I love to follow sports games throughout the year and call myself a “sports chick” because if you look in my closet, you will see t-shirts featuring more than five different sports teams. I’ve been told I’m not a loyal fan to one team, but there’s nothing to worry about because I care about sports, not specific teams. Ever since I can remember, I would follow sports in junior high and high school and throughout college. I was never good at playing any sports, but I was a great audience member and still am! I feel like sports is a great conversation starter and people flock to the games as a favorite pastime with family, friends and significant others. It really is fun for the entire family.
There are a few sporting events this spring season that you will enjoy with your loved ones. Spring season this year is right around the corner! It starts Monday, March 20 and ends Tuesday, June 20. Whether you are single or taken, these sporting events will cause you to want to spend time behind the tube while enjoying good company. I have also included a few popular sports bars in Orange County where you can watch your favorite game.
Top 5 Can’t-Miss Sporting Events to watch this Spring
World Baseball Classic
Begins: Monday, March 6
Ends: Wednesday, March 22
You can enjoy watching some great international baseball games featuring some of the best players in the world. The World Baseball Classic has been around since 2005 and is held every four years. It started in 2005 as a response to baseball being removed from the Olympic games as a qualifying sport that same year. The tournament features 16 teams from around the world and its purpose is to promote the game of baseball. The winner of the 2013 tournament was the Dominican Republic. This year, the teams taking part in the tournament are Australia, Colombia, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Cuba, Japan, Puerto Rico, China, Dominican Republic, Korea, United States, Chinese Taipei, Israel, Mexico and Venezuela.
The first round games will be played in Seoul, Tokyo, Miami and Jalisco. Second round games will be played in Tokyo and San Diego. The championship round will be played in Los Angeles.
Where to watch: You can watch the games on television on two networks. The English language network to show the games is the MLB Network and the Spanish language network will be ESPN Deportes.
March Madness (College basketball)
Begins: Tuesday, March 14
Ends: Monday, April 3
March Madness is a men’s basketball tournament that will determine the national champions of college basketball. It is a competition of 68 teams that play in the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It started in 1939 and the most recent champion is Villanova. The school with the most titles in the tournament is UCLA with 11 total titles. This sport is most popular amongst basketball enthusiasts and college fans. Many people participate in pools where they take bets to see which schools will make it to through the different rounds.
Where to watch: March Madness will be shown in various television networks which include CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV.
Major League Baseball
If you live in Orange County, you are most likely either an Angels fan or a Dodgers fan. I am an Angels fan and can’t brag enough about the Angels stadium located in Anaheim. I’ve been to a few stadiums throughout California, and the Angels stadium has the best customer service by far. The docents are always very friendly and ready to help get you to your seats. The place is friendly for families and singles alike with an area dedicated to kids and the Budweiser patio dedicated to singles. Major League Baseball returns in April this year and there’s no better game to attend than the famous “Freeway Series” between the Angels and Dodgers. This year, the freeway series will land on June 26, 27, 28 and 29. The first two games will be at Dodgers stadium and the last two games will be at Angels stadium. It’s always fun to tailgate at Angels stadium and you will find many groups park by the big A which is where many people like to tailgate.
I am attending spring training in Tempe, Arizona this year with a few of my fellow single gals and I’ve read that Orange Couny fans flock to Arizona during the month of March to watch some pre-season games. There will also be a few pre-season games with a matchup of the Angels and Dodgers on March 30 and 31 at Angels stadium and April 1 at Dodgers stadium. There are 162 games during the regular season of MLB games so there will be plenty of matchups throughout the season. Pre-season tickets are usually cheaper than regular season games, so I highly recommend them.
Where to watch: You can watch baseball at your local stadium, on television or listen to the game on the radio. The Angels games are broadcast on the radio on AM 830.
Playoffs: April 15-May 29
Finals: June 1-18
Every year, I plan my social outings around the NBA Finals. I have seen these games with my best friend and have also seen them while on a date. I have always enjoyed NBA Basketball ever since I can remember. I must admit that I don’t follow the games throughout the season, but when it comes to finals, I have been known to miss work to catch the finals. If you followed the NBA finals last year, then you will know that it came down to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The star on the Cavaliers is Lebron James while Stephon Curry leads the Warriors. This year, the Warriors have added Kevin Durant to the roster and they are having an amazing run throughout the regular season. I predict another Cavaliers vs Warriors match up but of course it’s too early to tell. The Cavaliers ended up winning the championship title last year and are in the run to get another ring. The Clippers, Spurs and Oklahoma Thunder are also teams to watch during the playoffs as they are doing quite well.
Where to watch: You can watch the NBA Playoffs and Finals on several channels, with TNT being the popular network that usually shows a handful of the games. I like TNT because Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal who are retired players are now sports announcers and they entertain the fans with their crazy antics on television. It’s always a great pre-game and post-game commentary as well as half-time show.
Boxing: Canelo Alvarez vs Cesar Chavez Jr
Fight Night: Saturday, May 6
I recently attended a press conference at Lynwood’s Plaza Mexico for the Canelo Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr fight that will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The press conference highlighted that this will be an event no one will want to miss. It is a Mexican fighter vs another Mexican fighter as Canelo is from Guadalajara, Mexico and Chavez is from Culiacan, Sinaloa. The press conference was so fun because they had live music from mariachi and a grupo as well on two separate stages. It really hyped up the crowd that contained mainly a large Canelo following with a few fans rooting for Chavez. Chavez is the underdog in this fight as he battles the champion, Canelo Alvarez. Canelo’s record is (48-1-1, with 34 KOs) Chavez has (50-2-1, 32 KOs). You can see that they are pretty much evenly lined up with several KOs between them.
I am rooting for Canelo because he throws some major power punches and has knocked out several of his opponents these past couple of years as I have been following his fights. The last two fighters he knocked out were Amir Khan and Liam Smith. Both were excellent fights. Each fighter has star power in each of their corners as Canelo is represented by Oscar de la Hoya which heads Golden Boy Promotions. Chavez Jr. has his father on his side, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. who is the biggest star in the history of boxing in Mexico.
Tickets for this event are already sold out, but you may still be able to get your hands on a few tickets through secondary sellers.
Where to watch: I plan on watching the fight at Danny K’s in Orange which is where I usually watch boxing fights. I invite you to watch this fight with me as it always draws large crowds either in Las Vegas or through Pay Per View on television.
Restaurant and Sports Bar Recommendations
1096 N Main St
Orange, CA 92867
This place is great to watch boxing as it always draws a large crowd. However, do note that they always have a cover charge for major boxing events which is usually $20. They have a variety of food and drinks and they also have a patio where you can watch the game while outside. This place is also pretty popular for their pool tables which are covered when there is a major sporting event like boxing. Because of its proximity to Angels stadium and the Honda Center, people like to hang out after Angels games or Ducks games. This place is also popular for football games which are off season right now, but you can expect many Raiders fans to show up there for Raiders games. Overall, this place is one of the top sports bars in Orange County.
Heroes Bar & Grill
125 W. Santa Fe Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832
I love watching basketball at this place since they have plenty of televisions in their bar area. I went last year for the NBA finals and there was plenty of space to sit at the bar. This place is also a restaurant with plenty of tables and a patio as well. The food is great and last time I went, I tried the chicken quesadilla and a side of fries which was enough to share with another person. They also provide peanuts to each table and encourage you to drop the scraps on the floor. This place is also fun on a Friday or Saturday night as people come here to mingle. They offer a large variety of beers and pear cider as well (my favorite drink). The crowd is very diverse and you never know who you will run into at this place!
1870 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
I’ve been to this bar to watch the NBA finals in the past. I enjoy coming to this bar even when they don’t play sports games because of the ambiance. They have happy hour deals on weeknights which vary from Taco Tuesday to Wine Wednesday. One thing that’s different about this bar and other sports bar is that they play music while the games are playing. For some, that’s a good thing but for others who want to hear the sports commentators, take note. I recommend the filet mignon skewers and the mac & cheese. Both are delicious and reasonably priced.
I would recommend calling a sports bar in advance to make sure they are going to play the game you would like to watch as some sports bar don’t show large events such as boxing. I like that all three bars I featured have food, drinks and a patio. You can also plan a social gathering at home and watch the games at the comfort of your own home. Happy watching!