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2020: The Fall of the Sports Equinox

Safety Antwon Fegans #3 of the Arkansas State Red Wolves brakes up a pass intended for wide receiver Phillip Brooks #88 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the second half at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on Sept. 12, 2020 in Manhattan, Kansas. Arkansas won 35-31. (Peter Aiken/Getty Images/TNS)

By Connor Lannen

Thursday night, The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off the 2020 NFL season against The Houston Texans. On what would typically be an exciting day for sports fans worldwide, the excitement has been heightened. The rare event called a sports equinox occurred for the first time since 2017, on Thursday night. 

Fans of the four major U.S. sports suffered for nearly five months as the coronavirus pandemic caused all sporting events to be postponed or canceled. At the end of July, the NHL, MLB, and NBA all resumed play, however, their prospective seasons were all shortened. 

The NFL kicking off the season on the originally scheduled date is a major positive sign for fans of professional sports teams. The famous quote by roman biographer Cornelius Nepos “After darkness comes the light” feels appropriate to describe the sports world right now. The NFL is allowing spectators, although limited, for the first time since the original sports cancellations. Fans of the four major leagues are in for a rare treat not only for one day but for the next few weeks. 

A “sports equinox” is defined as when the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL all play at least one game on the same day. This rare event is coined by many as the “greatest sports day of the year” and has only happened 17 times in history. The typical time that a sports equinox happens is in late October or early November when the NBA and NHL are starting their seasons as the MLB playoffs are wrapping up and the NFL is in the heart of their season. 

On Thursday, the 18th sports equinox occurred and this specific equinox had the highest stakes ever. The Los Angeles Lakers played The Houston Rockets in Game 4 of the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs. The Dallas Stars played The Las Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the western conference finals. In addition to those two intensity packed games, the MLB had a full slate of playoff-chasing games, and the aforementioned NFL season kickoff, all occurred. 

Now, if you told sports fans that schedule would all occur in one day it would more than likely be the most anticipated sports day of the year. However, due to the Coronavirus postponements, the sports equinox is going to be a frequent occurrence over the next several weeks and the stakes are just going to get higher. 

 Sunday is the next scheduled sports equinox as the NFL debuts its first full schedule of games, the MLB has a full schedule and the NBA and NHL playoffs continue. With so much uncertainty regarding when or if live sports would resume, it seems as if the tables are turning and there is lots of excitement coming out of the sporting world. 

 Although many fans will not be able to watch their favorite teams play live at the actual stadium, there is no better time to watch the games from the comfort of your own home and cheer for your favorite teams as it is going to be a sports-packed fall.