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Make July go Bye-bye
Posted: Tuesday, July 4th, 2006, 2:28 PM
by Beano
• Permalink
July. It may be good for school teachers, students, cookouts, and vacations but it is the month that sports forgot. Basketball is a distant memory, baseball is in the lull of the mid-season, and football is a seemingly never-ending 8 weeks away. What in the name of John Snodgrass is a sports nut to do? World Cup? They score less than a Napoleon Dynamite look-alike. NASCAR? If I want to see loud cars driven in a circle I’ll go eat at the Sonic. Golf? I don’t need a sleep-aid. If I play 18 holes however that WOULD get me two days closer to football season. Here’s my survival plan leading up to kickoff.

BASEBALL TRIP: My brother and I have made an annual baseball trip each of the last 5 years (since I finally realized I was too old to play 100 softball games in a 5 month period). We have seen Wrigley Field, PNC Park, Coors Field, Minute-Maid Park, and The Great American Ballpark in our recent travels (I have seen 13 past and present stadiums in my lifetime so I have many more to go). I will probably be limited to a quick weekend, close-by destination, due to radio responsibilities so a repeat trip to TGAB or God-forbid, Turner Field (the absolute worst of the newer parks I have seen) is a distinct possibility. What I want to know is how a couple of American League diehards like Freddie and me wound up on a National League excursion each of the last several years? I guess we just wanted to do some slumming until we got our routine perfected.

WATCH THE YANKEES SLIDE I am convinced that this is the year the Yankees fail to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995. Gary Sheffield and Hedeki Matsui are out, Randy Johnson is toast, the bullpen setup situation is a shambles, Jaret Wright and Shawn Chacon would have trouble getting me out on most days, and A-Rod has already delivered his “big hit” for the year. It’s past time for a major retooling and with a depleted minor league system it won’t be a quick fix. I’m okay with it though because the A-Rod Yankees remind me of the 80’s teams. A bunch of “kings” but no rings. Open the fire hose and spray out the lot. Leave me Jeter, Cano, Matsui Damon, Mussina, and Rivera, and let the rest go play fantasy baseball in another uniform.

PERUSE THE PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL MAGAZINES It’s that time of year. I used to refuse to open the cover of a pre-season college football magazine until today (The 4th of July) because any earlier and I would need barbiturates to make it to kickoff. My job now requires that I break them open earlier to stay ahead. My favorites are Phil Steele’s and the Sporting News. That gives me a balance of minutia (Steele’s) and readable commentary (SN).

And my new secret weapon to midsummer monotony:

PREPARATION FOR FANTASY FOOTBALL As George C Scott so skillfully articulated in “Patton” “God help me I do love it so”. I would have never believed four years ago that I would be so consumed with fantasy (sports that is). I absolutely love it and football is my favorite. It’s gotten so bad that I more anxiously anticipate my leagues draft than I do Tennessee’s opener. I definitely need professional help. I am currently involved in an online college draft with 13 other fantasy nuts that have 24 hours to make a selection when their team is on the clock. It has aided in my preparation for the upcoming college season while making the wait much more enjoyable. Turning to the pros I bought my first preseason fantasy annual and plan to turn to it as soon as this blog is completed. I play in two pro leagues and have to prepare diversely due to rules differences (for fantasy freaks they are both head-to-head however one is a keeper league with one point per catch, the other is standard) For the next two months I will be studying mock drafts, player ratings, and most importantly (to me) average draft positions (ADP) based on expert drafts and leagues that draft early. Man am I a geek

Well there you have it. One man’s plan to make it until the Cal Bears come calling on September 2nd. I think I’m going to make it. I feel better already. Now my concern is once the season gets here will the Vols make me wish it wasn’t?

Happy 4th of July to you and yours.
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