It's a great time to be a sports fan.
Major League Baseball is just days away from starting the World Series.
The NFL season is in full swing, as is college football.
The NHL season is just under way and the NBA season is starting in just a couple of weeks.
The same is true for the college hockey and basketball seasons.
NASCAR is down to its final five races in the season points chase.
There a little bit of something for everyone... except golfers. Where, there's something for them, too. It's called frostbite.
Anyway, let's take a look at what's going on during the one time of year when all the major sports converge.
The Tampa Bay Rays were the surprise of the regular season and... SURPRISE!, they're the surprise of the postseason as well. I'd be surprised if they surprised anyone else the rest of the way, since they have established themselves as one of the best-run franchises in MLB. The only difference between the Rays and the Minnesota Twins is that the Rays haven't let their young stars go to other teams.
The NFL is always full of stories. The Cowboys are making news. Pacman Jones appears to be suspended for the season after his latest transgression. Am I the only one who thinks he should be nicknamed after a more appropriate video game? How about Grand Theft Auto Jones? Tony Romo's finger is bent out of shape and he will be replaced by rifle-armed quarterback Brad Johnson (Vikings fans please read the last five words in your most sarcastic voice possible).
Meanwhile, the Cowboys went out and traded for talented receiver Roy Williams to team with resident drama queen Terrell Owens.
College football is too confusing for me to follow. There's a new No. 1 team every week. I can't really get excited about college football until December, when I get to enjoy two crappy teams play in the Humanitarian Bowl. If they were really humanitarians, they'd get two better teams to play in that bowl game so the viewing public wouldn't have to suffer through the agony of watching it.
The NHL season has already dropped the puck. So far the big story is the success of the New York Rangers.
The Rangers were finally dealt their first loss Wednesday after winning five straight to start the season. How long has it been since the Rangers made a run to the Stanley Cup? I was still in high school and Barry Melrose was still sporting a wicked mullet. Actually Barry Melrose still had a wicked mullet as of about a year ago, so that isn't such a good example.
The NBA is about to tip off after one of its most exciting seasons in 2007, with all eight playoff teams in the Western Conference winning at least 50 games. But it was Boston from the Eastern Conference that topped the L.A. Lakers in the NBA Finals.
How long has it been since the Lakers and Celtics played in the NBA Finals? I was in junior high and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were wearing shorts so teeny, that even Daisy Duke thought they were a little too revealing.
In NASCAR, much to the dismay of hillbillies everywhere, Jimmie Johnson appears to be on his way to his third straight season series title.
NASCAR's prototypical fan seems to be annoyed with Johnson's clean-cut image. One way to endear yourself to NASCAR's southern base - add another name. I just love the way Jimmie Jeff Johnson rolls off the tongue (unless you prefer Jimmie Ray or Jim-Bob).
Welcome to the best part of the year, sports fans - unless you like golfing, in which case I recommend investing in some wool-lined gloves.
(Chris Bieri is a sports writer for the Minot Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)