Local sports roundup: Lobos, Isotopes and The Pit, plus UNM skiing, volleyball and cross country
Back in the day, there was this great TV show called “Sports Night.” It was a fictitious look at the SportsCenter life, written by Aaron Sorkin, who would go on to write “West Wing” and gather numerous awards.
There was one episode, A Girl Named Pixley, where the cast (crew) sat around the set (newsroom) complaining about what a slow day they'd been having. That's how I felt when I looked at the headlines of ESPN in order to figure out the column for this week: Football's just beginning, hockey's nowhere near anything exciting, the World Cup and the Tour de France are over, basketball hasn't even made it to the preseason and baseball is suffering from the doldrums of the season.
The top headlines on EPSN.com read as a special kind of test of the avid sport's fan's attention: No Tiger Promise for Ryder Cup, Isiah Thomas declines Knicks job, LeBron uses criticism as fuel, Eagles security nabs fan in new McNabb jersey, et. al. This is almost the Land of Nod.
So instead, let's focus on home: Lobo football is about to start its season. Despite the controversy about where the players were going to engage in preseason, the simple truth is that we're all just hoping for an improvement on last year. Going 1-11 in his first year, coach Locksley must be thinking, “Well, there's nowhere to go but up.” (Especially after that pesky assault case.) Just because it should be true, though, doesn't mean that it will be. Tons of curiosity on my part to see, if this season goes as badly as last season did, if losing a ton of games matters more than bad press and a possible assault on an assistant coach.
The Isotopes, on the other hand, despite losing their last two in a row, stand only three games behind the Oklahoma City RedHawks. This does, however, put them behind the top two teams in the remaining three divisions of AAA baseball, so our chances don't look fantastic.
The good news is: The construction on the Pit is almost complete. The men's basketball team will have a beautiful new place to play in this season, as ticket-holders from last season can attest. The court won't be new, but there will be plenty of new box seats for the wealthy ABQ business owners to woo their clients in. And after the impressive performance of the Lobos last season, this seems to be the perfect time for a new look.
UNM's fall term is about to begin, and with it comes a plethora of fall sports that weren't mentioned here. The award-wining ski team tops the list, followed quickly by the men's soccer team, as well as the women's, looking to move out from under Elizabeth Lambert's shadow. The women's volleyball team, led by coach Jeff Nelson, looks to improve on their impressive showing last season, and, of course, the cross country team will be putting in the miles.
So while this may seem like a dull time to be a sports fan, it's a great time to get involved with our community. Come out and support the Lobos, or keep an eye and/or ear out for the next Isotopes game. Chances are, you won't be disappointed.