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#pounditSunday, June 16, 2024

Summer truly is the dead period in sports

I can remember my formative days spent enjoying the middle of the summer: running through the sprinklers pants-less. Something that is now deemed a misdemeanor by the powers that be. Time seemed to slow down; that hasn’t changed, though I now spend that time sweltering indoors looking at a flashing cursor and smiling paper clip as I stare blankly at Microsoft Word. And, best of all, there was no homework. No indentured sports competitions known as P.E. No listening to authority. Today, there are deadlines (so what if my July 4th article appeared on the 5th), alarm clocks to which to pay homage, and capitulating to authority is de rigueur if I choose to keep my day job at Wendy’s. The only thing that really hasn’t changed is the fact that there really is nothing sports-related at the moment on which I choose to opine. A perfect sentence to lead off an article for a sports news website.

Sure, the world is currently in the throes of baseball season. But, as of this writing, there is nothing interesting to report on, save for the All-Star Gala (just what I need to see: pampering million-dollar athletes), the Home Run Derby which lost its intrigue around the time of the Whitewater controversy, and the Midsummer Classic, a reminder that ties are not as un-American as soccer folk would have us believe.

Heck, even Sports Illustrated puts out its two-week “Where are they now?” issue to give its writers two weeks off and to appease ardent environmentalists hell-bent on preventing the wanton destruction of trees lest the magazine’s scribes spend this time of year further browbeating American men’s tennis players into a new dimension of oblivion.

Football is still weeks away from the beginning of the exhibition season, a reason many in this country use to justify their existence. All the while, my idea for a fantasy football reality show — an oxymoron that nearly caused my computer to explode — sits idling. Perhaps to whet your appetite (or feed your clinical depression), the SEC will be holding its media day next week. The thought of stodgy, old newspaper men crowding into sweltering southeastern hotel ballrooms with the thick stench of coach and star athlete-filled magnanimity toward the opposition in the air is grounds for plenty of titillation.

Just when I was about to write about Steve Nash going to the Lakers and how the 38-year-old fits in with the franchise’s quintessential Benjamin Button-esque youth movement, I was distracted by an online video of him jumping up and down wearing a costume in a Batman parody. It’s a shame the Lakers don’t already have anyone on the roster who can surpass that level of crazy, or else Nash might have fit in perfectly.

You could also try to bridge summer’s interminable sports gap reading about all the trade possibilities surrounding Dwight Howard. First, the Brooklyn Nets — let me double check: yep, Brooklyn — were the team destined to land the Magic star. Then, the Lakers were talked about in trade machinations for him. Now, the scenario involves no less than 10 players, 4 teams, a couple of dirigibles, and Luke Walton, whom teams might find as useful and cost-effective at this point as a floating aircraft filled with hot air.

I think the Tour de France is still being held, but who the heck can find any coverage of it these days? One would probably be better off doing an Internet search of “USADA” to find anything on cycling anymore.

Speaking of forgotten entities, there was a news blurb on Monday stating that Sacramento has given up trying to keep their professional basketball team — using the term “professional” very loosely here — and has now set its sights on acquiring an MLB team. If only the feeling was mutual. Seeing as how Oakland already has a Triple-A team playing in the city which is usually more competitive than its Big League counterpart, it seems unlikely that California’s capital will be adding to a resume that already includes the distinction of being known as “The Big Tomato.”

Trying to write weekly columns through the Rottweiler days of summer might not be all that bad. Even the news has taken a couple weeks off. A recent trending story documented how Spike Lee and Mitt Romney exchanged a “What’s up?” greeting in an airport. If the Internet is to be believed, people are apparently zombie-proofing their homes in Florida, since the undead keep trying to hang-on by signing for the veteran’s minimum to join the Miami Heat in an effort to win a title. Oh, and in the rest of the country, it is hot. So hot, in fact, that there have been a rash of people diagnosed with heat stroke after claiming that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals are in first place in their respective divisions.

Well, somehow, someway, I made it through a missive talking about how there really isn’t much to talk about during the long days of the summer spent puttin’ on the schvitz. I could easily have used the impasse as an excuse to take this week off from pounding minutiae out on my keyboard. But, I wanted to be able to say that I did something that the other more reputable writers — read ones not paid in popcorn shrimp — could not do: formulate a semi-coherent diatribe using little more than a spork, a melon-baller, and my trusty computer. Perhaps next week will bring something more interesting. Or, I will just keep counting down until football season begins. That, or the time until the Mayan calendar winds down.

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