Monday, July 1, 2019

Welcome To July

Welcome to July.

It's the first of July, which means this week features the Fourth of July, which means this is getting into the heart of the summer.

July is a month that is pretty much universally loved. Kids are off from school. There are vacations to be had. There are cookouts and ice cream trucks and swimming pools and water slides.

And days at the beach. And pizza on boardwalks. And shorts and t shirts.

As for sports, there's a lot to see this month.

There will be the Women's World Cup semifinals and finals. The United States team takes on England tomorrow at 3 Eastern, and the other semi matches Sweden and the Netherlands Wednesday.

The losers play in third place game Saturday, and the winners play Sunday in the championship game.

There will also be a lot of Major League Baseball this month, including the All-Star Game. This weekend two games between the Yankees and Red Sox in London, where the teams combined for 65 hits, 15 doubles and 10 home runs (and a combined 9:06 to play).

The Yankees won both, 17-13 in the first game Saturday and then 12-8 yesterday. Those are lacrosse scores, not baseball scores.

Speaking of lacrosse, there are two professional outdoor men's leagues playing now. There are Princeton players in both, and TigerBlog wonders a few things about the future of these two leagues. Can they really co-exist?

What else do you have sports-wise in July?

You have NBA free agency, which began last night. Kevin Durant apparently is headed to the Nets, even though he can't play next year because of his Achilles injury.

The contract is for four years and $164 million. That, of course, should be more than enough money for this and many future generations of Durants.

On the other hand, his old team, the Warriors, could have offered him five years and $221 million, which is a lot more.

Also, the Nets are getting a player who can't play next year and who will be 33 when he tries to return from this injury. Risky, risky stuff.

So now Durant won't be a Knick. Who will Princeton alums Steve Mills and Craig Robinson come away with during this free agency period?

Well, they won't get Durant or Kyrie Irving, which is really good news, if you ask long-time Knick fan TigerBlog. Durant is hurt and may never be the seem and Irving thinks the world is flat and appears to be hated by his teammates.

The Knicks did sign Julius Randle, who gets three years and $65 million. This is the second straight great move the Knicks made, after drafting R.J. Barrett with the third pick.

Barrett is going to have the best career of anyone from this draft class, and Randle is a way under-the-radar player who averaged 21.4 points per game in New Orleans last year and is only 24.

The Knicks also took Taj Gibson, another very solid veteran player who didn't break the bank. The moral of the story is that you don't need the biggest names. You need the guys who make your team a winner.

What else?

July is when NFL teams get to work when training camps open for real.

If you're a Princeton fan, your eyes are glued to the Tiger alums in the NFL, especially the three who are trying to make teams as undrafted free agents.

John Lovett is with the Kansas City Chiefs. Jesper Horsted is with the Chicago Bears. Stephen Carlson is with the Cleveland Browns.

Will any or all of them make it? Carlson is off to a good start apparently:

TigerBlog apologizes for the brief hint of profanity there, but it was too good not to share.

There's more to sports in July. Wimbledon, for one. 

You know what there isn't in July?

Princeton sporting events. Well, not Princeton's varsity teams. There's plenty of sports to be played on campus in the next few weeks, but those are from summer camps, ranging from elite prospects to the littlest kids.

Princeton teams don't play in July. They play in every other month, even August. But nothing in July.

That's okay. The Tigers will be back soon enough. And TB will find something to write about every day in the meantime.

So welcome to July. Relax, and have some fun.

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