Hello friends, and welcome to 'The Eternal Season'.
Yes! It's another sports blog. But not one by an athlete, paid media, talking head or the like. It's from a sports fan, who never really has a break from it, regardless of the day, month, season. That's The Eternal Season, one that just keeps going and going. With the possible exception of owner-labor lockout/strike issues.
Why sports? Because writing about real life, the news, is kind of depressing. Sure, there are plenty of problems in the sports world besides labor unrest - steroids, NCAA pay-for-play, concussions, but generally the games themselves provide an escape from the trials and tribulations of normal life for a few hours at a time. If you can throw a baseball or a football, or put a basketball through a hoop, you have a connection - albeit varying on your skill level, to the athletes you see in the stadiums and on tv. Everyone has the same childhood backyard dreams - to hit the World Series winning grand slam, sink the Final Four winning shot, to make the Super Bowl winning 82 yard touchdown reception. Those dreams might live with us through high school, but then reality tends to grab hold, and that's when you become just a fan.
Of course, no one is ever just a fan. If you did not go to the games or watch them on tv, those games would never happen.
Sports are good for you too. Being active is essential to a healthy life. It's a great way to spend time with your kids, get them away from the PS3 and XBox. For kids, it's a good way to learn something about kids that might not look quite like them. That is, when you all put on the team or school colors, and sweat, suffer, and pursue a common goal, it doesn't much matter your skin color or heritage. TEAM teaches you lessons that will guide you throughout life.
The Eternal Season is a new blog, but it's an old idea, one I first though about in high school - a long time ago, in a high school far, far away. That is, that if you are a fan of professional and college sports (and then of course, high school), your fan-ness never really does get a day off. Ok, the day before and after the MLB All Star game were game-less days back then, but now there are probably soccer games that you get with your tv package, so even that truth no longer holds. It never ends. The sports seasons just blend into one another, marking the days as time marches ever forward.
Which meant that this was good time to launch TES, as one of those seasons, hockey, came to a utterly shocking and distressing end last night, as my Capitals were swept out of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals by a Bolts team that Washington topped 4-2-0 during the regular season. I think I'm perhaps beginning to side with the voices on the Caps boards who think the team has peaked with the current coach. There are some good ones out there doing tv color work.
Yes, basketball is still going on, but as far as we are concerned, it really ends at the Final Four. Yeah, we might catch a bit of the playoffs now that hockey is over, but it hasn't really been easy to get all into the NBA for a long time now, despite it's growing worldwide appeal. Which is why the winter sports really give way to the Boys of Summer, now 5 weeks into the season - baseball.
A quick check of the standings shows the Dodgers are 5 games back in the NL West - Loney has got to find his swing at some point, and we have confidence in Donnie Baseball. The ownership situation - now that is another matter entirely. The current owners (I won't type their names, they have used the legendary Brooklyn Bums to finance their ridiculous lifestyle only) need to be run out of town for the proposed Steve Garvey lead ownership group. Heck, bring in some of the O'Malley heirs - they know how to run a baseball team.
You may have noticed my hockey team is on the east coast, and my baseball team on the west. I was a kind in Iowa. Aside from Arena Football, the state of Iowa has never had a professional sports team. It was no wonder I had to look elsewhere.
Baseball, of course, takes us right into football season, which in 2011, starts on my birthday. Football season always starts around my birthday - on the one hand sad at yet another year disappearing in the mist, and on the other, extreme elation to see footballs flying through the air with meaning again. Every kid in my neighborhood was either a Cowboys or Steelers fan - I picked Dallas, and remain a loyal Cowboy fan first, though I also pull for the Shonn Greene lead Jets (just give him the ball!), love seeing the Colts coached by a Hawkeye with an All Pro Hawkeye tight end in Dallas Clark. Glad that Tyler Sash ended up with a quality team , the Giants, tho as a Cowboy fan, I can hope he loses while producing on the stat sheet.
That's right, though there much uncertainly about the 2011 NFL season, the 2011 college football season starts September 1st and ends in early December. After a seriously draining 2010 season my Hawkeyes rebounded to knock off the Missouri Paper Tigers, and we enter the 11 campaign with a lot of new starters and no expectations. That's fine - it's better to be the hunter. I will have a lot (as my Game Notes readers know) to write about football when the time comes.
I support all my Hawkeye athletes and that's one great thing about the Big Ten Network, many sports that were never aired before can now be seen on tv, or streamed online. Every conference and some schools are now launching their own tv networks. It's all about the money. At least we get to see many more games than in the past.
As the Big Ten football title race heats up the college basketball players take the court, and while my Hawkeyes had a rough season in 10-11, things are changing at Carver-Hawkeye (literally) and we are going to be a lot better in 11-12. Maybe even March Madness better.
Not long after that the hockey players take the ice, and that's the basic year round season. But being a sports fan, there is much more than that. I played soccer when I was a kid, I do like watching the US National Team, the World Cup, the various CONCACAF and European league tournaments. Being able to see Barclays Premiership games on regular ESPN has been wonderful. Soccer basically runs year round - overlapping all the other sports.
I do enjoy tennis, Breakfast at Wimbledon and all that, living in NYC allows me my annual trip(s) out to Flushing to catch some of the World's Toughest Tennis at the US Open. When you have DirecTV you can watch multiple matches at once and have multiple channels at your fingertips. To be a dedicated year round sports fan, you must have DirecTv. Period.
Auto racing - it's a little hard to get into circle turning NASCAR, - maybe in the future when the classic cars like Mustangs take to the track, things will be more interesting. I do like the various open wheel series, like Indy Car, and this being May, thing are ramping up for the Indy 500. There have been reports that Formula 1 would like to do a NYC race - not sure if it has a chance, but what could be more awesome than that? Nothing!
In 2012 we have the London Olympics, we had a lot of tv coverage in 2010 and there promises to be even more going forward. Though, I do wish we would see more live sports and a little less of fluff pieces. I suppose as long as NBC has the rights (bidding for future years is going on now) there will be fluff.
There are even more sports out there, but we will get to those as they come around. In the meantime, below are the sports schedules for today, Thursday May 5th (happy Cinco De Mayo!). Going forward, I think these listings will appear at the start of the blog entry, with any of my verbiage below it. No worries, the average TES post won't be anywhere near this long - at least, not until football season. :)
Where To Find Live Sports On TV:
NHL Games - Conference Semi-Finals:
NBA Games - Conference Semi-Finals:
MLB Games - Regular Season:
Soccer aka Football:
Don't be surprised to see TES change in look and format in the days ahead, as I will work to tweak and enhance as needed.
The love of sports is shared across the generations, and at times there can be few things as fun as debating the merits of certain players, strategies, and team histories with other, opposing sports nuts. If you are an all around sports fan, feel free to join the ride, and please comment/vent whenever you feel you need to.
Thanks for tuning in! I am writing The Eternal Season because of my love for sports, and sharing it with friends near and far. I hope you enjoy your visit to my little corner of the sporting universe!
See you tomorrow - I'm off to watch a little baseball.