Sports Snippets

Some people attend barbeques on Memorial Day weekend. Some folks hit the beach. Others take in a movie. And then there’s the rest of us who watch sports all weekend.

  • This morning I woke up, and tuned into the F1 Monaco Grand Prix. I won’t give away the results just yet, but let’s just say that anything can happen with Formula One.
  • EPL Championship Sunday is spread out over the networks of NBC. Ten games. I’m watching the game between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. My older son got me to rooting for Hotspur. He told me that they reminded him of the New York Mets. That was all I needed.
  • After EPL is the 99th edition of the Indianapolis 500.
  • Then later on tonight is Game 5 of the Eastern Conference series between my New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The series is tied at 2-2. The Rangers will try to get a leg up tonight.
  • As for the NBA series, well, it’s hard for me to get into it this year. I got no dog in the hunt. But here’s someone who does. Maybe I’ll root for the Warriors now just to make sure this lady gets her wish!

And I have to watch the Memorial Day Concert on PBS. I hope that all of you here in the U.S. take just a moment this weekend to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

While we’re on the topic of sports and the military, take a look at a post on NPR’s “Only a Game” website: Teams Honoring The Military: Feel Good Moment…For Sale? The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill to reject so-called “paid-for patriotism” where the military pays professional sports teams to honor its hometown military heroes. This came on heels of a report by Senator John McCain which noted that the National Guard paid $49 million in sports sponsorships.

CNN’s Don Riddell, in a post on Veteran’s Day 2013, had some astute observations and questions about the relationship between professional sports and the military here in the U.S.. As a Brit whose country has lived through the horrific fighting and destruction of two World Wars, I can understand his ambivalence. As a Navy mom whose son is the fourth generation in my family to wear the uniform, I also have mixed feelings about this. We don’t do enough for those who fight in our name. Many have rightfully argued that the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on advertising would be better spent on services for the military. In a perfect world, the professional sports organizations would voluntarily honor their local servicemembers and support military service organizations on their own. But the sports leagues are not just about what’s right. They’re also about the bottom line. And in a perfect world, there would be no need to have a military either, but we’re long past that.

  • Something to look forward to: We haven’t gotten the summer weather yet, and the summer concert season is just underway. But already, I’m looking forward to the fall. World Rugby Tournament begins September 17.
  • But before that is the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes on June 6. I may end up passing up a great concert at Central Park SummerStage to see if American Pharaoh will make history. Or, maybe I’ll cut out early on the show. Roy Hargrove and Meshell Ndegeocello on the same bill is just too good to pass up.
  • Something not to look forward to: Isiah Thomas was named as president of the New York Liberty. How bad is this? Well, no one has anything good to say about it, whether you look at the national sports commentators, or the local ones. It’s a matter of what degree of bad this decision will be for the Liberty. As I said to my brother who tried to console me, This will not be okay. While there is no debate about Thomas’ ability as a player, his record in the front office is abysmal. He’s left destruction in his wake. And that destruction doesn’t even include the sexual harassment charge. But we all know why he’s the president of the Liberty; because he’s Dolan’s boy. And the owner of Madison Square Garden has left us Liberty fans with the unenviable choice: Do we go to the games to support the ladies while we hold our noses? Or, do we skip the games in protest and risk having the team eventually being taken from us. But it also points to the real problem with MSG: Until we get rid of frat boy Dolan, there’ll be no joy in Mudville for any of the teams at MSG.
  • And finally: For those of you who were disappointed by the so-called “Fight of the Century” between Pacquiao and Mayweather, there was a fight last week in Montville Township, New Jersey that provided a whole lot more excitement.

And that’s the snip!

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