Column: Line Drives — Fall is the best time for sports

[This is my column in The Commercial Review from Thursday.]

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.

Not only does my birthday fall within the final three months on the calendar, but as the days get shorter and the temperatures start to cool down, sports are just starting to heat up.

The Major League Baseball playoffs are moving right along. And even though my beloved Braves have been knocked out by the Dodgers, I still have the Tigers, maybe.

Detroit plays Oakland in the fifth and final game of the division series tonight, therefore both of my rooting interests in the playoffs may be knocked out two weeks sooner than I hoped.

The Lions have a respectable 3-2 record through the first five weeks of the National Football League season, and they sit atop the NFC North, for now.

It’s apparent, however, the men in Honolulu blue live and die by their superstar receiver Calvin Johnson. He missed the last game with an injury and Detroit had to settle for three field goals in a 22-9 loss to Green Bay.

But aside from football and baseball, the other two of the four major professional sports are gearing up for their 2013-14 campaigns.

The NBA began its preseason last week, and the regular season kicks off Oct. 29. The big question this year will be if the Miami Heat can win the NBA Finals for the third straight time. If the Heat pull off the three-peat, they will be the first to do so since the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers.

And for hockey fans, the regular season is underway in the month of October again after a lockout-shortened season last year.

It’s an exciting time for Detroit Red Wings fans like me, as the team is moving to the Eastern Conference after the league was realigned in March.

Gone are the late-night road games in Arizona or California, keeping fans up into the wee hours of the morning.

Apart from sports in the professional ranks, high school sports are just getting exciting too.

Football is nearing the postseason, and Jay County is on the verge of a 6-2 record for the first time in more than 30 years.

Sunday is also the IHSAA football pairings show, in which the Patriots and Starfires will find out their opponents for the sectional tournament, which begins Oct. 25.

Boys and girls soccer teams are competing in sectional tournaments this week, and although the Jay County boys and South Adams girls teams have been eliminated, the JCHS girls and Starfire boys begin postseason play at 5 p.m. tonight.

The volleyball sectional draw is Monday with the tournament beginning Oct. 22.

Cross country teams for Jay County and South Adams compete in sectional at Delta on Tuesday, and the Patriots are seeking their eighth straight sectional crown.

While some seasons are winding down this time of the year, others are just getting started.

That’s just another reason why the fourth quarter of the year is always my favorite.

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