HS Football: Things To Watch

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company. 

The RCN Sports staff members are busy preparing for another great season of high school football.

With “double sessions” in full swing, it’s time to take a look at some of the great storylines to follow for teams and schools within the RCN-TV viewing area.

NEW COACHES:

  • There were seven coaching changes in the Lehigh Valley alone this off-season.  We’ve already featured most of them on our “SportsTalk” show (and are trying to schedule dates for those we have not as of yet had on), but I think all of the school districts with new hires have reason for optimism.
  • Whitehall, Bangor and Central Catholic all have up-and-coming programs.  New head coaches typically need a few years to fully implement their system–both on the field and off–and the fact that all three of these teams have quite a bit of talent that will return beyond next year bodes well for the overall health of the programs.
  • All three may not challenge for league honors in 2019, but keep an eye on the players who develop over the course of the fall to see which players might have “break out seasons”, which should help these schools be playoff contenders by 2020.

WILSON (DC) FOOTBALL:

  • Our friends at “DKN Sports” in the Washington DC area recently produced a feature on the Wilson high school football program and their successes in recent seasons (a portion of their story will be featured on an upcoming edition of “RCN SportsTalk” to hear more about them.)
  • While there will be a number of competitive teams in the DMV on the gridiron once again this fall, Wilson has a ton of talent returning for this year’s squad and should be posting some impressive wins in 2019.

PEN ARGYL/BANGOR’S “100th”:

  • These two long-time rivals will be meeting for the 100th time this fall.  While the Bangor/Green Knights game sometimes gets overlooked by other key rivalry match-ups (Easton/P’burg, Northampton/Catasauqua and other traditional “Thanksgiving Day” games), expect this event to be much bigger than any previous meeting between these two schools.
  • Both programs took some lumps last year but both head coaches have told me that their kids have been working hard and vow big improvements for the new season.
  • We’ll be talking more about the 100th meeting between Bangor and Pen Argyl on one of our three “SportsTalk at the Allentown Fair” shows coming up in two weeks.  Keep checking back to the RCN-TV website for more details on these special programs that will be shot “on location.”

Next week, we’ll commence with our usual high school football polls and game predictions contest, which include RCN announcers, local media and coaches and administrators that will continue through the scholastic football season.

Interested in Colin?

 The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

 While I was away, the Eagles played a preseason football game against the Tennessee Titans.  Normally, I would have very little interest in any of these games, particularly in the first one.

However, a major event occurred that could affect the entire Eagles’ season – backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld suffered a fractured wrist in his non-throwing hand.  Doctors indicate he could be out for six weeks, which makes his return in late September.

Every Eagles fan is well aware of the injury history of Carson Wentz.  He is healthy now, but, in the NFL, you are one play away from your season being over.  Just look at last year.  But, last year the Eagles had Nick Foles, who did a great job replacing Wentz.  Foles is no longer on the team.  He is now on the roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Every time there is a quarterback slot made available through injury, the name Colin Kaepernick comes to the forefront.  He has not played since 2016.  Is it worth taking the risk of alienating a large portion of the population by bringing in a talented player like Kaepernick?  Will people ever forget he took a knee during the National Anthem to protest what he considered unjustified shootings of black Americans by the police?  Philadelphia fans are not the most accepting in the league.  If you thought booing Santa Claus was bad … (well, you finish the statement).

And Kaepernick’s story was back on the sports pages again this week when Race Imboden, who won a goal medal with two other USA teammates in the Pan Am foil competition, chose to take a knee during the National Anthem.  “We must call for change,” he said.  He pointed out the areas of “Racism, Gun Control, mistreatment of immigrants” were his major areas of concern.  In protesting, however, he broke his commitment to the USA Pan Am teams to “refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature”.

But, in every one of the stories about the Imboden protest, Colin Kaepernick’s name is mentioned.  The story will not die.

So, it is my opinion that the Eagles will stick with Cody Kessler and Clayton Thorson as the back-ups for now and consider a number of other possibilities before giving much thought to bringing in Colin Kaepernick.  Kaepernick just this week said that he continues to pursue an NFL job.  He also continues to pay the price for doing what he considered to be the morally right thing to do.

When you make that kind of commitment, you must be willing to pay the consequences.  For Kaepernick, those consequences continue.  Stay tuned!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. If summer basketball tournaments are any indication, the winter EPC season should be a very, very competitive one.  Allen, Easton, Emmaus, Freedom, Northampton, etc. all had special moments on the outdoor courts.  I can wait, though, because high school football looks to be just as interesting.
  2. There obviously are no summer football games, but looking at Freedom, Emmaus, Parkland, Easton and the rest of the league, it appears that Friday night football (with a sprinkling of Saturday games) should make for a great season.  So I can’t wait for those games to start.
  3. Speaking of the start of high school football, we will have our traditional Colonial League opener on August 23 when Notre Dame hosts Northwestern.  Not only should the game be a good one, but Notre Dame will be dedicating their stadium to Deacon Anthony Koury.  He was a great friend as AD and is most deserving of the honor.
  4. In the “You’ve got to be kidding” department, the Phillie Phanatic technically becomes a free agent next year and could be taken from the Phillies.  This is a court case for sure.
  5. John Leone’s blog last week, which filled my space perfectly, noted that John recently retired from Lafayette College.  Rest assured he has not retired from the RCN-TV broadcasting team.  He will still sit alongside Chris Michael on Friday nights and be on the sideline for our Lafayette football games and alongside me for Lafayette basketball.  We won’t let John retire.

Blue Mountain League Baseball Wrap-Up

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

It was another fun season of watching and announcing Blue Mountain League games on RCN-TV once again this year.

The level of play seems to get better every year and there’s no shortage of young talent in the league, as evident in many of our “Game of the Week” broadcasts during this recently completed regular season.

I believe the speed of the game has picked up a few notches in recent years, with lots of excellent high school talent making the quick transition to the league.  Teams are also bringing in talent from not just the Lehigh Valley, but from the Poconos, Berks County and New Jersey .

In case you missed any of the games, RCN customers can watch all of this summer’s games for free through RCN On-Demand (games are available for up to 60 days after their initial air date).

Here are video highlights of all of this summer’s RCN-TV games:

 

 

 

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve already starting preparations for our coverage for the fall high school football season.  Check back to “The Shop” next week for our first peak at what to expect this year!

Also, tune in to “SportsTalk” next Thursday  at 7pm on RCN-TV for the first of several fall sports preview shows, beginning with stories featuring the defending champions from the sports of girls tennis and boys and girls golf.  More sports to come in subsequent weeks.

 

Finding Bigfoot, by John Leone, Guess Blogger

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company. 

I retired last week. They say that nothing is forever, so file that information under the “for what it’s worth” tab in the now non-existent cabinet in the non-existent desk in my non-existent office.  But at least for the moment, after 45 years of waking up in the morning with a clear set of tasks before me, my career North Star has drifted behind a cloud of uncertainty. Of course, I am lucky to still have a boss, but had I performed for my previous one the way I do for the current one, I’d have been out of work a long time ago. The “honey-do” list is seemingly ubiquitous and deadlines are a mere suggestion. But I’m muddling through. It’s certainly an adjustment.

As the weeks leading up to my final day grew shorter, my anxiety level rose. It was as if I was standing at the edge of a high dive for the first time. But the pleasant distraction of so many thoughtful notes, visits, and the kind well-wishes from so many friends and from folks with whom I’d crossed paths over so many years made it easier to take the plunge. It also gave me real pause to reflect on just how lucky I had been to have encountered so many good people along the way. Some I’d first met as high schoolers as I recruited them to Lafayette. Suddenly it seems, they now have high schoolers of their own.  Others were well-established professionals in their own right, more than willing to show me the ropes as I made the adjustment to a new career. So many more relationships were the result of some serendipitous confluence of events that brought us together. I’m always reminded of Forest Gump, who wondered aloud if we were all just floating around “accidental-like on a breeze” or if we all have a destiny that needs fulfilling. In the end, the conclusion he drew was the right one. It’s both, he reckoned. As a younger man, I fell in love with coaching basketball and made it my destiny to succeed. It was a strong breeze that took me in a different direction.

Upon my retirement and the obligatory farewell gatherings, one of those many well-wishes was from a wise and good friend. His message to me felt overstated and certainly humbling: “left a big footprint.” It got me thinking about what one of those looks like. My perception of a big footprint is so much different at 67 than it was when I was 22. For a big footprint to have impact, it has to be at least as deep as it is wide. At 22, I instinctively knew that the pursuit of my dreams would require a certain pace – one considerably quicker than the pace to which I’ve now grown accustomed. But by moving so quickly, was I compromising my impact? The truly successful folks I’ve known seem to have managed to do both – move quickly enough in the right direction, but with a pace that allows relationships to develop both depth and substance. Whether that is a lesson learned in time, or just a product of life taking its natural course is a discussion for another time. Whatever the case, the whole point here is to say how grateful I am for the people I have known. On occasion, someone will ask how I can remember something that happened years ago – something so seemingly inconsequential and even obscure. That’s an easy one because I’ve learned that true gratitude is when memories are stored in the heart, not in the brain. My memories are nothing more than that – true gratitude. Holding on to them is, for me, as natural as taking a next breath.

Life hasn’t always seemed fair, but it’s certainly been good. And every stage has had its own version of excitement and anticipation. As I enter the next one, I expect nothing less – and I hope for nothing more. I want to watch my family grow and develop, and I want to keep as closely connected as possible to my friends. I want to keep moving forward – leaving behind footprints that are as deep as they are long and wide. The pathway before me is clear, primarily because of the lessons learned from my parents – lessons of honesty, fairness, and service. Upon his own retirement, I recall my dad fending off a lot of fanfare. “Clean out the desk and go home,” he said. “A man’s work is his legacy.” He, like my mom, led by example, and theirs was a life of two fundamental components – love and work. After all, when you stop to think it through, what else is necessary?

At 22, I couldn’t have possibly understood those lessons the way I do now. At 67, their wisdom and vision is as relevant as ever – possibly even more so. Those lessons still provide the guideposts that will help ensure that this next stage is every bit as fulfilling as the ones that preceded it. And the footprints left will, hopefully, enable someone else to leave their own as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Summer Hoops 2019

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

The summer basketball campaign is starting to wind down across local playgrounds and gyms.

With several teams losing quite a bit of their squad to graduation, there has been an abundance of young players to keep an eye on, to see which players will fill voids and which returning players (and rebuilding teams) are improving enough to make an impact for the 2019-20 scholastic season.

The biggest story at this year’s “Atown Throwdown” at Cedar Beach in Allentown last week was that most of Lehigh Valley schools did NOT participate. While Bethlehem Catholic and Central Catholic were two of the few local teams who did attend, the trend continued at the annual tournament of teams from outside the Lehigh Valley walking home with a championship. This summer was no exception as Reading took home this year’s crown.

This week here at “The Shop,” we wanted to bring you some pictures from different courts.

 

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Check out the next edition of “RCN SportsTalk” on RCN-TV and hear our next podcast for our latest round of interviews with basketball coaches and players from schools in the RCN viewing area in both the Lehigh and Delaware Valley regions.

And, for more summer basketball action, catch the Catasauqua “Tournament of Champions” title game broadcast on RCN-TV on Thursday, August 8.

Temper Tantrums

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Most of us have experienced temper tantrums in our lives.  We tend to forget any of our own and never forget those we have seen in others and often like to recount the incident later in life.  I once ordered a McDonald’s hamburger for my grandson when he was very young and forgot to tell them, despite his emphatic request, to put nothing on it.  He acted like I was trying to murder him when he saw the catsup, cheese and onions.  He could not be consoled.

Who hasn’t seen a child in a supermarket or mall crying, hitting, kicking, stomping, throwing things and as a last resort (and one of my favorites) – holding their breath?

I remember putting a rubber spider on my sister’s shoulder and then pointing out that the ghastly insect was there.  She was around seven years old and after screaming in terror and watching me roll around on the floor in laughter, she quietly went to her toy pile, grabbed a roller skate and proceeded to clobber me over my head.  She was very, very angry.

As we become parents ourselves, we learn that tantrums are quite normal and, for the most part, should be ignored.

We are a little more shocked when adults, however, throw a tantrum.  I once was playing golf with a friend who became so frustrated at the game (and possibly himself) that after having a particularly bad round and hitting a poor shot from the fairway on the 18th hole, individually threw every one of his clubs into the nearby woods.  He then also tossed his golf bag in the same direction.  We ignored him and took great pleasure in watching him try to retrieve every one of his clubs and bag.

Much like a child in a store, Trevor Bauer of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday vented his frustration about being taken out of a game by throwing the baseball from the pitcher’s mound over the center field fence.

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While it is easy to understand Bauer’s frustration, his reaction to it – not so much.  But it isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.  Basketball coach Bobby Knight threw a chair across the court when he didn’t like a referee’s call.  Tennis great John McEnroe was the king of the tantrum when he questioned a line call.  NBA’er Dennis Rodman once almost stripped down to his jock strap and kicked over a Gatorade cooler when he got tossed from a game.  He followed that up one other time when he kicked a cameraman (who, by the way, was carried off on a stretcher).

I was in attendance in Madison Square Garden in New York the night the Boston Bruins went into the stands after the New York fans after one of them slapped a Bruins player with a rolled-up program.  The fans suffered quite a beating.

I think the epitome of anger getting the best of a sports figure, however, occurred during the Mike Tyson – Evander Holyfield WBA heavyweight championship rematch.  In the third round, Tyson became so frustrated by Holyfield’s tactics that he bit off a portion of his opponent’s ear.  Even with a part of an ear on the boxing ring’s canvas, the fight continued until Tyson did it again.  Then the fight was stopped and Holyfield declared the winner.

I am positive there are much better ways to vent your frustration than demonstrated here.  But, I must admit, it is often entertaining to watch someone lose it!

And in case you’re wondering, my grandson grew up to be a very mature, successful,  and quite likable young man, although we often remind him of the hamburger incident.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. Add Carson Wentz to the list of people who eat gluten-free. In an effort to do the most that he can to avoid injuries and prepare his body, his nutritionist recommended he go gluten-free.  The nutritionist also advised him to give up beef for two full months.  Wentz says he feels great and even goes vegan from time to time.  Eagles’ fans hope it works!
  1. It will be even more fun this season when the Giants play the Eagles. Penn State fans will be torn – root for Saquon Barkley or root for Miles Sanders.  Both will be prominent in their respective backfields and both are game breakers.  Both are former Nittany Lions.
  1. Whom do the Phillies root for this week when the Washington Nationals play the Atlanta Braves, the two teams who are ahead of them in the standings? I know – the Phillies should worry about themselves.
  1. A 10-year-old boy suddenly fell to the ground during pre-game at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday. His leg was bleeding behind his knee.  It was determined that he had been shot by a bullet that came from the sky as far away as one or two miles. The boy will be fine, it appears, but doctors say they will not remove the bullet fearing nerve damage.  This appears to be a mystery that will never be solved.  Prior to this incident, the Pigs had never even had a fight or thrown a fan out of a game in their existence.
  1. John Leone will be a guest blogger next week as I work in a little time off before the first football game broadcast (August 23). Much like his work behind the microphone, his writings are always entertaining!

 

 

The SportsTalk Shop: A Great Hire

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

There are many times when I am asked to comment on a school’s hiring of a new head coach—especially for football.

In nearly every situation, my initial response is to say that on the surface it seems like a good hire, but also point out that since I’m not involved in the interview process and usually don’t know every person who applied for the position (unless you believe the rumors that accompany most major coaching vacancies), we won’t know for sure until some time has passed.

At worst, if there’s someone who I’m not sure about or someone who I might have questions with, I opine that we wait at least three to four years and preach patience while waiting to see if the decision was a good one.

In the case of Central Catholic’s hiring of a new head football coach, I don’t have to wait…it was not a good hire.

It was a GREAT hire.

Tim McGorry is a 1999 alum of Allentown Central Catholic. He earned a B.A. in Organizational Management from Ashford University with a concentration in education. McGorry has an extensive football coaching background beginning in 2004 as the ACCHS Assistant Football Coach. Throughout his career, he has worked as an Offensive Coordinator at schools such as Parkville HS, Moravian College, Parkland HS, ACCHS and Wide Receivers Coach at Lehigh University. In addition, he has been a guest speaker at various youth athletic camps and events in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

McGorry’s experience includes coordinating off-season strength and training programs as well as overseeing aspects of player development, practice prep and game strategies. At the college level, he organized team travel, alumni events, community outreach programs and coordinated recruiting efforts.

Under his leadership, McGorry was an integral part in various programs’ achievements:

  • ACCHS: DXI 3A Championship in 2009, 2010 & 2011; PIAA 3A State Championship, coached Parade All-American 2011, and finished #14 in the country (2010) and #38 in Total Offense (2011).
  • Parkland: DXI 4A Championship; State Quarterfinalist and ranked #7 in the state for total offense.
  • Moravian College: Second best record in school history; Centennial-MAC Bowl appearance; broke 26 school offensive records; and increased all major offensive categories from the previous four years.
  • Lehigh University: 2017 Patriot League Champions; 2017 and 2018 First Team All Patriot League Wide Receivers, #6 Total Offense in the country (2017)

Furthermore, McGorry has always been a very likeable, personable and knowledgeable coach over the years every time I have had the pleasure to speak with him about football, his career and the programs of which he was currently working.

I honestly can’t think of someone who would be better suited or more equipped to take over this program.

But you don’t have to believe me, you can find out for yourself on this Thursday’s “SportsTalk” program—our final one of the summer broadcasting from the Buffalo Wild Wings in Whitehall. The show starts at 7:00pm.

McGorry will be our guest, along with members of his new coaching staff and his players.

Come on out to support Vikings football, meet the new coaches and hear their thoughts on the new high school football season, with the start of official practices just a couple weeks away.

Be sure to get additional details on this event here on our website and to find out how a portion of you food bill at this event could help a local charity.

Behind the Mic: Nasty Sports Rivalries

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

You may have missed it, but at the Big Ten media day this past week, Jim Harbaugh, the coach of Michigan football, threw a little dirt at former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.  He acknowledged Meyer’s excellent coaching record, but added that “controversy follows everywhere he’s been.”  He was given a chance to back away from what he said but he did not.  “It was me saying what I think.”

Well, that led to a response from Meyer’s daughter – “Wait guys, maybe this is a deflection strategy!  Throw a little mud to avoid answering why you always lost.”

This led me to think about the nastiest rivalries in college sports.  I was not surprised to find that the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry was listed as #1.  They have met 100 times with Michigan winning 58 of them.  However, Ohio State has won the last seven and 14 of the last 15!  Ohio State won last year 62-39.

According to Brad Crawford of 24-7 Sports, the top ten college rivalries are:

10. Michigan-Michigan State basketball

9. Michigan-Notre Dame football

8. Notre Dame-USC football

7. Florida State-Miami football

6. Kentucky-Louisville basketball

5. Oklahoma-Texas football

4. Army-Navy football

3. Alabama-Auburn football

2. North Carolina-Duke basketball

1. Ohio State-Michigan football

Obviously, rabid fans of all these schools disagreed with the list. I found it interesting when I read the comments from fans across the country that their argument that they have the greatest rivalry was based on the fact that their hatred for the other team was greater than the hatred of other fans.  Yes, it was all based on hate!

And then I realized that this is the way our country is today – hatred for the other side.  There is a rivalry going on every day in this country and the vitriol when groups get together en masse is not much different than sitting on opposite sides of the stadium for an Ohio State-Michigan.  In football, there is always next year for the loser.

In politics, it’s a four-year wait.  So the hate grows more and more.

 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. I guess it was only appropriate that the greatest “closer” in major league baseball was the closer on Sunday at Cooperstown, NY for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Mariano Rivera of the Yankees gave the final speech.  After all, he was the greatest closer in baseball history.  Brandy Halladay handled her moment and her emotions beautifully as the Hall inducted her husband, Roy.
  2. Did you see where Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson, Mike, homered for the Giants on Sunday to give them a walk-off win in the 12th inning? He was called up for the first time to the majors on May 25.  He spent six years in the minors.  He is 28 years old.
  3. Fate can be very interesting sometimes. Ireland’s Shane Lowry winning The Open on Sunday in Ireland, just a couple of hours from his home was storybook.  He was never challenged to relinquish the lead and his walk up the 18th hole was very emotional.  If you are going to win your first major, why not do it at home?
  4. The South Parkland American Legion baseball team is having an unbelievable season. As I write this, they are 23-0 and two wins away from a Region 2 championship.  The Bethlehem Wanderers are still in the tournament, also, with a 22-4 record.  Amazing seasons for both and not quite finished.  It would be nice if they met in the championship final.
  5. Our BML Game of the Week series concludes this Tuesday. Thanks to everybody who helped with the telecasts and special thanks to the managers and players for once again showing how much they love the game.  Good luck in the playoffs to everyone.

Blue Mountain League Mid-Season Report

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.


We hope you are enjoying RCN-TV’s Blue Mountain League baseball coverage this summer!

There’s always some interesting storylines as the BML season unfolds and this year is no exception.

Here’s a few of the highlights:

  • This clearly isn’t your father’s BML

When I would attend games as a kid, teams were comprised of the same players on the same teams in the same positions, year after year, and sometimes, decade after decade, with very few contributors under the age of 22.  It was very rare if you ever saw more than one or two position players NOT in the same spot, day after day, week after week. Now, the league is seeing an abundance of recent high school grads and college-aged players not just playing, but making impacts and, in some cases, being the cores of various franchises.  Furthermore, most teams feature a steady rotation of different starters each game, and it’s a rarity to see the same people from each team playing in the same spots on a daily basis.

  • There were plenty of surprising starts and “streaky teams” for the first 5-6 weeks of the season.

Consider…

…the Royals, a perennial power, went their first eight games without a win (they did have two ties).

…the Orioles, another tremendous program, won just one of their first six games.

…the Bulls won eight of their first 10.

…the Creekers won just one of their first five games and two of first seven, BUT scored 20 runs EACH in both of those wins.

…the Dodgers were one game over .500 through the first few weeks of the season (one of their better starts in years) before losing five of their next six games.  They also have continued some rather curious streaks of pummeling teams ahead of them in the standings, while losing to the ones behind them, but have a decent shot at reaching their first post-season berth in several seasons.

  • The Giants and the Bulls look awfully good – again – this year.

The two teams that battled the full-five games in last year’s championship series may be on a collision course once again for this season’s playoffs. Both Northampton and Limeport have well-balanced teams, with several strong starting pitchers and a lineup that looks very hard to beat.

  • Don’t overlook the “Steel”

As we approach the final weeks of the regular season, Bethlehem has currently won five in a row, allowing just two runs (one earned) in three games this past weekend against some very good teams.  They’re not only one of the deepest teams (they sometimes have over 20 players active for a game) but they’re playing well in all facets of the game as they look to make their first playoff appearance in the five-year history of this franchise.

Don’t forget to catch our Blue Mountain League “Game of the Week” telecasts on Tuesday evenings on RCN-TV.  RCN video customers can see all of this season’s BML broadcasts for free and any time through RCN On-Demand for up to 60 days from the games initial airdates!

Last but not least, thanks to our awesome and very generous RCN marketing team, we will be playing our trivia game and once again giving away a nice prize this week on our “RCN SportsTalk” program to one winner who correctly answers the question.

Tune in to RCN-TV this Thursday at 7pm to learn more.

A Seinfeld Sports Weekend

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

When one was asked to describe the Seinfeld program, the most common phrase was that it was “a show about nothing”.  That’s the way I approached this past weekend in terms of sports interest and viewing.  As far as I was concerned, there was a bunch of nothing on and I was not really interested.

But, wouldn’t you know, after my wife and I returned from running some errands and doing some shopping, she wanted to go back out and do some shopping on her own.  She was positive there was a sporting event that I wanted to watch.  And, I must admit, that is almost always the case.  I could not convince her that she was wrong.  There was really nothing I wanted to watch.  But off she went.

After doing some reading, I finally decided @ 4:15pm that there must be something on to watch.  I quickly discovered there were three golf matches on, Wimbledon tennis finals, and the Phillies.  My interest was not really peaked, but I figured I could go back and forth and stop at the more interesting spots.

When I turned on the TV, I found myself on the American Century Championship on NBC, a golf tournament I knew nothing about.  It was celebrity golf with players like Justin Timberlake, Stephen Curry, and Aaron Rodgers.  Former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo was in the lead.  The scenery was beautiful and it would be interesting to see some of the celebrities hit the ball like I do.  I made a point of coming back to that.

Then, I clicked over to ABC and there was Wimbledon.  I joined the match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the fourth (and what could be the final) set.  I am not a fan of watching or playing tennis.  I always thought the only fun way to play the game was to find an opponent with equal skill so you could actually have interesting volleys.  Otherwise, I was always chasing after a ball after a lost point or watching my opponent walk after a ball after I won a point.  Seldom were there points with more than three returns.  Not fun in my estimation.

I never thought watching tennis to be that much fun either.  But I found myself unable to turn this match off.  It was historical, great tennis, and the end result far from assumed.  Okay, I will watch this except for commercials between sets.

It was off to check out the Phillies against the Nationals.  The Phils were fading fast, having lost both games in the series to the Nats.  I joined the game in the top of the ninth and watched the Phils pitcher strike out the side.  I had to come back to this for the finish!

Back to the golf.  Tony Romo was running away with this tournament. Good – I can leave this for now.

Back to the tennis.  Federer won the fourth set.  I had to stay with this to determine the winner.  The match set records for length and was the first to ever see a fifth-set tiebreaker.  Again, I was hooked to the finish, but I did go away during the commercials.

It was the bottom of the ninth in the Phillies game which was tied 3-3.  Maikel Franco was at bat (yes, that’s when I tuned in) and he hit a walk-off home run to give the Phils the win.  I thought it was nice of the Wimbledon people to have a commercial at this point.

Back to Romo.  He won easily.

Back to tennis.  Now, my wife came back home and was ready to have dinner.  I had to explain to her that I was wrapped up in a tennis match!  And that took some explaining. She knew I found tennis to be boring. The match went almost five hours and ended @ 6:00pm.

Djokovic won 13-12 in the fifth set (that’s not even a real tennis score) and it was one of the greatest matches ever.  And I just happened to watch it!

So, I concluded, that just like watching a Seinfeld episode about nothing and enjoying it immensely, I spent this past late Sunday afternoon expecting nothing in the way of sports and ended up enjoying it immensely.  Go figure!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. Did you notice that 15-year-old tennis sensation Coco Gauff lost to in the fourth round won the Wimbledon Women’s title? Simona Halep won the women’s title in just 56 minutes over Serena Williams.  It took Halep longer to beat Gauff, the youngest player to ever win a singles match at Wimbledon.
  1. The best team in the National League comes to Philadelphia this week. The Dodgers are in town for four games and the Phils are 8.5 games behind the Braves and 1.5 games behind the Nationals.  They are a half game ahead in the Wild Card race.  Some upset wins against LA would be welcome.
  1. Robbie Gould, the former Penn State kicker, reached agreement with the 49ers on a two-year $10.5 million deal that could go $19 million in four years. It’s a great deal for the former Nittany Lion.
  1. With all the movement in the NBA in the past couple of weeks, the 76ers right now are projected to be the fourth best team in the NBA. Remember they came very close to beating the Raptors, losing in Game 7 at the buzzer.  The Bucks, Nuggets, and Clippers are projected right now to be the top three teams.
  1. Our final BML Game of the Week is next Tuesday. The Berlinsville Braves will host Martins Creek. The BML Game of the Week comes on at 9:30 PM.  Join the RCN-TV sports team.