Top 10 Reasons True Sports Fans
Should Not Be Bored This Summer

by Josh Spence

The summer months always seem to fall off a bit when it comes to exciting sports action.  It's a difficult time for the true sports fan. Football season is long gone and still months away, the NBA and college baseball are both wrapping up, and it has been especially difficult for NHL fans, who saw no action this year.  For those who find themselves lost, here are my top 10 reasons why sports fans should not be bored this summer.

10.  PGA Golf
Honestly, I'm not big on watching golf on television. However, you have to admit watching Tiger, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and others knock around the little white ball, with millions on the line, can be pretty entertaining. Major events to keep an eye on:

-The U.S. Open in Pinehurst, NC this week
-July 14-17 British Open from St. Andrews (Purse: 7.5 Million)
-August 11-14 PGA Championship Baltusrol Golf Club
  Springfield, NJ

9.  Major League Baseball
I understand that the casual baseball fan won't pay attention to MLB until October, but to help you through these difficult months here are a few dates to mark on your calendar: 

-Subway series Mets @ Yankees June 24-26
  (Mets won 2 of 3 in 1st series)
-MLB All-Star Weekend July 10th at Comerica Park in Detroit
-Yankees/Red Sox July 14-17 four-game series at Fenway Park

8.  Sports Movies
Moviemakers have put out a pretty good list of sports movies for this summer.  Out now are the "Longest Yard", and "Cinderella Man".  And coming out on July 22, Billy Bob Thornton stars in a remake of an old classic, "The Bad News Bears".

7.  NFL Preseason
And we all know that doesn't just mean the exhibition games.  The first preseason game is Thursday, August 11, between the Packers and the Chargers, but you can keep busy until then by keeping track of the millionaires like Terrell Owens holding out of summer camps for more money.

6.  NBA
This is college basketball country, I understand that. I hear a lot of people talk badly about NBA basketball and how they would rather watch badminton.  "It's no longer a team game, nobody plays defense." I have heard it all, but the NBA finals this year features two teams that are the exact opposite of what people are complaining about: the San Antonio Spurs and the Detroit Pistons, two teams that play defense first, and they're both in the finals; imagine that.  Execution of a team concept with defense as their primary weapon has marked success for both of these teams.  Two teams that play team games despite individual stars.  It is the first time in many years that the previous two champions have met in the NBA finals. 

5.  NBA Draft
Coming up on June 28, this year's draft promises to be entertaining.  Milwaukee won the draft lottery and they will pick first, or will they trade down?  Several stars from North Carolina will probably be taken in the first round.  The Charlotte Bobcats get two picks in the first round. How will they improve their young, but solid, squad?  Also, pay attention to the labor disputes within the NBA. They could be the next to "lock out".

4.  College World Series
Watch the stars of tomorrow compete on college baseball's biggest stage.  The Pirates aren't in it, but there are several elite programs that missed it as well.  Miami, Florida St., Georgia Tech, and Cal State Fullerton will all watch the college world series from home.

3.  ECU/College Football
September 3 at 1 p.m. marks the opening of the Skip Holtz era of ECU football, as the Pirates play Duke on national TV.  However, you won't have to wait that long for college football action.  Preseason predictions have already been released by several publications, and as we get closer with fall practice, there is sure to be enough football action to think about until September 3

The NASCAR season runs February through November, and the Nextel cup guys are just getting geared up.  With 15 races behind them, the drivers are currently in the middle part of the schedule, as they compete in the final twelve races prior to the 10 race cutoff point for the chase for the Nextel Cup.  This part of the season features some of  NASCAR's premier events, including:

-Sat July 2 The Pepsi 400 under the lights at Daytona
-Road racing fans get their fill June 26 at Sonoma, CA, and
 August  14 at Watkins Glen NY
-August 7 NASCAR invades Indianapolis 

1.  The Great Outdoors
Get out and enjoy your favorite sports yourself.  Take advantage of the summer weather. Take the kids, and make it a family event; a little more exercise could help us all.

Josh Spence