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Quiet times in sports? It depends where you look


by Martin Rogers
Fox Sports Columnist

One of the joys of this job writing about sports is the ability to travel far and wide over the years, meeting fans from all over the world.

The more you do it, the more you realize that those of us who love sports are for the most part cut from the same cloth.

Of course, the language and accents we follow and the actual games may differ Yes, American fans are used to paying discounted prices that would make people from overseas swoon. Of course, most from these shores can't get their heads around cricket, just like your average Belgian or South African confused by the obscurity of the gridiron.

But rest assured we beat to the same tune, bear the same frustrations, yearn for the same results and are touched by the same stories of emotion, we are an American basketball fan, a Brazilian soccer fan, a German motor racing enthusiast, a New Zealand rugby diehard, a Japanese baseball pundits and more.

However, we operate on a very different calendar, a fact brought home by the current lull in the American sports cycle.

For most of the year, the action here is non-stop and at times overwhelming. There's a lot of overlap, but from September to the midpoint of next year, it always feels like there's something of great significance going on.

The football season is short enough that the NFL brings multiple games each week of action that really matters in the overall scheme of the campaign. From the Super Bowl, sports attention turns to the Daytona 500 and the NBA All-Star Game. From there it's a short hop to March and all the college hoops madness that ensues. And then Opening Day and the Masters, and then the long postseason of both the NBA and the NHL.

Since the Golden State Warriors (June 16) and Colorado Avalanche (June 26) have hoisted their respective pieces of silverware, however, it's been a bit of a sleeper on the domestic scene. NBA Summer League has some entertainment value, but it's mostly limited to analyzing early glimpses of promising rookies.

MLB All-Star Fun provides a welcome interlude, with Shohei Ohtani's undisputed highlight Tuesday (8 p.m. ET on Fox and the Fox Sports app), plus outstanding talent like Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, and fine legacy picks Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. .

Once Tuesday night rolls around, though, with most NFL training camps still days away from starting, there are seven more blank Sundays before fantasy football heads for its latest dose of heartbreak.

While it may seem cool in the US, it's not like that everywhere. Consider what European fans have had to deal with over the past few weeks. In tennis, the French Open bled quickly at Wimbledon, won by a men's legend (Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) and a rising superstar and a controversial surprise on the women's side (Iga Suatek and Elena Rybakina), respectively.

In Europe, they pack it in the summer.

Last weekend brought golf's Open Championship to St Andrews, Scotland's most iconic venue and spiritual home. It was a reminder that sometimes the story is not what you expect. A final round that turned into a head-to-head showdown between crowd favorite Rory McIlroy and rising star Victor Hovland featured an absolute putting masterclass from brilliant Australian Cam Smith, who rolled in birdie after birdie on the back nine to claim 64 and claim his first major.

If Smith quickly shows his potential in LIV Golf, the Renegade League will have a true young star to add to its always-strong ranks.

Next weekend will see the end of the Tour de France, the ever-popular cycling spectacle that has captivated many central European countries, and where an epic battle between reigning champ Tadez Pogacar and current leader Jonas Vingegaard points to the closing stages.

A week after that, football will once again be in full flow, with the English Premier League and German Bundesliga kicking off on August 5, followed by Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A a week later.

In reality, geography is less important in sports. Developments in television and streaming mean that if a sporting event is happening somewhere in the world, you can find a way to watch it without too much difficulty.

However, it is a long proven fact that viewers prefer to watch things happening in their own country. The UFC found this out a few years ago, when their pay-per-view figures for US-based shows were far higher than those held overseas, despite being designed to coincide with American prime time. Why they were not able to work perfectly.

There is no accounting for how sports fans act in the name of their passion. It is a type of illness for which, thankfully, there is no known cure.

When sports are happening, everything feels right. When it's a quiet period, like what's happening in the US right now, and for a while longer, things seem a little off. We find ourselves doing weird things, like talking about the weather or buying things we don't need, or tackling home projects that never seem to get done.

The good news is that busy times are ahead. That's something to be thankful for, and I'm glad to remind you of it, but there's also reason to apologize This column began with the intention of providing a solution to dead time, but there really isn't one that we can see.

What if you don't want the NBA's much talked about but still non-existent midseason tournament to be played in July? Or to extend the NFL season by three weeks (lucky enough to get it by the players' association) or to drastically shorten NASCAR's regular season and start the playoffs now, neither of which would really work.

Then the mission failed. Sorry for that, and only the following as an excuse.

It is a calm summer day. When games go off schedule, we're all a little off our game.

Martin Rogers is a Fox Sports columnist and author of the Fox Sports Insider newsletter. YYou can subscribe to the daily newsletter here.


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