EVERY-THING SPORTS

Jermaine Every: July and August are more exciting than you think

The Justin Verlander deal is an example of what can happen in the summer. Bob Levey/Getty Images

In early June, I wrote an article to help you guys combat your summer sports boredom. Every year in the months of July and August (more July than August), sports fans complain about nothing to watch. The week of the MLB All Star Game is widely viewed as the worst week in sports. The game itself is competitive, but the festivities surrounding it aren’t as exciting.

ESPN puts on the ESPY’s the night after the All Star Game, but some fans don’t feel as though they are must-see. It’s turned into a hokey show that leans towards being all-inclusive instead of a real representation of sports over the past year. Yes, that is a reference to the Astros losing best game to women’s hockey.

This year, there was the World Cup to help bridge the gap. However, it only takes place every four years. That and the fact that people in America won’t give high level soccer a chance makes it hard to fill the void. The Olympics come along every four years also. They hold attention better than the World Cup because of the variety of sporting events. But 2020 will be the next time they help divert our attention in the summer.

But why is it that sports fans have such a difficult time late in the summer? Is there not enough to wet your palette? Besides the sporting events I listed in June, there are other goings-on that sports fans can keep an eye on that can hold them over:

NBA offseason

The NBA offseason is oftentimes the most exciting offseason of the major pro sports. Free agency kicks off in high gear as teams and players strike deals within minutes of the opening of the signing period. Trades are more prevalent, so player movement is all over the place. Stars tend to move via either avenue so there’s more of a seismic shift in competitive balance more so than other leagues. MLB and the NFL have collective bargaining agreements that give teams more control over a players’ prime years, therefore restricting player movement. Waiting on a “Woj Bomb,” reading the tea leaves waiting on a player to decide where he’s going to sign, or speculating on trades and buyouts can occupy your time. The Trade Machine alone will have you playing GM for hours on end.

NFL offseason

NFL offseason starts in March when the new league year starts. The rookie combine takes place in February, and draft in April. However, the hype around rookies and other new team acquisitions abounds during OTAs and training camp. EVERY fan of EVERY team believes in their team's chances to win. Hope is what keeps fans going throughout the offseason. Then there are the preseason games in which guys look like Hall of Famers against inferior competition. That gives fans even more reason to feel better about their  chances. Lestar Jean anyone? This time of year puts faith in fans and teams alike around the NFL. There are only a few weeks left before those hopes come crashing back to Earth when fans realize it’s time to get ready for the draft next year.

MLB stretch run

MLB has the most exciting and active trade deadline of the major pro sports. Sure the NBA makes moves at their deadline, but MLB has superstars on the move every trade deadline. Not to mention the waiver wire trades made in August can change the landscape. Justin Verlander to Astros last year is a perfect example.  Every year there are teams that make runs towards a playoff spot. Now with the expanded wildcard spots, there are more teams that will have a shot at the postseason making the stretch run more exciting, and the trade deadline more interesting.

Take a look at things in the sports world from a different perspective. You’ll see how much fun and interesting things can be if you give them a shot. It’s not all doom and gloom during the dog days of summer. There are tons of interesting things you can get into. Besides, you could be doing worse things with your time, like arguing in a Group Me chat about frivolous topics like I did last night.

 

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Composite image by Jack Brame.

Here are some of the moves the Astros will have to consider as they approach the offseason and look to regroup after a tough season. With so many contracts expiring after 2020, the roster could look very different moving forward.

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