Top Five: Days in sports

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,MLB,NHL,College,John Keim

With Opening Day on Monday, it seems like a good time to look at the top days in sports. Here are our five:

5. New Year's Day » It used to be even better before the BCS started spreading out the better games. But it remains a special day, with college football starting at 11 a.m. It's a perfect way to break in the New Year. The day is enhanced by the NHL's Winter Classic, one of the best ideas Gary Bettman and the boys have come up with in recent years.

4. Opening Day in baseball » It used to be the best day (even better when it was capped by the NCAA national championship at night), but it has dropped in recent years in part because there's now an unofficial first day and then an official one. But for a baseball fan, it marks the start of spring.

3. NCAA first round » Why not higher? Because it's not football. But that doesn't detract from how much fun the first round of the tournament has become (and we're not talking about those Tuesday games either) with the brackets and the upsets.

2. Football opening day »

Really, there are many days where the NFL dominates, and in truth the first and second rounds of the playoffs are fantastic. Thanksgiving is as well, though too often the food is better than the matchups. Still, it's a great tradition. But the first day of the season -- a full day of football -- is tough to beat.

1. Super Bowl » It used to be a lot of hype and a big letdown, but the games have come close to matching the attention cast on this game. No other sporting event feels like a holiday. Even those uninterested in the sport are forced to pay attention.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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