Bonds highlights summer sporting events

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer

BREAKING RECORDS AT A TORRID RATE. Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer are two of many athletes to watch out for in an action packed summer of sporting events.

As we head into the latter half of the summer the NBA and NHL seasons are over and the NFL doesn’t start until September. However, a number of must-see sporting events and stories will take place over the remaining two months.

Here is our top ten.

1. Barry Bonds’ home run chase
As Bonds approaches Hank Aaron’s 755 career home runs record " arguably the most hallowed record in sports " everyone will have an opinion on the event. From allegations of cheating to his generally surly demeanor, there are many reasons to hate Barry, but this quest is worth watching no matter your personal opinion of the San Francisco slugger.

2. Wimbledon finals
The tournament starts on June 30, with Roger Federer looking to win his fifth consecutive title. A match in the final with rival Rafael Nadal would make it worth watching the entire tournament. On the women’s side, crowd favourite Maria Sharapova aims to topple defending champ Amelie Mauresmo.

3. The AL East pennant chase
After their slow start, the Yankees were written off. They have come storming back, however, and at the time of this writing were only nine games back of the Red Sox. Since no one likes both the Yanks and BoSox, you can be sure there will be two very divided camps in this race.

4. The NHL off-season
This off-season promises to hold many surprises worth tuning in for. The Calgary Flames have hired Mike Keenan as their new head coach, even though he hasn’t won a playoff series since 1996. More trades, dismissals and hirings are sure to happen " reason enough for hockey fans to stay glued to their sets.

5. The NBA draft
Draft day is one of the single most exciting days in sports " although we all know that Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are going to go one and two, what lies beyond that is up for grabs. Rumours are circulating about teams’ desire to trade up or down in the draft, and with Kobe Bryant recently demanding a trade, a league-changing blockbuster may be just around the corner.

6. The Under-20 FIFA World Cup
The U-20 World Cup should be an exciting draw. Being held in many locations across the country, the showcase will provide Canadians a chance to get to know the game, see high calibre soccer and experience up and coming stars before they move onto worldwide fame. To view schedules go to http://www.fifa.com/u20worldcup/ and try to snag some tickets.

7. Madden NFL 2008 release
This annual event, which takes place this year on Aug. 14, draws bigger crowds than many real-life sporting events. New this year is the concept of ‘weapons’ " star players who stand out on the field and can make or break the game by themselves. The gameplay has also improved, and as any fan knows, the roster updates alone are worth the purchase of the new game.

8. The British Open
Two-time defending champion Tiger Woods will look to make it a threepeat, and avenge his second place finishes at both the Masters and the US Open this year. The tournament will be held at Carnoustie, widely regarded as the toughest course in the Open rotation. Memorably, the last time it was played here was in 1999, when leader Jean Van de Velde shot a triple bogey on the 72nd hole, and ended up losing the ensuing playoff to Paul Lawrie.

9. Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One crown chase
Hamilton is looking to become the first rookie driver ever to win the Formula One crown. Already 10 points ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso, he would also make history by being the first black driver to win this prestigious honour. After winning the last two races in Canada and the US, this British racing prodigy may be on his way to making history.

10. The Calgary Stampede
This event is more for atmosphere than sports alone. Although the rodeo events are fun to watch, especially for the first time, the real fun comes from the city letting loose. This is the ultimate summertime event; the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth should not be missed.

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