It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you you think I’m talking about Christmas then you’re partly right, but only because the Thunder tip off at 7:00 that night against the Minnesota Timberwolves right here in Oklahoma City. While holiday sales might dominate the commercials we see on TV and the stress of trying to get that jewelry store jingle out of your head might be driving you crazy, for sports fans it’s hard to argue that there’s a much more exciting time of the year. We’re just getting into the good part of the NFL season. The world of college football is just about to decide its conference champions and start its many, many bowl games. Russell Westbrook has already started looking like the way-too-early front runner for NBA MVP. It almost feels like hockey weather if you go outside at the right time of the morning just before the sun comes up. Even MLS soccer fans are looking forward to their championship game (which for the first time ever will feature a Canadian team if anyone out there is interested in a bit of North American soccer trivia).
Since it’s the end of the year, we can just now start to look back and see what an interesting year it’s been in sports. And 2016 has already quite a year with yet another summer Olympics in the books, multiple 3 to 1 leads in 7 game series that produced so much drama you might mistake the NBA for The Young and the Restless, and our local basketball team finds itself at the start of a brand new season back in the role of loveable underdog after losing a certain superstar that shall remain nameless. I can’t remember if anything else of note has happened recently in the world of sports though…
A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at 100 by George F. Will
It finally happened. Only a few months after the city of Cleveland saw their NBA team come back from a 3 to 1 deficit to win the NBA championship their baseball team found themselves on the other side of history in what will go down as a World Series for the ages. After 108 years America’s lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs finally won a World Series, and they did so in spectacular fashion. If you can’t get enough of the Cubs, check out George F. Will’s book about the history of the Chicago Cubs’ legendary home field.
While we’re talking about significant milestones and lovable underdogs it seems necessary to point out that this year marks the 40th anniversary of one of the best boxing movies ever made; Rocky, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. If you’ve never seen Rocky you might be surprised to find that this Oscar-winning film is a well told story of a man’s struggles in life, a story of love, and tale perseverance; but there’s also a pretty good boxing scene in there too.
True Style by G. Bruce Boyer
Obviously Oklahoma City’s favorite team is the Thunder, and with Thunder basketball comes another of all of our favorite things, Russell Westbrook’s post-game fashion choices. If Mr. Westbrook (or should we say future NBA MVP Russell Westbrook) inspires you to shine up your wing tips and fasten your cufflinks you might want to check out G. Bruce Boyer’s True Style.
Ballin’ At the Graveyard
Not every athlete achieves the superstar status of Michael Jordan, or even the journeyman fan favorite status of Brian Scalabrine. Some, in fact millions, play simply for fun and for the love of the game. Ballin’ at the Graveyard is a documentary about these people; about the pickup basketball games that happen each day in every city in America and the masters of jump shots and trash talk that make these basketball courts theirs.