It is hard to believe there are only 19 days left in 2022. It is amazing how fast the days fly by as you get older. Anyway, I wanted to get caught up on a couple of things in the world of sports before the holidays get in the way.
Let's start with the worlds most popular sport, except here in the United States where nobody cares. I should say nobody cares about the men's tournament. When the USA ladies play, the whole country is watching because they are actually good and they win.
I will bet that there are not three people who will read this that can name the semifinalists playing this week, without looking it up. Argentina plays Croatia on Tuesday and France plays Morocco on Wednesday and the final is Sunday. I know because I looked it up.
This World Cup has captivated the nation just like, I can't even think of anything that has been less of an interest for Americans than this tournament. We don't even care if it is ending or going on for another four weeks because it has had zero impact on our daily lives.
Speaking of zero impact, raise your hand if you missed The Match this weekend. Count yourself lucky if you did because I watched it and it was three hours of my life I can never get back.
TNT produced this and they decided it would be much more interesting and compelling to play it under portable lights at night. They were wrong. There were so many things wrong with this it is hard to know where to even start.
First, you couldn't see the ball half the time. Then the players were so spoiled that every time there was their shadow from the lights between them and the ball they were complaining, like the sun never creates shadows for them.
Next, the production quality was so amateurish that it looked like Wayne's World was the producer. The picture kept freezing and interrupting and when they went to a Verizon 5G sponsorship segment of talking between the players there was no sound to be heard.
Finally, the lack of any interesting things being said or done by the four golfers was mind numbing. Tiger would not say anything, even when Kathryn Tappan asked him direct questions like he couldn't be bothered. Justin Thomas came off as a smarmy spoiled brat. Rory McIlroy played like he didn't want to be there. Jordan Spieth is just a jerk and he proved it all night long.
The best part of the whole show was Charles Barkley and even he couldn't save this mess.
What has been interesting and compelling has been the off-season's free agency derby. It started with a few minor signings and then boom, it went nuts, and now we are in a circling pattern again.
Aaron Judge went back to the Yankees as expected, but not before the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres made it exciting, and made the Yankees over pay. Then Trea Turner signed a huge deal with the Phillies, Xander Bogaerts did the same with the Padres, and Justin Verlander got a huge one year payday from the Mets. Meanwhile Jacob DeGrom went to the Rangers for a five year deal.
This all opened up the gates for the next level of players to sign and now everyone is waiting for the final top guys to make their decisions. Trades are on hold as teams are still chasing free agents, or waiting to see who needs what they have. It has been a while since this much money was tossed around for players but for the fans it has been edge of your seat stuff as we wait to see if our team gets the guy they need. Hot stove indeed.
Our HOA just negotiated a new deal with Spectrum and it not only is saving us money, but it includes some additional channels I didn't have, including the NFL Red Zone. This is the best way to watch professional football that has ever been invented.
They show all the action from every game all day with no commercials and you get to see every score from every team, usually in real time, but certainly shortly after. It is fantastic and I cannot believe I never got this before. If you are one of those people who tape games to avoid the down time or commercials, this channel is for you.
It looks like we are also going to start getting the MLB Strike Zone channel which is their version of the Red Zone for baseball and that will be really fun for me this summer. The only down side I've found is that with no commercials you have no built in pause to get rid of beer or get more pretzels but that is what wives and depends are for, right.
Finally, we are closing in on the home opener for the new Coachella Valley Firebirds, here on Sunday December 18th at the brand spanking new Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, a short 5 minutes from my house.
This team has played, to date, their first 19 games on the road and frankly are doing quite well. They are 12-4-3 with 27 points, only five out of first place and they have five games in hand against the first place team.
I was going to take my mother to the franchise home opener but ticket prices were going through the roof so we are going to game two on Tuesday the 20th instead. Why am I taking my mother you ask? Much to my surprise she asked if I would take her. I've known her for most of my life and who knew she was a hockey fan.
I'm sure it will be a ton of fun. I cannot wait to see the new arena, and if it is easy to get in and out, I may just make regular visits to see the Firebirds. They also have scheduled some major concerts and who knows that might be a possibility in the future also.
I think I'm all caught up on sports. For now.