Monday, July 15, 2013

Are You A Fan Of Professional Sports?

If you follow the four major professional sports in the United States and Canada, you probably already know today is a very unique day. In fact, it is one of only two days all year long when not one of the four major sports has at least one game.

When I talk about the four major professional sports, I am talking about the NBA (National Basketball Association), the NFL (National Football League), MLB (Major League Baseball) and lastly, the NHL (National Hockey League).

Growing up there was only one major league baseball game televised every week. I remember watching Saturday afternoon games on a black-and-white TV with my uncle, Terry Smith, when we would be at the farm for the weekend. He was as big a fan of baseball as was I, if not bigger. We always like to watch when the San Francisco Giants played because that meant we got to watch the great Willie Mays play. It seemed like every time he came to bat something great was going to happen!

I also remember watching Minnesota Vikings games on Sunday afternoon when they always started at noon. It is not that way anymore with a sixteen-game season played in seventeen weeks. Now, there is Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and even a bye week somewhere in the middle of the season. It is at a point now where you are not sure when your favorite team is playing anymore.

You can now get cable packages to watch every game, every weekend in the NFL season. That is far too much football in my mind.

Even though the Minnesota Twins are not having another good season, I find myself watching many of their games being an armchair manager and announcer all rolled into one. If I am watching a game by myself, I find myself talking to no one, telling everyone what needs to happen right now and what I hope will happen. If someone is in the room with me, which often times is my mom, she gets a coaching lesson whether she wants one or not!

I do not understand hockey since I never played it and had no interest in learning the game because basketball was my winter interest. Football in the fall, basketball in the winter, track in the spring and baseball occupied my summers. Those innocent days in every driveway we had as I grew up were the places where I played out making the winning shot as the clock ran out.

I was also fortunate to have a father who coached basketball and would often spend time on Saturdays and Sundays working in the locker room or his classroom while I had the gym all to myself. It was a charmed existence for me.

I prefer watching college basketball over professional basketball and the NBA because I believe it is more fun to watch than a bunch of overpaid, multimillionaires going one-on-one and then beating their chests once they score or block a shot. I have grown tired of watching the prancing, dancing in the end zone and general arrogance of these overpriced millionaires drawing attention to them for something they just did. When in reality, it took their whole team working together to get them in the end zone or get them open for that winning shot.

Professional sports have lost their luster to many people because of the inflated egos, the huge salaries, the on- and off-field behavior of some of their players, and especially the crimes a small few are committing.

Charles Barkley once proclaimed he was not a role model. With all due respect to Mr. Barkley, he was a role model and still is as an analyst on television. These men are role models to young boys and girls throughout the world now. The marketing of their jerseys, caps, helmets, bats, balls, autographs, pennants and other memorabilia is a huge business.

Fantasy sports leagues are everywhere and many people are addicted to checking their computers to see how their team is doing. The odds makers in Las Vegas make predictions all the time and you can wager on just about anything having to do with professional sports, as well as a number of other things.

All that being said, I will probably watch part of the All-Star game tomorrow night to see my favorite players do what they do best. I will not be watching the Home Run Derby tonight, as I find that and many of the other activities around the All-Star game frivolous and a waste of time.

Do you know what that other day is when there is no game in any one of the four professional sports yet? If you have not already guessed, it is the day after the All-Star game. Wednesday is a travel day for the players to get back to their teams so they can start the second half of the baseball season on Thursday.

Go Twins!

As always, I look forward to your comments.



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