A Playoff Dilemma:

More by Will Pegler - 5/17


As the weather starts to get warmer at Darien High School, other excitement starts to surround the world of professional sports. Sports fans at DHS were able to survive the dreary months of February and March when all they had was the Super Bowl and the NCAA Basketball Tournament for about a week. These events offered some great entertainment, but there wasn’t any consistent flow of sports with great games on every night. Finally, though, playoff season has arrived, and the three month long affair of the NBA and the NHL playoffs has gotten underway. In the NBA and NHL, more than half of the league makes the playoffs, this means that there are games being played every single night. The age old question is now hanging over all sports fans at DHS: which playoffs do I watch?

For some students, the question is a lot simpler than it may sound. Junior Will Culliton thought the answer was obvious, Culliton said: “Hockey is obviously the superior sport. The physicality, the intensity, and the fact that any team can win is what makes them the best playoffs to watch of any major sport in the US”. Culliton’s argument for hockey is one that is made by many fans of the sport. Truly any team can go far and make a run at the Stanley Cup. The Nashville Predators, for example, were an eight seed but swept the one seed Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. The physicality is also a huge part of the NHL playoffs, as players are often seen playing on broken bones or lost teeth. The NHL also consistently has games that go to overtime on a nightly basis, with clutch saves and near goals happening at every turn, any casual sports fan can sit and watch the high intensity of playoff OT in the NHL.

Now on to the NBA playoffs. The issue I find with these playoffs is the lack of competitiveness, as the higher seed almost always beats the lower seed. All evidence points to a probable Cavs vs. Warriors final for a third year in a row. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would much rather be watching a competitive hockey series instead of seeing Lebron “Cry Baby” James stomp on the rest of the Eastern Conference and Steph Curry shoot his way to the finals. Avid basketball fan junior Jack Tierney made an argument for the NBA playoffs. Tierney said: “I understand why people find the playoffs boring, but if you really look at it, basketball is simply a more entertaining sport than hockey, it doesn’t need multiple OT’s or injuries to be entertaining”. Most basketball fans backed Tierney’s thoughts, even citing the injury factor with Celtics Point Guard Isaiah Thomas losing a tooth in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Thomas has been arguably the most inspiring player of this years playoffs, as his younger sister was killed in a car accident just hours before the Celtics series with the Bulls began. Thomas has been able to play through the pain and more, consistently dropping 30 point games and carrying the Celtics on his 5’ 9” shoulders.

Knowing all of this, it’s time to decided which playoffs to focus on. It’s basically impossible to focus on both playoffs, unless you have literally nothing else to do but watch sports (lucky you). In my opinion, hockey is the obvious choice, it is much more entertaining on a nightly basis and always offers close games. Basketball, on the other hand, is much more prevalent to blowouts, and most people are positive that the finals will once again feature Lebron James and Steph Curry.

Whatever your playoff preference is, try to keep in mind how awesome this time is to be a sports fans. There are games on every night, and more likely than not you’ll be able to watch a team that you can support. If you’re not a fan of basketball and hockey, you can always just watch baseball, the first sign that summer is here.

Sports aren't your thing? Read this article about other ways to keep yourself busy this Spring.