For most Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. School’s either out or just about done, the weather has turned and everybody seems to exhale and look forward to the slower rhythm of summer.
The two races, the Indy 500 and the 600 miles NASCAR race in Charlotte are two of the biggest spectacles in all of sport. This summer, sports fans have some things to look forward to and some decisions to make.
Hard to believe but the NHL season is still going on. The Stanley Cup finals between Anaheim and Ottawa have drawn a collective yawn from more sports fans. Actually the NHL and Gary Bettman would be thrilled with a yawn because it would mean that people noticed that the games were still going on.
Two months into the baseball season the story has been as much about how the Yankees are not contending as it has about the Red Sox or Brewers playing well. As an Oriole fan, I’ve kept a cursory eye on the Birds, but they still don’t have any pitching and at 11 ½ games behind Boston, and under .500, it’s about what I expected.
As Barry Bonds edges closer to Hand Aaron’s all time home run record, are we going to pay attention? Are we going to celebrate the breaking of the most recognizable records in sports or will we just ignore it?
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig hasn’t said what he’s going to do. Henry Aaron says he won’t be there. Bonds is a polarizing figure with most fans saying he cheated with steroids to get where he is while others say that doesn’t matter. The fact that Bonds is well known as a not nice guy only adds to his stature as talk show fodder.
I’ve never been a Bonds fan, I think he cheated and I don’t care if he hits a million home runs. Aaron is the home run champ. It’ll be interesting when Bonds’ career is over and he’s eligible for the Hall of Fame, will the writers keep him out like they did with Mark McGwire because of the controversy surrounding steroids?
Golf has the US Open in front of it, but the anticipation of a rival for Tiger Woods in Phil Mickelson will be the story. Mickelson’s win at The Players and his work with Butch Harmon has golf fans waiting for that day when Phil and Tiger are in the final group of a major.
Tennis? Anybody seen tennis lately?
Roger Federer has dominated for so long and unless he’s playing Rafael Nadal nobody notices. Their final in Europe two weeks ago was relegated to the Tennis Channel. Nobody gets that and consequently, nobody cares.
The NBA will finish sometime in June. A San Antonio/Detroit final would be competitive, but nobody’s sitting around waiting for that match up.
I know a lot of people are waiting for football season, but the way the NFL works, it never really ends. After this week, the teams, including the Jaguars, will be back on the field three days a week, practicing and ramping up for training camp. It’s just 8 weeks away.