Chik chatting: Preseason games
Published 4:20 pm, Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Am I the only guy in the world who actually enjoys watching preseason sports? Probably not, but it certainly feels that way at times.
I can't get over how many people tell me that they can't watch preseason games because "it doesn't matter who wins or loses." In the grand scheme of things, they're right; the outcomes of games have no bearing on the regular season standings or playoff fates. However, that isn't to say that the preseason lacks drama.
In typical preseason action -- at any level -- all of the following holds true, regardless of what sports is being played: Players are doing everything they can to prepare for tough regular season competition and getting their first game action since the previous season, teammates are battling one another for starting jobs and/or roster spots, coaches are fine-tuning their game plans and making adjustments along the way, inexperienced players are getting their first taste of action and veteran players are coming back to a familiar program for at least one more season.
At the professional level, I can at least see why some people have a difficult time getting fully enthralled by preseason games. For example, the Major League Baseball season is 162 games, so the casual fan isn't going to be captivated by Spring Training Games.
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But at the high school level, it's a completely different story. Teams only have so long to prepare for a season, which makes scrimmages and/or preseason games all the more critical. And if a group of teenaged high school students get a taste of success by winning a few preseason contests, it can truly have a positive effect on that squad heading into the regular season.
At the high school level, teams typically play seasons ranging from 16-20 games (10 for football). So, that's all the more reason to want to check out preseason action, since the regular seasons don't last nearly as long at the high school level as they do at the professional level.
Also, every team in the FCIAC has something to shoot for. Everyone is 0-0 with the entire schedule to come, and it's well-documented that no team can be taken lightly in the FCIAC, making it all the more possible that we'll get to see a few "Cinderella" teams once the fall sports begin. The preseason games represent the time when teams can build all-important chemistry and camaraderie, which can go a long way in determining how successful a team's season will be.
It's no secret that the sports scene slows down a bit in the summer, so I can't wait to get to some preseason games to attend. Most teams at New Canaan and Darien have their first preseason in approximately two weeks, so be on the lookout for game stories in both papers.