Summertime and the livin’ is supposed to be easy. (Thank you, Ira Gerswhin.) But for athletes and sports fans, there is no rest for the weary.
First, Phelpte (as in the Michael Phelps-Ryan Lochte rivalry) is back in action at the USA Swimming national long-course championships in Irvine, Calif., which will determine next year’s team for the world championships. They were slated to face-off four times, including Wednesday night’s 100-meter freestyle event.
The story lines go something like this: Phelps was bored in retirement and is glad to be back. Lochte – who turned 30 Aug. 3, Happy Birthday, Ryan! – moved to Charlotte, N.C., where he’s acquired a new coach and a new maturity, which should be music to fans’ ears. We’ll see how his newfound maturity and Phelps’ newfound hunger for swimming pan out.
Tonight, Colin Kaepernick leads the San Francisco 49ers into M&T Bank Stadium to meet the Baltimore Ravens for a nationally televised game that’s a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII. I am so there (i.e., in front of the tube) for this.
I wish I could be there (as in Cleveland) Saturday for the start of the Gay Games (through Aug. 16), which always take place the same year as the Winter Olympics. But at least “Water Music,” my new novel about four gay athletes and how their professional rivalries color their personal relationships, will be there: I have 10,000 cards essentially reproducing the gorgeous front and back covers Greenleaf Book Group designed going into the gift bags. Thank you, Gay Games, for the suggestion and to Jaxprints in Cleveland for doing such a great job.
Meanwhile, the Rogers Cup is underway in Toronto, one of two tune-ups – the other being in Cincinnati – before tennis’ US Open at the end of the month.
This doesn’t even take into account golf and the baseball divisional and wild card races.
I don’t know about you but this armchair athlete is exhausted already (but in a good, excited way), and the month has just begun.
Good luck, all.