NASCAR will be holding its inaugural big daddy race, the Daytona 500, in a few days to officially kickoff its season and spring training for professional baseball is just over the horizon. Golf is already advertising the Master’s Tournament in Augusta, Ga. in May.
College basketball will be holding their Sweet 16 championship series in short order and tennis has already begun in earnest in Australia but will soon move north to our country and beyond.
There is usually a sort of vacuum after the Super Bowl when it comes to big time sports. Professional basketball is ongoing for those who care to watch those acrobats play slam dunk contests. To fill the void before baseball season, there are always celebrity pro games of various types in which professional athletes perform in an area totally out of their area of expertise so the fans can see them up close and personal for the first time.
Then there are the Iron Man competitions that test the limits of human endurance with the run, bike and swim competitions. The competitors are totally exhausted at the end of these races but somehow they feel fulfilled.
There are also the Strong Man competitions where competitors heft huge, over-sized, round boulders up on stanchions until either their strength gives out or they can’t maintain their balance anymore.
Another variation on this kind of Strong Man competition is where the competitors have to pull tremendous loads over a set distance to achieve the shortest time. They flip huge tires end over end for a distance. They pull huge airplanes over a set course as fast as they can and even flip huge, heavy, telephone-sized poles over a course, all competing for the best time.
It seems that anything goes for sport after the Super Bowl to fill the gap between football and the beginning in earnest of summer sports. Even in our local area, signups for the various Little League teams for softball and baseball are beginning to crop up.
Local sporting goods dealers have caught the bug, as well. There was a whole pull-out ad from a local paper with all kinds of sales for baseball shoes, gloves, bats, the whole entourage of equipment one might need to fulfill their dreams of being a star in America’s great national pastime.
Any time now, the local high schools will be having their playoffs and baseball and track will be going full tilt at all the local secondary schools in the area. It’ll be time to buy our season tickets to the Reno Aces home games before you know it, if you haven’t already done so.
A new member in the ranks of the NASCAR drivers is Danica Patrick. She has been driving Indy cars and decided to drive in a few NASCAR races this year. This past weekend, she took fifth place in a NASCAR race, her introduction to the circuit and not a bad showing at that. She will definitely be someone to watch in the good ol’ boy NASCAR crowd as the season gets wound up.
I know it’s sad for all those who have loyally painted themselves up every Sunday to show their support for their football team by wearing the team’s colors all over their body. But look at the bright side: Now you’ve got a chance to recuperate from all the skin rashes caused by the paint and actually get outside and watch all the outdoor sports the spring and summer seasons have to offer. You might even be able to take advantage of some great sales and manage to buy a bigger TV for next season’s football.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at email@example.com.