February… One of My Favorite Months of the Year!

I’m not being facetious (‘no cap’ for my younger colleagues); I love this time of year! It’s definitely not the 5:30p sunsets, snow, or if you’re in LA, the recent torrential rain (even in LA we can’t escape it). BUT, if you have any interest in sports entertainment, February is an incredible month! I joined…

February… One of My Favorite Months of the Year!

I’m not being facetious (‘no cap’ for my younger colleagues); I love this time of year! It’s definitely not the 5:30p sunsets, snow, or if you’re in LA, the recent torrential rain (even in LA we can’t escape it). BUT, if you have any interest in sports entertainment, February is an incredible month!

I joined Compadre nearly a year ago – since then, my client portfolio has shifted significantly, primarily from video games to more sports and entertainment. I don’t think my 10-year-old self would even believe I have a job where I work in sports, entertainment, and games!

And now that it’s February, I’m reflecting on what an amazing time of year this is for sports, and some exciting things we have to look forward to!

The Monday After the Superbowl Should Be a National Holiday

I’ve been obsessed with football since 5th grade and Super Bowl Sunday might as well be a religious holiday for me. I thought this year I’d be watching my Cleveland Browns on Super Bowl Sunday, but alas, there’s always next year! Nonetheless, I’ll still be heading to Vegas to enjoy some of the ‘pre-game’ festivities before the Chiefs take on the 49ers… Las Vegas is a perfect stage for the biggest event in sports entertainment!

5th Grade Ryan (#34), intimidating, I know.

However, the Super Bowl isn't the only championship we've had recently; I happen to be a fan of the National Champion Michigan Wolverines. I know it sounds contradictory for an Ohio native, but once my older brother was offered a Track & Field scholarship at UofM, leaving Ohio State behind was easy!

Rose Bowl Victory! Go Blue!

What a year it was for the Wolverines! Undefeated… and I got to see the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with my family. I love how the college football stage only gets bigger each year! Looking forward to a 12-Team Playoff and a Big Ten that now includes two LA-based teams.

And while it’s not quite here yet, we have a new spring football league to look forward to – the UFL! I was hoping the Seattle Sea Dragons would make it through the merger (Last season made me reminisce about Josh Gordon’s 2013 Cleveland Browns season), but I imagine the newly unified UFL will be a perfect compliment to the NFL and NCAAF off-seasons.

The NBA All-Star Break is Only a Week Away

It’s great to see my favorite LA basketball team (I’m referring to the Los Angeles Clippers, in case there were any assumptions being made) owning the best record in the NBA since December 1st (now 26-6), and just went 6-1 on an east coast trip (and after that trip, I'm giving them a pass for last night's home loss to the Pelicans).

They seem to have figured out the Harden trade and are playing tremendous ‘team’ basketball. They have a ton of momentum going into the All-Star break… On that note, it really feels like a snub that only Khawi and PG were voted All-Stars (and reserves, at that).

Had to snap a pic with the Clippers unofficial mascot, Clipper Darrell!

All-Star weekend is always exciting – I can’t wait to see the state-of-the-art LED court in action – the skills challenge, dunk contest, 3-pt contest, and of course, the All-Star game are iconic and fun, but it also signals the beginning of crunch time. Battling for playoff position becomes more important, and for the teams in contention, every game means more.

Oh, and who can forget?! It's his airness, Michael Jordan's birthday February 17.

Speaking of All-Stars: Connor McDavid May Not Be Human

While the NBA is just approaching All-Star break, last weekend we saw a new format for both the NHL All-Stars Skills Competition and the All-Star Game itself.

As one of the best all-around players in the league, it’s no surprise Connor McDavid not only helped the NHL create the new Skills Competition, and it’s even less surprising that he won it. He also captained the runner up squad in the new 3v3 tournament format. However, the team captained by Auston Matthews (and celebrity captain Justin Bieber!) took the final victory 7-4. While I’m not a religious hockey fan, I honestly believe it’s the best sport to attend/watch live. Attending All-Star weekend is definitely on my sports bucket list.

It was unfortunate we didn’t have more LA Kings participating in All-Star Weekend (shoutout to Cam Talbot (G) who also blogged his experience), but this month LA King Drew Doughty did have his EA Sports NHL 24 HUT (Hockey Ultimate Team) max progression reach a 98 ... this may not mean much to everyone, but those familiar with the game will know it’s impressive!

Also had to snap a pic with the Kings' official mascot, Bailey. GKG!

Country Club Sports Are All the Rage!

The golf year recently kicked off with some of my favorite early season events; The Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu (probably my favorite course I’ve played), followed by back to back weekends in California, first the Farmers Insurance Open @ Torrey Pines, then the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – and the early season is just getting started!

I’m pumped for the Waste Management Open (the same weekend as the Super Bowl) and the upcoming Genesis Invitational @ Riviera Country Club … each week getting closer to A Tradition Unlike Any Other… The Masters!

And if you’d rather be at the Tennis (or Pickleball) court, we’re only a few weeks away from the start of the ATP Masters 1000 season, the BNP Paribas Open (also in LA’s backyard @ Indian Wells). I hope everyone watched Pickleball Slam 2 on ESPN last weekend, the penultimate match being McEnroe & Sharapova vs. Agassi & Graff. It was fun to watch some of the best, most calculated tennis athletes of all time go head-to-head on the pickleball court.

That time we got to shoot in Arthur Ashe Stadium!

“Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face” –Mike Tyson

Maybe you’d rather be on the mat or in the ring – well then you’re in luck this time of year, too. UFC 298 is set for Saturday, February 17th in yet another one of LA’s Backyards, Anaheim.

It should be an epic bout between Volkanovski and Topuria. 298 is just the start, as there is O’Mally vs Vera @ UFC 299 and another big night in Vegas for UFC 300 (not to mention… in September UFC celebrates Mexican Independence Weekend with an event at The Sphere!)

While it may fit more into the ‘entertainment’ category than ‘sports’ category, the WWE just finished the Royal Rumble (congrats to Cody Rhodes!) and agreed to a $5B deal to host RAW on Netflix starting in 2025. Similarly to the UFC, the energy these athletes and crowds bring to every show make it an electrifying experience.

...and the time we got to shoot with champ, Stipe Miocic!

With all this momentum you can only expect bigger things from TKO as they continue to grow the sport and begin to rewrite the WWE’s organizational narrative after some very serious accusations came out on Vince McMahon recently.

This February we also nearly crowned our first Undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Champion since 2000 (Lennox Lewis), but the Fury vs Usyk match on ESPN Top Rank Boxing has been postponed until May.

It's a prop belt. They wouldn't even let me in the ring!

But Wait, There's More!

If you’re more of a soccer fan, the MLS kicks off at the end of February, too! Full disclosure: Ted Lasso has taught me more about soccer than I’ve known my entire life, but rumor has it the LAFC games are insanely fun. I am curious (and skeptical) that the tailgate rivals the 'muni' lot in Cleveland, but I'm willing to find out! The past two seasons the LAFC won a championship and lost a heartbreaker in the finals… the stage is set for an exciting season in 2024!

February also kicks off Spring Training for the MLB… Meaning Opening Day is just around the corner! It’s a new season, and anything is possible – maybe the Guardians can rekindle some of the magic from their 2022 run? Without a doubt, all eyes will be on LA and the Dodgers after signing Shohei Ohtani to a record-breaking deal. Not only that, but they’ve bolstered their roster and made it clear the expectation is a World Series Championship in 2024!

Unsurprisingly, I’m still waiting for my Ohtani jersey to arrive even though I ordered it back in December. Hard to imagine how he can become a bigger star, but we’re happy to have him in LA!

The best baseball snack there is!

Just kidding... this was the best baseball snack.

Don't Sleep on February

February marks the beginning of my 12th month at Compadre. When I look back at the last 11 months, I am both excited and humbled. Growing up in 'small town' Ohio, I didn’t imagine I’d be working in an industry that allows me to visit the ESPN and NFL campuses, make promotional material for the UFC and the US OPEN, experience so many unique events, and meet so many interesting people!

Did I miss any other exciting or interesting sports events you love this time of year? Let me know what you're looking forward to!

Don't hesitate to reach out if you find this post interesting, have any ideas you want to share, or maybe provide a quote for my next article. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to Compadre's newsletter!

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