I Can’t Hardly Stand It!

Posted: July 23, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Chad Schrump / @Hoosier_Hoops

We’re smack dab in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer. I mean, damn… for a sports fan that doesn’t have major league baseball in his city – this is a rough patch.  We’ve got very little sports to watch on television and what we do watch is pretty much bullshit.

Image result for guy in hammock

 

I don’t mind watching 20-30 minutes of the World Series of Poker but after that, I’m completely over it and back staring at Twitter. Sure, it’s neat to watch a 64-year old amateur trying to take out a wolf pack full of 25 year old online poker professionals but at the end of the day, how many all-ins, suck outs, flops, open-ended straight draws, wheels, pocket rockets and bluffs can you really stomach?  These ain’t your Chris Moneymaker WSOP finals.  These are folks you’ve probably never heard of unless you may have a touch of a gambling issue deep inside your being.  I’m not judging, just sayin’.

I’ve always loved the British Open but the odd hours makes this a rough one for me to commit to. Besides, and stop me if you’ve heard me say this before, without Tiger – I don’t feel like any golf, other than The Masters, is must-watch, appointment TV.  It helps NBC and their ratings that Jordan Spieth is leading the tournament but let’s be really honest for a second – without Eldrick, ratings are way, way down.  Go look it up.  It’s not pretty.  Sure, the golf is somewhat exciting but it’s not Tiger Woods exciting.  It just isn’t.  If that makes me a shitty golf fan, fine.  I will wear that.

Image result for spieth

NASCAR has become a shit show of the highest order. Actually, it’s been awful for a long time now.  I truly don’t know what happened here.  I know you’ve read about this for the longest time from a million other people but really – what happened to this sport?  The money that TV threw at NASCAR was almost unfathomable. The only thing back then that grew larger than their TV ratings were the drivers’ bank accounts.  Then, slowly but surely, the bubble burst and it’s as if NASCAR fell off a cliff.  Hell, it’s rare that I even know what city they’re in and who won last week’s race.

Was it Dale Earnhardt dying? Dale was my guy but when he passed, I was lucky enough to latch on to a young driver named Tony Stewart but let’s be real, no one moved a needle like The Intimidator.

Image result for dale earnhardt

Was it restrictor plate racing? Let’s give everyone essentially the same car and line them up in two rows of 20 cars.  What a great idea!  Let’s take away the race car driver’s ability to actually race their car!  Such a dumb idea.

Or was it the fact that the good ol’ boys became their own brands and were more like corporate CEOs than guys that could tear an engine apart, or each other, at the drop of a hat?  These guys are more Board Room than Backwoods and I think that detracts from the romanticism of it all.  Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think I am.

All I know is that Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at IMS will be lucky to have 50,000 people in the stands. Can you even believe that?  In the late 90’s, this race drew somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 fans.  Today, you’ll find more empty seats at the Speedway than at a Sunday church service that falls on New Year’s Day.  My God, does it look bad on TV, too.  Those aerial views are downright embarrassing.  If I’m NASCAR President Mike Helton, I beg the TV producers to not show a shot of the crowd from the blimp.  No way, no how.  It looks so bad!

Image result for ims brickyard empty aerial

Put it another way, I won tickets to the race and never even went to pick them up. How’s that for lack of interest?

Lots of you reading this column love your baseball but for whatever reason, I haven’t truly cared about this sport for years. Sure, I’ll watch some of the ALCS, NLCS and World Series but really, not that much.  It just feels like the season drags on and on and on and on.  As a kid, I knew every box score of every game.  That’s no exaggeration. We all did.  What happened?

Last fall was an oddity because I, like a lot of sports fans, wanted to see if the Cubs could actually win a title or were they going to gut punch an entire city by failing, yet again? Well, the “Lovable Losers” won their World Series so now I don’t care about watching that storyline anymore either.

I have always had two baseball teams that I rooted for: The Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers.  Guess what?  They both suck.  I’m not sure that Cincinnati is ever again going to actually not suck.  I’m serious!  There seems to be very little interest in paying big money to free agents and it’s all pretty sad, really.  Then again, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it so if I’m wrong, who gives a shit?  It’s just baseball.  Who cares?  I’m quite certain that I couldn’t name a total of 10 players from both teams even if you paid me $5,000 to do it.  Pretty much pitiful.  I know.

I guess all I can do is wait for NFL training camp to start. That’s when I’ll start getting excited.  I know I’ll start sending out my Fantasy Football League emails, kicking off all of my leagues.  Then, the dominos start falling and I’ll start paying attention to college football, then a few months later, college basketball and finally the NBA.

The NBA? You didn’t think I’d forget, did you? Nope, I haven’t.

Fuck Paul George!

Let’s bring on the NFL!

 

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