A few weeks ago, I partook in one of my annual summer rituals when I signed on to ESPN.com to try my hand at a fantasy football mock draft.
You see, in August, I will have the 10th pick in the fantasy league I am in with my friends from high school. (Note that “having the 10th pick” is a subtle way of saying, “I WON LAST YEAR!”)
At any rate, I have to know who I’m going to take. Will Aaron Rodgers slip to No. 10? Should I skip taking a running back with one of my first two picks and instead go for a quarterback and a wide receiver? Should I reach for someone I like — such as Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin — considering that after picks No. 10 and 11, I won’t have another selection until pick No. 30?
While I was pondering these important questions, someone in the mock draft lobby by the name of “Show me dem TDs” commented, “We’re mock drafting in June. We’ve got problems.”
I didn’t want to think about it at the time, but “Show me dem TDs” is right. I might have a bit of a problem.
But this is the life of a sports fan (or maybe fanatic, whatever) during the summer. Unless you love baseball — which I don’t — summer is the worst time of the year.
Once the NBA and NHL playoffs end, there will be nothing left for me. Without a Summer Olympics or World Cup, there will be almost nothing entertaining until the NFL season kicks off in September. We’re about to go into the dark season — the time of the year when so little is going on that the mock drafts on ESPN actually sound like a good idea.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. There is hope.
There’s more than just the big four sports. So if you find yourself getting caught up in training camp rumors and, god forbid, mock drafts — don’t. There are plenty of other sports going on over the summer to appease the rabid sports fan.
Take golf, for example. For many people, the word most associated with golf is “boring.” Those people are what I like to call “wrong.”
In April, the Masters went to a two-hole, sudden-death playoff. If you missed all of the dramatic buildup and watched nothing other than those final two holes, in which Angel Cabrera left a putt an inch short to open the door for Adam Scott to win, you would have been on the edge of your seat.
So give golf a try. The Open Championship — the next major — begins on July 18. And if you are only following Tiger, you are doing it wrong. I recommend watching Rickie Fowler — if for no other reason than to admire his impeccable sense of style.
But let’s say you don’t like golf. Try tennis.
The next time the four great tennis players — Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and Federer — will square off in a major will be on June 24 at Wimbledon. In the French Open just a few weeks ago, Nadal and world No. 1 Djokovic battled in an epic, four-hour and 37-minute match that finally ended with Nadal prevailing, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7. If you don’t understand the string of numbers I threw at you, just take my word for it — that match was unbelievably close and intense.
And, of course, it is always worth watching the women’s game to see if 31 year-old Serena Williams can keep up her dominance. She did just that when she bested Maria Sharapova at the French Open in the finals.
But if you think golf and tennis are just for rich white people, you can always pick up soccer.
Right now, most of the big European leagues are done for the summer, but Major League soccer is still going on. Normally, I don’t recommend watching leagues that feature subpar play (there’s a reason you don’t see me touting Arena Football in this column), but the MLS can be exciting.
If nothing else, the local San Jose Earthquakes had the best record in MLS last year with 2012 MVP Chris Wondolowski on the squad. Yet the Quakes have fallen into an inexplicable slump this season. Can they turn it around? The only way to find out is to watch.
If none of the above is to your fancy, then I have one more suggestion: Go outside.
Pick up a football or frisbee and go spend an afternoon on Memorial Glade. It’s freaking summer! And, unlike half the country, we live in an area where the summers are nice. The Bay Area is beautiful. You won’t fry in 100-degree heat like you will down south, and it’s not muggy and humid like it is on the East Coast. So forget about the mock drafts and go enjoy some of the outdoors.
But if even that doesn’t sound good to you, well, there’s always baseball.
Contact Riley McAtee at [email protected]