Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Sports Dead Zone

Over the last decade, spearheaded by the NFL, major sports leagues in America (in an effort to better brand themselves) have created their own TV networks, websites etc. to control and keep more revenue for themselves and their owners and investors. With the inception of  MLB Network, NBATV, NFL Network & others we can pretty much talk about our favorite sports year round. If you know anything about marketing, you know that consumers will go with the BRAND name they are most familiar with....and even though we're less than a month away from the start of our American PASSION (football) we've never stopped talking about football since the last whistle was blown in the Super Bowl. At least twice a day during the off season you will see a tweet or two about the NFL.

That's cool and all but there's a point during the summer where we, American sports fans, are reaching pretty hard to find things "sports-wise" to talk about or enjoy. It happens EVERY July when the NBA season ends and we have to wait for the first preseason NFL game, and its called "The Dead Zone" when we find ourselves trapped without any "major" sports to watch (we'll get to MLB in a second). We "thirst" for sports so bad that we watch ANYTHING with just a "tinge" of athletic competition to it (don't front you are watching "American Ninja Warrior" and Olympic Gymnastics Trials). Our days are spent debating trades, POSSIBLE trades, offer sheets, franchise tenders, who's showing up to camp and who ain't, all fun but mostly useless jibber jabber that has nothing to do with us as fans.

We spend our Sundays like lost children in the wilderness BEGGING for the water that is the NFL kickoff and you will likely hear for the next couple of Sundays the "countdown" to kickoff. My friends, I ask this question: "When did it come to this?" You could blame ESPN but that's their job to keep us distracted with this "talk" all day. Blame the leagues? Nope, the same rule applies. The person to blame is your reflection in the mirror.

This is not a bad thing, I'm not knocking you for wanting to keep up with the day to day operations of your favorite franchise but you have to say to yourself "Why am I caring about this so much?" Colin Cowherd is one my favorite voices in sports talk radio, He will tell you that every July is when he takes his vacation because he has NOTHING to talk about, instead of boring us with talk of an EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG baseball season which plays ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO games with no REAL excitement until October, he rather take that time to spend with the family.

 MLB is like "background noise" to us on Sportscenter. It takes damn near 8 months to complete the season when usually by the All Star break we know who the top 4 teams are but we have to WAIT ANOTHER 3 months for the playoffs to start. Add on its extremely slow pace & its reluctance to adopt new technology and you'll quickly understand why more and more, less and less of us care about baseball.

My appeal to you American sports fan is this: Use this time wisely. Spend time with your kids, take the wife out on a date or two, start that business or side hustle you've been talking about, go OUTSIDE. Sports are meant to be a distraction and entertainment from our mundane existence on Earth, that's one of the reasons why we love it. This was not meant to be a "there's more important things in life" write-up....not in the least. But I'll put it to you in terms you can understand then I will end this...

NCAA just dropped and pretty soon a new Madden. If you use this "dead zone" to take your girl out to dinner or a movie a couple of times you could have a "nag-free" football season free to enjoy with no problems, no interruptions, because you're "paying it forward" now. The LAST thing you want to have happen in Week 10 is your girl complaining that all you do is watch sports and never take her anywhere.... Trust me....

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