Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wide World

Geez, it seems like last week that I was noting that August is almost over. September just seemed to disappear without much of a trace. Nothing terribly noteworthy, good or bad, happened in my life to break up the passage of time. As usual, I’m not sure what to make of that. Is it a sign of a smooth, idyllic life, or a numbing treadmill of an existence? The former certainly doesn’t fit my situation, and I don’t think I’ve sunk into the latter. Perhaps something in between; a smooth treadmill with entertainment, room for the spouse and occasional stops for a nice meal.

It is a good time of year for fans of major sports. Almost all of them are in action to some degree.

I tend to prefer the NFL to college football, but I’ve seen some fairly entertaining college games this year. Of course shortly that will all get squished by the BCS into a top-two-and-everyone- else slog that loses me before the regular season is over. At least the other college divisions can provide some meaningful late-season games – and actual playoffs.

In the past I’ve regarded any attempt to judge the quality of an NFL team as folly until at least four games have been played. (Speaking of folly, some of the first-week games that left me wondering just what the teams actually did during the numerous off-season workouts and the interminable preseason.) This season has been no different; if anything, such analysis is still looking pointless. As Peter King said, picking the order of the top teams could be done with darts. It’s probably best to wait until the halfway point before trying to discern any patterns, and I’m not certain anything will have developed even then, at least at the top. The bottom seems to be settling in, although even there things are far from cut-and-dried.

Perhaps the NFL will be sorted out by the time baseball finishes its just-starting playoffs. This is Twins country, and my wife and a couple of co-workers are fans, now no doubt joined by many others from the anyone-but-the-Yankees group. I personally have no allegiances, but I do like to see a team from outside the usual suspects contend once in a while, just to force the broadcasters to learn a few new names.

I also see the NHL is starting its regular season shortly. Good for them. I don’t know why, considering my proximity to hockey hotbed Minnesota, but I’ve never been interested. When it comes to ice-related activities, I would rather use it to cool a drink while I watch curling.

With all that going on, sports gasbags are talking about NBA pre-season games, of all things. I know the league has its publicity machine cranked up around the renovated Miami Heat, but in the most predictable of the major professional sports, where the contenders spend most of the season just trying to stay healthy, these games are rivaled only by the major political party conventions as useless gatherings. I’ll start paying attention when/if it gets interesting, which coincidentally is about the time the NFL finishes.

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