By Josh Kramer
We are finally hitting the end of August. The summer has gone by fast. But everyone loves sports in the Fall. MLB pennant races. NFL action. College Football action. And NCAA Basketball action is not far behind. So what should you be watching for this week?
5. The goodwill continues. John Thompson III and the Georgetown Hoyas continue to improve international diplomacy with their ten day goodwill tour across China. So the majority of the tour has not been “good” so far. But “will” and “desire” has been shown both on and off the court. As long as the Big East perennial powerhouse avoids the Bayi Rockets, all will be well in Shanghai. Doesn’t this get your juices flowing for College Basketball and March Madness!
4. Kevin Durant and other superstars continue to tour the country playing in various prestigious street ball leagues. Durant has made quite a name for himself this summer both on the East and West Coast. He dropped 66 while putting on a fantastic show at Rucker earlier this summer. And he dropped 44 points in DC last night against the always talented Drew League team out of LA. The real butt of the street ball world has been Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard, James Harden. This guy has been making headlines for consistently blowing big games. Kobe Bryant hit a buzzer beater in his grill last week. And his teammate and good friend, Kevin Durant, blocked his attempt at the buzzer yesterday. Harden is a great talent and has a very bright future, but maybe he should stick to the NBA hardwood and avoid the summer circuit? I think KD may have to be the guy to inform him of this fact.
3. NFL preseason football continues on as we get closer and closer to the September 8th opening night kickoff. And you all know what that means. Fantasy Football is right around the corner. Many leagues have already had their drafts while thousands of other leagues will be holding drafts up until the opening kick-off. Fantasy football is quite possibly America’s favorite and most popular game. Every year ESPN has millions of entrants alone. This does not even include the thousand of leagues hosted by Yahoo, NFL.com, CBS Sports and others. Fantasy Football has become embedded as a routine part of American culture. Please direct any and all questions to ESPN Fantasy wiz, Matthew Berry, AKA, the “Talented Mr. Roto.”
2. September is around the corner as the MLB pennant races continue to heat up. And do not even try predicting an MVP or Cy Young Award winner in either League yet. You would really put stress on yourself in doing so. So many quality candidates. So many guys putting up the best performances of their careers. The following is my matchup of the week.
Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers: Two of the best teams in baseball start a four game set tonight. This very well could be an ALDS or ALCS matchup. Both of these teams have electric offenses and postseason experience. The distinguishing factor in this series though lies in each team’s current position. Boston is currently in a dog fight with their bitter rival, while Texas is starting to run away with the AL West. In addition, Boston is one of the best road teams in all of baseball. I fully expect the Red Sox to play motivated baseball and take three of four from the defending AL Champions.
1. This is the one time of the year where 12-year-old boys take center stage in American sports. Williamsport, Pennsylvania will be the center of the sporting universe for the next week as another Little League World Champion is crowned. And sure this year we do not have Danny Almonte stories, but there are plenty of great teams which feature plenty of great players. Also note what a dream come true this is for the kids. I mean who would not want to spent a week playing baseball while being covered by ESPN as if it is the Major League World Series? Every kid can dream a little right?
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.