Friday, June 18, 2010
By Frankie O
I cant help but feel a void now that the NHL playoffs are over. Honestly, how could I feel any other way? Two months of every other day action featuring the two teams that I root for the most. For an emotionally vested fan, thats a lot. It takes over and wears on you. The payoff is if your team wins, and we both know that wasnt the case for me. Everyones asking how Im doing and I tell them that other than living every Flyers fans worst nightmare, Im great! Nothing like serving up beers to the celebrating masses during both the clincher and the parade, how lucky can one guy get? (I swear I didnt charge any one extra! Well, okay, maybe one or two!) It was definitely the strangest time Ive had behind the bar. At least I have a little time to regroup before they hoist the banner to the rafters at the United Center. Ill only have to look at that every time I go to a game there for the rest of my life. And every Hawks radio or TV broadcast will start with Your 2009-10 Stanley Cup Champions! Thats all right. Im not a hater. They earned it and every one of their fans should enjoy it, even if they joined the party a little late. In the big-picture view, an Original Six power is good for hockey and for me, its good for business. With the core together for the foreseeable future, Im guessing this wont be the only title that they win. This team is going to be good for a while and being a hockey fan in this town is going to be exciting.
But, for now, I need to decompress. Sports-wise, I guess watching a Game 7 in an NBA Finals is supposed to be exciting, but Im just not feeling it. I know I have to watch, but as a Philly guy, there is no way Im rooting for Boston, and L.A. isnt too far behind on that list. Of course now that L.A. has won, its time for the Kobe is the best love fest. I just want to say, Stop the Kobe is as good as Michael talk! No way! Stop smoking whatever it is that youre smoking. Kobe can win more than Michael, but he isnt Michael. Jordan is the best ever, end of story! And Mark Jackson? Kobe is a better Laker than Magic? Really? One other thing: I seem to remember when Pau Gasol was available two years ago, the local media saying for the Bulls not to go after him, that he was too soft. That dude is anything but soft. He also has two rings now.
And this is a perfect time for the U.S. Open, especially at Pebble Beach. I love watching golf, always have. The best thing is that there are any number of guys who can win and Ill be happy. Theres no emotional baggage with golf. Well all right, Watson losing in the British last year was like a kick in the groin, but how often does that happen? Golf always has a story, no matter who wins and thats part of what I like. Having the Open on scenic Pebble only makes it better. Im guessing Woods-Mickelson will be too much to ask for, but I always enjoy watching the final round on Fathers Day.
But the rest of my summer will focus on one thing: Baseball, or, more importantly, my roto baseball team. Not that I havent been following, (how are the Cubs and Sox doing by the way? LOL!) but now that the distractions are out of the way, its time to get focused. Ive missed out on a few waiver wire wonders because of my hockey preoccupation and that makes me a little hot! My boy Jonny Gomes though, is tearing it up! If Chase Utley ever hits again I could be dangerous. Will he hit? Should I trade him? These are the types of question that will be taking over my brain for the next three months. And unlike rooting for my hockey team, I wont get sucked in. I dont expect to do well in fantasy sports because of the luck involved. Just as easy to lose as it is to win. You can recite every lineup and stat, but when your 1 pick Utley is hitting .250, theres little you can do.
Baseball will be the soundtrack of my summer, along with the occasional NFL training camp update, and the LeBron saga. Im a box-score geek and love to read them every morning. And since I have the baseball package on DirecTv at work and home, the sweet sound of Vin Scully calling a Dodger game will be a highlight whenever I get a chance. Other than that, its a down-time in the sporting calendar, at least for those of us with rooting disorders. One comforting thought though, at least I wont have to worry about the Cubs or Sox playing the Phillies in the playoffs, it couldnt happen to me again could it?