The slow time for sports
Slow is not a good word when it comes to the athletes who play sports.
But it is the perfect description of the sports world over the next three days.
Why? Because there are basically no significant sporting events taking place at the professional, college or high school levels.
The sport that dominates the summer in America -Major League Baseball -is taking a three-day break for its annual All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
Early risers could at least tune in the Tour de France, but it is taking today off for one of its rest days. So the only sporting event scheduled is baseball’s home run derby.
When I was growing up, Home Run Derby was a weekly TV show that would pit two of baseball’s biggest stars against each other. The winner would get $1,000, the, er, runner-up, $500. How the times have changed.
Rather than lament over the lack of sports events, let’s take the time to reflect on what has taken place thus far and the events in our near future.
Start with Major League Baseball, where all three teams of high local interest -the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians -are in playoff contention at the all-star break. The Pirates are the best story in baseball. The Indians have survived a number of injuries and are starting to get healthy. The Reds have enough talent to win it all, but someone needs to light a fire under this team, which plays with little enthusiasm or sense of urgency.
By adding an additional wild card team in each league, baseball has given more hope to more teams and thus created more interest. It’s going to be a wild final 10 weeks until we learn the identity of the 10 playoff teams.
By the time that happens, the sport that has overtaken baseball as America’s national pastime, football, will be in full swing. Our staff already is gathering information for our annual Pigskin Preview featuring the area high school and college teams, who will begin drills in August. Several local Class A teams – Williamstown, St. Marys, Magnolia and Wahama -are being prominently mentioned as state title contenders.
Although there will be no WVU-Marshall game this year, there will be a Marshall-Ohio game, set for Saturday, Sept. 14, in Athens. The bad news about that game is that it won’t start until 8 p.m. Why? Because television dictates the starting time of games it broadcasts.
Speaking of WVU, preseason predictions are all over the map.
Last year’s team began with great expectations and fell flat.
This year, expectations are moderate so there is an opportunity to overachieve.
Speaking of expectations, Ohio State fans believe the Buckeyes are the most likely team to challenge Alabama for the national title.
With few events to watch, about all sports fans can do the next few days is reminisce about the past and speculate on the future.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org