Today, I was walking with some friends as they got some coffee at a local coffee house, and I was asked what I thought about NBA free agency. My exact words were, "I could care less right now because right now, my focus is on other things. I'm tired of sports seasons dragging on so long that it's hard to concentrate on a particular sport."
When I was younger, the sports seasons had an exact offseason. The NFL got done after the Super Bowl in January, allowing spring training to get some attention while the NBA was building up its playoff run. The NBA playoffs got out of the way before the pennant races started heating up in baseball before football started getting going in the late part of the summer. While there was big news about sports at various points, there was enough of a down time where casual fans could move from sport to sport rather easily.
Now, baseball playoffs run into November which bleeds into free agency, while the NBA puts its draft and free agency smack in the middle of summer, drawing basketball fans into long drawn out discussions about salary caps and signings. The NFL draft has become a 4 day affair, drawing out the spectacle of players being picked by teams, while there is actual coverage of workouts and camps that football fans can watch. Mind you, if you are a passionate sports fan of one of the sports, you are in heaven because it's all attention all the time. But for someone like myself that used to be able to keep up with things relatively easily, I find it harder and harder to do.
Soccer has become a passion, more now that I write about it on a regular basis in my other world, but it's the ultimate fan experience. I can watch a match in 2 hours or less, and it's done for the weekend. Just one match, one meeting, it's simple. Granted, there is a lot of offseason movement, but at the same point, FIFA mandates that players can only belong to one club at a time, so player movement is restricted in that respect. You also have various transfer window times that player movement is done in, making it easier to keep track of things.
Maybe it's just informational overload, because right now, I can't spend days worrying about whether the Trail Blazers will sign who they want or where the big NBA free agents will end up. I frankly don't care right now, because it's pure speculation, and the only people that aren't talking about it are the players. If you want to drum up interest, that's a sure way to pull in the rabid basketball fans, but at the same point, it's not nearly as interesting or compelling. Even if Portland was a key player in free agency, I don't think that would make me any more interested, because it's all about money and power.
I need a break from time to time from my teams, and the way the schedules work themselves out makes it easier for me to keep my sanity. When the Timbers are completing their season, the Trail Blazers are in full swing and so I can turn my attention there easily, while filling in for the occassional Broncos game. With other interests competing for time, I just don't have the disposable time to just sit back and watch hours and hours of sports anymore, so I have to choose my time wisely. The fact that my wife also enjoys soccer means that I can watch games with her, and not only fulfill a sports fix but spend time with the one I love.
But maybe, just maybe it's about me growing up a bit and realizing that while sports is an amazing thing, it can't just be everything in a person's life. Passion is great, but even the most crazed fan needs some time off from time to time. I just wished that the talking heads at sports radio followed that line of thinking, instead of the blathering on of "What will the Blazers do now?" Right now, I've got more important things to think about than that.