I feel like Roy Rogers this morning. “Happy trails to you”, the King of the Cowboys would say, “Til we meet again.”

In my case it will be about three and a half weeks, and I’m already taking inventory of what I’ll miss. I won’t actually miss it, I’ll pay close attention, but I will miss the pleasure of discussing it with all of you on a daily basis.

It begins tonight with the championship game of the College World Series, to which I don’t normally pay this much attention, but this one comes with a personal attachment. Vanderbilt is poised to claim it’s first national championship ever in any men’s sport and we’ve been long time friends with the family of Vandy coach Tim Corbin.

I’m having surgery early tomorrow morning, but I fully intend to be concious in time to catch the most anticipated World Cup soccer game in some time, at least in this country, when the U.S. takes on Germany with a trip to the knockout stage hanging in the balance. I’m not a conspiracy theorist who believes the two teams have prearranged a tie. I doubt this one will be played in the midfield.

While we’re focused on soccer it will be hard to keep from checking in from time to time on the progress of a golfer at Congressional. Tiger Woods may be pushing his return a bit, he originally talked about making his comeback in Liverpool, at the Open Championship, but he has a personal responsibility to a sponsor and a charity foundation to make sure the Quicken Loans National is a success, and, with a field that pales by comparison to the Travelers, he had to play his trump card, himself. I’ll be back the day after the Open Championship and by then we’ll have a much better assessment of how the competition will set up for the PGA Championship and the races for the Fed Ex Cup and berths on the Ryder Cup teams. Right now Phil hardly looks ready to defend at the Open Championship and Tiger, six years removed from a major championship, has a long road back to contention.

If the World Cup and Tiger weren’t enough to keep a sports fan’s remote finger in high gear for one day, the NBA draft comes up tomorrow night and one of the fastest rising stars in the basketball galaxy is UCONN guard Shabazz Napier. A second round probability when the season started he’s now a likely lottery pick, thanks to his leadership in the Huskies improbable championship run and Kemba Walker’s seamless transition to the pro game.

While all of this goes on the advances at Wimbledon will continue for the second half of the fortnight as the Brits, disappointed by the World Cup, hope Andy Murray can give them a repeat to cheer about.

Then there’s Major League Baseball, the season turning two mile markers before my return, the 4th of July and the All Star break. We barely get enough time to catch our breath from a jam packed Thursday than the biggest rivalry in American sports takes center stage on the big stage, the Red Sox and Yankees at the Stadium in the Bronx on Friday. By the time I return one or the other or both could be in hot contention in the American League East, out of contention, even for a wild card berth, or still treading water in a division that was once the best in baseball, with every team capable of winning it, only to become a division that every team only seems capable of losing. While the Blue Jays make veiled threats at running away with it the Red Sox and Yankees go from winning streaks to losing streaks with no particular direction, and nowhere near the pitching each was expected to have when the season started.

I may be away through it all, but when I get back we’ll have a lot to talk about.

Taking my leave for a few weeks in the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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