I’ll be the first to admit that I know little, if anything, about soccer or the “beautiful game” as it is commonly called. The world’s most popular sport enthralled millions across the globe this past weekend with the playing of the semi-finals and finals of the Euro Cup and Copa America.
Because of my lack of knowledge about the sport I found it hard to get excited about the championships won by Italy and Argentina. The final six matches on the pitch (did I get that correct?) between the two tournaments saw a total of eleven goals scored with three games decided by penalty kicks after over two hours of play.
England had a one-nil lead in the second half of their Euro championship game against Italy with only one shot on goal after almost an hour of play! I guess I’d like to see more scoring—can’t they widen the nets or something?
Again, I just have very little insight into soccer strategies, an ill-informed outsider trying to comprehend what causes such fanaticism globally!
Now I know some of you will say “what about the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final Game 5 when Tampa Bay beat Montreal by the score of one-nothing?”. Non-stop action, a combined 52 shots on goal, fast and furious playmaking, and exceptional goaltending all made for an entertaining, tense sixty minutes on the rink, giving the Lightning a second consecutive championship and the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s trophy.
Is Tampa Bay now able to claim being “Title Town USA” after taking honors away from the Boston area (Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics) with this year’s NFL champion Buccaneers, the ‘20 American League champion Rays, and now the Lightning all located on the Gulf Coast?
I just walked through the living room where Kathy was watching “Live with Kelly and Ryan”. Can anyone name a celebrity with more talent and personality in a 4’11” frame than Kristin Chenoweth?
Hey, amazingly the Reds are only four games out of first place in the NL Central after taking 3 of 4 from the Brewers over the weekend. With a slew of players coming off the injured list after the All-Star game, the pitching staff, particularly the starters, rounding into shape, and timely hitting David Bell’s team has a real chance to claim the top spot, starting with three more games with Milwaukee this weekend. They’ll most likely need to win the Central to make the playoffs as the West has the three best teams in the league, meaning a wild-card slot is a long shot.
Quick, name the team with MLB’s best record at the break this week. The Giants, a surprise with 57 wins!
The British Open started Thursday, being contested this year at Royal St. George’s in South England. As always, weather, course conditions, and tradition will play roles in determining the winner of the season’s final major.
Finally, hats off to the Darke County Center for the Arts for a great evening of entertainment and socialization at this year’s BBQ and Blues. The library lawn was a perfect setting for the event, the weather cooperated, the food trucks and beer and wine tents were busy, and the performers outstanding, the best yet! Make plans to attend next year’s outing! Until next time, stay healthy and active!
Dr. Alex Warner is a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate