February - The Super Bowl Champion has been determined, and the long wait for redemption begins. We can no longer there is no team to adopt for the playoffs, now that they have finished. The NBA All-Star weekend is officially soured for all cities outside of Indianapolis (yes, I'm picking the Colts). Even the Pro Bowl is ruined. Not that it was exciting anyway. How frustrating is it to see your team's star players enjoying themselves in light-colored Hawaiian shirts and laughing it up on the sidelines while their fans wallow in the misery of another lost season?
March - Not only is the misery piling on, but players begin to leave via free agency and retirement. Cardinals fans finally realize their entire franchise just retired, bringing them back to where they were pre-Warner. The Brett Favre retirement saga begins as he continues to destroy his once god-like reputation. But most importantly, the realization that Sunday's finally have no meaning for another six months actually becomes real. Now there's officially no reason to get up before 3 p.m.
April - Mel Kiper and Todd McShay systematically make more and more appearances on Sportscenter, creating/altering mock drafts until they're ultimately proven wrong on the day of the NFL draft. Hopeful Raiders' fans watch the deranged Al Davis destroy a once perennial force in the NFL. Baseball season begins, and with it, a new hope. John Kruk and crew question whether it matters if the poor start of either the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Dodgers, etc. really matters when we all know it doesn't. The basketball playoffs begin. Maybe an upset or two happens, but ultimately no seed below #4 advances to the conference championship.
May - More NBA playoffs. We like it more since it's higher quality basketball, and for those fan bases involved, it can become very exciting. NFL free agents begin to sign with new teams, and some real hope emerges. Finally a little excitement for the 31 losing fan bases. Maybe Minnesota can find that missing piece. Maybe New Orleans can find a defensive lineman. Maybe Cleveland, Saint Louis, and the rest of the bottom feeders can lure a quality free agent. Most importantly, maybe fans can start to really believe again.
June/July - By far the two worst months of sports. With only the monotonous rhythm and slow pace of baseball to look forward to, television becomes severely less appealing. Being able to choose between multiple sports/teams is one of the under-appreciated advantages of winter television. So without this choice, we dream of football. Of returning to our team's glory days. Of some groundbreaking trade to change the fortunes of our team. We even travel to watch training camp just to catch a glimpse of what we know is coming in only a few months.
August - Pre-season. Real football is so close. The time we most like to speculate, even if we all acknowledge that what we see means nothing. For anyone who watched Hard Knocks, the Bengals did not look like a division winner. The Patriots always go 0-4, but end up in the playoffs. One or two injuries derail a once promising season. Random late round draft picks develop into stars and fantasy owners scramble to draft them/pick them up off the waiver wire.
September - Football is finally here. The slate is clean and the world is right again. Only 5 months from a possible Super Bowl championship.