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Welcome Back: Summer proves to be anything but dull for sports fans

By Alex Wise / For The Pitt News

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To the average sports fan, summer is typically a boring period of the year. Baseball is the only “big four” sport in season and, though it’s America’s pastime and the sport of summer, we can pay only so much attention to it. 

But this summer has been anything but typical. The humdrum that occupies the warm months disappeared as baseball headlines faded behind bigger, more newsworthy stories, which include, but aren’t limited to:

The Never-ending LeBron-o-Rama

Unless you’ve been living under an object slightly less cliché than a rock this summer, you’re likely aware that LeBron James has dominated sports news during the last few months. After the Miami Heat lost to the AARP-eligible San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, James exercised his contract’s early termination clause in order to explore the free agent market. 

He decided to go home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Ohio native’s decision to return to Cleveland, where his career began, automatically elevated the Cavaliers’ status in the East. 

But James’ decision wasn’t the only big headline bearing his name this summer. After his decision was made public, James made the news for other very important information. 

Did you know he went to China and met a pianist named Lang Lang? He also bought cupcakes for his neighbors as an apology for the crazed fans who waited outside of his Akron home before he made his decision. He’ll be wearing number 23, his original Cavs number, instead of number 6. 

Stay tuned to ESPN for both legitimate and illegitimate LeBron news, as well as nonsensical speculation and completely unnecessary analysis.

America Pretends to Care About Soccer and the Real Reason Behind Suarez’s Suspension

The 2014 World Cup was a huge success, as every World Cup recently has been in America. For a country that tends to care about soccer in the negatives on the 1-10 scale, the United States’ spectators banded together to support our national team, which made a decent run before falling to the Belgians in the first knockout stage. After the men’s national team lost, Americans continued to watch the tournament unfold. 

“I watched a game and it wasn’t even that boring,” exclaimed 99 percent of us.

The World Cup brought about spectacle, as well — Germany won, prompting American T-shirts reading clever quips such as, “America. Back-to-Back World War Champs” along with Internet memes asking Germany important questions — such as how many Super Bowl rings they possess. 

But the champions weren’t the biggest news of the World Cup. Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, as though he was practicing a scene from Dracula: the Musical for his final performance in acting class, enthusiastically bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and then writhed on the ground as though he were the victim.

Rory McIlroy Wins the British Open, Rory McIlroy’s Dad Wins $171k

Some dads build relationships with their sons over fishing. Some go camping. Others like to play catch in the backyard. But Gerry McIlroy knew something most dads don’t: You can’t make a few hundred thousand dollars when your son catches a 10-inch largemouth bass, but you can make that money if he wins the British Open.

When Rory Mcllroy was just a teenager, his father put down a little bit of cash, £400 — or $673 — at 500-to-1 odds with the hopes that his son would win the British Open by the time he was 26 years old. In his last opportunity before turning 26, Rory did just that. 

Why can’t my dad make a similar bet? If he makes the investment now by putting down $1,000 on me being unemployed and living in a one-bedroom apartment with empty pizza boxes and beer cans strewn across the floor in 10 years, we could easily get rich. 

Maybe it doesn’t work in all cases, but one thing’s for sure: The McIlroys do father-son bonding right.

Joel Embiid Wins Offseason Social Media Awards

Former Kansas Jayhawk center Joel Embiid was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers and has been an immediate hit on Twitter.

His first conquest was to convince LeBron James to come to Philadelphia. It didn’t work.

He then moved on to courting Kim Kardashian, going so far as to make a collage of the two of them and setting it as his avatar on Twitter. She didn’t respond and Embiid soon realized that she is actually married. He apologized and gave up on the reality television star before moving on to pop singer Rihanna. His Twitter page currently sports a photoshopped picture of the two out to dinner.

No word yet as to Rihanna’s response. But it’s safe to say that @JoelEmbiid is a must-follow.

 The Sports Nobody Cared About This Summer

Though most people usually pay some attention to Wimbledon, the World Cup filled our “caring about foreign sports” quota. So, in case you missed it, Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer to take the men’s title while Petra Kvitová beat Eugenie Bouchard in the ladies’ singles.

Jeff Gordon won his 5th career Brickyard 400, which, apparently, is some sort of record. Congratulations, Jeff. You truly are the master of making left turns and peeing inside your clothes at the same time.

In PGA Tour news, Dustin Johnson is taking a six-month leave from golf for testing positive for cocaine. Again. 

Somebody other than Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France, making the famed bike race completely irrelevant to us, no matter how much strength and athleticism cycling may take.

And that’s sports! Back to you, world.

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Welcome Back: Summer proves to be anything but dull for sports fans