Bleacher Talk: Which sporting event do you miss the most?
While we all continue in our reflection on the current absence of sports we enter a stretch where we have been so spoiled without realizing it. April brings so many things to the limelight in the sporting world.
From the NBA and NHL playoff chases, to MLB kicking off the season, to Augusta National, and The Kentucky Derby we have in the past had no shortage of options.
It led us to thinking what event we’ll miss the most as spring rolls into full effect
This week of April is one I lose sleep over in anticipation. It’s Masters week. The king of all golf tournaments, and probably the king of sporting tournaments in general. For a whole week Augusta National captures the globe, from replays of old historic moments, to the par 3 contest that shows you a lighter side of the fierce competitors in the PGA.
The Masters is a tournament bound by tradition, the green jacket, the white overalls, the azaleas and dogwoods, the pine needles.
It’s pristine, it’s gorgeous, it’s gloriously difficult. The Masters for decades has broken careers and catapulted them. It’s gut checked the best golfers in the world and made them realize how difficult the sport they are so incredibly gifted at is.
The moments the Masters have given us is why we zone in so hard from the first player off the tee until Sunday when that green jacket is passed on to the next victor.
From Jack dominating Augusta National at the age of 46, to Jordan Spieth stealing the worlds attention at the age of 22, to Tiger Woods’ incredible return to glory capturing his first major title in 11 years at Augusta just a year ago. This tournament is the pinnacle of golf.
We’ve witnessed Bubba Watson make one of the most Incredible shots golf has ever seen, and we’ve seen Greg Norman blow a six shot lead in 18 holes. It’s tested players and given us reason to not leave our televisions, tablets, or phones from watching the competition for four consecutive days.
It’s a tradition like no other that sets the precedent and truly kicks golf into full swing.
Amen Corner alone can change the course of a PGA tour season by swallowing up most of those that swing the club there. This season will be different, and it just won’t feel the same not having The Masters start spring off on the right foot.
This was a difficult choice.
I originally thought losing MLB’s opening day would be my selection. Baseball was my first love–even before the NFL– so naturally opening day has always been sacred.
The NBA’s suspension also crossed my mind–or better yet the NBA postseason’s indefinite postponement, which was originally scheduled to begin nine days from today on April 18.
But after deliberate consideration– the loss of boxing– more specifically the upcoming Cinco De Mayo weekend boxing- stings the most.
Cinco De Mayo weekend is sacred in the boxing community. Along with Mexican Independence Day weekend (the third Saturday of September), the first Saturday of May is typically the premier boxing event of the annual calendar as some of the highest-grossing fights of all-time have happened on this date.
Mexico has a long lineage of boxing champions and an undeniable love for the sport, and promoters naturally exploit this connection and host the biggest fights of the year and charge exorbitant prices to view the matches on pay-per-view.
The highest grossing fight of all time– Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s historical contest– was hosted on Cinco De Mayo weekend in 2015 and generated a record-shattering 4.4 million buys with a $100 price tag.
Mayweather became the poster child for Mexican holiday boxing during the tail end of his career. After outpointing Mexican legend Oscar De La Hoya on Cinco De Mayo in 2007– Mayweather embraced the Mexican fans–as well as his love for money–and incorporated the two holidays into his regular fighting schedule. After defeating De La Hoya Mayweather never fought more than twice a year– and 10 of his last 12 fights were all staged on the Mexican holidays.
The upcoming absence of Cinco De Mayo boxing next month is a body blow to all fights fans. We’ve grown accustomed to high-profile fights on this date for awhile now– as Mexican middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez replaced Mayweather as the Cinco De Mayo “cash cow” fighter since Mayweather’s retirement.
Alvarez has delivered and his fights have been far more entertaining than Mayweather’s– so it’s a huge blow to the sport that its signature fighter’s annual boxing date next month was scrapped– especially given boxing’s dwindling popularity today in comparison to the Muhammad Ali golden age era of the 1960s and ’70s
When will prize fighting return in America? I don’t know. Hopefully in time for Mexican Independence Day weekend, though.
Bleacher Talk is a semiweekly-joint column between Express Sports writers Shareik Flowers and Aaron James. The column will appear every Sunday and Thursday for the remainder of the spring season. If there’s a topic you want us to discuss please email us your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org