Fall is a Sports Cornucopia
Fall is a Sports Cornucopia…………
October Sports Fest
by Tommy Hawkins
Aah, autumn is upon us and our sports cup runneth over. The convergence of athletic competition is stifling. At no other time during the year are we so bombarded with sports offerings. There is an amazing variety of beef jerky for us to chew on. Please pay attention for at your favorite bar, on the job, at the health spa, water cooler, or just a night out at a neighborhood gathering, you will be expected to have at least a passing knowledge of what’s going on in the wide world of sports.
Here are some useful tidbits of information that will alleviate that feeling of being left out:
Major League Baseball is concluding its regular season and there is non-stop talk of wild card playoffs, a League Championship series and eventually the World Series. Locally we have bathed in the bounty of the Dodgers miraculous post All-Star game surge which has resulted in their winning the National League West title. With the playoffs ahead, the bleeders of Dodger Blue are fanaticizing about the team going all the way. Question: Can manager ‘Donny Baseball’ rally the team to heights they haven’t reached in 25 years? The last time the Dodgers won the World Series was in 1988.
Sadly, in Orange County, the Angels have fallen from playoff grace and are preparing for a long winters nap. What the hell is going on down there? Has manager Mike Scioscia ‘stayed too long at the fair?’ Is he about to lose his job? Or what is the possibility of a big front office shake-up?
In the National Hockey League, check out the L.A. Kings and listen to the quack- quack of the Anaheim Ducks. Our thanks to the late Jack Kent Cooke for bringing the pro sport to the greater Los Angeles area. The league embarks on its first full season in two years. Last year’s strike stricken, partial campaign, was dominated by the Chicago Black Hawks, who won the Stanley Cup.
But wait, there’s more. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has finished its regular season and the playoffs are in high gear. Hope springs eternal for the flashy Candace Parker (2013 WNBA Most Valuable Player of the Year) to lead the L.A. Sparks to success. Lisa Leslie, where are you when we need you?
Meanwhile, the NBA Lakers, without Dwight Howard, (now wearing that glaring Houston Rockets Red), plus the recovering Kobe Bryant, (on the mend from Achilles tendon surgery), enter training camp swearing that everything’s gonna be OK (egbok). Three posters should be hung at the Lakers training facility: those of the Lakers three leaders (Manny, Moe and Jack); owner Jim Buss, General Manager Mitch Kupchak, and Coach Mike D’Antoni , all with tight smiles with the accompanying caption: “What, me worry?”
The Lakers Staples Center roommates, the emerging Clippers, are licking their chops in anticipation of becoming L.A.’s dominating NBA team. With new coach, Doc Rivers of former Boston Celtics fame, and led by mighty-might All-Star guard Chris Paul (CP3), and ably assisted by the steadily improving ‘King of Slam’ Blake Griffin, many feel they can do it.
Oh, don’t forget College football. Locally, the heat is on USC head coach Lane Kiffin to get the Trojans ‘back up to snuff.’ The crowds are dwindling, the fans booing, and many alums are saying to get rid of him. It’s early folks, Back Off!
In Westwood, UCLA head football coach Jim Mora continues his amazing restoration program – or is it a resurrection? The Bruins have returned to the National spotlight and are rated among the best. Another victory over USC would be icing on the cake.
On the pro-side, LA is still without an NFL team. However, rumor has it that the expiring Hollywood Park Complex, next to the Forum, will become its new home.
Well, that’s enough to keep you in the conversation. You can pay the receptionist on the way out. http://tommyhawkins.net/
|As one of the nation’s leading eclectics and former professional athlete, Tommy Hawkins has enjoyed an incredible career as a two-year Notre Dame basketball All-American, a 10-year veteran National Basketball Association player and player representative with the Los Angeles Lakers, a popular luncheon and dinner guest speaker and college lecturer, a pioneering Golden Mike and Emmy Award-nominated radio and television broadcaster, a public relations executive and Los Angeles Dodgers Vice President of Communications.A civic leader, Hawkins’ community involvement includes serving on the Boards of Directors of the Los Angeles Center Theater Group, Los Angeles Sports Council, Los Angeles Friends of Recreation, Children’s Burn Foundation, Friends of Jazz at UCLA and was named Ambassador to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Adopt A School Program.His numerous awards include being inducted into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame, Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame and the Los Angeles Athletic Club Hall of Fame. He has also been honored as a “Treasure of Los Angeles, Notre Dame Alumnus of the Year,” Franciscan Communicator of the Year and received the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Russwrum Award.|