Column: August means variety for sports fans

Published 10:02 pm Friday, August 6, 2004

By Staff
They say variety is the spice of life. Never has that adage been more true than with sports.
That's why, for die-hard sports fanatics, the summer months seem to drag endlessly with nothing but baseball and softball to occupy the craving for competition.
That's why sports fans everywhere are grateful that August has finally rolled around and the many different athletics that come with it.
Don't get me wrong - I enjoy baseball and softball as much as I enjoy any other sport. But, as another saying goes, everything is good in moderation, nothing in excess.
There are only so many baseball games that I can take. There are only so many times I can sit in the hot sun, staring at a 15-2 blowout that was decided in the second inning.
However, high school sports officially started Thursday with the beginning of boys' golf practice. All other fall sports - football, soccer, golf and cross country for the boys and basketball, swimming and tennis for the girls - begin practice on Monday.
Soon games will begin and the weeks will be filled with half a dozen different sporting events to take in. If you truly crave high school sports, you could attend a different event every night if you desired.
I'm not putting down baseball. I'm not one of those "sports fans" who hates the sport because they say its boring. Good, well-played baseball can be just as exciting as good, well-played football or basketball. It just seems that, percentage wise, there are so many more bad, poorly-played baseball games than there are bad, poorly-played games in the other sports.
Even the biggest of baseball nuts has to feel my pain. No matter how much you love something, you can still overdose on it.
Even if you loved spaghetti more than any food in the world, if you ate it every night, just the smell of it would eventually make you vomit.
Such is baseball. It's a great sport, but it needs to be digested with a side of basketball or golf. In the summer, those remedies for baseball overload aren't available, so we must stomach all that we can.
But those days are over come Monday, when Niles plays its first boys' golf match, followed by Buchanan on Tuesday. Soon, all seven fall sports will be in full swing, allowing sports fans to sample everything from the athletic buffet our local high schools have to offer.
Obviously football and girls basketball highlight the fall sports menu, but the smaller sports can be just as exciting as the big-name ones. It's hard for people to get excited about golf and tennis, yet those same people watch the PGA or ATP tours on TV every weekend.
We may not have Tiger Woods or Andy Roddick here in Niles, but good competition is fun to watch. Especially at the local level because they players are teens from our own community, and people that we know from down the block.
When you think high school sports this fall, and you're cheering on our local schools, remember there are more games than those played on Friday nights. Many exciting contest occur during the week as well. And most of them start in the afternoon and are over by dinner time, so you can support the team and get home before sundown.
So, while summer brings warm weather and beautiful sunny days, it also brings a supreme lack of sporting variety. Be thankful that high school's fall season is here to rescue us from the monopoly baseball and softball have had on the sporting world for the past three months.