Birdies and baseball bats are no cure for summertime blues
The Fourth of July has always been a day which gets me thinking. It gets me looking backward, and, at least when I was younger, it made me not want to look ahead. When I was in grade school and high school, I always saw the Fourth of July holiday as a time that marked the countdown to the end of summer. And needless to say, I didn’t like that very much. But, on Tuesday, I started looking ahead, and, looking back as well. And I realized one thing. You really don’t know what you have until it’s gone. What I mean by that is, that as much as I enjoy the summer months, however short they may be in Montana, my job as a sports reporter, and my life as a psychotic sports fan, has led me to prefer the school year much more than I do the summer. Man I’m getting old. I can’t believe I just said that. But in all actuality it is true. Don’t get me wrong. I love baseball. I still believe it is truly America’s game. But the Cubs are absolutely wretched this season, and that sours me some. And I really do enjoy watching the Havre Comets and Havre Northstars play. I and my younger writer Chris Peterson thoroughly enjoy covering and writing about American Legion baseball. But even that, along with all of the little league’s and girls fastpitch league’s are now winding down. And it’s only July
While baseball is a great sport, and I still love to play golf, there is just something special about the fall. There is something very unique about high school football players under the lights at Blue Pony Stadium. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that high school sports are always changing. Fresh faces, new players, and every season of high school football is always completely different from the last. It is definitely one thing that I count on as the summer days start to get shorter and shorter. Then there is Montana State University-Northern football. Since my esteemed former sports editor finally departed Havre for what the not so greener pastures of Idaho, I have had the pleasure of covering the fastest-rising sports program in the Frontier Conference. And, while I was celebrating our nation’s birthday yesterday, I found my mind wandering towards late October, and the prospect of writing about one of the biggest game’s in MSUN football history, when the four-time defending national champion Carroll College Fighting Saints come to town. But my reasons for wanting summer to hurry and pass me by don’t just revolve around my job and all the things I look forward to covering, like MSU-N basketball, the all-class state wrestling tournament, and the District 9C basketball tournament.
No, it goes much deeper than that. I look forward to the fall and winter because I am a sports nut. And as much as I love playing golf and tennis, and watching the Cubs get shelled on a daily basis, the fall will bring me University of Montana football. The fall will deliver the World Series, even if it means the wrong Chicago team is playing in it. The winter months mean North Carolina basketball. Heck, it means college basketball, and anyone who knows me, knows how I fell about college basketball. And in reality, the faster the fall gets here and school starts, and I am spending my weekends watching football at Blue Pony Stadium, the faster the winter will get here. And the cold nights of watching MSU-N basketball and wrestling will go by quickly too. And all of a sudden I am going to look up and it’s tennis season all over again. I can’t wait. I know, on the Fourth of July, I should have been thinking about birdie putts, baseball, firecrackers and Rocky Mountain hot dogs. But I can’t help it. I love watching and writing about high school and college sports. I love the feel of Blue Pony Stadium in September and October. I love driving up to the MSU-N Fieldhouse on a cold winters’ night knowing I’m going to get to see some exciting college hoops right here in Havre. And as much as I like the hot weather, the green golf courses and the crack of an aluminum bat at Legion Park, I know that the 2006-2007 school year is going to hold a lot of excitement up and down the Hi-Line. And, I guess because I am not a kid anymore, I just can’t wait until that first day of school, so my own sports season can start all over again. Did I just say that?