Though the calendar said it was 2015, for me, this summer had a circa late 90s vibe. I mean, Dr. Dre descended from his throne on hip-hop high to release a jaw-dropping album for us baseborn masses. I was watching movies about Marvel comic book heroes, loveable Disney characters, and of course one of my favorite shows growing up, Dragon Ball Z. I watched plenty of New York baseball courtesy of the MLB Network, once a hallmark in my New York and Connecticut childhood. And of course, it was nice seeing family members who I had not seen in a long time as I was chilling in Mississippi for a visit. Actually not really chilling, because there is simply no chill in July in Mississippi. So I would say I relaxed for a little bit. And though I relaxed, you cannot go that long without knowledge hitting. And with that, there was much I learned about sports over summer.
1. Deflategate, the most annoying nip in the air!
The largest sports story of the winter, spring, summer, has been looming over football like the most annoying fly across the tantalizing buffet which is the National Football League. On both sides, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will both be picking up the pieces of their reputation for this scandal. Opinions have been set for most football fans regarding the situation, and little change from now to the first game in September will alter views. If you have always been against the commissioner or are a Patriots fan, Goodell will continue to look like the Emperor with no clothes in regards to his punishment. If you have always viewed the Patriots as cheaters, Brady will continue to look like the Darth Vader enforcer for Bill Belichick’s strategic Emperor Palpatine. At this point, I do not care anymore. There has been a massive failure of communication on both sides, and frankly, I don’t give a damn anymore.
2. All Deandre Jordan did was change his mind
While the Los Angeles Clippers All Star probably should had met with Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks to let the owner know he had reneged on an agreement to sign with his team, I will usually side with the millionaire-dollar player more than the billion-dollar owner. There has been a long history of management telling an athlete to his face, “you will not be traded.” Then, three phone calls later, an athlete has to pack up and move his family to a city across the country. Like a spurned lover who did not receive a call with explanation, Cuban did have a right to be livid with losing Jordan. However, I side with Jordan mostly for the simple argument: people change their minds. I mean, I changed my mind about last night’s dinner. It happens, it’s just unfortunate that in this case, Cuban was on the losing end of this battle.
3. Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey highlight strong summer for women
Tennis player Serena Williams and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey shined over the summer, proving in their respective sports, that these two women tower over their craft like no other athlete in American sports. Williams, with a victory in September’s US Open would become the fourth women’s player to win all major tournaments in a season, further cementing her place as arguably the greatest women’s tennis player in history. On the mat in mixed martial arts, Rousey’s fights have lasted shorter than a Youtube Ad, as her last fight lasted just 34 seconds. And with Team USA’s dominant victory in the World Cup, Jen Welter being hired in the NFL as a coach and Becky Hammon winning a championship in the NBA’s summer league, women are continuing to make progress in American sports.
4. Jordan Spieth and Rory Mcilroy rivalry may become biggest in sports
Winning four of the last six PGA Majors, Jordan Spieth and Rory Mcilroy have the golf world rightfully thrilled and dreaming of a possible rivalry which may bring up memories of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. While mentioning the name Spieth and Mcilroy in the same sentence as Nicklaus and Palmer might be blasphemous at this point, the two 20-somethings are personalities and talents who can once again bring golf consistently back into the spotlight. Not since an ill-fated Thanksgiving car crash by a feline-named golfer has the sport seen such dominant forces, and if Mcilroy can recover from his ankle injury, which he has shown with his impressive PGA championship performance, golf is set to be in a renaissance.
5. ESPN’s quality will have trouble to rebound after losing personalities
During the NBA Finals, Riley Curry won my heart off the court. As a basketball fan, LeBron James continued to have my love due to his legendary performance in the championship. And since I already knew I would find such an energetic child adorable and James has been the best basketball player I have ever seen, I decided to save my last point for the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Losing commentators and personalities such as: Bill Simmons, Keith Olbermann and Colin Cowherd within the past year has me rethinking tuning in to ESPN as much.
Outside of Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, Highly Questionable and just one viewing of Sportscenter to see what happened the previous night, I don’t watch the channel like I use to. I believe ESPN has been in a decline for awhile, and losing the three analyst I mentioned before in one given year certainly will not help the sports channel reach its once prominent heights..