Congrats to all, we just made it through “The Two Worst Days in American Sports”. However did we survive? If you don’t know, that would be the two days immediately following the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Some non-baseball lovers might say the All-Star Game should also count as one of the worst days in sport; of course, baseball traditionalists would call these same non-baseball lovers ‘non-Americans’, but I digress. I learned that the two days following the MBL All Star Game are considered “The Two Worst Days In American Sports”, this from folks in sports media, specifically sports radio talk show hosts and a couple commentators from ESPN. The reason behind their decree is that there are no big-money major sporting events going on! At least that’s what these folks-in-the-know claim. In truth, they are partially correct.
Here’s what is NOT happening to report or talk about:
Major League Baseball – Yeah, the Home Run Hitting Contest, the Celebrity Softball Game and All Star game itself are over. The players all get an additional two days off before real league play resumes. Of course there’s the AAA All-Star Game and other minor league games, but we all know those don’t count.
National Football League – The NFL Draft is over and so, too, all of the months spent speculating about those collegiate draft picks. These were the same prognostications that began exactly one minute after the Super Bowl ended. Now comes the lull before MTAs (Mandatory Team Activities) begin, which these days have morphed into vehicles for disgruntled players NOT to show up so they can let team management know, oh and the sports media world of course, that they want to renegotiate new contracts. OTAs (Optional Team Activities) are over, which is when team management and coaches really do want all players to participate, but if some don’t, oh well, ‘only optional’ the team brain trusts will say. Then they’ll scurry back to their HQs to figure out why this or that player didn’t show up, aka “Contract Hold-out Pending”!
National Basketball Association – Like the NFL, the NBA Draft is over. The Draft is when players from college, high school, all over the world (but mostly from Australia, Serbia, Croatia, and the hottest trend, Canada?) are chosen by NBA teams. Many of the draftees are traded even before new team hats placed atop their special Draft Night hairdo’s can be fashionably turned sideways. Picture it now: An 18-year-old player from a high school, excuse me, an Academy in Jersey, gets drafted by the LA Clippers, ten minutes later gets traded cross-country to the New York Knicks; six minutes later he’s part of a three-way-trade to the Toronto Raptors; twenty minutes after that he finds out he’s been traded back to LAC along with a 2019 conditional 2nd Round draft pick and $23.00 in cash for the rights for a 12-year-old Yugoslavian player who averaged 19.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in the Belgrade Elementary League, but OH CAN HE HANDLE THE ROCK! The free agency frenzy is long past, what - you didn’t hear enough about King James? Take one Carmelo with food, no Boozer, and Gasol me in the morning!
But here’s what IS happening in the World of Sports, although I guess none rate high enough to affect “The Two Worst Days in American Sports”, at least by someone’s assessment, not mine:
· Opening Day of the British Open Championship, a PGA major tournament. Yeah, but it’s across The Pond, huge minus points!
· National Hockey League – It’s the free agency period and seemingly every player gets to go to another team so that everyone’s thoroughly confused when the hockey season starts. 1st question: Does the hockey season ever end? 2nd: Do we really care?
· There’s a Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament going on in Ohio – Ohio, really?
· OMG – the Tour de France is happening in Saint Etienne. These guys get THE BEST drugs so there must be SOMETHING interesting about it. Non? C’est la vie!
· Major League Soccer is in-season. The teams are from the USA and Canada, but most of the players’ names aren’t. Still, it’s the World’s Sport and you’ve got to love a team named Chivas USA!
· NBA Summer Leagues are going on in Orlando, followed by Las Vegas. You won’t recognize many of the names but the game they’re playing isn’t that familiar either. However, you can sit and watch a potential NBA star reach puberty right before your very eyes, if that’s your thing.
As you can see, there isn’t much for sports show hosts and ESPN announcers to talk about (yet talk they do). But maybe they can be prepared for 2015’s “The Two Worst Days in American Sports” - I offer three potential topics about the three major US professional sports:
1) Analyze every possible statistic ever tracked in baseball and compare and contrast from 1901 to now. You know, stats like WHIP, OBP, BABIP, RC, Base-Out State, Def Eff, FIP, OWP, WX, and the all-important Pythagenpant. (These are real, people, and you thought you knew baseball?!?!)
2) Project where LeBron James will be playing hoops in the year 2040, when he’ll be The 55-year-old King. Make projections based on the proximity of CVS pharmacies to team facilities, team dietary menus geared for the elderly, local AARP discounts, and basketball stadiums with playing floors that have a slight slant – at least for one-half it’ll be easier to run down the court for alley-OOPS MY BACK! Extra bonus topic: What NBA teams will LeBron’s kids choose to play for and how much dough will they make?
3) Review all past NFL game tapes to identify and decipher the true meaning of players’ tattoos; discuss whether or not bible quotation tattoos really count as tattoos or are players just bored at practice and need something to read. And why don’t some players get tattoos of actual play diagrams so they know where they’re supposed to be on the field? They can use some help! Bonus topic: Should tattoos of actual plays be called “Peyton Tats”?
Of course, TV and radio sports commentators can just do what they always do: Make up stuff about anything-sports and pretend it’s very entertaining and stimulating news. Then make up stuff about the original stuff they made up and act like they can’t believe this is all happening. Then make up more stuff about the new stuff and include quotes from “a close source” and then interrupt regular shows with updates and cool graphics including a title for their made-up stuff that starts with “Whatever was made up-Watch 2015”; and let the world know, as responsible sports reporters, that continuing coverage will be 24/7 until the stuff they made up reaches a conclusion – which is NEVER BECAUSE IT’S ALL MADE UP! Then win awards for their great coverage at televised Sports Award Shows. Finally, get right back to the World Series, Monday Night-Thursday Night-Saturday Night-Sunday NFL football, and, of course, The King’s Next Decision.
You know I’ll be tuned in, I love my sports!