ANAHEIM--The dog days of summer are a notoriously slow time for sports, with the NHL, NBA, and NFL all in the midst of their off-seasons, and very little to satisfy Americans’ insatiable appetite for professional sports. For this reason, many Americans, including Major League Baseball players, feel that July and August are particularly boring times for sports fans.
“Ugh, another day, another hour spent watching NFL training camp reports,” Angels outfielder Mike Trout told reporters in front of his locker. “Please, please regale me with more stories about who tweaked his hamstring, who had a tussle during practice, who has a chip on his shoulder this year, and whose holding out for a new contract. Seriously, this sucks! Late summer really is a dead zone for sports. Wake me up in the fall.”
Trout isn’t the only ballplayer to complain about such things. It seems several of his peers around the league feel the same way and are not shy about expressing it.
“I’m a huge sports nut and it’s always really exciting to have football or hoops or even a little hockey on TV when I’m relaxing in the hotel after a game,” said Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. “But right now it’s just nothing. I actually resorted to watching the NFL's goddamn Hall of Fame game the other night on ESPN! Well, trying to watch it. I felt asleep five minutes in and woke up three hours later to see the Arizona Cardinals eighth-string quarterback taking a knee in front of an empty stadium. Sad thing is I watched a replay of the game the following night.”
With no decent sports on TV, many players are resorting to streaming television services like Netflix and Hulu to pass the time. But even quality programming like that can wear thin.
“I spend most of my summer nights watching that docuseries on Netflix about the people in maximum security prison,” said Trout. “What’s it called? ‘Locked Up’? Man, those people have it really bad. At the same time, the show humanizes them in a way I think is really insightful. So this is what I’ve been reduced to: watching prison shows and relating to meth dealers with misspelled bible verses tattooed on their eye lids.”
Like many of his peers, Trout has some ideas of his own for summertime sports programming.
“So check this out: how about the NBA and NHL expand their playoffs to stretch through the summertime. They could have one game a week or something. The quality of play would go up because the players wouldn't be so tired. Or corn hole! Me and my friends used to have some badass corn hole tournaments in my backyard. You miss the board, you drink a beer. Guys were constantly going to the ER to get their stomachs pumped. It was hilarious. I'd watch that on TV.”
Not all ballplayers are complaining, however. Some, in fact, say there is an extremely entertaining, captivating televised team sport airing every single night of the summer on a TV near you: Extreme Cycling.
“I laugh at these guys who say there’s no sports on TV this time of year,” said Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. “Extreme Cycling is actually really exciting and competitive, and the skill level of these guys is off the charts. One guy drove his bike right off a cliff! On purpose! He fell all the way down the mountain like a sack of dirt and when he got to the bottom he had to be taken away on a stretcher with all these breathing tubes hanging out of him. He wasn't even moving! To me thats exciting - at least until the real sports start up again in the fall.”
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