The picture you see to your left is one of myself trying to enjoy the summer. I have found this to be increasingly difficult as I have grown up and now I find myself dreading June 23rd. I have five days. Just under a week until my entire sports life disappears. Next Thursday the NBA draft occurs, allowing me my last little drink of water to get me through the vast desert that is summer sports. Last summer wasn’t so bad, we didn’t have any sports in lockouts and we had the World Cup, a great World Cup, to take our minds off of the regular sports that weren’t there. I know that the MLB, and MLS, and tennis and golf are still happening; and I love each of these sports in my own way. But baseball can get hard to watch until around August, I’ve never been a huge soccer fan, and tennis and golf really only give us one weekend of quality viewing out of every month or so. This summer could last a long time too. We are hearing bits of good news out of the NFL that the lockout might lift soon, but it looks like the NBA could be in for the long haul, potentially missing part of all of next season. So here is my list of things to do that will keep you sane for the next 3 months or so.
1) Tune into the NBA draft on June 23rd. The Utah Jazz have the 3rd and 12th picks and multiple trades that could occur. The face of the franchise could flip and quickly. Between the event itself and the time that can be spent talking and arguing about it among your friends and on blogs, you have at least a….week…(?) of sanity.
2) Start a countdown to the College Football season, with no NFL trades or free agency this is about as good as the getting gets for football. (And quite frankly, I like college football way more than the NFL) The countdown for BYU is at 76 for when they kickoff at Ole Miss on Sept. 3rd, and the Utah Utes come in at 74 with their first game against Montana State on Sept. 1st.
3) Baseball…..is occurring……yeah. Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball. But it can be a tad hard to watch before the playoff race begins. So check in every couple weeks or so and see how your beloved MLB team is doing. I follow the LA Dodgers, and they have found a way to make what happens off the field (their ownership is being forced out by the MLB and is taking it to the courts) more exciting than what happens on the field. (A dismal 31-40 record) And by all means, take in a game at Franklin-Covey Field and watch the Salt Lake Bees play a game or two. They usually have 3 or 4 nights a year where they launch fireworks too. In all honesty, that may be the most exciting part of your night.
4) Tennis! Though the Wimbledon did start 5 days ago, it won’t get to the point were it is highly entertaining TV until the last week of June or so. Wimbledon is kind of like the Masters of golf. It’s a big deal, so the players go all out. Who could forget last year, when two players no one had ever heard of made a name for themselves by completing the longest match in tennis history. The 5th set was finally won by John Isner 70-68. To put this in perspective, every other set requires you to win by two games and it’s the first to SIX.
5) Golf has taken a massive popularity hit since it was revealed that Tiger Woods gets more than Paris Hilton. Since that fateful day in November 2009, my level of caring for the PGA went from a 9 (can’t miss any majors and will usually watch other tournaments as well) down to a 3 (sometimes check on ESPN to see if anything is happening) But there is this new kid named Rory McIlroy who is pretty darn good. He is worth watching at any rate. The U.S. Open is on this weekend, but the two majors yet to be played, the British Open and PGA Championship are in July and August and should be worth tuning it to.
6) Watch ESPN and read online sports sites (like this one) until your head literally hurts with the effort of trying to find out more about sports than is humanly possible. Watch and read until you become like the bad guys from Raiders of the Lost Ark and your eyes and face melt/explode leaving your somewhat satisfied, but still yearning for more.
7) It was my goal to find ten things to do this summer, but my brain already hurts from the lack of sports to follow and care about. So I’ll leave with 7, and the 7th being most important to my heart. Pray to the sports gods that the NFL and NBA can finish/avoid their lockouts.