Welcome to the summer sports doldrums. The NBA finals — which I actually watched this year — are now over and it is months away from football season. How is a gal to amuse herself?
One could make the argument that baseball is in full swing, and of course, it is. However, the Braves aren’t doing anything exciting right now, other than Chipper making a run at a .400 season average, which would be the first player to do so since Ted Williams way back in 1941. He is exactly at .400 right now, after suffering a short slump in the last week or so. A yearly tradition, I wait with bated breath in hopes that he doesn’t have yet another season-ruining injury, which has happened the last umpteen seasons. John Smoltz, another one of my “vintage” Braves favorites, is already out for the season and has been for several weeks. The Braves have a phenomenal home record but can’t seem to buy a victory on the road… yet somehow they are in the hunt. They are currently 5 1/2 games back and tied for third in the NL East.
All these somewhat interesting storylines aside, it’s the down-and-dirty middle of the season where players are worn out, many of them slumping, and it’s way too early to make any meaningful post-season projections. Stanley Cup ended, as did the NBA Finals. College football and NFL are months away.
In the relative abyss though, there is something I can’t wait for: the Summer Olympics! Thank goodness this year is an Olympic year, because the barren sportscape for the summer is too much of a depressing thought to take. (Though I guess there’s Eurocup soccer, which I’ve been watching a decent amount of at work. I swear it’s on for everyone, not just me!)
As most of America knows, the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics start on 8-8-08, thanks to NBC’s recent advertising blitz. And to use a hackneyed old adage, the world will be watching. The unabashed evidence of corporate sponsorship during commercials for the month of August, the political implications, and oh yeah, some of the best displays of athletic prowess we’ll see in years to come… all boiling in a cauldron of the “only-once-every-four-years” excitement, how can anyone deny it?
While all these storylines are indeed interesting to me, I am (obviously) most exuberant about the sports. I live to watch the swimming events all day, and love to cheer on the Red, White and Blue as they destroy (or attempt to) the Land Down Under in relays. I marvel at the incredible maneuvers athletes are able to accomplish in both gymnastics and diving. And what sort of uncivilized person doesn’t enjoy watching track and field? And then there’s volleyball, water polo, soccer, basketball, and other countless entertaining team sports. And while I may not understand synchronized swimming, I must admit, it’s baffling how much people can accomplish while holding their collective breaths underwater. And other than the wedgie-picking, I love beach volleyball too.
So needless to say, August 8th can’t come soon enough. Another stellar Olympics is coming, and I can’t hide my enthusiasm! Here’s to hoping the next month and a half zoom by so we can get ’em started!