Today, the day after the baseball all-star game, was the worst day of the year for sports.
It’s the day when there are no sports at all. Obviously, baseball is off today. Football hasn’t begun yet and, despite the seemingly endless pro basketball season, there is nary a round ball game on television.
Unless you count the WBNA as a sport (and who does, really?) and the Canadian Football League,which doesn’t broadcast its games but on obscure high-numbered cable channels between the music stations and cooking shows, there’s no sports.
It’s a sad day.
But it was even sadder years ago when we didn’t have cable television. Nowadays, if all else fails, we can watch a replay of a Northwestern University football game on one cable channel, poker playing on another and the 45th replay of this year’s Home Run Derby that preceded the all-star game on ESPN.
Back years ago, we had about four television channels we were able to watch on our antenna tower. Cable television hadn’t yet snaked its way into the majority of homes and we were just pleased to watch the snowy pictures from television stations within a hundred miles or so.
Not much opportunity for sports back then, but at least we could watch the evening news and wait for the scores to flash on the screen.
But on the Wednesday after the all-star game, there was a huge void. The local television sports broadcasts were filled with fishing reports, area stock car racing and video of squirrels that water skied behind toy boats.
My dad realized the bleakness of the day back then and it became a tradition for him to tell me about the baseball he watched when he was a youngster. He grew up in east New Jersey and would watch the Yankees play. He’d regale me with tales of seeing Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio and Whitey Ford. It’s probably why I became a Yankees fan.
So now, the day after baseball’s all-star game, my television set remains turned off. There’s no sports, no scores to pore over, no stats to revel in.
I think of my father and his stories and realize that, despite a day with no sports, it’s not really that bad a day after all.