Though many people associate summer with the hot weather and lots of time in the sun, summer brings about a gloomy season for sports fans. Summer produces the most boring time of the year in sports. Baseball becomes the primary, and sometimes only, option for sports action (or lack of action considering the dragging pace of a baseball game).
However, this summer had a number of storylines, more than usual. Some of the highlights included the Women’s World Cup where the United States won their fourth World Cup by defeating the Netherlands 2-0. The Toronto Raptors knocked off the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, a shocking result that likely brought the end of the Warriors dynasty.
The Raptors’ triumph also brought about a whirlwind of activity in free agency as a number of stars changed teams and formed superstar duos. The balance of power in the NBA is remarkable; for the first time in almost a decade, the league is wide open with no consensus favorite. This parity will add excitement to the entire season, which begins in October, to watch teams battle for postseason spots.
However, July and August are the low point of the sports year. Baseball is the only major sport going on, and summer baseball does not draw lots of intrigue or create many storylines. ESPN resorts to televising things like cornhole in primetime. (And yes, I have learned way too much about cornhole strategies and techniques.) In the least surprising event of the summer, the United States won the 2019 World Cornhole Championship because cornhole is possibly the most American thing to be good at.
ESPN actually spends an entire day in August showcasing the most ridiculous events, including stone skipping, dodge-juggling, cherry pit spitting, acrobatic pizza tossing and more because they simply have nothing better to show. You cannot make these events up! As a degenerate sports fan, I still watched most of them.
For many, fall signals a return to school, yet for sports fans, it signals the return of sports. As riveting as dodge-juggling and lawn mower racing competitions are, fall provides much needed relief and entertainment.
International soccer began in the middle of August. College football and the NFL both started around the beginning of September, meaning there is an abundance of games to watch every weekend until 2020. The MLB gears up for the postseason, and games become more exciting. Each pitch brings drama and heroics, and baseball history is made in October. In one more month, the NBA returns, and college basketball tips off shortly after that. Split-screening becomes an essential tool on your laptop.
The first week of NFL action perfectly encapsulates the beauty of sports. Football provided opportunities to watch way too many football games all day long, often several at once, while also watching Rafael Nadal win the US Open in a five-set thriller. Once basketball returns, the sporting entertainment will be a nightly ordeal.
The excitement is real and almost too much to handle. Sports are back!
As the weather cools off, at least in most places not called San Diego, the action in the sports world begins to heat up. After two long, sports-deprived months, fall comes to the rescue.