The Three Worst Things About Sports in the Summertime

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Hanks and Wilson

Welcome to mid-July, a Sports No Man’s Land when there is no Olympics or World Cup to save us. Feels like we’re on that island with Tom Hanks trying to make it to football season with only crappy sports options on TV. Hanks had a volleyball; we have regular season baseball and summer league basketball.

Look, I’m a sports fanatic and I have trouble during these lean times. Almost makes me want to turn my TV off completely…almost.

While most of the sports options are merely boring, some are so terrible they deserve special mention. For example:

The Home Run Derby –

Old Guy Sleeping in StadiumWhich I trick myself into caring about every year around this time. What’s not to like? Home runs are cool, and this is a contest of who can hit the most of them. That’s great, except that every contest features about a thousand times more crap that’s not home runs than that you want to see. Here’s a typical Home Run Derby at bat:

Ground ball

Pop Up

Takes a pitch without swinging

Takes a pitch without swinging

Deep fly ball, accompanied by Chris Berman’s “back, back, back, back, back…”

Repeat five times.

What’s fun about that? Maaaaaaaybe I could get past this if the derby didn’t last over three hours. That’s longer than an NBA game! No thanks.

NFL and NBA Teams winning the offseason –

Which has only worked once in the history of sports (thanks to LeBron James). I’m sure there was a wrestling team in Ancient Greece that recruited some phenom from Crete, had everybody saying they’d win the Mt. Olympus Cup or whatever, only to have things blow up in their face. RedskinsOffseasonChamps

Having grown up in Virginia Beach, VA, I know this all too well. Since the state has no professional teams, we adopt others. No team is followed more fanatically in Virginia than the Washington Redskins aka “The Team with the Most Racist Name Ever” Kings of the Offseason.” You could count on a smiling picture of Top Free Agent X at a press conference every year in DC. Then you could count on the team going 5-11.

How many “Dream Teams” do we have to crown every season? How many analysts have to be wrong before somebody holds them accountable? We have the Internet now. This shouldn’t be hard at all. Wait, you’re saying I wrote this last year?

Moving on.

ESPN trying to pretend this isn’t a dry time in sports –

I get it. They have a job to do. But it’s not like we don’t notice all their most popular personalities taking vacation around this time. That’s because the chances of news happening are slim to none. Look at the topic of this post for God’s sake!

ESPN is a network dedicated to sports, so it makes sense they’d be hit the hardest. HOWEVER, last year’s Tebowmania was unforgiveable. Never have more words been spoken about a player who contributed less. This year I’m taking an ESPN diet. I watch First Take in 30-second segments because it’s on in the kitchen at my job. Last I saw, they were discussing the stupidest question I’ve heard in a while.

Please tweet me when stuff happens and the network is worth watching again.

That’s what I least look forward to every summer in sports. What’s on your list? For my fellow sports junkies, how do you get through? Found any new hobbies? Put me on in the comments below!

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  • MaggK

    Every summer i'm like ok what am i supposed to watch on TV exactly? So this summer i've decided no to look like Tom Hanks:
    - I go watch the fellas play basketball outdoor :D! (it's a win win i mean they are sexy);
    - I play basketball myself ;
    - I do follow the sports gossip (Wade's ex wife still going crazy poor woman :( / Stoopid D12 going to Houston / Gay and Powell doping…)
    We will be fine the wait is almost over :)!

    • Joe Sargent

      I need to find a regular court to play ball in Chicago. Would definitely help this summer pass by quicker. And I want to write a part 2 of the 'horrible pick up basketball players' post, lol.

      You're right, it's almost over. Football season will save us soon!

  • TheGhost

    "ESPN is a network dedicated to sports"

    Your problem here is that you're mistaken — it's a network dedicated to sports entertainment. Their programming doesn't bother me in the slightest because it's not aimed at me, since I actually like sports, so I don't watch it.

    Only thing on my list is days where actual baseball isn't being played — emphasis on the word "actual" to note that the events during ASB are not included.

    Completely agree about the Derby. I even hyped myself more this year because I'm an Oriole fan and Chris Davis was in it, but I literally had zero interest once he was out. A big part of it is that ESPN totally sucks at presenting the thing; they talk to others about basically everything other than what's actually happening for 99% of it (and how any human being can tolerate Chris Berman for more than one second is completely beyond me).

    I watch and somewhat enjoy the actual ASG, but every year I dread those 3-4 baseball-less days, and every year it's worse than I expect. Friday's full slate of games can't get here soon enough.

    • Joe Sargent

      Very good point re: ESPN being an entertainment network.

      Obviously everything they do falls under the umbrella of sports, but in dry times like these it's more understandable for them to crank up the hype machine. There's a pie chart with "substance" and "fluff" on opposite sides, we're at about 80% fluff right now. But that's ok when you think of them as an entertainment network. I'm still not watching, but I'm enjoying this new perspective.

      And yeah…I'm ready for Berman to retire. He's horrible to me. Dan Patrick does a good impersonation.

    • h.h.h.

      " it's a network dedicated to sports entertainment. "

      pretty much, which is why the ESPYs is tomorrow.

      me personally i'm a baseball fan, so this time of year i can concentrate more on why the Mets will always be the team of next year, lol. Shoutout to Harvey being the starting pitcher tho.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    This is the worst time, especially from someone who spends a majority of his workday listening to podcasts….sharknado was a legit topic, really. i try not to get too into offseason hype, last time i remember being excited was of course the beginning of the big 3 in boston and then i had my doubts. my summer is usually spent watching movies and trying to catch up on shows on netflix when im like 3-4 seasons behind because all shows i get into early get cancelled

    • Joe Sargent

      Podcasts are terrible these days. Errbody on vacation. If this keeps up I'll have to be productive at work. No thank you.

  • Peter Parker

    Yeah this is a horrible time in sports. I spend many days and nights watching nfl network. I have started to watch more baseball this year as well. I will add I spend most of the summer time preparing for fantasy football….

    P.S. I love the respect you give to America's Team, Hail to the Redskins!!!

    • Joe Sargent

      Man…what in the world are they talking about on NFL Network these days? Training camps haven't started, free agency has died down…are they showing classic games or something?

  • http://twitter.com/A_Wynn8 @A_Wynn8

    I pay $30 a month to watch the Tigers everyday in Richmond. They are leading the division and currently have a pitcher who's 13-1 and it's not Verlander. The bats are swining, T-Hunt, Cabby, Prince, and V-Mart. This is how I spend my summers and this is why I never have a dull time when it comes to sports.

    • Joe Sargent

      I mean, that's been great the past five or so seasons…but we BOTH suffered some brutal summers when the Tigers were losing 115 games, lol.

      Truth be told, I can't get into regular season baseball that much. I check the scores at my desk to make sure Cabrera is still hitting and Sherzer is still winning, but I can't watch 9 innings every day at this point in the season. You have my respect, sir.

  • cortonio

    yeah the summertime has always been a dead zone when it comes to sports, unless you're a tennis fan, follow nascar, or baseball. However, baseball doesn't get interesting until august september because that's when the real teams separate themselves from the pack making for interesting pennant chases. Especially if you live in cities where their ball club contends perenially.

    Otherwise, yeah wait until september
    My recent post How Much More Can We Take? Most Tortured Sports Cities