Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A sports slump and waiting for the new football season.

We're in a great downtime for sports.

Baseball is coming off of the all-star break and heading into the dog days, the Astros are hanging on by their fingernails to the Division lead (and therefore, playoff contention), the Rockets have started playing Summer ball (one of the worst exhibition seasons in all the land) and the NFL is still a few weeks away from starting training camp.  College football is a distant speck on the horizon after that.

This leaves us with Tennis (for me Zzzzzzz), Golf (unless it's a major Zzzzzzzz) and European sports.  For all intents and purposes, the CONCACAF Gold Cup is the biggest blip on the North American radar right now, but I grow weary of watching 3rd tier International soccer be played against a back-drop of announcers assuring us that MLS is "on the come" and will soon be ranked among the great leagues in the world (It won't).

Of course, the Tour de France is a pretty distraction, airing almost every night with constant reminders why the French people rarely vacation outside of Gaul. (As Jeremy Clarkson would say "Why would God leave Heaven?) But bike racing is hard to watch for many Americans and it's almost impossible to find a line in the States to bet it anyway, so it really doesn't get all that much space here (I still think Nairo Quintana has a chance, but it's looking more and more like Chris Froome's Tour to lose).

F1 is still on a 3 week hiatus after Silverstone and the BPL and other (truly) top soccer leagues are in the transfer window.

It was so bad I was considering looking for over/under lines surrounding the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Things are a little quiet right now but the good news is that NFL training camp is coming, as is the return of Hard Knocks on HBO which promises to be interesting if for no other reason than to watch JJ Watt dominate the Texans below-average offensive line in practice.  Of course, the Jadeveon Clowney situation and several other storylines could be promising as well. (more to come on them later).

This year in football my expectations are relatively low. 

The San Francisco 49ers are gutting the roster in Trent Baalke's attempt to prove he knows what he's doing. The Houston Texans feel a lot like either an 8-8 or 9-7 team (again) and on the college level Michigan should at least be more fun with Harbaugh at the helm but I think he's got a lot of talent deficiencies.  The Houston Cougars have promise, with their newly minted coach fresh off of his championship run under the wing of one Urban Meyer.

So it's getting close to time to take advantage of this downtime, especially now that I'm taking a break from political blogging on the other blog, and do something that makes me truly happy.  Useless analysis and predictions of schedules and records.

The season can't get here fast enough.

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