Friday, June 16, 2006

The Dregs of Sports

This is an unusual time for a fairly dedicated sports fan; I say "fairly" because I've never been the type to dress up on game day or miss work to watch a favorite sports team. But I do love me some sports. Right now, almost every sport known to man is playing and yet, I'm having a hard time keeping interest.

Like, for instance, the Atlanta Braves. Now 13 games out of 1st and having won 2 entire games this month, I've been on the track of expecting them to lose every game for awhile now. Even against the poorly Marlins, who just swept them, when the Braves got a 5-2 lead, I pretty much knew that the game would end up getting tied and then lost in extra innings, and it did. And even worse is living in a place where the division-leading (and best record in the NL, second only by percentage points to the freaking Tigers) Mets call home and being unable to share in the enthusiasm. There's a lot of games left, but I'm not hopeful, and Braves fans knew for years it wouldn't go on forever, but I thought they would have put up a better fight than this. One thing that gives me a passing interest in baseball are these suddenly good teams like the Reds and Tigers. But, it's purely an interest in the sport itself, not a rabid, consuming interest.

Stanley Cup. The Carolina Hurricanes, in a way, became my surrogate team when the Preds got knocked out of the playoffs. Not because they were geographically the closest team to my hometown remaining, but because of their stunning victory in a playoff game against the Devils where the Devils took a lead with a minute left in the game and the Hurricanes came back, tied it, and won in OT. But, surrogate as they are, I've not been keeping up with much hockey since that game. I listened to the third period of Game 5 the other day, sort of hoping the Hurricanes could clinch it, and exciting as it was, the Oilers forced Game 6 and I was sort of disappointed.

The Milwaukee Admirals, the Preds' farm team, just lost the Calder Cup for the second straight year. They've been amazing, but that's a teensy downer nonetheless.

NBA Finals--I watched a bit of Game 3, and it's good that this series is tied because I thought Dallas was going to run away with it. Even after Game 3, I thought Dallas would just go ahead and polish off the next two games. But I don't like the NBA, even when it's championship time. There are no discernible heroes on the floor. The media and the sport have been pushing Dwyane Wade as the big superstar, but something has failed to click with me in identifying him as this overwhelming, game-dominating presence. I'm still, perhaps, stuck in the time capsule of the Jordan era. Jordan made you want to watch, it didn't matter if he scored 10 points the whole game.

World Cup. Soccer is the most frustrating sport to watch. Every game I have watched, either the goal was scored before I tuned in (England's 1-0 win over Paraguay), the goals were scored after I turned it off (Mexico over Iran 3-1), or there were no goals scored at all (Trinidad/Tobago and Sweden), or maddeningly, scoreless until I went to do one little thing (Germany's 1-0 win over Poland, which I listened to on XM). And then, the U.S. dropped a game 3-0, the soccer equivalent of being beaten 35-0 in the NFL.

French Open. I watched the two finals, and I sort of got interested, especially since Roger Federer showed a kink in his armor against Rafael Nadal. My favorite tennis tournament is coming up, which is Wimbledon. But planted here in Queens is the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium. It would be great to be able to go to just one of those matches. I can honestly say that tennis is my favorite sport to watch right now. It's unexplainable.

I could give a rat's ass about NASCAR, and the only golf I ever watch is the Masters, so the latest "Tiger's Troubles" interest me none in the least.

And, nothing much to look forward to in the NFL, either. The Titans will be taking on a new QB, the identity of the team is now with the Ravens, and there wasn't one straw to grasp from last season that should have Titans fans looking forward to a season of winning. And both the Jets and the Giants will be playing in Nashville, so no visiting the Meadowlands for me, unless I stumble into tickets.


At 6/16/2006 09:35:00 PM, Blogger Random Thoughts, Musings, and Dirty Diapers said...

Keep the faith in the Canes!

I enjoyed watching and rooting for Nashville. Unlucky break forced them out this year, but they'll be back!


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