Back around the middle of April of this year, around the time we’d gone through at least the first couple Kubler Ross stages of COVID-19 grief, we reached the stage that I’ll just call “looking for the bright side in all this craziness and uncertainty.” Perhaps, I can just call it “sports anticipation,” for it was about that time that leagues began to at least discuss what return plans may look like in order to get back on the field (or court, or pitch, or gridiron, or ice, whatever).
It was at that point that we began to realize “Holy crap, if we are able to make it through this pandemic, or at least the first wave of it, with our sanity and our health, CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH SPORTS WE ARE GOING TO GET THIS FALL?” It’s true, if MLB, the NBA, professional golf, the NHL, MLS, and others were all going to get their seasons in, they would have to invade, to some degree, the turf normally allotted solely (by and large) for football, college and pro.
The fire hose looked glorious, and now that the leagues back in action are keeping mostly clean COVID scorecards (some better than others, but nonetheless, sports are back), the fire hose has ramped up from a slow trickle to a steady, forceful flow. Come football season, the force from the sports fire hose might be LETHAL, killing marriages everywhere on impact!
Want a taste of where we are now in this glorious late summer of the sports fire hose? Well, consider the schedule here in Houston for the next seven days. With Texans training camp going on in the background, here is your Houston “circle the dates” television sports schedule for this week. Oh baby….
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18
ASTROS vs Rockies, 2:10pm (Greinke)
ROCKETS vs Thunder, GAME 1, 5:30 p.m.
Get your day drinking shoes on, as we watch Zack Greinke, who has been trending in an “ace” level direction since his subpar first start of the season, try to navigate one of the best lineups in baseball, the Colorado Rockies. If the Astros game goes as planned (which means “roughly 3.5 hours”) it should end about the time the national anthem is playing for the Rockets’ playoff opener against former point guard Chris Paul.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 20
ASTROS @ Rockies 2:10 p.m. (Javier)
ROCKETS vs Thunder, GAME 2, 2:30 p.m.
Now, THIS is a fire hose! Basically, simultaneous Astros and Rockets games in the middle of the day on a Thursday afternoon. We will see if Russell Westbrook is back at this point, but the level of caution the Rockets seem to be expressing doesn’t give me great hope. Oh, and Christian Javier gets to face that same lineup Greinke did two days prior, but this one is in the thin air of Coors Field. YIKES! FUN!
SATURDAY, AUGUST 22
ROCKETS vs Thunder, GAME 3, 5 p.m.
ASTROS @ Padres, 8:10 p.m. (Bielak)
Do a little cooking out in the afternoon, maybe some time at the pool, then come home (or head inside) and spend the next seven hours watching the Rockets take on the Thunder, and the Astros play the Padres. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night. Not bad at all.
MONDAY AUGUST 24
ROCKETS vs Thunder, GAME 4, 3 p.m.
ASTROS vs Angels, 8:10 p.m. (Valdez)
Then the Fire Hose Week is capped off with some more afternoon hoops (maybe the Rockets going for the sweep… doubtful, but dare to dream), followed by the Astros back home for Framber Valdez against the Angels. Oh, the exhaustion the next morning.
So there you go. The sports smorgasbord is here, and we don’t even have football yet.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.