Friday, August 03, 2007

August is the new September

August feels like September. School supplies have been out for a month, football and soccer and cheerleading practice have started, and there are good shows on TV. Really, this is no time to go on vacation. Your family time at baseball and softball games last month probably was your vacation :)

This month, ESPN will televise a total of 49 Little League Baseball and Softball games. Here is a complete schedule. There clearly is an audience, and in spite of football preseason and MLB pennant races, ESPN will pull in good numbers for the LL coverage.

The structure and nostalgia of the Little League All-Star tournament are perfect for television. TV is great with personalities and geography and the tournament provides wonderful stories about kids and towns, the very fiber of our national foundation. Throw in that it is a true WORLD Series, with Olympics-type stories about kids from outside the U.S. and their love of sport bringing their culture and language to small towns across the country, and you see why this is compelling programming.

Locally, our (Oregon) District 4 and State Champ Lake Oswego LL is in San Bernardino to compete for the Northwest Regional berth to the Little League World Series in Williamsport. Last year's Northwest Champ, Murrayhill LL, is currently playing in the Junior LL BB Western Regional for a chance to travel to Taylor, Michigan, for the Jr. World Series and another opportunity to play on ESPN.

Good luck to all the teams travelling to and from tournaments. And THANK YOU to the hundreds of volunteers who make these events happen. While I'm lucky enough to live near two tournaments and take advantage of their hard work and organization, it is the working mom and dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who will be home watching games on ESPN and cheering on kids and thankful they are in good hands.


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