July – The Off-Season

Basketball has ended, football hasn’t started, and regular season baseball is pretty boring.

This is probably the roughest time of the year for myself and many others as sports fans. I am a much bigger NBA fan than many but, for me, the conclusion of the finals in June is bittersweet. It is fun to see an exciting conclusion, but that also means that there are about to be months of waiting for the next season. Luckily the Association crams in as much as they can into the off-season. We’ve seen the draft, a new awards show, summer league games, and a wild free-agency season. Packed as this is, it is still a far cry from when we get to see all those things culminate when the next season begins.

As for the NFL, the season is much shorter than the NBA, and there are far fewer games. This makes the break from football season even tougher than basketball. July is a time of limbo for the league. In the last few months, there has been enough going on in other sports to keep us distracted. In August, we are close enough to start researching for fantasy teams and deciding if buying the Sunday Ticket or Redzone package is worth it for the upcoming season. For now, though, we just have to wait.

Of course, though, we still have baseball. Oh, you boys of Summer. I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan and have been as long as I can remember. That doesn’t mean that I can sit down and watch 1 out of 162 regular season Cardinals games a year and stay interested for a full nine innings of play. Go to a game? Sure! But sitting through a broadcast is an exercise in self-loathing. The games and season as a whole are too long. I feel a bit of shame as a fan for feeling this way, but I know I’m not alone. Things pick up in the playoffs and I start paying much closer attention (a luxury I am often afforded as a fan of the redbirds). However, that’s back in the heart of the entertaining sports season this fall anyway.

We need SOMETHING in July to help hold us over. There isn’t even hockey on for me to try and get into. It would be nice if baseball was already winding down and the wild card race was heating up. Baseball, for better or for worse, is a game cemented in tradition. They firmly believe that October belongs to them, and rightfully so. Though almost no playoff baseball action can touch a regular-season Sunday slate of football games in my eyes.

We must be strong! Incredibly slowly but surely, the baseball playoff landscape is taking shape, young talent was just on display in the NBA Summer League, and NFL players are dutifully going through camps and workouts. We can get through another month of waiting because after that, it will be time for the magic to start again. Stay eager, my friends.

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