As you may have noticed, I've been away for a few weeks, and when you're taking time off to get married, then spending a couple of weeks in Thailand on a honeymoon, you tend to lose track of what's happening in the world of sports. Sure, I'd take a few minutes every couple of days to see what was going on back home. But for somebody who is usually checking his phone and/or Twitter at every waking hour, it took some getting used to being so disconnected for so long.
It was also a good thing. As it turns out, I was OK not knowing for a day who won game seven of the NBA finals. It was odd at first to not have a cell phone for two-plus weeks, but it was also refreshing to simply enjoy a day on the beach not only unaware of the latest Mariners roster move, but also the time. Was it two in the afternoon? Four? Didn't really matter. So if you get a chance, disconnect for a while, for a week, a day, even a few hours, whatever your life allows.
Yet as good as it was to get away for a bit, I also discovered that it's pretty tough to fully escape reminders of sports back home.
In Bangkok, a guy from Toronto was wearing an R.A. Dickey jersey. When he found out I was from Seattle, he told me how much Blue Jays fans love former Mariner Munenori Kawasaki. In a restaurant in Chiang Mai, all three cities in MLS's Cascadia rivalry were represented in couples from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. And speaking of soccer, I was shocked to see two MLS games on TV in Thailand, games between the Galaxy and Chivas USA, and New York and Houston. At the Saturday night market in Chiang Mai, I could have sworn I saw a guy in a Mariners hat, but he was just a bit too far away in the crowd to be certain.
And speaking of the Mariners, plenty of changes happened while I wasn't looking, including the promotion of Brad Miller, the return of Dustin Ackley, now as an outfielder and the discovery of the fountain of youth by Raul Ibanez.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, made little news. And if you've been paying any attention to what's going on with former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (now that was a startling headline to come across on a Thai news station), you know that no news is good news for NFL teams this time of year.
The Sounders lost 2-0, won 2-0, and made a mess of things with a change in security procedures.
I left town to reports of the NHL possibly coming to Seattle, and returned to news that for the second time this year, Seattle was leverage for another city, not home to a relocating franchise.
Locally, the Silvertips hired a new coach, Kevin Constantine, who was their old coach. The Stealth decided to move to Canada. The AquaSox welcomed a Mariners first-round pick, D.J. Peterson, who hopes to follow the lead of last year's first-round pick, Mike Zunino, who debuted with Everett and is now the Mariners' starting catcher.
So what'd I miss? Quite a bit, but that's OK.
Yes, it would have been fun to see that amazing finish to game seven of the NBA finals, or to have watched Justin Rose win the US Open. But it also was refreshing to get away, to spend a day at the pool with a cold Singha and a good book, or to ride an elephant, or to rent a bike and explore an island.
So if you can, even for a day, get away from the phone, from Twitter and Facebook. You won't be the first to know what's going on in the world, but you might just have a darn good time. Besides, just how many Mariners losses do you need to follow this summer?
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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