Back when I was little, I absolutely loved swinging on a swing. Whether it was at a park or in my backyard, there was nothing quite like it.
Maybe I’m over-exaggerating a wee bit but I loved the feeling of it. I would pump my legs back and forth desperately trying to be able to see over my house — which I found out is impossible, go figure. Sometimes, I would get going as fast as I could and jump off on the upswing and see how far away I could land, which didn’t always end too well.
My favorite thing to do on the swing was to do “underdog.” Underdog was when my mom would push me and once I got going fast enough she would run underneath the swing on my way up.
Right before my mom would run under the swing, she would yell “There’s no need to fear! Underdog is here!” At the time, I had no idea that it was from a cartoon show that my mom grew up watching but it didn’t matter — I loved swinging on the swing. And I LOVED Underdog.
In the past few weeks, sport’s fans have watched their schedules go from jam-packed to as vacant as a desert. With the NBA and NHL seasons wrapped up and the NFL still in a lockout, some sports fans may not know what to do.
Well, I’m here to say “There’s no need to fear! Justin is here!”
Here are 10 athletes, teams, events or story lines to keep up with:
- The NFL Lockout- It isn’t news that the NFL is in a lockout unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months but there have been talks that the lockout is close to being resolved. Call me a cynic, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
- The NBA Draft- In what many have called the weakest draft class of recent years, the NBA Draft is bound to get interesting. Reports indicate that the Cavs have decided to take Kyrie Irving with the first pick but they are still weighing their options. Multiple teams are willing to trade down out of the lottery picks so tonight could get a little hectic.
- The Boston Red Sox- After starting the season off 2-9, the Red Sox have gone a remarkable 42-21 to take the lead in the American League East. The Sox have the best record in the American League and are proving they are as good as advertised.
- Justin Verlander- In his past five starts, Verlander is 5-0 and has only allowed 4 runs in 41 and 2/3 innings. Verlander has the capability to throw a no-hitter every time he takes the mound which has made him must-see TV. If the Tigers are going to make any noise in the AL Central and in the playoffs, they will need Verlander to continue to perform to his full potential.
- Rory McIlroy/Tiger Woods- Rory McIlroy is the future of golf whether you like it or not. His performance this past weekend at the U.S. Open was one of the best performances in a major that we will ever see. Once Tiger fully recovers from his injuries, it should be beyond entertaining to watch these two battle it out.
- The Ohio State University/Terrelle Pryor- Just because there hasn’t been any more news forthcoming from the investigation doesn’t mean that this scandal is going away anytime soon. Depending on what the NCAA investigation finds, expect the penalties to be the same as what USC received. The whole landscape of college football could be changed and Michigan and Michigan State are in line to benefit the most.
- Wimbledon- Wimbledon has just begun but it marks the return of Venus and Serena WIlliams. Both have been suffering from injuries but they are expected to make long runs considering the women’s field is wide open. On the men’s side, Nadal, Federer, Murray and Djokovic are strong favorites to reach the semifinals.
- Gold Cup- The CONCACAF Gold Cup Final featuring the United States vs Mexico is Saturday night at 9 ET. This rivalry may not be as strong as the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry but it should be a very emotional match. Mexico has looked great throughout the tournament but the United States looks to have finally hit their stride.
- American League Central- At the start of the season, the Cleveland Indians surprised everyone when they jumped out into first place. The Twins on the other hand, plummeted to last place and left everyone scratching their heads. After a 15-4 start to the month of June, the Twins are only 7 1/2 games out of first place. The Tigers sit one game behind the Indians at 40-35. Like usual, this division looks as if it will come down to the wire.
- Baseball Realignment- There have been multiple reports indicating that baseball is considering moving one of the six teams in the NL Central to the AL West — which currently has four teams — to balance out the divisions. The Houston Astros are the most logical choice to move considering their rivalry with Texas. If the move does happen, don’t be surprised to see the inter-league and division schedules re-adjusted.