Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Random Sports Reflections

Some random sports reflections in late June...

*I didn't do a version of "If I were in charge of..." for NASCAR but if I did, the first thing I would do is keep Sprint Cup races on broadcast television.  FOX has the first half of the season & and shows all the Sprint Cup races on their station.  When June rolls around, there are barely any races on broadcast TV the rest of the season (TNT has about 6 races or so during June & early July & then ESPN picks up the telecasts showing barely any races on ABC) .  Like the problem I have with college football, if you take the championship (Chase for the Cup) off of broadcast TV (only 1 or 2 of the Chase races are on ABC, final race isn't one of those), you're not going to get the most people watching it.  I do know that you have to deal with football once fall rolls around but at the same time if it is compelling enough people will watch.

*Speaking of college football, it is looking more and more like a playoff system will be in place in about 2 years.  Having been a proponent of a playoff system, this is a good first step forward with a 4 team playoff.  I do think they should (and eventually will) expand it to at least 8 teams.  But the fact that all indications are one will be put in place is a huge step forward.

*Even though the countries that I was pulling for have already been knocked out of Euro 2012, I've enjoyed watching the tournament so far.  Any time you can watch great soccer in a major tournament format is worth it.  Even though I'm "late" to the sport (didn't pick up really watching it until I was in college), I've grown to like and enjoy watching it.  I've even grown to defending the sport against people taking shots at it.  I guess that really means you like a sport when you do that.  For those that are like eh about soccer, I would suggest watching the semis & the finals of Euro 2012 (and be sure to watch when the World Cup happens in 2 years).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Random Sports Reflections

Some random sports reflections...

*I'm not really a big golf guy (that and tennis are probably the two sports that I enjoy the least watching) but this year has been interesting to say the least.  So far in the two major tournaments (the Masters & the US Open) that have been played, the two winners (Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson) are strong & vocal followers of Jesus.  Simpson's twitter profile describes himself as this: " *sinner* loved by a Savior".  I really am encouraged that more and more athletes are vocal about their faith in Christ, and that they are using the platform that God is giving them to point back to Him.  Very cool indeed.

*After my last post about Manny Ramirez, he recently asked for his release from the A's.  It didn't seem like they were going to promote him from AAA and so he wanted to see if he can get back into the big leagues another way.  I don't know if he will find another team but I do wish him the best.

*The NBA finals are going on and for the first time in my life I've not watched one game of the Finals, even though I am able to (I wasn't able to watch any back in '09 because I was in Poland and it's like a 7 hour time difference).  The reason?  Simply put Oklahoma City is in the finals.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I lived in Seattle and did ministry work there for 3 years.  I was there the final years that the Sonics were in town before they moved.  So I know better than a lot of people how people in Seattle feel right now about the Thunder, because I saw a lot of what went down firsthand.  I can't bring myself to root for the Thunder let alone watch the games.  Because I remember what the ownership did.  To me, they brought to light the ugly side of sports.  As much as I didn't like LeBron James and how he handed "The Decision", that wasn't as bad as what the Thunder ownership group and David Stern did to the city of Seattle.  Growing up I was a huge NBA fan.  But now, the NBA is like 4th or 5th (behind NFL, MLB, NHL & soccer).  I hope that someday Seattle gets a franchise back.  But the consequences of what happened with the Thunder still continue to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

*Speaking of soccer, right now in Europe there's a major tournament going on called Euro 2012.  The top 16 European countries are competing in a tournament to decide the top team in all of Europe.  The tourney is held every four years and this year it's being held in Poland & the Ukraine.  I'm happy that Poland is getting to co-host the tourney (sad that they got knocked out of the tourney a few days ago).  I loved going over there a few years ago and spending the summer as an intern doing ministry work.  I continue to pray for the people of Poland (specifically those in the city of Krakow) and major international tournaments like this are a great reminder to pray for countries.