As a sports fan, I hate this time of year. I mean, the summer is absolutely boring for anyone who likes sports. Even my watching baseball is starting to wane away. On my return trip from Wednesday night's 4-1 Pirate victory against the Colorado Rockies, I heard on the news that the possible strike date is not September 16th, as I originally thought. It is now slated for AUGUST 16th.
What this means is that if this strike goes all the way up to, and possibly canceling, the World Series, then last night's game will be the last game I attend this year. If August 16th comes around, and those greedy players (Nim-Rod, Barry "Backstabber" Bonds, Sammy "Juice" Sosa, the ENTIRE New York Yankees roster, etc.) don't get their way, then many sports fans such as me are SOL.
What other alternatives are there? Golf? Please! I'm getting tired of seeing Tiger "Don't take my picture or paint my likeness or I will sue your ass" Woods crying like a little baby if he doesn't win a title (look what he did at the British Open!) Tennis? I have NEVER liked tennis, even if a hottie such as Martina Hingis is playing. And I am getting SICK of hearing about those damn Williams sisters every minute. Ok, there's NASCAR, but unfortunately it's only one race a week (I only watch the Winston Cup, and could care less about the Busch and ARCA series), and Jeff Gordon isn't doing that well anyway.
The summer hurts me the most because the two sports I love watching the most, football and hockey, are in their off-season. Now granted, pro football has returned last Saturday with the American Bowl, and my 49ers lost big to the putrid Redskins, but it is still a preseason game, and we all know preseason games don't mean crap. I still hope to God that the Redskins do as badly as they have been (an 0-5 start was a good indication last year).
Why am I so anti-Redskins? Well, first because I am still pissed at "The Dan," or Daniel Snyder to those who don't him, for breaking a contract with Frostburg State University to use their facility as a training camp, then forcing fans to PAY (a la IGN) to watch practice, and second because this is the first season of one of my most HATED college football coaches, Steve "Il Duce" Spurrier. As a Florida State fan, I was appalled every time I heard him shoot of his famous line "God is smiling on the Gators!" I'll tell you one thing, Spur, God will not be smiling on the Redskins! After that, good luck finding another job once the Dan fires you.
Yet I digress. The American Bowl is a good start to the PRO football season, but I still have to wait for COLLEGE football to begin and to me, those games are far more exciting. After all, nothing is more intriguing than going to one of your rivals' home stadium and watching them get pummeled madly, as I will be doing on September 14th. I will be watching Florida State kicking some Maryland Terrapin tail, and proving to those insolent, repulsive Terrapin fans (who I dealt with two years ago and they are nasty, believe me) that last year was a fluke. Hey Terps, the Noles may have only gone 8-4 last year, but at least we WON our bowl game while Florida pummeled you in the Orange Bowl.
Not only that, but it will be interesting to hear how many times all the sportscasters, especially ESPN, will complain about the BCS system. I find all the criticisms to be totally laughable. Although I do know there are some major flaws, I wish they would shut the hell up about going to a playoff format. It's never going to happen.
To me, the transition to a playoff format will ruin all the bowl games, all the pageantry, and all the rivalries boosted to the Nth degree. But what irks me the most is that if the BCS does go playoff, it will end up going down the same wretched road that the Final Four does, where the same team gets in all the time. We've seen it happen with the Puke Blue Devils in the Final Four. Every year they are in it, not giving other teams a shot (no wonder I don't watch or care for college basketball), and if football goes the same way, then we will see another bunch of crybabies and glory hogs taking the National Title on a regular basis.
Who are these crybabies, you may ask? None other than the Miami Hurricanes! Who could forget 2001, when Florida State received the bid to go to the National Championship, all we heard from Miami was how the system is rigged and they should be in it. Go figure the year after Miami gets there, and they STILL are crying! Its teams like Miami that are the ones who will benefit the most from a playoff system, so please NCAA don't go that way.
This is the emotion that I'm talking about with college football, but having to wait until late August for the schools to open and the season to start is torture. Fortunately a cure came out last week and I can only thank EA Sports for bringing it out. Since last week, I have been playing NCAA Football 2003, going through the Dynasty mode almost religiously (I'm already halfway through my second year).
I have even been able to simulate this year's schedule and set up some local rivalries with a friend of mine (who is of all things, a Virginia Tech Hokie"yeesh!) I'm even able to substitute a crappy division 1 team (ACC rival Duke seems like a reasonable choice) with Frostburg State. All I need to do is get the actual roster and I will be able to start another Dynasty mode with them (thank God for the Xbox's hard drive).
And to think, when Madden 2003 comes out on the 13th, I will be able to move my graduating ‘Noles (Brett Williams, Robert Morgan, Chance Gwaltney, etc) to the NFL draft class. Granted since I'm playing on the Xbox I won't be able to play online (as Madden's online play with be PS2 exclusive) but considering my cable company is too lazy to provide internet service which they promised a year ago, I can live without it (Note to cable company: either provide cable internet by the end of the month or I'm going satellite!)
Eventually I will be providing the review for NCAA 2003, but like last year, I want to wait until Madden 2003 comes out so I can do the side-by-side report card. In the meantime I do want to thank EA Sports for releasing NCAA when they did, because this withdrawal was driving me mad!