In the future, Historians may look back upon this week and sympathize with the local sports fans. It is indeed a rarity that so many bad things happened in such a short time. The air that we breathe is a lot healthier than it used to be, so perhaps we need to check the water that we drink. Here is a quick review :
DODGERS - After a surprisingly great season, including Playoff victories over Atlanta, the team was demolished by the St. Louis Cardinals. We can be proud that they gave all they had, but the Cardinals have superior talent at practically every position. When the season is reviewed, it will reveal that the team did much better than most of us expected, and they deserve our congratulations. In the aftermath, Don Mattingly has publicly challenged Stan Kasten about the lack of a long-term contract. So, in addition to losing in the Playoffs, the team will likely lose its Manager. Issuing a public challenge to Mr. Kasten seems like the last thing that you would want to do, if you wanted to return as Manager. You will probably know how this is going to play out before the end of the week. Please allow me to say my goodbye to Mr. Mattingly. Good luck to you in your next job, which will probably be with the Yankees, but not as a Manager
UCLA - The Bruins were playing well and they were optimistic about their upcoming game with Stanford. After all, the Cardinal had been upset in Utah. They do not have an elite quarterback this year, so how tough could they be? They were tough enough to pound out a 24-10 being over the locals. What has happened to those football players up on the Farm? Their team used to consist of skinny students who made all A's, and who played on the Chess Club. Now, some of the Bruins are still in the hospital. Has the world gone mad? Stanford? This may be a good time to schedule a game against a team from the California Institute of Technology.
Brett Hundley did not play as well as he has in the past. Maybe it was the defense that he faced, or maybe it was just a bad day at the office. However bad things were last week, they figure to have gotten worse. The Bruins have to go to Oregon to face the incredibly powerful 7-0 Ducks. Yikes!
USC - This was a game that I dreaded. However, pride forced me to make my usual wager on the game, even though I knew that it would cost me more than I can afford. The Trojans did assert themselves and they fought hard. However, the team was its own worst enemy. They had nine penalties, and most of them occurred while they were making successful plays. This resulted in a loss of the yardage that had been gained, plus the penalty yards. These penalties suggest that the team needs to do more work on fundamentals, and that it lacks discipline. Even though things are not going well, they still had a real opportunity to win the game. With around three minutes left in the game, a Trojan Receiver was waiting to catch the ball, when a Notre Dame Player tackled him before it arrived. The receiver looked at the official, who immediately put the whistle in his mouth, and seemed to be ready to call a foul. However, he did not blow the whistle; he chose to swallow it instead. The team played better and harder for new coach Orgeron than it had played for Kiffin. So we can hope that our future is brighter than our most recent past.
THE LAKERS - They return to Los Angeles after spending a week in China. Enough said!