Sometimes you have to give your head a shake, just to get rid of the confusing messages your brain is receiving.
No, I’m not speaking of the odd product infomercials or even the mind-boggling seemingly hour changes the weather forecasts have be spouting out recently.
This is about the battle going on in the athletics world between two huge winter sports in this country and a pair of larger than life summer sports south of the 49th parallel.
I speak of the clash of trying to follow the rush toward both the trade deadline and the playoffs in the National Hockey League, right alongside of attempting to keep straight all of the scenarios and implications of certain games in the two biggest Canadian curling championships — the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Tim Hortons Brier.
Meanwhile at the same time, also figuring out how to bend your mind around the fact that Major League Baseball is already playing spring training games on television and this new strange phenomenon appearing in sports highlights called the Alliance of American Football.
As if it wasn’t already hard enough for a sports fan to juggle the NHL race for Lord Stanley and toggle the ‘last channel’ button on the remote to see which spectacularly good or horrible shot will be made by a skip, toss in the pigskin that can only be called XFL 1.5 (if you’re younger than 25, you likely won’t know what this is so Google it) on top of the excitement about better weather being around the corner by watching and hearing a bat connecting with a ball and it’s sports information overload for many.
Granted, there are you diehards out there that place all of your focus on your one favourite sport and team. Good on you for being able to do that.
It’s a bit harder for fans such as me and others that take to heart the aspects of many different sports and enjoy them for what they put forth.
Having curled for many years and dabbled whenever possible, it’s hard to turn aside from watching many of the best in the world both firing upweight takeouts and soft touch draws and freezes only seconds apart. Add in the enormous mind power it takes to strategize four or five shots ahead, all based on how your opponent ‘may’ play certain outcomes, and it’s mind-blowing what comes out in the end.
On the hockey front, I used to faithfully watch Hockey Night in Canada and follow along with my favourite team as much as I could. Now while I don’t go that far any more — I may watch portions of a game every now and then — I begin to take more notice and tune in more often as the run for the playoffs ramps up. That said, I also tune out more if my club or one of the other favourites in my home, look to be playing for the season to end instead of a Cup run.
This all becomes more difficult with the turn of the calendar to late February and into March, as thoughts turn to sun and dirt and cold beverages with the reporting of pitchers and catchers to major league camps. And with the advent of MLB TV along with internet feeds, there is more baseball content and providers making it available that it’s difficult to hit a sports channel without coming across a game, report or highlight once things start moving.
I still love baseball, even though my Expos have long since been buried by MLB, although I don’t follow it as fervently as some of my fellow umpires do. I might dabble a bit in some highlights or watch some Cardinals games — a favourite of some in my home — during the season. But, there are fanatics I know that would watch rookie league exhibition games if they could find some way.
This all brings us to the final topic, that being football and I really have no appetite for the version played south of Canada. All of this hoopla over this new league is really lost on me as I’m a Canadian Football League fan and it doesn’t much interfere with hockey or curling. Sure it overlaps with baseball, but it’s far easier to catch MLB highlights during a football game without missing much action at times.
So, while this crazy season will continue for the next few weeks and slightly less so into April and May, guess I’ll just have to live with remote control thumb and figuring out which will be the best channels to surf through.
But that is…just an observation.