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Off the Rim column: Summer flying by; Now waiting for Olympic Games

July 15, 2012
By Jimmy Gillispie - Sports Editor (jimmy@tamatoledonews.com) , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

It's hard to beiieve July is here already. What happened to June?

Oh yeah, now I remember. June flew by as I was watching high school baseball and softball games on an average of three nights per week. Not complaining, as I enjoyed the summer evenings at the ball diamonds. However, the high school schedule keeps reporters (not to mention players, coaches and fans) busy during June.

During most weeks, the Trojans played four nights a week. The softball team also played a few tournaments on Saturdays. That only leaves most Wednesdays and Sundays for practice. That's a rough schedule for anyone. I feel sorry for the teams, as a few days of practice are always valuable for improving fundamentals.

Despite the schedule, both teams have far exceeded last year's results. There have been a few close losses that both teams would like back, but those make good teaching moments for young teams.

Although it seems like prep baseball and softball consumed June, there was a lot that happened in the sports world, primarily on the national level. On a side note, this sports editor turned the big 3-O last month. Sure wish I was in shape like i was during my collegiate running days, but those are long, long gone and it showed at the Harry Gardner/Toledo 5K last week. Although running a 22:22 on zero training in 100-degree weather isn't shabby.

Anyway, back to the topic, sorry for getting sidetracked. During June, the NBA and NHL crowned new champions. There was also the PGA's U.S. Open, U.S. Olympic trials, NBA draft and plenty of MLB.

I'll admit I watched a handful of NBA playoff games, but I don't watch hockey. It's not a good sport to watch on TV. Of course, I was cheering for the Oklahoma City Thunder and against the Miami Heat. I've never been a LeBron James fan, but I've always liked Kevin Durant, even when he played for Texas - despite the fact that I'm a diehard Kansas Jayhawks fan. I respected Durant's game, plus a pair of former Jayhawks play for the Thunder.

The Heat were the more experienced playoff team and it showed in the finals. It was disappointing to see James get his coveted ring, but it bound to happen sooner rather than later. With some improved defensive play, the Thunder could be back in the finals in 2013.

Speaking of thee NBA, I actually watched the draft for the first time in years. Well, I watched part of it. Former Jayhawks, Thomas Robinson went fifth overall. If you're not aware of his story, go online and read about it. He has worked hard and fought through a lot to get where he is today and Jayhawk Nation is behind him 100 percent.

I saw where Royce White, formerly of Iowa State, was also drafted. He should be a good pro, but only time will tell.

When I had time to watch sports at home, I spent my late nights watching replays of the U.S. Olympic Trials in swimming, gymnastics and track and field. I watched much more track and field and swimming - possibly my two favorite Olympic sports to watch. I've never been a big fan of sports where your performance is judged and the winner is based on a judge's score. I want a clearly defined, no bias or judgement, winner.

It should be an exciting Olympics and the U.S. should do quite well in all three sports that were televised. The "rivalry" between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will be fun to watch as both are two of the best swimmers in the world. I wouldn't bet against Phelps quite yet. He's still the champ until dethroned at the world's biggest stage.

We are now just 14 days from the Opening Ceremonies in London. Two weeks of waiting. I hope those two weeks fly by much like June did, because I'm ready for the Olympics. Time to show our American spirit, starting July 27.

 
 

 

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