My dad does not eat at pizza chain restaurants.
Anytime we go out for pizza it is at a small, family restaurant that serves classic New York style thin crust pies. That pattern does not stop me from trying to convince him to go to a place like Little Caesars, Dominos, and Hungry Howies (but not Pizza Hut because I don’t like cold tomato paste spread out on soft, edible glass). Despite these locations being cheaper, and that we could get more food to eat as leftovers, my dad doesn’t mind breaking the bank for a good “real” pizza. On the other hand, I enjoy buffets. If you give me the choice for quantity or quality, nine times out of ten I pick quantity. I enjoy going to Golden Corrals, Chinese Buffets, and even the Fountain View Cafe, as my ‘freshman 20’ proved. What I’m saying is that if June is an idea how exciting sports are going to be this summer, this is going to be one of the best sports summers in a while.
So far this summer, we have seen, in my opinion, the greatest comeback in NBA history, with the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers rallying from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the record setting Golden State Warriors and unanimous MVP Stephen Curry. With all the storylines being played out through the series, LeBron vs. Steph, a championship in returning to Cleveland, the 73-9 Warriors losing, it’s hard to follow up with that for anything in sports media. LeBron James is the most powerful and influential North American athlete, so his presence alone can have tremendous impact on ratings and viewership. Game 7 of the series achieved basketball ratings not seen since the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls were playing for titles. However, the series might not have even been the most talked about sports story being played out.
Ezra Edelman’s five part miniseries “OJ Simpson: Made in America” lived up to the mountains of hype it has been building since the first trailers were released back in late March. The ten hour series illustrated the cultural influence of one of the most recognizable and infamous celebrities of the past century, from his popularity on and off the field and the racial tensions that was building in the city of Los Angeles with “War on Drugs and Gangs” policy, the murder Latasha Harlins and the beating of Rodney King, culminating into 1992 riots and eventually, OJ Simpson being the defendant in the “Trial of the Century”, over the double murders of his ex wife, Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman. To best show how in depth this documentary is, the murders and trial don’t get talked about until the third episode.
Now, as the month comes to a close, Americans have shifted their viewing direction away from the hardwood and courtroom and towards the soccer field. As Copa America reaches its final days, the United States national team has generated excitement not normally seen on non-World Cup or Olympic games by being able to reach into the final four teams left in the tournament. That being said, it should be stated that the United States remain a small power in the world of soccer compared to Spain, Germany, and definitely their next opponents, Argentina. However, the men’s US team continues to make enough improvements to be call at least small power. Then again, as long as the women’s keep winning World Cups and Olympic medals, they’re not even the best National team in their own sport.
For the past month, sports fans have essentially been Augustus Gloop inside of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory; plenty of material to satisfy us. In every direction you turn, something new and extraordinary is happening. Though the summer has been very top heavy and chances this excitement won’t continue, even with the Olympics (serious, how many events do most people actually watch in the Olympics) this has been a memorable three weeks in the world of athletics.