Friday, July 31, 2009

One of the best times on the sports calendar (a surprise to me)

It's tough to beat October on the sports calendar, with big college football games, NFL games, pennant races and baseball playoffs. I also like the beginning of the NHL season and college basketball lurking in the background. The weather is perfect and the world is beautiful.

After the non-waiver trade deadline passed, I realized that one thing I truly enjoy about sports is anticipation. Quality anticipation is on par with actually sporting events themselves. Now that the Seattle Mariners have a wise and adept general manager, I approached the trade deadline with thrilling levels of anticipation. I think Jack Zduriencik did fabulous job in this trade season; I thought the Mariners needed to be buyers and sellers. Anticipation is in high gear for football as well, with the buzz about particular games in college and the eternal spring of parity that is the NFL. That anticipation makes the end of July a better time than I had once believed.

It's also good to be back in King County, Washington to anticipate unlimited hydroplane racing. Think: NASCAR on water. My dad and I used to go to the time trials when I was a kid--I looked forward to those races that scream Northwest tradition, culture and fun in the sun. A lot of the neighbor kids would tow carved wooden toy hydroplanes behind their banana seat bicycles for our own neighborhood hydroplane races. The legendary stories my dad used to tell of the SLO-MO V hydro and its awe inspiring flip/crash. I remember hydro drivers like they were baseball stars: Bill Muncey, Chip Hanauer, Dean Chenoweth, Steve Reynolds. They dodged death every race, something that scared the heck out of me, but I was also enticed by the whole spectacle. I also remember the boats of the day: Miss Circus Circus, Miss Atlas Van Lines, Miss Budweiser, the O Boy, Oberto!, the Miss Pay N Pak, the Miss Rock KISW (they knew their fan base). Seafair Sunday was always special. I had forgotten that time. Sports in July have just become better again.

Post Script: Hydroplane racing came to South Dakota (albeit a small boat class) a few years ago, much to my surprise. The Missouri River is actually a great venue for the sport. I even discovered what seems to be a driver on this circuit in the Muncey royal driver lineage (Wil Muncey). I missed the event the last couple of years (but was thrilled to learn of the new venue), but I could imagine I would have taken one or both of my girls out there if we still lived in South Dakota. I may have to try the Seafair time trials at another point in my life with the girls.

No comments: