Thursday, August 7, 2008

August: My Favorite Month of ESPN: Sizzlin’ Hot Little League World Series 2008


I’ve always loved watching the Little League World Series, this year it starts on the 15th of August through the 24th , right in the middle of the Olympics. For as long as I can remember, I’ve watched at least a few of the games on TV. As my kids have grown and gone through their various athletic pursuits (none of which were making it anywhere near the LLWS), my appreciation of the LLWS has just increased. While the games are always special, I really get a kick out of how the commentators try as hard as they can to stay positive no matter how bad a particular error is (for example “Oh my Mike, that was a really close one, he nearly caught that fly ball, I believe the sun got him at the last moment”). How I wish that was true in real life during games w/out the camera’s; some of the personal comments I hear parents make about some of the kids during games are pretty rough. Anyway….It’s like ESPN has deemed that any athlete under age 13 or 14 is sacred and, therefore, there should not be a bit of negativity shown, I like it, I really do. They know the kids and their families are TIVO’ing and taping each game and will watch themselves over and over. When a kid makes a great play they show it numerous times from numerous angles, gushing the whole time.

I also have a soft spot for all the little personal vignettes, etc. I love the “stats” on the boys: Height, Weight (Seriously...there can be 12 year old boys on the team that weigh 60 lbs. and others boys that weigh 140 lbs.), Favorite Movie, Favorite Pro Athlete, Favorite Food, Favorite movie star, etc. Also, a good bit of camera time is spent on the families of the boys. They always have nice interviews with some of the parents and siblings of the players detailing their journeys. Lots and lots of shots of the families cheering (and a bit of parental coaching from the stands, too, but nothing compared to what we all witness every weekend in our recreation leagues). They do show a bit of the losing teams crying but not much….and it’s not like we haven’t seen adults crying in the NCAA basketball or soccer finals, etc, so we know grown-up men also feel and can show the pain of losing the big one. It’s just a nice snapshot into the best of the world of youth sports.

So, the Little League World Series is starting in about a week, as you’ve probably noticed I’ve got the TV schedule linked at least 3 times for you. I know I’ll be watching quite a bit, hope you can too. It’ll be tough this year, competing with the Olympics, but thank God for TIVO and DVR.

7 comments:

Mark Salinas said...

Fun indeed! Woo hoo! :)

RockinMom said...

Can't wait! :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

They are adorable, aren't they?

It's funny though--I still harbor some resentment, 40 some-odd years later, that when I was growing up only BOYS could play baseball and they got to wear those cool uniforms. So and I think it's a wonderful thing, but there's a part of me that's still jealous.

MizFit said...

now Im wondering...and Id never thought about this:
GIRLS CANT DO LL, right?

Juicebox Mom said...

Hi Mizfit...Yes, girls can do Little League baseball. I even did in 1976! Was the only girl on my team, but there were about 4 in my local league back then. I'm not sure why we never see them in the LLWS though, most (like the boys) don't make all-stars which are the kids we see on TV.

Little League also has LL Softball Leagues which can be very competitive, and probably most of the best girls play there. I just saw a game of LL Softball World Series Regionals on ESPN2 this weekend (they called them Seniors, and I think there's also a Junior LL Softball league, based on age). So, fortunately the girls get good exposure too. I hope your Toddler gets to play...in my area you can start with T-ball at age 5, and the teams are good mixes of boys and girls, about 2:1 I'd guess. My kids all started w/T-Ball here.

baseballmom said...

I love, love, love it too! It's especially fun since one of the teams is from our state, and we've played some of the boys' teams at tournaments. Go Mill Creek!!! They made it to the semi-finals today. We had girls on our PONY team until about age 12, then their parents steered them toward softball...knowing that most girls do it eventually later on. They were some of our best players!

Juicebox Mom said...

OH MY...I really have to correct myself, I'm watching my 7th or 8th game of the series tonight. I really underestimated the weights, good LORD, I've seen there are now 12 yo boys who are 6+ feet tall, and some who are up to 180 lbs WOW, not fat kids either, solid, man-sized players. I'm thinking about those poor moms grocery bills now.