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Summer is now in season
Marg-Ins 7-3-24

We almost saw something historic.

That is, if you follow hockey.

The recently completed Stanley Cup Finals went the full seven games, even though it looked like it was going to be a sweep for the Florida Panthers over the Edmonton Oilers.

Forgive me, those of you who are not sports fans, but as a hockey devotee, I was on board for the playoffs. I know, my Sharks weren’t there but I can still enjoy the game and watching a lot of former Sharks on their current teams. My daughter, niece and I followed the playoffs carefully, and were rooting on teams that had some of our favorite past Sharks players on them, hoping they would battle for the title. But Dallas and Joe Pavelski (the one player we really wanted to win) were knocked out by the Oilers in the Western Conference finals, so there went that idea.

In the finals, Eastern Conference champion Florida vs. Western Conference champion Edmonton, it was Florida that roared out to a three games to none lead in the best of seven series. Only to have Edmonton win the next three. That set up the winner take all series finale, which was played in Florida on June 24. The home team got the victory that night, Florida winning its first ever Stanley Cup.

Edmonton would have had a unique place in history as one of the very few teams in any sport that has come back from a three-game deficit to win a best of seven championship series title.

Truth be told, I was kind of pulling for Edmonton to do that; who doesn’t love a good underdog story, a team battling together to win it all when it looks like all was lost? But then it was brought to my attention that Florida got to the finals last year and lost – they played the Vegas Golden Knights; I erased that series from my memory banks – so the Panthers being able to avenge last year’s losing effort was kind of poetic.

I’m happy for their fans, especially, and happy for the players that have logged many years and many games to get to the pinnacle of their sport. My hope, of course, is that Sharks fans like myself get to celebrate that type of victory one day as well.

Now, baseball is near its midway point of the season and coming up later this month, we move in to the Summer Olympics. I’m sure many of us will be watching those, at least in part, depending on what sport interests us the most.

For me, the Olympics are just as much about the stories of the athletes as the outcome of any particular event. That is one of the things I enjoy, learning more about the competitors as people, what drives them, who inspires them.

There’s no shortage of drama, either, and it seems every Olympic Games – summer and winter – have their share of unexpected winners and crushing defeats for the various athletes involved.

Locally, we have a bit of a quieter summer, sportswise, so it’s kind of a nice break from having to be out lots of weeknights to cover games after working in the office all day.

Time for county fairs, family trips, extremely hot weather … summer is definitely in full swing. Stay hydrated, stay safe and enjoy whatever you choose to do on these ‘lazy, hazy’ days of summer.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.