1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Aztecs-Fumble Ball on Great Running Back”

Posted by on November 21st, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 


“SDSU Athletic Department Fumbles Ball-Again”


Disappointing. Disgusting.

San Diego State is about to wrap up another very good football season, and aside from fans and alums and the media in town, no-one know much about what Rocky Long has accomplished on Montezuma Mesa.

And for the second year in a row, a record setting running back will finish up his career, with very little acclaim, outside the 619-760-858 area codes.

Last year at this time, DJ Humphrey was on the brink of wiping out all the time career rushing record held by Ron Dayne of Wisconsin.

The big play-little guy wound up going north of 6,000-yards rushing to enter the NCAA college football record books.

He got little national acclaim, and not much national recognition though he did experience a trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, where he finished out of the running for what has become a quarterback award.

A great player, granted not likely to get much fame in the NFL, where bigger is better.

And now with a game left in the regular season, much the same is happening to Rashaad Penny, who is atop the nation in all purpose yards and in rushing.

He is a big time back, built in the lines of Hershel Walker, and though buried here in the Mountain West Conference, with a bad TV contract, that no one watches around the nation, he too is getting little to no recognition.

The Humphrey-Penny issues are much like the early 1990’s debate that circled around the three years of exploits of Marshall Faulk, who was an electric-iconic player.

He got some national recognition, for big games against USC-UCLA, but his team never won a WAC title, and he never got an invite to New York.

Time to call it as it is.

San Diego State’s Athletic Department has failed miserably to promote its great ones. Not Pumphrey and now surely not Penny.

They pump out volumes of Emails to local media about women’s basketball, soccer, lacrosse and all other sports, none of which get air time, little of which merits more than a sentence or two in the Union Tribune.

Why would you ignore a national push to help Penny’s name get out there, for his work on the field, and to publicize not just the player, but his school.

No we have to spend time talking about the school mascot, and the nickname, and non revenue sports.

College football is king lots of places.

The Aztecs marketing and sports information people seem tone deaf..

Penny in the LA Times. Penny in the San Francisco Chronicle Penny in the New York Times. Penny in the major dailies across the country. A conference call a week with a couple of key national football writers.

You flood those TV networks…ESPN-ESPN 1…Fox Sports-Fox Sports 1….CBS with videos of the kid’s highlife reel.

Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, Bleacher Report and their websites wouldn’t want to tell the story of the star running back in the shadows of big time football?

And then there are the major college websites to spread the word.

I was aghast to get the lists of finalists for various awards, and Rashaad Penny’s name was not to be found on the Doak Walker award list, nor the Maxwell Club award.

Last year they raised a special banner on top of a dorm promoting Pumphrey for the Heisman. It was really cool to see and photograph.

Nothing this year on Penny. Nothing creative utilizing his name “A Penny goes a long way”…..”A Penny for your Heisman thoughts” etc.

You can whine about East Coast bias…or ESPN’s failure to cover the country, but it’s San Diego State’s job to get the message out to anyone-everyone.

No they’d rather swamp me with press releases about women’s cross country.

Shame on marketing. Shame on Sports Information. Where are your priorities.

Rocky Long does not tolerate Aztec turnovers on game-days. His athletic department has blown their responsibility to get Rashaad Penny national recognition for a brilliant career.

SDSU fumbles the ball “again” on another star football player on the stage that really counts….nationwide recognition..


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday “Chargers Win-Thank Goodness for Smart Guy Head Coaches”

Posted by on November 20th, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 


“Chargers Win-Thank Goodness for Smart Guy Head Coaches”


For one night, and for this morning…the Chargers feel good about themselves.

They got a win, continuing their effort to put themselves back into the AFC-wildcard race.

They ripped apart a Buffalo Bills team, putting on a dazzling display of defense, and unleashing Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon on the offensive side of the ball.

The Chargers caused the 54-24-beat down, but they had help.

Just like a couple of other wins the Chargers got, they had help too.

Stupid head coaching decisions by head coaches on the other sideline. Game time decision, game planning decisions, likely reasons why the Chargers may have been given 3-gifts that turned into victories.

Buffalo’s rookie coach Sean McDermott, upset at the poor play of his offense, in back to back losses, decided to bench starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Yes scoring and offensive output was down. And yes, Taylor threw for just 56-yards into the third quarter last week, when he was benched.

But in going to rookie Nathan Peterman, a 5th round draft pick, the Bills threw the kid QB to the wolves, Joey Bosa-Melvin Ingram.

The end result was 4-interceptions on his first 9-passes. 5-interceptions overall in a deplorable first half. The kid QB overwhelmed with all the things he was seeing across the line of scrimmage.

All that led to good field position for the Bolts, two defensive touchdowns from the Chargers, and an outright slaughter on a Sunday.

This loss is pinned on a stupid move by a rookie coach. Taylor came back and played well in the 2nd half, but his team was buried by then..

What Buffalo did equalled the foul ball decisions of two other coaches made in early season games the Chargers wound up winning.

You do remember the win in New York against the Giants. The game in which New York led 9-0 into the second quarter, only to have head coach Ben McAdoo start throwing the ball, exposing Eli Manning to hits, sacks, turnovers.

The Chargers won the game, but really McAdoo hand delivered it to them. When he changed his game plan, even with the LA defense on its back heels and reeling. The Chargers won, the Giant lost.

And ditto in a Bolt win over the Raiders up in Oakland. QB-Derek Carr, just coming off an injury, ran a 5-yard, short passing offense. Keep the game close to the vest, don’t expose Carr to hits.

But close to the vest does not work with Philip Rivers on the other sideline. The Chargers did just enough to win. Oddly the next weekend, the Raiders came out throwing , hit big plays, torched a team and win.

Add in some play calling, in which teams don’t attack the Chargers shortcoming, covering tight ends, crossing patterns etc. It makes you wonder what game films coaches look at in determing game plans.

So the Chargers are (4-6) heading to Dallas for Thanksgiving day.

But reality is 3-of those wins were gift wrapped by opposing coaches.

Makes you think of Kyle Shanahan’s play calling faux-pas last year in the Super Bowl.

Head coaches, smart guys, well not everywhere in the NFL.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “Baseball’s Mess-Is Miami”

Posted by on November 17th, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 


“Baseball in Miami-No One Cares”


I would have never thought it would happen in that market.

Baseball in Miami was always something special, not just because of the sunshine, but because of the chemistry make up of the community.

The Cuban population base, loved baseball back on the island.

Those who moved to South Florida from the Dominican and Puerto Rico have grown up on the sport.

South Florida is the home of a lot of transplanted retirees from the Northeast, you know, Yankee-Met fan…Red Sox nation and the like.

I would have thought the Florida Marlins-Miami Marlins would have been a raging success.

Bu no, hasn’t worked out that way at all.

Oh yes the Marlins went to a World Series, sipped the champagne, got rings.

And they had some spectacular players, headed up by Gary Sheffield and a great manager in Jim Leyland..

And they had big money owners led by owner of the Dolphins, who said he loved he game, then lost his taste for it.

But they also played in an aging stadium. And it always rained in the afternoon. And it was hot and humid lots of the time.

And then there were the firesales of players, when Wayne Hizuenga did not like the budget payroll trends he was seeing across the game.

The city and county built a shiny new stadium on the sight of the old Orange Bowl.

They developed some really good young players, like the late pitcher Jose Fernandez, Marcel Ozuna, and this year’s MVP-Giancarlo Stanton.

But it’s all going to go away again.

Jeffrey Loria has sold the club, taking his bad leadership qualities and terrible won-loss records, with him and a big profit too.

Left behind for Derek Jeter and the new ownership group is a high payroll, low attendance figures, and a monster contract owed to Stanton.

Loria gave him a back-end loaded deal that still has 10Y-285M left on it.

Jeter says the club has bled dollars, and must reduce the payroll. Another firesale is coming, and the Marlins are attempting to find a buyer for Stanton’s contract, which includes a no trade clause. They need to lop off some 40M from that payroll.

Once they get done shipping players out in the next couple of weeks, the roster will likely look like an expansion franchise…again.

This firesale may be more painful, because they are moving a superstar, with 59-hoers and an MVP trophy.

But the fans won’t notice. They don’t come to games. They don’t watch on TV.

Despite all the young talent stockpiled, in that colorful new Stadium, right near Little Havana…Marlins baseball is just not very important.

I would have never thought that would happen, not in that city, in that state, with that cross-section of population from other countries that love baseball.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Thursday “QBs in NFL-Always on the Clock”

Posted by on November 16th, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 


“QBs-Always on the Clock”


The memory is so vivid.

Every time I see a big hit on an NFL quarterback, I wonder how they ever get up. Wonder how they feel the next day. Wonder about the cumulative effect.

Philip Rivers, the tower of strength at quarterback for the Chargers, is day-to-day, trying to recover from 3-wicked hits in the Sunday loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Built as big as an Oak Tree, Rivers has had just 2-major injuries in his career.

A torn knee ligament, repaired by surgery, just prior to the Patriots playoff game years back. And a chest-back injury two years ago that plagued him at the end of the season into the off season.

it has been remarkable considering how many 40-sack seasons he has had…and how many 80-plus additional hit campaigns he has had.

He will remain in concussion protocol till probably the end of the week.

He was victimized by a fluke high-low hit at the end of the first quarter against the Jags. He was hit high, almost bumped, in the front chest area. As he was falling backward, he was wiped out by a low, back to the legs hit, when a Jaguars pass rusher coming from behind, was blocked into the quarterback by Russell Okung.

No flag, because that was incidental, but violent contact. Rivers was flipped over backwards, and all 6-6 of him landed on his back and on the back of his head. He was jolted. Rolled over. Took his helmet off, and you could tell he was badly shaken.

He came right back out the next series, and showed no effects.

In the 2nd half, he took a head on chest hit on a blitz. He stayed in there, made the pass, took the blow.

Then in overtime, on an interception return, he became the tackler, lowering his head to stop a Jaguars TD return at his own 2-yard line. Rivers put his helmet down, and so did the return man.

Helmet to helmet, it was violent.

It was not till overnight, the next morning, Rivers complications arose. He has not publicly discussed them yet, but you can imagine, headaches, nausea, light headedness. Hopefully it has not lingered.

But when I see that happening to a Bolts quarterback, I have flashbacks, to the one big hit that Chargers QB-Stan Humphries took.

The courageous stay in the pocket, mad bomber of a QB, the guy who had driven the Bolts to the Super Bowl, always traded the big shot to make the big play.

In one snap it was all over. In a game against a bad Bengals team, Cincinnati linebacker Reinard Wilson ran full bore, unblocked, stampeded right over Humphries.

The quarterbacks back of the head, hit the cold turf in Cincinnati. Concussion. Bad concussion. Never to play the rest of the season concussion. Never to play again, career ending concussion.

I’ll never forget the glazed look on his eyes on the plane flight home. The black eyes that developed. And the sadness we all felt when the complications just would not go away.

Rivers, like Humphries, like every other QB on a Sunday in the pocket, is always on the clock.

It’s part of the big-bad NFL. You wish you could make the game safer for those guys, but you cannot.

You hope the outcome for #17 is better than the outcome for #12.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “Manager of the Year-Strange Votes”

Posted by on November 15th, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 


“Baseball Awards-High & Wide”


Wow, this was like a moving strike zone some of the home plate umpires employ.

This vote for Manager of the Year, by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

They were all over the place, and when we got to the final out, the final vote, there were surprises. They voted for the underdog.

Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks, ran away with the balloting for National League bench boss of they year. He took a 93-loss team and made it a 93-win season in Phoenix. He did it despite some major injuries to a couple of key everyday players. He got the benefit of his GM making a bold trade to rent home run hitter JD Martinez.

He got 18-first place votes.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who started the season without his pitching ace Clayton Kershaw, ended the season without vested veteran Adrian Gonzalez, and managed thru an array of DL stints involving starting pitching, was second, but got just 5-votes.

He coaxed a consistent season out of Yasiel Puig. Tolerated a terrible season from former rookie of the year Joc Pederson, and the injury to Corey Seager.

That despite watching his team go thru a (57-11) stretch at midseason …survive a (1-16) pothole…then sprint into the/World Series, he didn’t merit much consideration..

Bud Black, who had the Rockies in the pennant race thru July got 3-votes to finish third.

Over in the American League, it was much the same.

Paul Molitor took a 103-loss Minnesota Twins team to the Wildcard game before the season ended. He found a bunch of young bats, got by with a journeyman starter and rookie right-hander having good seasons on the mound.

Monitor, in danger of getting fired last year, got 18-votes.

The popular Terry Francona, with a great lineup and very good pitching staff wound up second with 11-votes for the very strong summer in Cleveland..

AJ Hinch, whose Astros were blazing hot for half a season, then played home run derby the the playoffs, and won the World Series, got one, that is right ‘1’ first place vote.

Granted the BWAA votes only on regular season accomplishment. Maybe post-season should be considered and you canst your vote the day after the World Series is over.

But it is stunning that winning 103 games in a season and pile-driving thru the playoffs to the Fall Classic, wouldn’t merit stronger consideration.

No argument with the jobs done in Arizona and Minnesota. Just saying the accomplishments at Dodgers Stadium and Minute Maid Park, seemed much more creditable.

Dave Roberts and AJ Hinch had great seasons. They probably deserved more respect in the post-season votes.