With the new year approaching, I wanted to do something to celebrate the last year and look forward to 2015 with you all.
2014 has been an enormous year in sports and also for Dear Sports Fan. The year began with the NFL playoffs and a decisive Super Bowl win by the deserving Seattle Seahawks. The day after the big game, I took a train to John F. Kennedy airport, where I, like almost everyone who had been to the Super Bowl in New Jersey, waited while our planes were delayed by a snow storm. It was actually a pretty funny sight. All the gates to the Denver area were full of depressed people wearing orange and the gates to the West Coast were packed full of hung-over but happy fans wearing neon green. I flew off to Barcelona where I eventually and slowly made my way over to Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. In Russia, I got the chance to watch a bunch of men’s and women’s ice hockey plus some speed skating, curling, and cross-country skiing. It was all good, even when the United States lost to Canada 1-0 in the semifinals of the men’s Ice Hockey. Just a few months later, the nation’s imagination was captured by the most exciting World Cup in my memory. The United States Men’s National team did the country proud, more by generating bizarrely exciting soccer games than by winning, but still. The United States found itself in the throes of a soccer passion that mimicked, if not met the rest of the world’s normal experience. The summer was notable in the sports world for LeBron James deciding to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, a tectonic shift in the power dynamics of the NBA. For Dear Sports Fan, and for myself, the biggest move of the summer was my decision to leave my job of seven and a half years and throw myself into working on Dear Sports Fan full-time. Since then it’s been a roller-coaster ride. The Kansas City Royals rode their way, bunting and bunting some more, to the World Series before falling to the San Francisco Giants. The focus of the NFL season blurred when off-season issues like domestic abuse, child abuse, institutional idiocy, and the long-term effects of concussions overwhelmed the normal focus on football, fantasy football, and gambling. Like these issues made football seem like an insignificant side-show, so the great cultural issue of police brutality and our legal system’s inability to properly deal with it made sports in general seem like an insignificant side-show.
That’s where we are as we begin to hurtle towards 2015. 2015 is a year of great promise and plentiful sports. To celebrate it with you all, I’ve created a map with the biggest sporting event in each state in 2015 labeled. The events were chosen by me, so your results may vary of course, but I’ll be happy to hear from you with all disputes of import. The events vary in size and national stature, of course. Minnesota may not have anything to match the national profile of Arizona’s Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean their Star of the North Games in June are anything to sneeze at. In fact, with four to six thousand athletes competing in around twenty sports, the Star of the North Games are a massive undertaking. The sports range from the expected big four of football, baseball, basketball, and hockey, to more unusual events like New Jersey’s international Fistball competition and Delaware’s World Championship of Punkin’ Chunkin’ where teams compete to build the best pumpkin throwing machines.
The United States is truly a great sporting nation and 2015’s sports will truly range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Enjoy them all year with a copy of Dear Sports Fan’s 2015 in the United States of Sports map. If you’d like a copy of the map, sign up for our email list and I will send you either a link to download a high quality .pdf or mail an actual physical copy to your home or office! If you’re already a subscriber and want a map, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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