Every-Thing Sports

Jermaine Every: Summer sporting events to hold you over

The World Cup should give you a sports diversion. @FIFAWorldCup verified Twitter account

Summer is here. The heat has ratcheted up a notch or 12. I took the wife on a lunch date Sunday afternoon and we did some shopping. Our leftovers were still hot when we got home. School is out, so the inevitable conundrum of what to do with your kids for the summer is something parents wrestle with every year. But hey, at least the traffic will be light. Community pools are open to help cool you off, and keep the kids busy. Beware of the urine dye indicator and floating turds. It’s also vacation time. A lot of you will be going on vacation and taking trips. Thanks to the guys at ESPN 97.5 and SB Nation who are taking time off and giving my podcast partner Craig Koskin and I an opportunity to fill in.

Summer descending upon us also means the sports landscape will amount to a barren waste land according to most. Baseball is the only of the major sports that is still in-season. Some of you feel as if baseball is secondary. I know lots of people who don’t like it. But the Astros are poised for another World Series run so we should be along for the ride. Sure the bullpen sucks, and the bats have narcolepsy, but this team will make the playoffs. They also have the best pitching staff in MLB and that is all you need to have a shot. The true titans are the NBA, and reiging sports king of the hill the NFL. The NBA Finals are soon to be over. Emphasis on soon if the Cavs can’t pull it together fight back. We’re still 59 days away from the first NFL preseason Hall of Fame Game and 94 days away from the Eagles/Falcons Kickoff Game for the regular season. This could be a long couple months for some…unless you open your mind to some alternatives.

When I say “alternatives” I’m talking strictly sports. I mean, sure you could pick up a hobby, or get some much needed rest. However, as sports fans, we aren’t wired like that. We love the competition and drama that comes along with it. If your sports appetite can’t wait a couple months, here are several alternatives:

The World Cup (June 14-July 15)

This is the premiere sporting event of the summer. The world will be watching. I know people who root for certain countries to win because their favorite player/s play/s for said country. Soccer is such a global game because all you need is a ball and two makeshift goals. The World Cup only comes around every four years. After the corruption scandal erupted a few years ago, FIFA has seemingly recovered and they’re looking forward to what is looking to be a great Cup. Jerry Bo wrote a great article for anyone needing a beginner’s guide to the Cup.

Men’s College World Series (June 16-26)

The Men’s College World Series produces some of the most exciting moments in sports every year. LSU’s Warren Morris won an ESPY with his walk-off homerun to win the 1996 title. Since 1950, it’s been held in Omaha, Nebraska. From 1950-2010, it was played in Rosenblatt Stadium. From 2011 on, it’s been played at the TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. That’s the history and tradition sports fans love.

PGA US Open (June 11-17)

I know. I know. “Golf is boring!” “I use golf to take naps on the weekends.” “If Tiger’s not in contention, I’m not watching.” I’ve heard it all before. Heck, I’ve even said some myself. But this major is different because it’s the longest, and sometimes most difficult, course of the year. Watching the top pro golfers in the world struggle is a good reminder that nobody owns this game. Winners are often times barely under par. It’s going to be held at Shinnecock Hills in New York. The last three winners were at -4, E, and -1.

Wimbledon (July 2-15)

If you think golf is boring, chances are you feel the same way about tennis. This major has all the pomp and circumstance expected of an event held in England and attended by members of the royal family. Players are held to a very strict all white dress code. Men are to bow and women are to curtsy. Did I mention it’s played on grass? The ball doesn’t spin or bounce the same so players with power aren’t always at an advantage. Centre Court on a Saturday or Sunday for the finals is a sight to see.

These are just four big sporting events I’ve listed for you to watch. There are at least three to four more that are worth your attention. Personally, I’ll be glued to each one of these I’ve listed, especially The World Cup. I’ve become a fan of soccer since I moved to Texas in 2000. If there are any more you’d suggest, or you want to interact with me about the subject matter, give me a follow on Twitter so we can discuss. I hope to hear from you guys because I’d love to get your feedback!

 

Patriot Paws/Facebook

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

It's that time of year: Houston Ballet's packed and popular Nutcracker Market will be held Thursday, November 14, through Sunday, November 17, at NRG Center with more than 100,000 shoppers expected to scoop up everything "Christmasy" that can fit under a tree, down a chimney, on a dinner table or you can put a bow on it.

About 260 merchants, including 23 rookie booths, will kick back 11 percent of their sales toward the Houston Ballet Foundation. When you add in all the admission money, thousands of Houston area students will get a valuable lesson in the arts.

As always, all roads will lead to booth 920, to the back and to the right in NRG Center, where the Donne Di Domani ladies will be selling their legendary marinara sauce for the 28th year. Donne Di Domani means "Women of Tomorrow" in Italian, or "Spaghetti Sauce Ladies" in plain English.

The sauce is still $10 a bottle, credit cards accepted. If you buy a 12-bottle case for $120, they'll throw in a dozen recipe cards guaranteed to please the family, including your uncle who comes to your house each Christmas and does nothing but complain about your cooking.

Here's why I love writing about these ladies. Sure their sauce is amazing. Consider this a warning: If you wait till Sunday to buy the sauce, you'll be the little piggy who had none. But the real story is what Donne Di Domani does with their profits — we're talking millions here. Yeah, they sell a lot of sauce.

Each year, after the market closes and they total up the profits, the ladies decide which charities they'll support. It's a long list of organizations such as Shelter for Cancer Families, Casa Juan Diego, Triumph Over Kid Cancer, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Carmelite Nuns of New Caney, and many more.

One year, when I was in the hospital getting my X-rays touched up, I heard that Sister Angel and the Carmelite Nuns said a prayer for me. Wrong church, wrong pew, but I'll take it.

Pawsing for our heroes
The charities may change, but the ladies will always support an organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families. Last year the charity was Folded Flag, which lends a hand to widows and children of soldiers killed in the line of duty.

In recent years, Donne Di Domani sponsored service dogs trained by Patriot Paws in Rockwell, Texas. I've been to Rockwell and seen how these remarkable dogs help wounded veterans get through their day. It costs $30,000 to train a dog, and the dogs are given free to vets who need them. Donne Di Domani so far has sponsored four Patriot Paws dogs:

"Hoffy," who was named after me (best honor I ever received), didn't make the grade. His mind wandered and he didn't concentrate on his studies. (The acorn sure didn't fall far from the tree.)

Continue on CultureMap to find out what happened to "Hoffy."

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