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
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
As always, I look forward to your comments.