Take Note of These Important Dates

I’ve had some important dates in my life and here are a few calendar items you’ll want to note in your date book, Blackberry or computer. At least, I think you will.

January 24: It’s fight night on HBO with the main event featuring Antonio Margarito against Shane Mosley, The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds and it is Mosely’s attempt to take Margarito’s WBA welterweight title. Mosely beat De La Hoya in Las Vegas in 2003 but in his victory and taking of the title from De La Hoya accusations were raised concerning Mosely’s use of steroids. Mosely later lost the crown to Miguel Cotto in November 2007 and Margarito beat Cotto in July 2008 to become the welterweight champ. There’s a lot of press behind and around this fight as Mosely tries to prove that he can be an untainted champion.

January 25: It is the Match des Étoiles de la Ligue Nationale de Hockey better known in the United States as the National Hockey League All-Star Game. The Montreal Canadiens will host the contest. They were chosen because it is the 100th anniversary of the team’s founding. This game usually features a whole lot of goal scoring. The average number of goals scored in each of the last six games is 16! That’s 16 per All-Star game! No, it is not a great night for goaltenders. Next year, there will be no NHL All-Star game due to the fact that the XXI Winter Olympic Games will be going on in Vancouver. So catch this classic contest on Versus TV.

February 1: Okay, you’re going to say, “Of course I know what that is! It’s Super Sunday!” Okay, you’re partly right. It is the day when all the hype is hyped out and the Pittsburgh Steelers will finally meet the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa, Florida. But haven’t you heard the BIG news? It is the first Super Bowl appearance for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Give me a break! I’m loading up on wings, nachos and beer and watching Cartoon Network when those guys are on. Why can’t the Super Bowl be about the Super Bowl?

February7: It’s the start of NASCAR’s 2009 Sprint Cup Series, which will run through to November 22. It all starts at Daytona with the Budweiser Shootout at the Daytona International Speedway and it will end in Miami at the Homestead-Miami Speedway after the best of the best duel it out week after week at raceways across America. NASCAR is the most popular spectator sport in America, and it’s worth taking a look at if you’re into wagering. (And if you’re not, then why are you reading this?) By the way, Daytona also hosts the Gatorade Duel on February 12 and the famous Daytona 500 on February 15. There are 41 events in the Sprint Cup Series.

February 25: That’s opening day in MLB’s Grapefruit League. Scheduled games include the New York Mets versus the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston College Eagles visiting the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves against the Detroit Tigers. Can you feel it? Spring is less than a month away, baby! Or at least spring training is.

March 1: That’s a big day in NCAA Big East basketball. That’s when Marquette plays Louisville. The way things are shaping up in the Big East that could be a huge game as it’s played with less than a week to go in the regular season. Presently, the Louisville Cardinals are 5-0 in the conference and the Marquette Golden Eagles are right behind them at 4- 0. Or course, depending on how things go up to that point, the February 25 meeting between UConn (5- 1) and Marquette is calendar worthy as is the February 2 contest between the Huskies and Cardinals. Pittsburgh (5- 1), which has already lost a close one to Louisville, plays Connecticut on February 16 and Marquette on March 4. There’s a lot riding on all of those games. How do you spell possible first seed in the NCAA Tournament?

March 15: Yes, this is the Ides of March when Julius Caesar met his demise. This year, it is also the date of Selection Sunday, which is when the 65 teams that will appear in the NCAA Tournament are announced. The tournament starts on March 17 and goes until April 6 when the National Champions are chosen. The Final Four will be played this year in Motown, which is also known as Detroit. It is a great time for college basketball, for sports fans and for bettors.


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