Rafael Nadal

Cheers to sports! That may sound a bit prosaic, but think about it: Can you remember a time when so many different games were generating such deafening buzz? (And no, we're not talking about those annoying vuvuzelas at the World Cup.)  

In the last week alone, we've witnessed the highest-rated Stanley Cup finals in decades, a thriller between two classic teams that ended in sudden-death overtime; Rafael Nadal winning his fifth French Open title and returning to the No. 1 ranking in the world; the most justly hyped debut in Major League Baseball history by Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg; an electrifying NBA finals between pro hoops' two most storied franchises; and, oh yeah, the most-watched sporting event in the world, including the U.S.' unlikely opening-round 1-1 tie with England. And it's not even (American) football season!

As ratings for scripted shows slide in the dog days of summer, sports are hotter than ever, as the advent of HDTV and social media make live events truly Must-See TV (not to be confused with Must-TiVo TV). Ironically, the awards for live events — the Tonys — turned into Must-Flee TV, thanks in part to technical glitches that silenced many performers. If only the World Cup could hire the Tonys' sound department...  

Are you watching more sports than ever?

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