Chris Hrabe:

Remember the deal we all made last summer? I do. We all decided that if sports would return, and this pandemic thing would wrap itself up, we wouldn’t complain as much.

Seriously, we all took an oath. There were hands on bibles and judge-ish people in robe-ish outfits and everything.

In case you have forgotten, I’ll fill you in on some of the pertinent details, because it seems like a portion of the sports fan population has already forgotten about the promises we made, and it’s time to pay the piper.

So, here goes…

I promised not to be a complete smart-ass about the couple of days of ‘sports desert’ around the All Star Game itself. In fact, I’m the biggest ESPY’s fan you’ll find this year! Wait, they already happened? Ok, no worries, we can at least all enjoy Norm McDonald’s incredible, incomparable monologue from his brief stint as the ESPY’s host. In my eyes, Norm is one of the best ‘pound-for-pound’ standup comedians of our generation.

On that note, I promised not to roll my eyes roll into a permanent state in the back of my head when the same sports cliches get dusted off for the first time, long time this summer. Feel free to use the word ‘stave’ as is your once-yearly custom when referring to a hockey team attempting to avoid postseason elimination. Go ahead and throw your support behind the ‘human element’ of the ‘old school’ ‘unwritten rules.’ Seriously, I won’t stop you! I probably won’t listen, but I won’t stop you!

Jul 11, 2021; Denver, CO, USA; General view outside of Coors Field as fans await to enter before the start of the 2021 MLB All Star Futures Game. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I really did promise not to complain about blown calls or bad calls or no calls. I didn’t promise to enjoy the long breaks for replay that acts as the overture for a potential replay. The string section warms up, the brass sings a perfect C, and then we hold that note for about 15 minutes while someone in a conference room across the country furiously leafs through a binder that is supposed to explain why we can or cannot ask for a potential replay for the potentially contested decision. I think. Actually, I’ll leave that to the conference room crew.

I definitely promised not to complain about the length of games. Unless it’s a college football game and they aren’t selling refreshments inside the stadium and it’s super hot and a bunch of people are standing up for no reason and yelling at you to stand up even though Mizzou is playing football against a high school wrestling team from Topeka in mid-August. You guys just want to go to Big 12? Yeah, let’s just go to Big 12.

But you won’t hear me complaining about the length of baseball games, and you definitely won’t hear me complaining if you’re leaving the game in the 7th inning. Hey, Big 12, your call. Live and let live.

I’m not going to call anyone ‘overpaid’ or ‘greedy’ or point out how much a player makes per minute. We all get it, pro athletes make a lot of money to play a game. But they also help employ a lot of people, and help shovel coal into the engines of a lot of communities around the country, even if at some point during a game between the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Buffalo Bisons, nearly every player on the field will take home less that evening than the beer vendor working the very thirsty and very enthusiastic right field party deck.

So now that I’ve told you everything I’m not going to do, here’s what I am looking forward to: the All Star Break. A normal signpost in a normal baseball season that has fans normally frustrated for one reason or another. Regardless of anything else, at least we have that. Until it gets reviewed. Is that reviewable? Forget it, we’re missing the super long Home Run Derby! Now if we could just get some robot umps back there to speed this up…