In the sports world, a week is a very long time. Last Monday, I was chatting about the National League All Stars and wondering how bad they’d be slaughtered at Yankee Stadium. A week later, I find myself with memories of a grueling fifteen inning duel and three straight Bomber wins in the Bronx since. Jason Taylor is now a Washington Redskin (or maybe a Washington Hotskin, am I right ladies?). Padraig Harrington got some golf hardware with Tiger away. And the Celtics finally signed some of their free agents.
The summer, particularly around the All Star Break, always seemed to be a quiet time in years past. It hasn’t been the case this year, at least by my estimation. Whether I’m just paying more attention or there are just more positive (or at least, not overtly negative) storylines, I cannot say. But the summer has been a busy time and I wager it will continue to be until the fall throws us all back into entire weekends of football.
I’ve always found it interesting that in our regular lives, we look forward to the summer, but in our sports fandom lives, we spend the summer looking forward to other things. Baseball’s impossibly long regular season plods on, suggesting that one day there will be a postseason to cheer through. Football training camps are just starting up, and the prognosticators begin their yearly ritual of prognostication. Basketball owners are offering up franchise-changing (or crippling) contracts to gear up for next year. College teams are sending coaches all over the country to recruit massive offensive linemen from towns you’ve never heard of. Despite all of this, precious little in actual “sporting” gets done. So while you’re sitting on the beach you’ve been anticipating sitting on for six months, you’re really just anticipating what will be going on with your teams six months from now.
Such is the nature of the American sports fan. We’re a nation of speculators and calculators. We spew unending strings of trash about our best friends’ keeper strategy in fantasy hockey, despite the fact that there no ice in the Boston Garden yet. I think many of us love the time between seasons just as much as the seasons themselves. It’s a time when Donovan McNabb is still healthy, your team is undefeated and every trade management has made was a good one.
So here we sit during these summer weeks, enjoying the warm weather but always quietly looking forward to the cold breezes of the seasons to come.