Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In August, Folks Scream for Ice Cream, Not Sports

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In August, Folks Scream for Ice Cream, Not Sports

Article excerpt

Time was sports weren't 24/7 endeavors. It's hard to imagine that once upon a very long time ago, there wasn't Australian Rules Football readily available on television and - yes, this is true - there wasn't even ESPN.

And it is just occurring to us that 98.64 percent of the time when we turn on television sports, we hear Bob Costas. He is more ubiquitous than dirt.

Sports take over as much of any life as the possessor of that life needs, wants, or allows. Many seem unable to limit their sport intake. That's why right now - these very days of our lives in August - are such a tonic to the oversported. As you read this, sports are on vacation. Glory be.

There is not a single sports event of more than minor import that is in our faces. Even better, it will be roughly another month before sports reload and start anew their often thrilling assault on Mt. Excitement.

To wit:

*Baseball. In season but out of mind. These are the desultory dog days of summer. There is much slogging along and, at the moment, only one compelling divisional race - in the National West between San Francisco and Arizona.

Races likely will heat up as September cools down. Meanwhile, the games are more background noise, like Muzak.

Mildly interesting is this week's news that the Yankees inadvertently acquired former star Jose Canseco from Tampa Bay. It's a wonderful mess, especially since the Yankees neither wanted nor needed him. New York manager Joe Torre fumes, "I'm stunned."

*Hockey. Out of season and out of mind. Come fall, the NHL expands to 30 teams, by adding Columbus (Ohio) and returning to Minnesota. Will a diluted product be improved by adding more clubs? Longtime Philly star Eric Lindros (six times an All-Star, once MVP) is furious with his team over contractual and health issues. It doesn't seem likely to end happily. This is the big hockey news these days.

*Basketball. Out of season and out of mind. Veteran players are signing contracts so huge that we don't even understand how huge. For example, the Pacers' Jalen Rose just signed for $93 million over seven years; that's an average of $13.3 mil per year. In Portland, Ore. …

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