Top Nine September Sports Stories
By Lou DiPietro
Labor Day weekend, and with it the unofficial "end" of summer, is upon us, but just because the calendar's warmest season is almost over doesn't mean that some things aren't still heating up. Take the sports world, for instance, which may count September as its finest month for many reasons…say, these nine right here that will keep you tuned in to your TV sets as the leaves begin to change.
EMBRACE THE CHASE
While we usually joke about NASCAR in these spaces, this year, the final three Sundays in September host the first three races in the 10-event Chase for the Sprint Cup. Playoffs are exciting in any sport, and these events are sort of the "Division Series" round, if you will.
The final three events in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs take place in September, and then on the month's final weekend, the 2012 Ryder Cup marks one last post-Olympics round of "USA vs. The World" action. In any case, you're gonna see a lot of two dudes named Bubba and Tiger.
AN OFF-BROADWAY SMASH
Tennis, anyone? Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic have collectively won 32 of the 35 Grand Slam events contested since 2004, and as all three have won one this year, the U.S. Open (August 25-Sept. 9) could be one hot tiebreaker.
SERENA'S SUMMER OF STARDOM
Oh, and speaking of the U.S. Open, a Serena Williams victory in Flushing Meadows would make her the first woman to win Wimbledon, an Olympic Gold Medal, and the U.S. Open in the same summer since sister Venus did it in 2000. You go, girl!
OUTWIT, OUTPLAY, OUTSLUG?
Jeff Kent earned a bit of a reputation as a hothead during his MLB career -- a rep that might make his tenure on CBS' Survivor: Phillippines (which premieres Sept. 19) appointment television, at least assuming that he lasts longer than the eight days Jimmy Johnson survived.
A GRIDIRON EDUCATION
September means college football is back, so we'll soon find out if the SEC win a seventh straight National Title, Penn State can stay afloat in the wake of scandal, or the world can survive Erin Andrews and Gus Johnson being on the same broadcast team.
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME (PRO) FOOTBALL?
September also means the NFL is back, and the Giants vs. Cowboys kickoff on Sept. 5 also marks the return of one of our other favorite pastimes: watching dudes in bars nationwide cheering for teams they hate because they "totally drafted Player X for my fantasy team, bro!"
PLAYTIME IS (ALMOST) OVER
What else could be No. 1 than the final month of baseball's regular season? The slate officially ends Oct. 3, but the 30 days of September will likely determine the majority of the playoff picture, and lead into baseball fans' true favorite month: October.