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Sports Watching and Wondering

Black news from Pasadena - Sports - Super Bowl, Beyonce, Lakers, USC basketball and moreNotes from the Super Bowl!

The rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Alicia Keys was superb! So much talent and so much beauty. This was a great beginning.

Unbelievable - after two weeks of the most intensive preparation in their lives, the 49ers lined up incorrectly on the first play of the game, and received a penalty. The 20 yard pass that Kaepernick had just completed was nullified, and they were penalized five yards. The Coaches and the Players make millions of dollars each year for their professional services. In addition, each team has several coaches in skyboxes with binoculars and communications equipment. None of them realized that they were starting the game with an illegal formation. Coach Jim Harbaugh should know that this would've never happened to a team that had been coached by Vince Lombardi or Bill Walsh. Without that mistake, Kaepernick might have scored on the opening drive of the game, and that might have led to a 49ers victory. Is lining up correctly that difficult? When a person is as obnoxious as Jim Harbaugh is, he cannot make this kind of a mistake.

This was not something that went wrong in the heat of battle. This blunder was made on the first play of the game. This was like a professional dancer going on stage, without remembering to tie his shoe strings.

Black news from Pasadena - Sports - Super Bowl, Beyonce, Lakers, USC and moreBeyoncé was much better than advertised. I was just wondering what the NFL is going to do next year, to try to top this halftime show. It is not even a possibility; I hope that she returns for an encore. She is simply the best at what she does. Who else is there?

I was rooting hard for the 49ers, since I have a large family in the Bay Area. However, even though they lost, I was happy that it was a close, competitive game. Also, the great Colin Kaepernick more than lived up to what was expected of him. We do not know what other blunders were made by Coach Harbaugh.

Coach John Harbaugh of the Ravens is a well-mannered gentleman. Coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers often behaves like a spoiled brat. John is about 15 months older than Jim. Their parents will never say so, but I suspect that they're secretly happy that John led the Ravens to victory.

The odds are against any team returning for the next Super Bowl. However, the 49ers will likely be a much stronger team, since they are in the position to trade Alex Smith, their backup quarterback for two or three premium athletes. Things don't look as promising for the Ravens, since many of them are a little long in the tooth, and Ray Lewis is retiring.

THE LAKERS - I read an account of an interview that Kobe Bryant gave to T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times. It was interesting, and after I read it, I came up with the conclusion that Bryant is receiving professional counseling. I do not have any evidence, but his new found sense of maturity is very surprising to me. He now seems to be a better person, who is more at peace with himself. I do understand that he is now older and wiser, but it seems to me that he has also tapped into another dimension of his personality. I think that it is a vast improvement for him, and I do hope that he continues on this higher road. Regrettably, for him, the Lakers will not win any more Championships in the next several years. The reality is that Bryant's career is winding down, and there is no one to replace him.

If I was in charge of the Lakers, I would try to see if there was some way for me to trade the Coaches, if that was possible, I would trade Coach Mike D'Antoni to Cleveland for Coach Byron Scott. In my opinion, the Lakers need strong leadership from someone, who understands the culture of Los Angeles. D'Antoni and his predecessor Mike Brown, have been overwhelmed by the culture of Los Angeles. Neither of them has exhibited this self-assurance that a championship coach must have.

Scott, on the other hand, grew up in this area and played on the championship Lakers teams. He has rarely had talented teams to coach, but when he did, they challenged the championship Lakers. He almost hit the jackpot, when he became the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He took the job, only to later find out that LeBron James had decided to take his talents to the Miami Heat. If James had stayed in Cleveland and played for Scott, I think that they would have won the Championship every year since then. So, he is now stuck in Cleveland, with a young team that has only one outstanding player. However, they just upset the Thunder. The Cavaliers will break some hearts, before this season is over. D'Antoni, in my opinion is better suited for Cleveland or Phoenix. Scott is poised, talented and tough. His teams are always well prepared and they play hard. After having made two successive mistakes, the Lakers now realize that they need a real head coach. They need one who has some championship rings, either as a player or as a coach. They need someone who can be comfortable in the madness that is Los Angeles. They need Byron Scott.

USC - USC is the General Motors of College Athletics. They are a huge, well-financed, prestigious organization, with the best facilities, and the best location in the world. Yet, year after year their men's and women's basketball teams and the baseball teams are perpetual losers. It was not always this way. How can anyone explain that? Well, President Max Nikias and Athletic Director Pat Haden will try, but the real reason is gross incompetence. President Obama made General Motors change their management, and they have become incredibly successful again. He does not have the authority to do that for USC, so they may never solve their problems.

Before becoming the Athletic Director at USC, Haden had become one of the nation's top television broadcasters. He is knowledgeable and he is highly respected by his peers. He has been on this job since August 3, 2010. The football team is a big disappointment, and the basketball teams are so pathetic that they can't even get on the local television programs. Haden is still working as a broadcaster; he makes announcements every week about the success of various USC student athletes. This is a part of his job that he obviously enjoys. However, it is not what he was hired to do. He might consider taking a hiatus in his broadcasting activities, until both of the basketball teams have winning seasons. That might take another year or two, or it might take forever. Fight on!

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