Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Summer's Up

It's not quite over, but summer's winding down, that's for sure. Deb's back to work next week and the kids are off to daycare. It's disappointing, but I enjoy the fall, too. It's a great time of year to run outside. And my birthday is next month, although that's not much of a big deal anymore.

Okay, I admit it. In the week or so since I wrote that I didn't care about the Olympics this year, I've found myself watching it a little more. Part of the reason is Deb's totally into it, so it's on our TV regularly. But also, I appreciate the athleticism and hard work that goes into the events. I've taken more of an interest in the track and field events this time around. And even though I've been a U.S. citizen for 15 years, I still root for Canadian athletes to do well. It was a bummer today to hear that hurdler Perdita Felicien, who was the heavy favorite to win the gold in the women's 100M hurdles, tripped on the first hurdle and blew her chance at a medal. She's also from Pickering, Ontario, where I lived from age 7 to 14 before we moved to the U.S. She's only 23, so hopefully she'll be able to win it in 2008.

So what's the deal with Gail Devers' nails? If she gets an eyelash in her eye and absently pokes at her eye, she could rip her cornea out.

Hey, Van Halen's suing somebody, and it isn't David Lee Roth. They're going after the Baltimore Orioles for allegedly reneging on a deal to have VH play at Camden Yards. Apparently, the O's discovered they could get DLR to perform AND sell hot dogs at the same time.

I'm psyched for next Monday, when the World Cup of Hockey kicks off. It's a preseason exhibition tournament featuring teams from the major hockey powers in the world: Canada, the U.S., Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany (guess they needed a round number). The teams are made up of the best NHL players, although many won't be playing because of injury or contract situations. The last World Cup (formerly known as the Canada Cup) was in 1996, when the U.S. beat Canada in the final. This time, Canada is the heavy favorite, with GM Wayne Gretzky hoping to pull off similar success to the gold medal his Canuckian team won at the 2002 Olympics. Mario Lemieux is playing along with many other stars, but the U.S. beat them last night in an exhibition game. The sad thing is, this may be the only hockey we see all season because of the ongoing labor problems in the NHL. The current collective bargaining agreement expires on September 15, right after the World Cup ends. Unfortunately, the already weak NHL will lose even more fans and money if there's an extended work stoppage. My guess is they'll work something out by January and play half a season, like they did 10 years ago. Dumbasses. The Leafs may not even get the chance to disappoint me this year. I'm sure my wife is really bummed about that.

The pro sports league that has it right is the NFL. They've got a salary cap, nonguaranteed contracts, and a short schedule that ensures that every game is an event. I'm spoiled because I live in New England and root for the Patriots, but it wasn't always like this. Before Parcells got here in '94, the Pats were godawful. But it wasn't until Bob Kraft hired Bill Belichick that the Pats really turned into a powerhouse. Two Super Bowls in three years is nothing to sneeze at. Even though they were pummelled by the Bengals the other night in an exhibition game, the Pats will be tough to beat this year.

This is the kind of the thing that makes the Onion so freakin' great. Along with all the other things.

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