There are definitely some expectations that come with being a sports fan, even if your primary sports aren’t baseball and basketball.
Chief among them is the ability to plop yourself in an armchair, make a bag of microwave popcorn and chill out for hours at a stretch as your sport occupies the TV.
As a sports fan, I have to admit this summer has been amazing. The Olympic trials and then the Olympics themselves made for plenty of emotional viewing earlier this summer, giving just about everyone watching someone or some team to root for.
While I know it’s been a rough summer for Minnesota Twins’ fans, there’s been plenty for the Minnesota faithful to love this summer. Three Minnesota gymnasts made the U.S. Olympic team, swimmer Regan Smith brought home two silvers and a bronze from her first Olympics – and then Gable Steveson became the first Gopher wrestler to ever bring home Olympic gold.
To me, though, the peak of the summer is always the U.S. Open. Yes, I mean tennis – and lots of it. It used to be a running joke between my best friend and I during these two weeks. I would get all excited about the tennis being on and she would complain that all of the programming on USA Network would be gone for two weeks.
Now, almost all of the tournament is on ESPN, whether it be on the broadcast channels or the ESPN+ subscription service. Fortunately, most of the premiere matches aren’t behind the ESPN+ paywall, which means that most people can watch some pretty entertaining tennis.
This became a tradition for me in high school. I’d watch whatever was available on CBS. On Labor Day, I’d listen to the matches on CBS Radio because the local CBS affiliate in Milwaukee would be broadcasting the Jerry Lewis Telethon. With no cable at home, it was great to get to college and be able to watch whatever I wanted live thanks to dorm services.
Now, it’s just what I watch the final weeks of the summer. Even if tennis isn’t your thing, there’s some great storylines this year. Serbian Novak Djokovic is going for the calendar Grand Slam – winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same year. On the women’s side, this is the first Grand Slam in decades without the Williams’ sisters and about four players are all in with a solid shot.
So if you can, turn your TV on a little this week. Follow tennis for a little while. Who knows? You might find yourself hooked like me.