Friday, May 29, 2015

Sports: Riding the Gap, in Fear of an Anticlimactic Year

There's no club colours taking manicured football pitches, the FA Cup Final notwithstanding, and Mayweather and Pacquaio have gone their respective ways, with their respective (uneven) rewards

When the most compelling story in sports is the ongoing FIFA drama, its clear sports fans  have a lot to worry about. Sure, in a matter of a week or less, big-time events return to the fore - the Champions League final pits defensive stalwarts Juventus against the prime attacking force of Barcelona's Neymar, Suarez and Messi. Around the same time, LeBron James will begin the attempt to catapult him firmlyinto a permanent place among NBA elite as his Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors and "ideal Dad" Steph Curry. baseball is cruising toward its summer peak, and the Stanley Cup, one of the most coveted trophies in sports, sees playoff action continuing.

But to the mnd of this writer, the truly transcendent sporting competition won't arrive till August, when Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium once again hosts the world's best track athletes including none other than the sprint god himself, Usain Bolt. This time around, Bolt's looking to silence, once and for all (OK maybe until Rio in 2016) the pipsqueak loudmouth (and no, we won't retract) Justin Gatlin. I've already declared, from as early as last year, that Bolt eill break at least one personal record (likely 200m) before he retires as many expect he will after the next Olympics.

Its no less intense for the ladies, with Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce (hate those double-barrels) both anxious to prove they're still worthy of the world sprinting throne against the likes of Blessing Okagbare, Carmelita Jeter and Ahoure.

Just as the Moscow Worlds provided a nice post-Olympic lift in a down year, I'm expecting another "Red nation" to do the same in this brief but intense doldrums now facing us.

Go Gunners!
I'm somehwat split between La Liga and Serie A, but its gonna either be tight or a blowout

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