A lot of folks refer to this as the ‘dead zone' of the sports year. As an avid baseball fan I take mild umbrage to the notion, but I can certainly understand why those not drawn to the diamond would find themselves bored by the current sports slate.
We're drawn to this site year-round because we share the common bond of Orange
men athletics, but as our discussions have at times meandered off into everything from political issues to pop culture, I'm reminded that everyone of us has a very unique profile of tastes outside of the Otto-man Empire.
This past lazy hazy Sunday I supped outside with friends and family, and I mentioned how fun it's been as an Oakland A's fan this year. Within nanoseconds, responses such as ‘baseball sucks' and ‘I like that Doolittle guy's beard' and ‘I didn't know the A's had fans' were heard. From there, we started to talk about everything from NFL training camp to Rory to ‘Bron [natch]. During this conversation I realized that over the years my own tastes have changed as to what sports I follow...as has everyone else's.
As such, I think it would be a fun group exercise to rank our sports in level of personal interest. Of course we're all recusing the fact that SU hoops and football are 1A and 1A. If you'd like add a small capsule on why you rank them like you do and how your interest has changed over the years, go ahead! There are really no rules. You can pick as many slots as you want, you can just make a list, or you can be one of those who says ‘There's the NFL and nothing else matters."
1) Baseball. I love baseball. Ever since I was old enough to read I poured over my card collection stats and box scores. It's the perfect game: During the same game you can relax and tune out or get sucked into the vortex of insane double-switch strategy and outfield shifts. The #hotsportstake is that baseball is shrinking and nobody cares about it, yet the strength, equity, and attendance of the game is as strong as ever. I think baseball being diminished in the national discussion has less to do with general interest and more with the advent of hyper-local coverage. With every team having every game televised, you can focus on who you truly love. 162 games and endless trades keep it tough to keep up on the whole league...even for a big fan like myself. In the national discussion all you really have are the Yankees and ‘did Papi look at someone the wrong way today.' However, I think most will admit to closely following their own team.
2) NFL. Because I pretty much have to. Where Baseball is the perfect game, Sunday
and Thursday football is the perfect ritual. I do enjoy the game very much, but most of why I rank it this high is that it's easy to follow the whole league, and also is by far the most common language amongst sports fans. Few things are more fun than chilling with 20 friends at Tully's watching all the games. Also I will own you at fantasy. Ask FeloniousPhunk...he knows.
3) College Basketball. Honestly, my Top 3 could be interchangeable [easy because they are in different seasons]. When I made my list I was shocked that I have this all the way down to 3. However, over the last few years my interest to ‘follow' has waned. I'll certainly watch whatever WCC midnight special there when I'm up late, but less and less am I paying attention to players and programs. Conference shakeups and one-and-dones are just making it less interesting to me. Although, I have to wonder if our recent success is causing me to pay far less attention to the teams ranked below us, rather than when we had 15-20 above us that I was rooting against.
4) Golf. I honestly don't know how this happened. I love professional golf, as it's currently constituted. I used to watch it as a little kid with my grandfather, and Tiger certainly increased my interest even more, but somehow in the last 5-8 years my fandom has exploded. By far, in my opinion, it's the sport that's benefitted the most from HD. The current group of young [and very athletic] players that Tiger inspired has me captivated almost every weekend. I work from home, and made sure to be up by 5 every morning a couple weeks ago to catch the Open Championship. When I'm puttering around the house around weekend mornings I usually have the European Tour on. I'm sorry for rambling on this...just irrationally hopeful that someone here understands me. Also this.
5) College Football. This is probably the biggest change over my lifetime. 15-20 years ago I read every Athlon preview mag, had a hand-made ‘big board' of standings on my wall, and made sure all the chores were done by noon to engorge on games until ‘lil StrawHatGuy was shuffled to bed. Now, I just can't deal with the SECandeveryoneelse culture around national NCAAF media coverage. Kids, I promise it wasn't always like this. People followed teams from everywhere and the talent was balanced nationwide. No coaching drama, no idiot players on twitter, no crazy billions of dollars earned on the backs of ‘amateur' kids...just awesome football, awesome marching bands, and Keith Jackson.
6) NHL. I love hockey as a sport, playoff puck is one of the best spectacles in sports. Point blank. Period. However, it's just too much for me to keep track of during the season.
7) Competitive Eating. This is just here so I can knock the NBA down another spot.
8) NBA. Seriously, screw this soul-sucking pseudo-event ‘Bron-slurping shit-show of a WWE knock-off product. Once upon a time, the Association was God. It had great rivalries with games played without 3-4 day layoffs and mid-timeout interviews. Now, it's just a PT Barnum sideshow based solely on selling the image and drama of a few select players. Uniforms don't matter, teams don't matter, the game itself doesn't even matter. All that matters now is chatter and TMZ-level gossip and speculation. Dear NBA, stop choking out my baseball coverage with 5 minute discussions on why Kevin Love's lunch selection may indicate where he's being traded to.
Obviously, your comments don't need to meander like these...just trying to get the discussion rolling. Happy dead-zoning!