Summer is in full swing and has reached its unofficial half-way point. That means we’re on the brink of another July 4th weekend. With temperatures on the rise and back to school sales on the horizon, it’s important that we take a break in the middle of the summer to have a little fun. The average Joe(sephine) has his or her own summer reasons for liking the 4th: a day off of work, barbecues, beer and fireworks. Then there are the patriotic reasons for the liking the 4th; freedom, the fact that we live in the greatest country on the planet and support of our loyal and brave soldiers around the world. Those reasons cannot be stated enough, especially the latter. As with everything else in the country; sports has a major hand in July 4th celebrations. Don’t believe me? Sit back, crack open a cold one, grab some BBQ and pay careful attention to the Sports Fans Guide to the 4th of July.
With the NHL and NBA finals over, America’s pastime takes center stage. Even the average fan has noticed a few oddities through the first half of the baseball season. Things like the Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record in baseball. That alone is enough to make you question your entire belief system. Then there is Chris Davis. This guy averages 29 home runs a seasons (almost exclusively in the minors), and he already has 31 before the all-star break. He easily leads the league in that category. Call me a skeptic, but I find it strange when a player blows up like that. In any regard, if you’re like me and you plan on taking Friday off as well, watching four days of baseball isn’t a bad way to spend it; especially if you live in Baltimore or Pittsburgh.
NBA Free Agency
How will the NBA follow up the best Finals in years? With a pretty decent free agent soap opera. Free agency has become its own season in every sport. The NFL has perfected the drama of players leaving and signing with other teams, and the NBA has quickly followed suit. Monday was the official start of free agency, and since then you cannot turn on a TV or visit any sports website without hearing about it. While this isn’t a great free agent class, it is a very good one. And there was a little lack of drama when Chris Paul quickly signed with the Clippers. But I will never kill a guy for making a decision and having faith in it. Other guys like, Dwight Howard, enjoy the “look at me tour.” I would personally pass on his whiny diva ass, but there are at least five teams that strongly disagree with me. Either way, July 4th weekend should be filled with a good number of free agent signings.
I know. We do not talk much tennis on this site; unless of course you count our comments about the attractiveness of the female players. Even then, it’s few and far between. Wimbledon does have something going for it that it hasn’t in years past. Something that is likely to make the average fan turn off their TV. It’s the fact that almost every name brand player is no longer in the tournament. They either lost or dropped out. I would invite the average fan to stick around for this one. It’s sort of refreshing to see some new faces in the spot light. The All England Club and the TV ratings might disagree, but hey, it made me talk about tennis without talking about how hot the female players are.
Leave the House
There is more to sports than just watching them on television. Instead of watching the ball game on TV, head to the stadium. Nothing says freedom like a $10 beer and $6 hot dog. If you prefer to not take a second mortgage out just to take the family to a game, you can always grab a fishing pole and find a pond, lake or river. The best part of fishing, you can drink while you’re doing it. If that doesn’t float your boat (pun intended), set up the corn hole boards and invite a few friends over. Weather permitting; it’s a great way to spend a little time in the sun without having to leave your own backyard.
However, if you choose to celebrate the 4th, please do it responsibly. Help keep the roads safe and do not end up in our criminal of the week hall of fame. The Junior D Sports brain trust will be poolside this 4th with our families and some cold ones. Don’t worry; we make our wives drive us home!