Maintaining a good work-life balance can also be scary! But the only way to do this correctly for someone who enjoys commenting on sports is to completely get away and make no comments.
Taking a month away after the first weekend in April is a usual break that helps ensure that I stay balanced. I never planned to stay away for almost 8 months, but during my time away, I attended two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro and did not comment. The games were good, but there were no teams from North Carolina or surrounding states, and only Pittsburgh from the ACC played at “home.” Other teams in the region included Xavier, Kennesaw State, Iowa State, Providence, Kentucky, Kansas State, and Montana State. The NCAA Tournament delivered as usual with a surprising Final Four and the University of Connecticut taking the championship. No comments were posted.
Spring closed with a great Women’s NCAA Tournament with LSU as Champions and the continued dominance of the SEC in Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Baseball. Oklahoma was impressive in winning the Softball Championship. North Carolina won the Women’s Tennis Championship over NC State. Northwestern took the Women’s Lacrosse Championship. No comments were posted.
#1 draft picks in the professional leagues included Brice Young, Alabama in the NFL draft, Victor Wembanyama, France, NBA, Paul Skenes, LSU, MLB, and Aliyah Boston, South Carolina, WNBA. The Diamond League provided a record-breaking year of professional track and field events that concluded with the US dominating the World Championships in Eugene, OR. Summer was not without disappointment as the US Women’s National Team flamed out in a 5-4 loss to Sweden on penalty kicks after making the round of 16 on just one win and two draws.
Tennis grand slams at the French Open in May and Wimbledon in July couldn’t top the season-ending US Open Championship singles wins by Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauf. Meanwhile, the top five regular season MLB teams all lost in the first round of the playoffs with a combined 1-13 record. The Atalanta Braves with 104 regular season wins was the only team that did not get swept. Baltimore Orioles (101), Los Angeles Dodgers (100), Tampa Bay Rays (99), and Milwaukee Brewers (92) had no answers in the postseason. No comments were posted.
North Carolina, Duke, and NC Central (minus a loss to UCLA) had a successful start to their football seasons with top 20 rankings and undefeated seasons until October, while NC State, Appalachian State, Wake Forest, Charlotte, and East Carolina mostly struggled. Some more than others. No comments were posted.
I often say the best thing about football season is basketball is not far away! Finally…basketball is here again! It’s scary getting back in. Independent reporters and commentators cannot compete with the networks, AI bots, and bloggers with inside sources. That was never part of my plan. Writing from the point of view of a fan in the stands provides a more unique angle. There is no pressure to meet a midnight deadline, just to be fair, honest, and accurate. Now, the work starts again! I love all sports, and enjoy covering UNC, but appreciate the opportunity to occasionally evaluate other local teams. As I update the website over the next few months, be on the lookout for an occasional column in a new blog section tentatively titled “The Ridiculous” and a “Kids on Sports” section where the young ones get to talk about sports. Plus, I take a lot of pictures and will continue to occasionally include a completely unrelated photo with some posts. It adds a little fun, and helps me stay balanced!