It has been quite a summer in the sports world highlighted by the Summer Olympics games in London, England. There were highlights upon highlights for the USA and for the host country as well. In addition there were outstanding performances from athletes from all over the globe. It was truly a record setting, exciting games and London did themselves proud with some incredible venues for these events to take place.
It was the kind of Olympics that made the casual fan a diehard fan of some sports they rarely, if ever, paid attention to. It was the kind of Olympics where world records and Olympic records were shattered in a variety of sports. It was an Olympic that saw the true test of man, and woman, put to the ultimate test and it was also an Olympics that had some of the best human interest stories one could imagine. Now, for many it will become a forgotten memory for the next four years until the 2016 games in Rio. But for just as many, the memories of what took place in this Olympics will last a lifetime.
Our congrats go out to all of the hundreds and thousands of athletes from all over the globe who took part. Whether they won a medal or not, they were all winners for all that they gave of themselves to get to sports biggest stage.
It has also been quite a season in MLB baseball with pennant races heating up in both leagues. In a year where there have been a record number of players on the DL from every team, over 200 to date, teams have persevered and continued to make the final 2 months a very exciting time. In the American League there is a battle going on between the Yankees, Rays and Orioles for the division and the wild card. That wild card race also includes a team no one gave a thought to, the resurgent Oakland A’s. There has also been a very good season in Chicago with the White Sox in the thick of it under first year manager Robin Ventura. There has also been the circus in Boston between players and the Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. This team was supposed to be a contender but between injuries, the circus act behind the scenes and lackluster play, they have been either in last or next to last place all season.
Over in the National League the biggest story, and surprise have been the Washington Nationals. Not only are they leading the NL East which they have done almost since day one, but have more wins at those point than any team in MLB. Led by the young guns Strasburg and Harper, the Nats have been a major surprise, but so have the Pittsburgh Pirates. Here was team that hasn’t smelled the post season or even a winning record for 18 seasons, but they have made believers out of everyone as they battle for a wild card spot. On the other hand the team everyone thought would win it again in the NL, the Phillies, have been another team that has either been in last or next to last place all season long. In addition the Miami Marlins, with their brand new ballpark, have not won on the field and have not won the fans over either.
What these next two months will bring in baseball, who knows, but it promises to be just like the season thus far. It will be exciting, fun, unpredictable and filled with drama. I, for one, cannot wait to see how the rest of this season unfolds and what is in store come the post season.
In addition all this the NFL is getting their season underway with the pre season games and seeing who will be the hot rookies, who will be the hot veterans, who will be the teams to beat. As always the NFL will be full of surprises, but ther main one may not be with who the big players will be. No, the big story will be the officials. Will they NFL start with fill ins or will the NFL officials finally resolve their contract issues and come back to work. While the fill ins have experience at various levels of college, Arena ball and even high school, this is the NFL. So lets hope we can get that resolved and the NFL can begin with the ‘real” officials on the field so we can enjoy the game much better.
Considering some of the rookies expected to make an impact, RGIII and Andrew Luck, for example, this promises to be a very exciting, and again, unpredictable season. As for us here locally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a new coach in Greg Schiano and it is a whole new beginning where the country club atmosphere has been replaced by a hard work, very strict atmosphere. So far the jury is out as how the Bucs will do with a new coach, new preogram, new style and new players, but I see this season as the first big step back to be inbg a contender and think that 8 – 8 is a very reachable goal for this team.
Have great time rooting for whomever your favorite teams are!
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AANShare This!
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