Wood's Word: The most wonderful time of the year

The weather continues to cool down as Halloween and the rest of the holiday season approaches. I grew up with a great excitement for the fall and winter holiday months that flourished mostly from my desire to eat candy.

I could barely focus in school as I fantasized about trick-or-treating in the vampire outfit I would wear. I planned my route and prepared my costume in such a manner that would ensure the largest candy reception possible. I drew pictures of myself spread out upon piles of candy as I pretended to listen during Sunday school. The anticipation was incredible.

The excitement wouldn’t even end at Halloween — the celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas followed closely behind! Once the month of November arrived, I would begin preparing my list for Santa and hope that I would be able to make it over the turkey-and-pie obstacle that was to come later that month. Upon the advent of December, it would be smooth sailing until Christmas. More food, more candy.

And then it was over. January and all of its terribleness came and swarmed my soul like an icy plague. February and March would pass, as would the rest of the months, but none would bring the joy that I could only find during October, November and December.

Surprisingly, I did grow up at some point. As a pubescent lad, Halloween lost its luster and the jolly old man from up North turned out to be a liar. I was too cool to continue in my naive triviality. My pants sagged just too low.

I was, however, desperate for a replacement upon which I could rest my imagination. The magic of the holidays wasn’t what it used to be. So I did something I was rather hesitant to do at the time: I turned to sports.

I really didn’t know much about anything where sports were involved. With only a Junior Jazz background under my belt, I ventured cautiously into a dangerous world full of emotion and history. I willingly opened my heart to the excitement and involvement that each sport brings.

Now my childhood void has been filled. This magical time of the year brings some of the most exciting possibilities where sports are involved.

We currently find ourselves wrapped up in a different “most wonderful time of the year.” Everywhere you look, gifts of numerous games and events are showered down unto us for our enjoyment and pleasure.

An eventful baseball postseason is almost under wraps. The Fall Classic is near its close, and the World Series is soon to produce a winner.

The NBA will be beginning its 2012-13 season on Tuesday. An eventful offseason has led us to consider a potentially impressive season for the league, and the predictions are high for an exciting year. The hometown Utah Jazz have also made many interesting moves over the summer, and the potential for a better season than last year is definitely there.

The National Football League is already well into its season and continues to provide the weekly bumps, bruises and blows that so many fans expect to see. This season shows many teams competing at a similar level and will most likely go down to the wire to produce division-winners and playoff teams.

College football is right in the middle of its season, and the games of this sport provide displays of true heart, hustle and school pride. These competitors provide us with shows of athleticism and intensity.

The WNBA recently presented a 2012 Championship team as the playoffs came to an end. The NCAA basketball season will soon begin to take us all the way through the cold winter months into March Madness.

We have arrived to the most wonderful time of the year again, and it truly is so, in more ways than one. The upcoming holidays will fill us with the magic and excitement that can only come during this time of year. And where youthful dreams may no longer be present, the gift of sports will keep on giving to fill those voids.