I'd have to choose which game to watch. Both games were big. The Nets could have taken the series tonight, which is something that would have been great to watch. However, the Rangers could have fallen down 3-1. The Rangers are closer to the end of the season than the Nets and, therefore, that should be the game watched. Even if you missed the Nets win, there are at least four more games you get to see them play. The Rangers, in a game that is a must-win -- they weren't coming back from 3-1 -- is the game a fan should watch. Watching your team grit out a must-win is more exciting than watching your team take a series 4-1.
This rule isn't written in stone. It's written on my computer as I make this stuff up. So there are exceptions. If you're a fan of Golden State, you would watch them up 3-1 against Dallas over another game just because every game against Dallas is a must win. Everyone in the Bay Area knows if you give Dallas a win, they can take it all the way. Whereas a team that's better, but down 2-1 in a series because of some flukes, is not as important.
4. Remember, you have at least five more months of baseball. That's not an exaggeration. If you need a break to sleep or eat or catch up on your NFL team's draft picks, baseball is the break you take. It doesn't matter how bad your team is doing now, there are 5 more months of ball to come back.
I'm sure most of you don't need this, but this time can be overwhelming. It's up there with October for the busiest sports months -- baseball playoffs, college and pro football heating up, college basketball on the rise, and pro basketball and hockey around the corner. It's tough to think clearly when there's so much action going on.