“This-That-Some of the Other”
Random thoughts on a Wednesday.
HOLIDAY BOWL….Was not what we usually see. Credit Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys for not only holding team together after last week’s boycott turmoil, but for coming up with a game plan to choke off Washington State passing star Luke Falk, forced to hold the ball, chased out of the pocket, and play dump-and-run ball all night.The Golden Gophers earned that win, ugly as it might be.
GOODBYE WYOMING…Brian Hill is the greatest running back in Wyoming history, and he is leaving. A bit surprising considering how many other underclassmen running backs are headed to the NFL draft, but you never know about home-life, family needs, financiall issues. He had over 1,600-yards this year. He and the Aztecs DJ Pumphrey will be in the second tier of running backs taken in April.
A CHARGERS RERUN….I don’t think it happens, a tremendous outpouring of sentimental support during the final home game of the season, at least not like last season’s home finale. The city of tired of losing, tired of the Stadium situation, tired of the Spanos family attempts to move to Los Angeles. Sadly, bet there will be more Chiefs red than Bolt blue in the stadium on Sunday.
A CHARGERS RETURN…No one is talking about it, but maybe it signals something different. Maybe there won’t be a retirement from Antonio Gates, still productive at tight end after all these years. Maybe he comes back and plays one more year for the Chargers. He can still catch passes, still run some, and aside from Philip Rivers, is the last link to the greatness of Bolts football, the Martyball era.
CHANGES ARE COMING….The axe has now falled on 3-NFL head coaches, and we haven’t gotten to Black Monday yet. Rex Ryan removed in Buffalo, after two up and down seasons. No playoff games, though they were (15-16) in two years, with an erratic quarterback situation. Ryan’s exit came after the Rams dumped Jeff Fisher and Jacksonville took out Gus Bradley. On deth row right now, the Chargers, the Jets, the Bears and Bengals head coaches.
FINDING A LEADER….San Diego State is playing better together because they are getting production from at least one member on the front line. Super sophomore Zylan Cheatem has become a go-to force, taking some of the scoring burden off Trey Kell and Jeremy Hensley. Malik Pope continues to be an enigma, and the transfers, Tiki Caeser-Gill and Max Hoeztel run hot and cold.
NEW LEADER…Bill McGillis is taking over as the new AD at USD, and his first order of business, help build the basketball program with coach Lamont Smith. How you make this school the next Gonzaga or St. Mary’s in the West Coast Conference, remains to be seen.. Maybe special admits. Maybe not every incoming student has to have a 3.5-to-4.0 GPA.
PADRES PITCHING…The franchise is dumpster diving, offering bare minimum contracts (1.75M) to veteran pitchers to buy innings. Ex-Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin and Clayton Richard have signed. Offers are out to ex-Angels ace Jered Weaver, ex-Cubs setup man Trevor Cahill, and Giants free agent Jake Peavy. They’re all number five starters. You load your rotation with number five starters, you finish in 5th place in your division, don’t you?
SCRAPPING AND STRUGGLING….Year two of the Gulls hasn’t been equal to what the maiden season of the AHL team was. The parent Anaheim Ducks took their top defenseman, called up 3-forwards, and traded a fourth one away, leaving coach Dallas Eakins with a revolving door roster. A very young front line has found it tough to score goals consistently. Crowds are down from a year ago and they are on the outside looking in at playoff spots right now, though there is still half a season to go.
SAD TO SEE…Is this the final go round for the indoor San Diego Sockers. They seem off the radar, fan support is way off, and despite a bevy of good players, including record setting goal scorer Kraig Childs, no one goes to see them play any longer. And they’re in a league that almost resembles semi-pro soccer. A disappointment considering what Sockers soccer used to be.