The World Cup and the Calgary Stampede have passed.
It’s three weeks until the baseball season gets interesting, four weeks to College Football season, five weeks for the NFL, two months until the NHL season, three months until the Big Three take over the NBA in Miami, two years until the next Olympics and about three years and 11 months until the next World Cup begins in Brazil.
The puzzling question for the avid sports fan right now is ‘what do I watch in August?’
Many people are on vacation, including around 98 per cent of professional athletes, so it might not be a big concern for some, but for others, such as local sportswriters, it remains a topical issue.
My sources tell me the CFL season began a few weeks ago, so, because there is nothing else going on, I turned on the Stampeders-Roughriders game on July 24 to give it a chance. However, the first play I watched, a Stamps receiver dropped an easy ball, with no coverage, on the five-yard line.
I realize it’s not the NFL talent or expectation level, but a player in that position should have made the catch. If a similar play were to happen at high school football tryouts later this month, the receiver would likely be handling the statistics or water duty for the rest of the season. Back to the bench went my CFL watching plans.
I will, however, be attending the Aug. 15 Battle of Alberta at McMahon Stadium between the Stamps and the Eskimos. I’ll go in with an open mind, but I promise nothing.
The next morning, I watched the final stage of this year’s Tour de France. This may not excite many Canadians, but I do believe interest level is on the rise thanks to Victoria native Ryder Hesjedal’s surprising and remarkable seventh place overall finish.
To put the feat in perspective, the last time a Canadian performed that well in the Tour, Steve Bauer’s 1986 fourth place, Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone was racing up the music charts.
Almost equally important, especially for the state of cycling, is that there hasn’t been one positive doping case stemming from this year’s Tour, where racers cycled more than 3,600 kilometres during its 20 stages. Hesjedal is also only 29, so he likely still has five years of productive riding ahead of him and will likely be looking for a top-five finish next year.
Equal congratulations are due for all the Rocky View region athletes who brought home medals from the Alberta Summer Games, held in the Peace Region, July 19-25.
But the question of what to watch in August remains.
I suppose the best option may be season two of Shaq Vs., which began Aug. 3, where Shaquille O’Neal will take on the Scripps National Spelling Bee winner, hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut and compete in a singing contest against teen sensation Justin Bieber.
Doesn’t sound like much, but unfortunately it may be the best we’ve got for the next month, because, frankly, nobody cares about hockey transactions in August or whether or not Brett Favre will retire.
At least it’s now three minutes closer to everything on my earlier list.