It was good to have a combination of good weather and good baseball to enjoy this past week. Now, despite the fact it is midsummer, this area is gearing up, barring golf, of course, for winter sports.
Local ball teams are done or out of town the rest of the year. So, it’s on to the Smokies, who start their camps in four weeks, and the local junior B squads.
The Smokies have 20 players on their roster, none from this immediate vicinity as yet. I am assured, however, there will be several at camp next month. Here’s hoping.
•You have to feel for the organizers of the Canadian Open. Once among the contenders for the title of Fifth Major, it has been relegated to an oddity – and this year will likely be the worst in a while for revenue and attention generating.
On top of the fact it is difficult to get marquee names on, well, its marguee, because of the fact its dates fall hard on the aftermath of the British Open and most big name (and big drawing) players take that week off.
This year’s scheduling sees it competing with the opening weekend of the 2012 Olympic Games for TV eyeballs, with even many would-be in-person attendees opting for that spectacle over the golf.
I think we can count on low ratings, low attendance and another drop in the dwindling prestige of our national, and once an important, championship.
•I think it is safe to say Canadian icon Wayne Gretzky is fully Americanized now. The latest rumour has him as part of the group promoting a new or transferred NHL team for – Seattle. Not some Canadian hockey hotbed like Hamilton or Quebec City, both of which could be counted on to support a big-time hockey operation to the max their population allows.
Seattle, which has nothing like an NHL quality arena in place and is better known for losing baseball and football teams (and losing an entire basketball franchise) than hockey.
Meanwhile, the IOC has opened its latest money-sucking venture (the Games) in London. As always (VanWhistler, anybody) the people involved in, “luring,” the games because of its economic benefits no longer tout that possibility. The $4.5 billion initial budget has ballooned to $14 billion taxpayer costs and security’s budget is still not finalized.
Nobody anymore suggests the country, which just slipped back into recession with no upside in sight, will see growth – even London would take break-even about now – and there are still the costs of closing up shop to consider.
There will be, however, some seriously entertaining sporting events and opening and closing spectacles.
Much more enjoyable when some other suckers are paying for it.