We all need a little escapism even in the best of times—certainly these days—and sports have always scored big on that field.
The roaring crowds, mile-long concession lines and heady weekend tailgates in the parking lot are mostly gone for the year, but that doesn't mean you can't cheer your guts out for your favorite teams.
Some, like local baseball, are canceled or winding up their seasons. And others, like college women's basketball, are as-yet unscheduled.
We find ourselves in an interesting fall championship game line up with pro baseball entering an extended season, minor league soccer having its postseason championships, and hockey and basketball in delayed finals seasons (that we'd normally be enjoying in the spring and early summer), it's an exciting time to be a fan!
Here are some ways to safely get your Texas sports fix right now—and the escape we're all craving.
Football starts in earnest this month for the NFL and some universities. Because the pandemic didn't do much to disrupt the season, timing-wise (except for the canceled preseason), not much will change for those who watched from their couches.
The Dallas Cowboys' NFL season starts on Sept. 13, but the first home game is slated for Sept. 20 against the Atlanta Falcons at noon. Catch it on FOX, or if you're in North Texas, limited tickets and suite rentals are available at AT&T Stadium in Arlington
The Houston Texans' virtual kickoff happened on Sept. 3, with Texans players, coaches, celebrities and more. If you missed it, you can catch the archive here. The season started on Thursday, Sept. 10, but the the first home game happens on Sunday, Sept. 20 against the Baltimore Ravens at 3:25 p.m. at NRG stadium. Limited tickets and suites are available.
The Big 12 season is on! UT's first game, a match up at home against UT-El Paso, happens 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. But the first official Big 12 conference game is set for Sept. 26 against the Texas Tech Raiders. You can catch Longhorn Network games—including the season opener—on ESPN or stream them online. Some fans can also go to games at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium on the UT-Austin campus, which is only allowing a 25% capacity crowd at this time.
Major League Baseball ends its regular 60-game season on Sept. 27 and then prepares for an extended 16-team playoff season—which some are thinking could include the Houston Astros. Check out this link to stream MLB games online.
The Houston Astros' season has begun, and while they are allowing no fans in the Minute Maid Park for the games— they are making it easy to watch them on TV and online. Next game is at 7:07 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 against the LA Dodgers.
The Texas Rangers, like their MLB counterparts in Houston, continue their season on Saturday against the Oakland A's at 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Like the other MLB franchises, they won't be playing to any crowds—with no in-person attendance at Globe Life Park in Arlington—but they're easy to find online.
You can listen to them on the radio here.
The NBA's conference semifinals are underway, with the final matchup series set to start on Sept. 30. We're used to baseball and football championships in the fall and winter, but this is a bonus. There is no in-person seating but you can register for a chance to be a "virtual" fan here.
And while the Dallas Mavericks' season came to an end on Aug. 30 with a loss to the L.A. Clippers, there's still another Texas team to watch.
You can catch the Rockets against the L.A. Lakers in their second match-up of the series on ESPN at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Or register for a chance to be a virtual fan and take home viewing to a whole 'nother level.
We'd normally be watching the NHL conference finals in the late spring and early summer, but the pandemic took care of that—and now we get to pile the Stanley Cup championships onto our high-stakes fall season.
The Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars are on the short list for the cup this year, facing the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference finals, with Game 4 set for Saturday, Sept. 12.
The season is set to wind up with the Stanley Cup finals tentatively set for early October. Tickets to stadium watch parties are sold out but you can watch on FOX Sports Southwest or the Fox Sports GO app.
We have to wait until spring for Austin's new Major League Soccer team, the Austin FC, to start playing at McKalla Place —but you can still enjoy some exciting Austin soccer.
The University of Texas Longhorns soccer Big 12 season gets underway on Friday night, Sept. 10 with new guidelines issued for in-person attendance at the school's Mike A. Meyers Stadium. Watch them on the Longhorns Network.
Austin Bold FC
The United Soccer League is ending its season in early October, and our own Austin Bold FC team is angling for a spot in the USL post-season championship playoffs next month. Their next scheduled game is at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 against the Rio Grande Valley Toros. You can watch them on ESPN+ or app.
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