“Hello 2018-Goodbye 2017”
A look back at the top sports stories…in San Diego…
..Chargers to LA…Leaving 56-years of loyalty behind, the Spanos Family became the Modell-Irsay model by refusing to negotiate with the city and taking their NFL team to Los Angeles. The hurt in losing a team was superseded by the anger of fans, who burned their Chargers memorabilia infront of the team’s Mission Valley facility the night the move was announced.
..Rashaad Penny-Aztecs..A once in a lifetime player, setting rushing, all purpose yardage and kick-punt return records, though getting snubbed for the Heisman Trophy ceremony and the Doak Walker awards.
..Dick Enberg…A man for all seasons, his passing stunned our community and the nation on Christmas week. His broadcast career spanned all the great events. If it was important, Breakfast at Wimbledon, NFL, Super Bowl, World Series, Rams-Angels-UCLA-Padres-he was there to televise it……’Oh My’ has joined ‘Oh Doctor’ (Jerry Coleman) in heaven.
..Aztecs-Steve Fisher…Walking off into retirement-legendary basketball coach-whose next stop should be the Hall of Fame.
..Breeders Cup…A fabulous horse racing weekend at Delmar, though the summer disappointment of Arrogate’s failure to run well here is part of the story.
..Soccer City-vs-SDSU…The dueling stadium proposals will now go to the November ballot to see what becomes of Qualcomm Stadium, who builds, who pays for it, what the land value might be, and how it impacts the San Diego State campus or our chances of getting another NFL team.
..Meb Keflezighi…Our distance running icon ran his final marathons, concluding a brilliant career that included Olympic medals, and wins in the Boston and New York Marathons.
..Hall of Champions…It’s closing at Balboa Park was a sad moment in our history, pioneered and championed by the late Bob Britbard…some of its richness transferred to Petco Park.
..Padres Spending Spree..A new blueprint, the expenditure of 101M and the signing of 91-draft picks and International Free Agents, as the rebuilding of the franchise gets underway, a team that has not seen a playoff game in over a decade.
..Fred Miller…He was here for a decade as the AD at San Diego State, but his impact was forever…the game plans for Viejas Arena….the arrival of the Marshall Faulk-Aztecs era..the upgrading of athletic facilities on campus.
..Mike Dee…The sudden removal-exit-dismissa of the Padres President and CEO without explanation, though the rumors of his demise and the reasons, will not go away.
..Aztecs Football…A quick (6-0) start led us to hope of a Fiesta Bowl bid as the team to represent the Group of 5-in postseason play, but devastating home losses to Boise State and Fresno State on back-to-back weekends snuffed out that idea…A (10-3) season with a highly respected coach in Rocky Long (64-29) who deserves the utmost in respect…
..USD Football..The little engine that could, won 10-games and for the second year in a row went to the 1-AA playoffs and beat a team that gave out scholarships, Northern Arizona. Superb job by Coach Dale Lindsey.
..Gulls Hockey..San Diego is a big city, and hockey pucks and palm trees are part of its landscapes. The Gulls finished 2nd in attendance in the 30-team American Hockey League, and by NHL playoff time, 9-Gulls players were with the Anaheim Ducks for the postseason.