BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a commentary blog from WBRC FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:
Here's hoping you have had a chance this summer to get in some R&R!
Football season is a month away, and each summer before the season begins, I have been blessed over the years to take a 2-week jaunt to my wife's home state of Vermont. What's there to do in Vermont in the summer? Well, not much, and that's the point.
We do, however, have a great time watching our 2 high school kids water ski, jet ski, fish and tube on Lake Champlain, a beautiful, crystal-clear lake that runs some 80 miles long and lies between the states of Vermont and New York.
At night, we can actually see the lights of Dannemora prison, now famous for being the prison those two killers escaped from several weeks ago (I guess those Dannemora escaped convict spook stories over the campfire have to end).
So before football it's Vermont, a state that only recently approved of a Walmart being constructed.
So what did I learn on my summer vacation? I thought I'd offer ten things I learned over the past two weeks:
10. Never buy a used jet ski (seriously, it's a very long story, but I now know more about solenoids than I did last month).
9. That cheap plastic worm at the bottom of your tackle box can actually bring you more fish than the $14 crank bait you are using (trust me, I've tried both with varying degrees of success).
8. In Vermont, a Moose Crossing is the same as a Deer Crossing, but the animals are much larger and do more damage to your car.
7. I simply cannot unplug. Fourteen days in the wilderness and I'm still checking my email 20 times a day and seeing what Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle are Tweeting.
6. Go ahead and add 2-3 pounds. One cannot diet while on vacation. Between the grilling, that strange concoction poured by your brother-in-law and those delicious Cremees, you just have to give in.
5. Local TV news is much the same as in our state, except "News-Weather-Sports" in Vermont usually means "Tom Brady-Chance Of Rain-More Tom Brady"...and you think I'm kidding.
4. Who knew the game of badminton could be so competitive, especially when the wild and wacky uncle decides he can see better with his glasses off?
3. There are more cows in the state of Vermont than people. Of course, that presents a problem when waiting in line at Ben & Jerry's.
2. Do not wade into a lake with an iPhone 6 in your pocket. I speak from experience, and I'm $600 poorer because of it. And no, the rice trick does not work.
1. I'm REALLY ready for college, high school, and pro football. Like I said, I have a tough time disconnecting.
The state of Vermont is a gem. Where else would former Bama shortstop Mikey White and former UAB pitcher James Naile playing for the Lake Monsters? Where else can you find Montreal an hour away? Where else do you wait until the sun sets over Lake Placid to throw your last cast of the night? And where else do you quickly discover the difference between real maple syrup and that stuff you buy off your store shelf?
Now it's great to be back in our hometown of Birmingham, which leads me to another observation: Being away from Alabama only serves to remind me of what a great state we live in (no offense to New Englanders, but they can be a bit cranky).
Our state, like Vermont, has great fishing, hiking, and resources. And one thing we have here in our state that Vermont does not have? Football, and plenty of it!
The bottom line? I'm jacked for another season of football, and I hope you are too. I'm out for now. I gotta go buy a waterproof cell phone case to go with my new phone.