Aug. 1 is shaping up to be an epic day in the sports world.

A day that hardcore sports fans — like myself — have been waiting on for a long time. This is a positive column. No gloom and doom like some others I have written lately.

Yes I am a realist, but I am also trying to be optimistic. If the stars align and all goes as planned we are looking at a day chock-full of sports from lunchtime until the late night hours. The stars will align and this will happen, I am wishing it into existence.

We need this. Not just as sports fans, but as a society. A day like Aug. 1 will provide a welcome distraction from the craziness going on in the world.

Whether it is the coronavirus pandemic, politics, the presidential election, school reopening, the future of high school and college athletics or whatever it is, Saturday, Aug. 1 is a day to forget all of that.

Why is that day so special? I am glad you asked. That is the day the NHL returns to begin playoffs. That means the NBA, NHL, MLB, WNBA, MLS, PGA Tour and the WTT will all have events on that day.

Let’s count up the games taking place that day. The MLS has two quarterfinal games taking place at 8 and 10:30 p.m. The WNBA has three games at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. The NBA has five games on its schedule beginning at 1 p.m. and the last game starting at 8:30 p.m.

MLB is rolling out 15 games with all of them ranging between 6:10 p.m. and 9:10 p.m. start times. The NHL playoffs begin with five games being played between the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto. Those game times have not been released yet.

The PGA Tour will be at TPC Southwind for the WGC-FEDEX St. Jude Invitational that will be play that weekend July 30-Aug. 2.

And for the tennis fans out there, the World Team Tennis semifinals are being played at 2 and 5 p.m. on Aug. 1.

That is 30 games between the MLS, WNBA, NBA, NHL and MLB. Then you have the PGA Tour that will have coverage for three to four hours on television as well as the two WTT matches.

Got all that? It is a sports fan’s heaven. Especially after almost four months of basically no sports taking place. We have had NASCAR and F1 here and there, golf has been back for a few weeks along with the NWSL and a few other soccer leagues around the world. Bull riding and corn hole also has been on, if that is your thing.

We were graced with the Michael Jordan 10-part documentary and a few other good documentaries to keep us sane, but you cannot beat live sports. Some people will complain about there being no crowds and having pumped in crowd noise, but it doesn’t matter to me what they do, as long as they can have live sports and keep the athletes and others involved safe in the process.

I watched a bit of a Premier League soccer match on Saturday where they had pumped in crowd noise and I am not going to lie, I didn’t even realize it. I got into the game and what was going on. I knew there was crowd noise, but it didn’t cross my mind that it was fed to us through recordings.

There will be adjustments. There will be ways we watch these games that are much different than we are used to, but is there anything we do right now in life that is like we used to? This virus has changed us in so many ways and changed the way we live our lives each day, but even with the different atmosphere, sports are coming back and we need them now more than ever.

I always enjoy being able to sit and watch sports for a couple of hours and just forget about everything going on around me. It takes your anxiety, fear and whatever else you are feeling and helps bring them down greatly.

So let’s all look forward to Aug. 1 and hopefully the sense of normalcy that day will bring us. If only for a few hours or a few minutes, it may be just what we need.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV