DICK ENBERG…..His passing took the air out of the joyous season….Great broadcaster…great person….If it was a classic event, he was there to broadcast it….Too bad the Padres were such a poor team during his year’s in the booth…The work was quality…the team was not…Bu think of all he has seen…all he broadcast….Breakfast at Wimbledon….The Glory Years at UCLA with Wooden….NFL-NBC-Super Bowls with Merlin Olson….March Madness with Billy Packer and Al McGuire….The Rams with Bob Kelly…The Angels with Don Drysdale…Tons of stories…Always had time to sit and talk….and his name forever in the Baseball Hall of Fame..a forever honor.
CHARGERS…A really poor performance against a really poor Jets team….I guess (8-7) is a good season, but just (2-5) vs teams with winning record….continued struggles against the 3rd easiest schedule in the NFL…Complete game performances with this team have been few and far between…and now with a must win game next Sunday…RB-Melvin Gordon has an ankle injury, on top of Austin Keeler’s broken finger….The Bolts have 2-running backs on IR, in Andre Williams and Kenneth Farrow…leaving Brandon Oliver as the only healthy back, plus a rookie on developmental, Russ Hansbrough, who has never played a game.
RAMS….Some season, the emergence of young QB-Jared Goff, the return to prominence of possible MVP candidate Todd Gurley, the big play receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, and every facet of Wade Phillips defense….Now they get home field advantage in he playoffs, after proving themselves with a ton of quality road wins.
AZTECS…Rocky Long’s biggest fears came to reality when Army ran the ball, controlled the clock, seized the stat sheet, and won the Armed Forces Bowl in the final seconds. We say goodbye to a generational player in Rashaad Penny, finishing the season with over 2,400 yards…Long summed it up “never thought I’d be disappointed in a 10-win season”. The program is very special-but it’s too bad the community has not put its arms around SDSU football.
UCLA…The Chip Kelly era begins immediately after this Cactus Bowl game with Kansas State….Josh Rosen may stay for his final season, after missing the end of the year and the bowl game with a concussion issue.
USC…Fabulous bowl matchup coming with Ohio State…then the decision for QB-Sam Darnold too about his NFL draft status.
SAN DIEGO STATE HOOPS…A huge team win vs nationally ranked Gonzaga….a huge confidence builder for the leadership of Coach Brian Dutcher….an example of what they can be if the roster stays healthy….and now they open conference play Wednesday at Wyoming…and the Mountain West top five teams are a combined (59-13) in non conference play…Going to be a really tough challenge week in and week out.
USD….A (10-2) start with some decent non conference outings makes you believe coach Lamont Smith has turned the program in the right decision…but now they stop up on the firing line, because dead ahead, here comes Gonzaga-St Mary’s and a flurry of tough road games in the West Coast Conference.
PADRES…We are 8-weeks out from the opening of spring training, so we wait to see where the new pitching might be coming from to bolster a really poor rotation….Ditto also whether it is a wise decision to spent 20M a year on Eric Hosmer-giving him a fourth of your entire payroll…or whether renting Adrian Gonzalez as a one year bridge player for 5M might be a better investment.
GULLS…Christmas wrapped around a 5-game in streak….The roster finally seems to have a balance between youth and veterans, size and speed, and a threesome of goaltenders….Of course callus from the parent Anaheim Ducks will determine if this team has the talent and firepower to climb back from the bottom of the Pacific Division…Advise to GM-Bob Ferguson-don’t answer the cell phone if the caller ID has the Anaheim 949-area code.
SOCCER….We’re all waiting to see this shake out…MLS gave out an expansion team to Nashville, and now there’s pressure to give the next two now to Cincinnati and Sacramento….That leaves San Diego on the outside still, with a franchise to be awarded sometime next year….and who knows what becomes of the decision coming from FC-San Diego 1904…..which does not want to become part of the USL, but may not have a league to play in….an of course there is the great start for the (7-0) San Diego Sockers, who don’t get much publicity, and play before lots of empty seats.