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Over the years I have trimmed down my sports viewing interests, and so far in retirement those have pretty much stayed that way.  I’m not interested in college football or basketball at any level. Ditto for soccer.

College football plays a lot of kookie formations and it’s not a thrill to me to see nonprofessional professionals play. Maybe if I’d gone to Texas or Alabama or LSU I might feel different.  My college alma mater Iowa State won little when I was there—or since.

College basketball is just one and done for the big stars. A freshman year and they go pro, so the sport is mostly played by the lesser players.  As a kid I watched legends like Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry Lucas play 3 years.  Only those with little chance of pro ball do  that now.  I leave March Madness to the mad.

As for the NBA as the great coach Al McGuire used to say, the players have become too big for the court.  Clear a side and drive the lane for a dunk is not very interesting to me.  A few guys can shoot, but mostly it’s just a dunking contest.  And there are way too many soap operas about players, coaches and owners.

 As someone said, soccer is the game of the future in the U.S. ----and always will be.  I tried watching the World Cup and for sure these guys are athletes, but a goal a game, or less?  Not for me.  And those guys spend too much time faking injury to draw fouls.  They writhe on the ground in agony until the call is made,  and then hop right up and run the length of the field.  Yawn.  Will need a flood of immigrants before soccer catches on in the U.S.

THE NFL

Chicago Bears logo I’ve been a Chicago Bears fan for a very long time. They won the NFL championship in 1963 and the Super Bowl in 1985.  They lost one Super Bowl since.  Most of the rest of the time they have been in a sorry state.  We have learned to “wait ‘til next year.”   And hope does indeed still live. 

Kansas City Chiefs logoI often watch Kansas City Chiefs games.  I can’t claim to be a true fan and since they have not won a playoff game since 1993 and I was in high school when they won a Super Bowl, watching these guys means the Bears are not on TV that week, and not much else is going on. 

I’ve been doing Fantasy Football for a long time, and my fantasy is to have a good season once in a while.  I do have one trophy but that’s not much to show for a lot of pre-season reading and draft planning.  Once again this fall we will try to do it until we get it right. 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL


Chicago Cubs logoI was a Chicago Cub fan for 30 or so years, but as baseball went downhill with the designated hitter, interleague play, wild card playoffs and the refusal to adopt a real drug policy, I sort of faded out. 

Kansas City Royals logoAbout 150 or so games of the KC Royals are broadcast and I watch one now and then.  But when a bunch of singles hitters don’t even hit those, the outcome is often nothing to cheer for.  Once in a while ESPN has a game I watch, but I am only tenuously connected to baseball.

CYCLING
Count me among the millions duped by Lance.  I watch the Tour of California logoTour of California and the Tour de France logoTour de France every year and do enjoy the sport, because these guys do the same basic thing I do.  Oh, their bikes cost as much as my car, and they go up 10% gradients like they are sprinting.  But  there’s a lot of cool scenery in bike races and we spend 3 weeks each July getting up for the 7 a.m. start for each Tour de France broadcast.  I hope they get the drugs out of the sport.  So far only the NFL has any kind of real drug policy. Just as I hope for the Bears, I hope for a clean sport of cycling. 

GOLF
I have long watched PGA logoPGA and LPGA logo LPGA golf on TV.  In recent years, though, I am not there as much.   PGA tournaments, especially when Tiger and other notables are not in the field, go to the obscure golfer of the week.  Often the Majors do too.  Too many guys win those and disappear, never to be heard from again.  So watching the PGA is a little like baseball with me---if I’m watching it’s a pretty good indicator I have nothing much else going on.


The LPGA has slipped quite a bit.  Many of their tournaments are outside the US and few make it on network TV.  A lot are on the Golf Channel.  Although some U.S. players do well and are high in the world rankings, we’re still waiting for another Nancy Lopez, or Annika or Lorena.  It needs a star who can play top golf more than one or two weeks in a row. These days the #1 ranking changes often. I do admire the LPGA because it is truly an international game and it’s cool to see that.   But they just aren’t on TV as much, and play far fewer tournaments than they once did. 

NHL HOCKEY

I’ve long rooted for the Chicago Blackhawks logoChicago Blackhawks and remember as a kid the teams with Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito and others.  In recent years they’ve won a couple Stanley Cups which is cool.   But I’m not keen on the fighting in the game.  They removed the red line a few years back to help encourage offense, but defenses have improved.  Defensemen are faster, there’s not much room on teams for the old lumbering goons who just went in to throw punches, and offense is still hard to come by. I watch few regular season games, but do keep an eye on the playoffs, where fights are fewer and the level of hockey is better.
We do not watch Olympics much at our house.  Most of the winter stuff events are based on time, and it’s boring when things are not head to head.  In summer it’s all little girls’ gymnastics and swimming, neither of much interest.   The Olympics used to be more interesting when it was us against them, the good guys versus the commies.  Now, every athlete from every country seems to be a present or past student at UCLA, or one of those schools.   Mostly they are pro’s now, which many always were, so it’s nice to see the phony amateurism go away.  

There are oddball sports on.  They’ve legalized street fighting and call it UFC.  It seems to have taken the niche boxing once occupied.  Bull riding is big on some of the channels, and fishing, and all that.   Yawn.  I tried watching pro lacrosse which pops up sometimes on ESPN, but I guess I just don’t seem to get it as to its appeal. 

So, my sports are the NFL, and once in a while some golf or baseball, and cycling always if it is on.  Fortunately, there are plenty of other things to garner my attention in retirement.