Sports Thoughts

Nashville’s third major league sports team kicked off over the weekend as Nashville SC made their debut in Major League Soccer (MLS) in front of over 59,000 fans at Nissan Stadium. The local news folks said this was the largest crowd to watch a professional soccer game in state history. That’s a pretty good start. The team was pretty competitive too with a narrow 2-1 loss to Atlanta United. As the season goes on, it will be interesting to see how strong the support will be for the remaining 16 home games. One expert said that if Nashville can average 20,000 that it would be a good level to maintain. I’m thinking they should be able to do it since they will fill the void between the Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans seasons.

Ratings for the new XFL spring football league have been steadily dropping since their opening weekend. I watched some of the game yesterday between the DC Defenders and Tampa Bay Vipers. There were a LOT of empty seats in the stadium. Tampa is a difficult market anyway and it doesn’t help that the Vipers were 0-3 going into the game. The XFL is nearing the midway part of the season. It will be interesting to see how strong they finish or if they will give it up like the Alliance of American Football (AAF) did a year ago. The XFL will now have competition from Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS).

As I was channel surfing, I landed on one of the ESPN channels showing a cornhole tournament. Seriously? This backyard/tailgate game has become serious competition. They even have their own professional organization called the American Cornhole League (ACL). And people think bowling is boring….

For the first spring since 1987, there will no Arena Football League (AFL). The league died over the winter after drowning in debt and lawsuits. That’s a shame. The AFL was actually a good version of football played during the spring. The league had lots of high scoring and action. Their best season was probably in 2008 when they had 17 teams and averaged almost 13,000 fans per game. There are other indoor leagues but none of them have been the same caliber as the AFL.

Former Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, Tony Romo, signed a sweet $17 million deal to continue with CBS as an broadcaster of NFL games. That’s a lot of money. Romo is good for sure but $17 million?

I am tired of hearing all the speculation of where Tom Brady will end up. I really don’t care. He’s at the end of his career and may have one more season left so what does it matter? I guess folks are thinking that team will win the Super Bowl if they have Brady. The latest rumors have been the Raiders or Titans. I just wish he would sign with someone already. Be done with it.

Four Central Kentucky newspapers laid off their sports reports last week. The sports departments at the the Advocate-Messenger, Jessamine Journal, Interior Journal and Winchester Sun were eliminated. All are owned by the same company, Boone Newspapers, Inc. Most were blindsided by the news. Now that’s pretty cold-hearted.

Seattle’s new National Hockey League (NHL) expansion franchise still does not have a name. They are scheduled to start playing next season. I’m not sure what the delay is. The most popular vote is for “Sockeyes”. I think that’s some kind of fish in the region. Seems fitting for a hockey name.

I have not been following college basketball but a glance at the latest rankings have Kansas (26-3) leading the men and South Carolina (29-1) leading the women. It’s about time for March Madness. Get those brackets ready.

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