THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: Having a purple day, and other stuff

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Slogging through the check-out line at Walmart rarely provides column fodder.

But very late Monday night, I was standing there in my usual “shopping daze” when a lady in front of me just burst out laughing.

Huh?

“Look at these magazines,” she said, pointing at Brad Pitt (he’s dating again), Meghan Markle (depression after childbirth) and even a 20th anniversary commemorative of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s death.

“If we come back here in a couple of days,” she said, “these people will all be gone.

“This is going to be Megan Rapinoe, every issue on every rack.

“You ready for a lot of purple hair?”

Are we?

However you feel about America’s purple-topped hero of the Women’s World Cup, she damn sure has everyone’s attention.

“We’re all together on the things we believe,” Rapinoe said of her Cup-winning teammates, “but I guess my voice has been the loudest.”

Yep.

NO DOUBT, we certainly will hear plenty more about the women’s team and their right to equal pay – especially since they’ve brought in more revenue in the past four years than the American men.

That lady in the Walmart line was right.

Be ready to see purple hair everywhere – on photos of Rapinoe, sure, but also popping up on plenty of her new supporters.

Look...

I definitely want to have a rational discussion of the gender equality issue, but let’s do that when we can give it full concentration.

Not off some quick yes-or-no ballot, eh?

Besides, there HAVE been other things going on over the past few days.

MLB’s All-Star game provided a home run contest in which Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit six thousand balls from downtown Cleveland into Lake Erie.

Were you thrilled?

Frankly, I think it’s the most boring event ever conceived.

I read that some sports show guest was asked about the homer clash and he replied, “If you see the golf long-drive contest on TV, how many drives do you stay to watch?”

Indeed.

The home run event is especially meaningless this year, since MLB has juiced up the baseball to make sure that every pop fly winds up in the bleachers.

The entire season is a home run contest.

Records for long balls (and strikeouts) are going to be smashed.

“It’s what they want,” said Astros All-Star Justin Verlander. “I mean, MLB bought Rawlings, the company that makes the baseballs.

“Do they think we’re idiots?”

Verlander mentioned something that every serious fan has seen – and hopefully scorned.

Guys who have previously hit only a few homers per year are not only whacking balls out, they’re jacking homers to the opposite field.

And that could never, ever happen without juiced balls.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon came up with the best line: “They might as well go ahead and stamp ‘Titleist’ on the baseballs.”

MEANWHILE, the megastars in the NBA apparently now have all decided exactly where they want to play, and with which friends.

The way the league’s big dogs are just rearranging teams to create maybe four or five contenders, what with Golden State forced to take a “redshirt year,” is just ridiculous.

It’s like choosing up sides on the playground.

Were you sitting up in bed every night to see where Kawhi Leonard would take his talents?

Me, neither.

My interest in the league this year will center on whether the Dubs can fool everyone and make a stealth title run – and how all the Gonzaga alums manage in their rookie seasons.

By the way, Zach Norvell Jr., who signed a two-way contract with the Lakers, has looked pretty good in the NBA summer league.

The Lakers are going to need some reasonably solid, low-salary guys to fill out their roster, so I’m hoping Zach winds up at the Staples Center.

Then there’s Josh Perkins in Charlotte, who has to make a little longer jump, but is playing well in the summer for a franchise that isn’t exactly loaded with quality guards.

Maybe?

On the Gonzaga beat for another minute, later this week we’ll talk about what could be learned about the five Zags (or Zags-to-be) who were playing at the FIBA U-19 World Cup in Greece.

I watched a few full games from that tournament to see if I could sort out anything.

Here’s one thing for sure...

Say hello to Oumar Ballo, who took Mali further than at any other time in the country’s history, and...

Joel Ayayi?

Stick around.

***

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball once monthly during the off season.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com

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