Along with Derryfield winning a state championship in lacrosse and what seems like umpteen million Fisher Cats games, other sports-related things have been happening recently that are not related to Manchester in any way.
So, with the Fisher Cats currently on a bus to Ohio and an instinctual need to write some sports-related thing for Manchester Ink Link every day once the weather gets warm, here are my thoughts on some of those non-Manchester sports topics.
LeBron is about to get a lot of money
With the anti-climactic NBA Finals out of the way, a much larger basketball topic takes center stage: where will LeBron James head for what might be the final few years of his career?
There’s no perfect option. James owns homes in Southern California and there’s the glamour and cap space of the Lakers, but heading to the purple and gold would be a step backward in terms of seeking another championship. Plus, there’s the Ball family drama, which might fizzle out eventually, but has been a continuing distraction that might be an unnecessary headache.
Philadelphia has been mentioned as a dark horse but replace the glamour and add a little bit more talent accumulated from “The Process” and it’s not clear the 76ers would be a step forward either.
Houston is likely the best fit if he wants to create another superteam, but juggling the contracts of LeBron, James Harden and Chris Paul will be an incredibly difficult feat.
Despite the lingering animosity with Dan Gilbert and the continuing drama over his perceived lack of a supporting cast, it still seems likely he’ll stay in Cleveland this time by default due to the fiscal advantage the Cavs’ Bird rights, his connection to the area and a reduced urgency now that he has won championships.
Viva Las Vegas
In contrast to the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup finals had a satisfying finish. It’s hard to root against one of the biggest Cinderella stories in modern sports but witnessing the sheer joy of Alex Ovechkin finally overcome years of frustration to obtain a title is certainly a good reason.
Anyone claiming that the Golden Knights advanced so far because teams weren’t able to protect as many players in the expansion draft compared to earlier expansion drafts should be forced to watch the elaborate pre-game entertainment at T-Mobile Arena until they too become Vegas fans.
In Mother Russia, FIFA World Cups you!
While there are many World Cups of things in the world of sports, the World Cup that has a trademark to that particular term, is set to begin this week. At the conclusion of this summer’s tournament, the World Cup will return four years from now in what appears to be stadiums built by slaves on the surface of the sun.
Without the USMNT (United States Men’s National Team, not U.S. Mutant Ninja Turtles) not taking part in the tournament, as an American, it just feels weird to watch. If the Olympics have given any lasting lessons, it’s that the U.S.A generally seems to be among the favorites in every sport that feels like it matters.
Combine those conflicted feelings with the name of the sport here in North America, always battling between logic (it’s a ball that is kicked around with a foot) versus patriotism (its proper term is actually association football), and there’s a slightly muted feeling on this side of the Atlantic toward the tournament.
The best storylines seem to come from Group D, where everyone wonders if Lionel Messi can finally cement his place as one of the game’s best ever by finally winning a World Cup title despite a talented, but inconsistent supporting cast (see LeBron), and the unfolding miracle of little Iceland and their part-time dentist head coach.
New Hampshire native Andrew Sylvia began covering the Fisher Cats in 2010 and 2011 and has reported on a wide variety of other sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Nashua Telegraph and Patch.com in addition to thousands of other non-sports articles for over two dozen outlets throughout New England and beyond. He also has a Australian Rules Football fantasy team and he thinks they’re finally going to win it all this year, if only because he’s an optimistic kind of guy.