Round of Applause
The Olympics have been so tiring this year but are still the greatest things in the world. I just hope we all realize the greatness we saw with Michael Phelps in the pool. I don’t know if we’ll ever see 18 gold medals and 22 overall by one person ever again, and I sure know that my heart won’t beat any harder than it did in his races (even prelims) in London and Beijing. I don’t want to spoil my whole Olympics recap coming next week for you but badminton, table tennis and racewalking are all the worst, and it’s great that Team USA has been awesome at shooting. I’ll wrap up the whole thing for you next week to give you something that will hopefully hold you over until Rio (or at least Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics).
Football season is actually right around the corner, I realized this week. I haven’t been able to think about it very much at all but I think the NFL preseason has started and I know our local high school football teams will be hitting training camp at the end of next week. I’m super excited for another season, as I’m sure you are, because there are just so many great accessories football brings to us. High school games on Friday nights (and sometimes the surrounding days) are still the places to be, even though unfortunately most of you don’t seem to attend anymore. I attended 31 full games in 13 weeks last season, so I’m looking forward to seeing if I can beat that record this fall with all the tricks I have up my sleeve (I’ll let you know shortly). For you high school lovers, I’ve got my NVL Football Blog you can check out for a ton of preseason coverage (starting this coming week) and we’ll have you completely covered here in these pages. And of course, the latter part of August is prime fantasy football drafting season, and doing a live fantasy football draft with a bunch of friends is an absolute blast if you’ve never done it. It wouldn’t be a football season, either, without drama in Jets camp. Sigh.
Chorus of Boos
Great soccer games upset me a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy watching a thriller involving Team USA like we were privileged to watch Monday when the Americans beat Canada 4-3 in stoppage time of the second extra time. Nothing gets me jacked up like a memorable American Olympic moment, and that one definitely qualifies. But soccer games like that one — let’s face it, the entire second half was about as exciting as the game gets — almost start to push me over the edge. I mean, our entire Stamford office was standing and screaming when Alex Morgan (also known as the most attractive athlete on the planet) knocked in that header in the 123rd minute. Such moments (see U.S.-France, 2011 Women’s World Cup, for the most recent example before this week) very nearly make me want to like soccer a little bit more. It’s pretty neat that a game can go from brink to brink and finally be won just when it looks like it won’t be, igniting a crowd and a whole country. But then I realized this: It has nothing to do with soccer. It has to do with these great moments involving our national teams, and I put my emotions on the line every time any one of our national teams is competing on any world stage, especially the Olympics. My favorite sports moment ever remains the men’s 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay final in Beijing when Jason Lezak swam the single most impressive two lengths of a pool in the history of the world. A ton of reasons go into my choice of that, but most of all that the Americans rallied to win. So I feel much more comfortable now knowing that I don’t have to like soccer to like our women’s soccer team. I just wish the heat of the moment wouldn’t make me question my disinterest in the sport every time Alex Morgan is on a TV screen.