Is there a better holiday on the sports calendar than Memorial Day?

Is there a better holiday on the sports calendar than Memorial Day?

May 25, 2020

Sure, some sports are back. But "sports" as we know them are largely still on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today is Day 75 without sports. ⚾️???

Memorial Day and sports certainly go hand-in-hand, with so many events packed into the course of the three-day weekend. Come to think of it, the variety of sports we have on a typical Memorial Day might just make it the best holiday on the sports calendar.

Of course, we did have one glimpse of normalcy in auto racing Sunday with the running of NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. But it wasn't quite the same without the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 getting our engines revved earlier in the day. 

MLB would be approaching the end of the first third of the regular season. The standings on Memorial Day are often seen as a precursor to how they'll eventually look. In 2019, four of the six eventual division winners (the Yankees, Twins, Astros and Dodgers) were in first place on Memorial Day. (Meanwhile, the Phillies and Cubs were leading their divisions a year ago — and ended up missing the playoffs altogether.)

Oakland A's pitcher Frankie Montas wears a hat commemorating Memorial Day before last year's game against the Los Angeles Angels. (Photo: Darren Yamashita, USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA playoffs would be about ready to crown conference champions. In fact, several memorable Memorial Day games are being featured on NBA TV today (see below). 

The NHL's Stanley Cup Final began last year on Memorial Day with the eventual champion St. Louis Blues losing Game 1 to the Boston Bruins.

And finally, the second of tennis' Grand Slam events, the French Open, would be just getting started this week in Paris as we watched to see if Rafael Nadal would continue his absolute domination of Roland Garros and whether Serena Williams would finally win her 24th Grand Slam singles title to tie Margaret Smith Court for the all-time record.

With the cancellation of Wimbledon, the French Open's new dates — Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 — put it in line to host the final major championship of 2020.

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