AND THE DOG DAYS GO ON
Gamecocks Again? South Carolina, after beating Arkansas in consecutive one-run games, is back in the College World Series championship for the third straight year. That is quite a feat. The format is grueling and even though their record of 22 consecutive tournament and 12 consecutive College World Seres wins was snapped earlier in the week, they regrouped, pitched amazingly and had just enough timely hitting to advance. However, they've played four games in the time that Arizona has played one, so they face a big challenge the next two or three days. Am I betting against them? No chance.
Pedophilia in Pennsylvania: Jerry Sandusky's attorneys are preparing for an appeal on the grounds that they didn't have enough time to prepare a proper defense. The attorneys are just doing their jobs in providing Sandusky responsible legal representation. While that may be legally sound and justified, it still doesn't change the horrific nature of this case. The most distressing aspects of this are the breadth of the alleged activities and the arrogance displayed by Sandusky to use university facilities to perpetrate the acts. The university is trying to avoid further embarrassment, but I certainly hope they are also initiating policies and procedures that will save future young men from the same fate.
How do I make a right turn?: Twice a year NASCAR takes its show to road courses. First this week in Sonoma and then in Watkins Glen on August 12. I'm not a big fan of the road courses and as a NASCAR Fantasy owner, it poses a challenge to me. But just think of making nothing but left turns for 34 weeks and then having to turn a 4000 pound sports car in the opposite direction. Just think if your wife or husband all of a sudden decided they were going to switch sides of the bed. OMGSH! Not only that, all of the shifting and braking they have to do that isn't necessarily required on what is increasingly a 1.5 mile tri-oval track sport poses problems. I may watch, I may not, but if I do it will be because it can be fun to watch the drivers try to adapt to a very different style of track and driving.
Junior finally wins, but....: We know it's a slow sports weekend when I have consecutive NASCAR topics. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finally won last week at Michigan, but will have to wait until next week to build on his momentum at an oval. Although Junior had not won in a almost four years, he has driven with great consistency over the last two. The points system, although revamped a bit, still rewards
consitency over the occasional win. And when you enjoy the off-track income that Junior has, his only goal is to win a first Sprint Cup championship.
The French on Holiday?: It looked yesterday as if the French soccer team missed the memo and thought the EURO quarterfinal match against Spain was a friendly. Or maybe they were just warming up and thought the game was today. I'm certainly not an expert of soccer, but I can tell when a team doesn't even get off the bus. Down by only a goal with less than ten minutes left, the French side appeared to have no sense of urgency. Maybe they had reservations on the French Riviera that couldn't be moved a week. I hope they're enjoying themselves, becasue we sure didn't while watching their performance yesterday.
Okay, how about some baseball?: After roughly 44% of the season, we have following teams in first place: the Yankees, a bit surprising, but they've actually been able to get some solid pitching; the Indians, here we go again to see if they can keep it going; the Rangers, on a roll and outscoring their opponents by more than 90 runs; the Nationals, pretty impressive by an organization that has bult this team the right way, but they play in a tough division where the Phillies haven't woken up yet; the Reds, really, the Reds?; and the Dodgers, who somehow have been able to use Magic Johnson as a utility infielder...........