If you are a sports fan or if you live with a sports fan then your weekly schedule becomes inextricably linked with what sporting events are on at what times during each week. The conflict between missing a sporting event for a poorly committed to social event and missing an appealing social event to watch a game is an important balancing act in any kind of romantic, familial, or business relationship between a sports fan and a non-sports fan. To help facilitate this complicated advanced mathematics, Dear Sports Fan has put together a table showing the most important sporting events of the upcoming week. Print it out, put it on your fridge, and go through it with your scheduling partner.
Tuesday: All hail the Champions League. No, really, if you enjoy soccer, you’ll want to watch the game today. Barcelona is the world’s most fun offensive soccer team and Arsenal should pose just enough of a challenge to them to make them sweat a little. Columbus, Ohio is the closest NHL city to Detroit, so the Red Wings and Blue Jackets should eventually have a pretty good rivalry. Tonight could be the day it starts developing. In men’s college basketball, the second best team in the country, the Kansas Jayhawks, travel to Baylor to play the 19th ranked Bears.
Wednesday: Here’s a tiny piece of trivia that I find endlessly interesting: the common Eastern European soccer club name, “Dynamo” is left over from when government agencies sponsored the teams and refers to a team sponsored by the secret police. Dynamo Kiev takes on Manchester City in the Champions league. In men’s college basketball, number 1 ranked Villanova plays at number five ranked Xavier in what, by the numbers, should be the best game of the week. There’s also a double-header of NHL games on NBCSN with the first game a doozy between two teams who think of themselves as championship contenders but are struggling to make the playoffs, the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Thursday: The Nashville Predators fans feel their team is consistently one piece away from winning a Stanley Cup. Usually, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks who have that piece. As such, games between these teams get heated. In the NBA, there’s an excellent double-header on TNT. The first game in particular, pits three of the most elementally great basketball players in the league against each other.
Friday: Date night! If you’re a brainy couple, you might be interested in Harvard vs. Yale’s men’s college basketball game. If you’re hockeyish, you might enjoy the men’s college hockey game between Notre Dame and Boston University. If you’re date-less, settle down to watch an NBA double-header because there’s really no reason to plan a date around a mid-season NBA game.
Saturday: Soccer and basketball, basketball and soccer. If I had to choose one game in each sport to watch, I’d pick the battle of Madrid in soccer and Oklahoma City vs. Golden State in basketball. Plan accordingly.
Sunday: The NHL game today is a great one. The Washington Capitals are having the best regular season in memory. The Chicago Blackhawks are as close to a dynasty as we get in the modern NHL era. It’s regular season greatness vs. proven playoff ability and the game probably means a lot to both teams.
Caveat — This forecast is optimized for the general sports fan, not a particular sports fan. As such, your mileage may vary. For instance, you or the sports fan in your life is a fan of a particular team, then a regular season MLB baseball game or MLS soccer game may be more important on a particular day than anything on the forecast above. Use the calendar as a way to facilitate conversation about scheduling, not as the last word on when there are sports to watch.