Depending on who you ask, July is either the worst time of year for sports or the best.

Depending on who you ask, July is either the worst time of year for sports or the best.


Whether or not you will enjoy the steamy summer month lies in your personal taste.


If you like football, for example, you will experience mostly feelings of anticipation. The countdown to the start of the season is still weeks away. If you are an NFL fan, you worry about the season starting at all due to the lockout.


With the NFL schedule in limbo, excitement for the college season seemingly has taken on more steam.


For instance, witness the hype for the regular-season opener set for Sept. 3, which pits LSU against Oregon at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.


Both teams have high expectations for the 2011-12 campaign. Oregon was runner-up to Auburn for the national championship last season. The Tigers, who won the Cotton Bowl, are expected to reload this year and be a contender for the title.


Often teams schedule non-conference foes of – ahem – lesser quality to start the season with a bang.


In the case of LSU and Oregon, there will be little room for error right out of the gate.


Teams usually prefer stockpiling a few “rent-a-wins” before tackling conference opponents. That won’t be the case this year for the Tigers and the Ducks.


In the meantime, fans will have to settle on speculation until the games start. To paraphrase NBA great Allen Iverson, we’ll be talking about practice. Practice, man. Not a game ... practice.


The same goes for high school and youth teams. All we can do is salivate until the main course arrives.


Until then, we’re all on watch. Or should I say “watchlists?”


Biletnikoff, Bednarik, Nagurski watchlists are just a few of the award outlooks released this time of year, fueling the fire for fans.


A few other sports are hot this time of year.


The Major League Baseball All-Star game is the most entertaining all-star game in professional sports. The NBA?All-Star game and the NFL’s Pro Bowl can be mildly entertaining, but they lack importance. At least the MLB game decides something – home-field advantage in the World Series.


The Women’s World Cup also gives fans sports drama, as they cheer on their country’s team.


United States goalkeeper Hope Solo summarized it best on Twitter:?“Go ahead, jump on the bandwagon and let’s do this together. One Nation, One World, One Team.”


If you’re not already a fan, a major event such as the World Cup just might be all you need for a conversion. After all, we’re not born fans of any particular sport. We learn to love sports through our experiences.


Even in the worst of times, we have something to cheer about.


Weekly Citizen