As we put Independence Day in the rear-view mirror and power through summer, let’s see where we are in the sports world.
I already covered the disappointing European Championship final, and I can’t wait for the start of the Premier League on August 14th. I was very happy to see the tears of elation Messi shed as he hugged his first major piece of silverware. Even if he never won, he is still the greatest of this generation (sorry Ronaldo).
I don’t know why, but I am curious as to why the MLS continues to be a cyclical phenomenon, usually coinciding with the arrival of a foreign player who is past his prime. I used to think maybe if the kids started in competitive leagues when they were young, and all of a sudden it seems like youth soccer leagues were popping up everywhere. I even coached a junior boys team in Tucson in the 70’s and I felt a real groundswell of participation and interest in the sport. Global figures like Pele and Maradona had little boys and girls wanting to put on a pair of boots and hit the pitch.
The USA has the top-ranked women’s national team according to FIFA, followed by Germany, France, and the Dutch. I know the US can score goals, but can they stand up to the big, physical German women as the team balances relying on a veteran squad as they bring new young stars on.
I think they can, and if they think they can, I hope they hit it with plenty of swagger in the World Cup.
I am on the record as saying I prefer my superstars to be loquacious and that they back it up when it matters.
College football season starts in August, too.
The pros follow suit and then before you know it, basketball will start up. Since free-agency hit the NFL, I don’t follow a favorite team, I am more likely to follow specific players I may like. Used to be you had a team that was THE team. No other allegiance: they were it. Usually based on personal experience or proximity, or in my case, it was pounded into me from birth the reverence of the Golden Dome.
I like to watch the great athletes of any sport, especially the ones that hate to lose as much as I do. At any given time, they are capable of doing something amazing.
I have to admit, I am not a fan like I used to be. I mean, I had it bad. I was a statistics machine, and kept intricate bar graphs and pie charts on every player.
Every player who played in a game.
I guess my interest in baseball started to wane after I stopped playing at age 15.
I watched every baseball movie up to that time, and I even learned how to throw a curveball in Little League after watching The Babe Ruth Story.
I ate, slept, and breathed baseball.
So why did I stop?