1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday “A Football Weekend-Highs-Lows-Records-Losses”

Posted by on November 26th, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Football-Weekend-Wins-Losses-Injuries”

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Here-There-Everywhere on a busy football weekend.

CHARGERS…..Continued on the track to get home field advantage for a wildcard playoff berth, destroying an awful Arizona Cardinals franchise. But still ahead, road games at Pittsburgh-Denver-Kansas City.

WIN-BUT-LOSS….Taking the joy out the victory on Sunday was the ugly looking knee injury suffered by RB-Melvin Gordon, leg whipped by a defensive tackle, while running a reverse, in a blowout win. Primary question, why was he in the game after the Chargers had reeled off 35-points in a row? It looked as if it were a hyperextended knee, the way he landed after getting kicked by a defensive lineman, who had been sent spinning after a crushing block. There is ligament damage

SAME OLD-SAME OLD…..Amazing number of empty seats, highest priced seats, at Stub Hub Center…..one whole side of stadium from 20-yard line to other 20-yard line….had probably only 50% of seats filled….Despite the greatness of Rivers and the explosiveness of the Chargers offense, fans are not turned on by what is on the field?

INJURY SCOREBOARD….No Corey Liuget, no Brandon Mebane, no Denzel Perryman. That looks like a troubled formula for the Chargers defense heading for the final five weeks of the season. That’s a lot of run stuffing defensive talent. Joey Bosa is back and seems to be coming around post-foot injury.

ROLLING RIVERS….Brilliant, that’s all you can say about Philip Rivers exhibition against awful Arizona. He completed 25-passes in a row, 25 yes, setting an NFL record once held by Mark Brunel of Jacksonville. He also set an NFL completion percentage record, (92%) going (28-for-29) on the day.

AZTECS AWFUL….Historically, Rocky Long’s football teams have gotten better and better as the season wore on, a sign of good coaching and a team coming together. No this year, as they stagger to the finish line, losing 4-of-5 down the stretch. The offensive line, the defensive secondary, the lack of playmaking wide receivers, and an off discipline problem. They wind up with a 3rd tier bowl berth, but have some real evaluation to do this off season, as to why this went off track.

USD UNIQUE….Their post season drive ended when Nicholls State piled up 606-yards with its read-option offense running the Toreros out of the playoffs. But it does not take away the specialness of QB-Anthony Lawrence, who ended his career with (12,266Y-120TDs), amazing for an unrecruited talent from Grossmont High.

USC….A (5-7) season is never acceptable at Heritage Hall, but this season was a learning curve season for Trojans QB-JT Daniels. He played so well, for being so young, a (3,300) yard passing season with a lot of young teammates around him. The freshman QB has lots of upside. USC now needs to get more quality players around them. Clay Helton will be given next yer to grow this program.

UCLA….Making progress or just treading water? The Bruins finished (3-9) in year one of Chip Kelly’s regime. The Bruins did it with two transfer players who now leave, QB-Will Speight (Michigan) and RB-Josh Kelly (UC-Davis). So it’s hard to determine how really good the talent level is. Kelly will get lots of time to grow the program. What Kelly needs to go is grow his relationships in the LA market, with the alumni, boosters and the media. He doesn’t seem to care.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “Rivalry Weekend-College Football-Everywhere-But Here”

Posted by on November 23rd, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Football Rivalries-Everywhere-But-Here”

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A big weekend in college, football, the last weekend of the regular season.

It’s what they call ‘Rivalry Weekend’ lots of places across the nation, but not here, sadly.

Michigan-Ohio State…history that goes back to the 1930s. You know Bo-Woody…Schembechler-vs-Hayes…Maize & Blue-vs-Scarlet & Gray. More times than not, with huge Bowl-Post season implications.

Alabama-Auburn…the SEC battle ‘down on the plains’, the Iron Bowl..

We just played USC-UCLA, which is always about fireworks and strange storylines.

The Egg Bowl, Mississippi State-vs-Ole Miss-sometimes they’re both good-sometimes both bad.

The Red River battle…Texas-vs-Oklahom

The Old Oaken Bucket, with Purdue meeting Indiana in the Hoosier state, a rival so big, when I was in Indianapolis that weekend, you’d never know the Buckeyes-Wolverines were playing each other across the state line in a much more important game.

Here on the West Coast, the Apple Cup game carries importance now that Washington and Washington State are both Pac 12-powers.

Of course, ‘The Game’ in the Bay Area means so much, Stanford-vs-Cal.

And the Civil War up north, Oregon-Oregon State has been played in sun, snow and the mud.

And we all pay attention when Army plays Navy that goes back to the late 1890s.

Even the small college guys have great rivalries.

Harvard-vs-Yale is really something, if you lived in New England, or were part of the Crimson or Elis.

Lehigh-Lafayette just had their 154th reunion in Pennsylvania, small college foes with big time dislike.

Of course, the expansion of conferences has changed so many things in college football.

Can you believe Texas no longer plays Texas AM? Nebraska-vs-Oklahoma is just a memory? Pitt-Penn State is no longer an annual matchup. The Backyard Brawl, West Virginia-Pitt is gone too.

Here at home, San Diego State needs lots of things to rally the community to support its program better.

I’m not sure who the Aztecs real rivals should be. Some say the battle for the ‘Oil Can Trophy’ with Fresno State carries validity. But because it might be a season ending rivalry game, it would be ridiculous if you had to play them twice in two weeks in an MWC playoff game..

There’s not much else in terms of ‘hate’ games involving SDSU, but I have a suggestion.

The Aztecs have just signed home and home to bring BYU back on board. Why not make that game with the Cougars the season ending game, and restore the fierceness of the rivalry, that dates back to the old WAC days.

There’s lot of hate-history with these two, dating back to the late Lavell Edwards, all those Cougars QBs, the 51-51 tie on ESPN’s Thursday Night Football back in the day.

BYU wants to remain an independent, so they might not be coming back to the Mountain West in the future. Make this a season ending game for both schools.

Rivalry weekend coming up…lots of fun other places…should create some fun here. Aztecs do something about it.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “3-Guys in the Media-With Reasons to be Thankful”

Posted by on November 22nd, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Thanksgiving-Lots to Say Thanks For”

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The morning sun comes up, and the three of us are still here, working at various levels in sports journalism.

I guess all three of us have had great careers, and all three of us consider what we have done in this community, in the media, as special.

And all three of us can truthfully say we are thankful we are still here, to write, talk, broadcast sports.

I’m not sure we’re very close friends, in fact, I’m not sure we are friends at all these days, but we have followed each other, competed against each other, and survived bad times together.

Nick Canepa is the longest tenured member of the media, a hometown guy, who has been an anchor of the San Diego Union-Tribune sports section for decades upon decades. Nick writes columns a couple of times a week.

Ted Leitner turned a look at me TV anchor career into a lifetime of doing play-by-play of the Padres. Ted is still doing Padres-Aztecs radio.

Lee ‘Hacksaw’ Hamilton pioneered sports talk radio here, doing things no one had ever done before on the radio, and driving a noisy Chargers broadcast crew to stardom during the teams Super Bowl run. I run this website, after 3-decades on radio and television.

None of us would be here without the help of special people.

Canepa was so seriously ill a couple of years back, we didn’t know if he would-could rally from severe stomach problems. He kept it private for the most part, but he was at death’s doorstep. I asked fans to pray for him. He rallied and remains active.

Leitner bounced back from kidney problems, and a cancer scare, and was saluted by Padres fans upon his return. It probably forever changed his feelings about the views and listenership he built. I even wrote him a note of prayer.

I survived a fire, burns, a staph infection and a blood infection. I saw the ‘white light’ while on the operating table when doctors had to deal with 3-different issues at once to rally me.

All three of us would say it’s not fun to be in ICU. All three of us would say we never expected to have health issues broadside us so suddenly, after years and years of enjoying life, travel, parties and fine food and drink.

And for all three of us, we’ve all been given another chance to serve you, whether you like or dislike our columns, our broadcasts, our talkshows, or our play-by-play.

We’ve all developed very different styles, and from a distance, I think we respect each other, or we should..

But if I can speak for all 3-of us this day, we all have the same thing to be thankful for.

We wake up Thanksgiving morning because of modern medicine, doctors, nurses and caregivers, who nursed us back to health.

Those people were just doing their job on each of the operating tables we were on, so we could get back to work. We are indebted for what they do daily, in their chosen field.

Nick… Uncle Teddy…. Hacksaw. We all say thank you for those who saved us, so we could celebrate another Thanksgiving, with family, friends, and the fans.

Lots to be thankful for at this hour.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “Padres Turn Roster Upside Down-Not Done Dealing”

Posted by on November 21st, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Padres Begin Off Season-Not Done Either”

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The busiest team in baseball on Tuesday, roster deadline day, was in San Diego.

Why not? When you have a 96-loss tin can tied around your tail, you cannot stay with the same roster.

And so the Padres made 3-trades of fringe players to clear roster spots. They are about to sell off last year’s starting 3rd baseman, and promoted 7-kids from the farm system, to be protected from the Rule 5-draft.

The one things that still might happen, is the rumored trade of OF-3B-1B-Wil Myers.

I reported two weeks ago at the GM’s meetings, he was being shopped to Seattle. Voila, now the national media has picked up on what I reported.

Myers and his 64M-contract, shaky glove, and laissez-fair attitude, might be headed to the Seattle Mariners, as I said he might, in a package deal for 2B-SS-3B- Jean Segura and mid-rotation workhorse starter Mike Leake.

The Padres would be taking on some 20M in additional salaries in the transaction, but Segura hit (.304) last year, and Leake is a (10-10) pitcher with a fierce starters personality.

There may still be more transactions coming. Part time infielder-outfielder Jose Pirela is still here, so is the overload of other outfielders, and 4-catchers are still on the protected list. P-Brett Kennedy Bryan Mitchell..and utility men Carlos Asuaje-Greg Garcia-Javy Guerra are still in San Diego, but trades could still happen.

Say goodbye to Christian Villanueva, with reports he might be going to the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. Good start to last season, lousy 3-months and then he got hurt. Lots of errors at 3B too. Not a bad guy, just not a complete player.

The club is sending out Corey Spangenberg and Colin Rea among others to AAA-El Paso, exposing them to the Rule 5-draft.

Dispatched in trades, P-Colton Brewer went to the Red Sox; P-Rowan Wick is now a Cub; P-Walker Lockett was shipped to the Indians, for minor leaguers, who did not need to be protected.

They had to create at least 7-roster spots to protect a series of young arms, led by fast moving prospect Chris Paddack, power hitting catcher Austin Allen, infielder Ty France and others.

The Padres have a big bargaining chip in Myers as well as fellow flychaser Hunter Renfroe. Only time will tell if one, or both, are moved. This franchise still desperately needs veteran pitching presence, so anyone, most everyone, with the exception of Eric Hosmer could be in play.

Tough to say goodbye to some of these guys, but it’s the transient part of baseball, and the Hot Stove League is starting to heat up.

It’s just the beginning of a busy winter of trades.You can’t keep everyone here, and why would you. The bad taste of another last place season, this a 96-loss campaign, is not going away unless you rinse your mouth and get rid of a chunk of players who made it a 96-loss year.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Monday Night Football-Real Teams Put on Best Show Ever”

Posted by on November 20th, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Monday Nite Football-All Time Best”

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The Rams-vs-the Chiefs.

Did you kow the Super Bowl was moved to late November in the NFL?

The matchup of these two (9-1) teams sure looked like it was a matchup of two potential Super Bowl candidates. I don’t know if the Super Bowl next February could equal what we saw in this Monday Night Football matchup run Los Angeles.

Rams 54-Chiefs 51….

An all time record 105-points, the highest scoring Monday Night game in the 773-games ever televised in its history.

1,001-combined yards of total offense. Howard Cosell might have even been speechless.

The new breed head coach Sean McVay against the old guard Andy Reid, matching Xs-Os and mismatches against each other, from first snap to final turnover.

The entire world was talking about the offenses of these two teams coming into the game. And those quarterbacks put on a dazzling show.

But on a night we expected fireworks, we got defense. Turnovers, takeaways, sacks, quarterback hits, interceptions, fumble recoveries, defensive touchdowns.. It was super human defensive plays that changed this game thruout the night.

7-turnovers changed the outcome, so did a combination of 8-quarterback sacks resulting in big TD plays.

KC QB-Patrick Mahomes, going downfield all night, finished with 6-TDs on a 478-yard passing night.

Jared Goff did the same for his Rams, a 413-passing yard night and 4-TDs.

The heroes might have been the defenses. The Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald had two huge quarterback sack-strip fumbles, that resulted in TDs. Linebacker Sam Ebukam scored two touchdowns picking up lose footballs. So did Chiefs defensive tackle Alan Bailey, coming up with a fumble-walk into the end zone TD.

And that was odd because a storyline coming into the game, the Chiefs haven’t played much defense all year, and the Rams, despite a highly paid group of shiny objects on defense, haven’t played that way this year either.

It was a game where you had to pick your poison

Were the Rams going to commit lots of defense to take away KC’s explosive receiver Tyreek Hill? What about Travis Kelce or Kareem Hunt, how to stop them?

Ditto for Kansas City. Can you take LA running back Todd Gurley out of the game, but if you do, how to defend Branden Cooks and Robert Woods the wideouts, and by the way, they have tight ends to catch the ball.

Even the most controversial player on the field, Marcus Peters, came off with a huge 4th quarter interception and a couple of big plays against Kelce late in the game.

The Chiefs staggered to 10-penalty flags in the opening quarter, in fact, going to the lockeroom with13-penalties by halftime. They cleaned it up in the second half, but by then both defenses looked gassed, too tired to even get there to commit infractions.

You almost felt the last guy who touched the ball, would win, and the Rams final interception with (:20) left held true to form in the LA win.

Mahomes and Goff not only combined for 10-TD passes, and 891-yards passing, but under siege, they took 8-sacks and handed over 7-turnovers. All the while, there were 6-lead changes in the final quarter alone.

If they were still playing at this hour, it would still be back and forth, more scores, more big plays.

It may count just 1-game in the standings, but it seems so much more. Yes, Drew Brees and New Orleans have won 9-in a row, and sit there (9-1), but its doubtful even his great career greatness could match what the Chiefs and Rams just put on display.

When it was over, I had to catch my breath. I laughed thinking about the other team in Los Angeles, the Chargers, and how they are not on anyone’s radar despite having Philip Rivers and friends. I wonder what Dean Spanos really thinks about his team’s future in Los Angeles, considering, who the Rams are, what they’ve become, and what they just did to the Chiefs?

Who needs the Super Bowl in February. We just saw something that no one else can top.

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