Greetings again from the Booth!
As of this writing, the radio station Pathfinder is gassed up, and pointed toward Virginia Beach for the annual Virginia Association of Broadcasters Awards. Our stations (WZRV & WFTR) are up for 6 awards, including Outstanding Sports Coverage for Shenandoah University Football. We took home that award last year, and hope to make it 2 in a row. As I’ve said before, doing the play-by-play of SU games since the inception of the program in 2000 has been a passion of mine, and to be recognized by one’s peers is a bonus!
No major topic this week, just a few tidbits. I’ll start with the Copa America soccer tournament, a prelude to the World Cup. In one semifinal, the USA was crushed by Argentina 4-0, the equivalent of a 52-0 beating in American football. “Who cares about soccer?” you say. Well, someone must care. Soccer is the most popular global sport, and millions of kids play soccer here in the States. In addition, the MLS has managed to survive after all these years, and whenever major futbol events are held in hotbeds like Kansas City, sellout crowds show up. It’s been decades since Pele invaded the USA to play for the NY Cosmos, and it’s hard to imagine that a country that decided to go to the moon in the 1960s can’t win a World Cup.
Next, the anatomy of a losing streak. The Washington Nationals are mired in a 2-5 road trip, and have dropped 5 straight. Funny how these things happen. The Nats had won 2 straight against lowly San Diego and Max Scherzer was pitching against the Padres in his usual dominating fashion, but with a high-pitch count. The Washington bullpen came in with the gas can, and the Nats had a “curly L.” A few nights later against the Dodgers, perhaps because Dusty Baker didn’t fully trust his bullpen, Tanner Roark was left in the game and gave up a game-winning 3 run homer, as Washington lost 3-2. Then on Wednesday evening, Michael Taylor (who went 0-5 with 5 strikeouts) let a routine single skip past him for a game-winning 3 base error. The baseball gods are fickle, and hopefully will smile on the Nationals as they end the road trip this weekend in Milwaukee. It’s usually something very small that starts and ends a streak…
Finally, more and more athletes are pulling out of the Olympics because of the Zika virus, bad conditions, etc. I say “good.” I hope more athletes do the same, but not for the reasons you might think. It’s time to show the crooked IOC that the competitors come first. Rio is an inhospitable environment for The Games: it’s hot, the water quality is bad, and there is the threat of the aforementioned virus. When will the IOC stop taking money under the table when choosing an Olympic site, and have the games in an environment where the athletes can excel? A boycott of the 2016 Summer Games is sorely needed.
On to Virginia Beach! Until next week’s Views From the Booth, GO HORNETS!