After a nearly 6 week hiatus, Sportskraze is back and ready to roll. As I get more into the swing of things during the course of the next couple of weeks, my posts will become much more in-depth and analytical. But for the time being, I have to catch up on what all has happened over the past month and a half.
So Europe was an amazing journey for me. I hit 10 countries in nearly 6 weeks. I went on countless company visits and really enriched my cultural awareness. Not to mention I had more fun than I can ever remember. It was truly a trip that I will never forget. The one part that was tough about the Europe journey though..
A key underlying theme I learned from this trip. Boy am I lucky to have grown up in America. I cannot possibly imagine growing up with soccer being my country’s pastime and most well known sport. Sure soccer is the world’s most popular sport and the World Cup is entertaining, but give me a break. You really want to compare the European soccer leagues to the NBA, MLB, NFL, or any of the NCAA marquee sports? If you love soccer, all the more power to you. Other very popular sports in Europe are Rugby, Cricket, and Cycling. Do these really sports really compare to what we have? I realize that I have a major bias. And truly I do not care. I love American sports. They are what I have grown to love and I cannot imagine growing up any other way.
Also, Europe has a very lackluster coverage of sports on television. Yes some places will have ESPN. But their two main sports channels are SKY Sports and Eurosport. These channels are absolutely atrocious compared to an ESPN in every facet of the game. There is no personality. No constant updates. No opinions or insightful analysis. They just are lacking in nearly every way and cannot compare to the pinnacle of sports coverage that is ESPN.
So I am home. And I have realized what a time it is to be a sports fan. This summer will be one for the ages. For the entire world, you have the World Cup going on. Which is a great event. It is truly refreshing to see big time athletes laying it all on the line for their respective countries. But I would still much rather watch the NBA, NFL, or MLB Playoffs over it any day. But nonetheless, it is still a big time event that is entertaining for all sports fans. Then you have the 2 major tennis Grand Slams that occur within a few weeks of each other (with the French having ended a couple of weeks ago). The French Open, which is probably the most grueling tennis tournament of them all, and then Wimbledon, the most prestigious tennis prize in the world.
Then for the truly American sports fans. The NBA Finals just finished with the League’s two most storied franchises battling it out to the very bitter end. Thursday you have the NBA Draft. This draft is very lacking in foreign players for the first time in a while, and is full of college players departing early to take their skills to the next level. It is very hard to predict who will go where more so this year than I can ever remember. Then in a little over a week, the most wild NBA free agency period this League has ever seen is about to begin. This summer will be one that will have a heavy impact on the League for the next decade. Seeing how this all plays out will be very exciting. Also in American sport, you have the College Baseball World Series in Omaha. This is always a great event with a lot of down to the wire finishes. Next in college sport, we are in the midst of possibly the biggest shake up that we will ever see between the major conferences in our lifetime. Should be very interesting to see what happens as the summer continues. Then of course the MLB is in full summer swing. And what American does not love to go to a ball game on a summer night and grab a hot dog? Finally, the US Open for golf just culminated yesterday. I mean it is truly a great time to be a sports fan, but especially an American sports fan.
So be thankful for the sports that we get to watch and enjoy each and every day. I know that I am truly grateful. No offense to Europe, but I am proud to be an American.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.