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Sports Watching & Wondering

John Randolph RogersROGERS GOES


It was the event of the year. It had taken months of meticulous planning, and now was the time for the "Wedding of the Year." Everyone, who is anyone, wanted to be there. However, they could only accommodate a select few, and since I was the grandfather, I was one of them.

I traveled to Pittsburg, California, which is very close to Nowhere, USA. However, thanks to my GPS, I was able to find the place on my first try. The Wedding and the Reception were held at a beautiful Golf Club and Entertainment Center. Things did not start off really well, since it was outside, with the scheduled starting time of 5:30 PM. We were sitting in the sun, and it was hot and uncomfortable. However, it cooled down just enough for us to savor the moments.

I have seven granddaughters who live in the San Francisco area, and they are also so beautiful, that they Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashianshould be arrested. The youngest two are now attending Howard University. They are all college graduates, and happy, productive young citizens. So, it was with considerable pride that I was among my three daughters and their husbands, and six of my granddaughters, including the Bride. My only grandson came from Oklahoma to attend the wedding.

Someone just saw the headline of this article, and they thought that I was referring to the wedding of Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian. That wedding developed so suddenly, that they had to invite their guests by telephone. I'm sure they tried to call me, but I was probably already out of town. I have listened to a lot of jokes about them, but I hope that the marriage will be a happy and successful one.

The college football season has been both fascinating and confusing to me. USC lost to Washington, then Washington lost to Stanford, and Cal lost to Oregon. Doesn't anyone know how to play this game? UCLA is still unbeaten, so maybe there is hope for the world.

There was some really sad news about USC running back Stafon Johnson. I started following his career when he was at Dorsey High School, and I had a brief meeting with his mother at a Staples store, just before his freshman year began. Based upon what I had seen, I really expected his career to be similar to those of people like Marcus Allen and Charles White. I have always believed that he was under-utilized by Pete Carroll, and this was always a puzzlement to me. Johnson was seriously injured after a weight bar fell on his neck. It now appears that he has played his last game for the Trojans, and we all hope that he will recover well enough to become a star in the NFL.

You must see "More Than a Game" the documentary about the life of LeBron James. This film was shot over a ten-year period by Khristopher Belman, who is also a native of James's hometown, Akron ,Ohio. Belman was a 21-year-old film student at Loyola Marymount University, when this project began. Refusing to be discouraged, by his own initial lack of success in meeting James, he persevered until they allow him to film the practices. Once they told him that he could make the film, no one told them to stop, so he continued for 10 years. It is difficult to believe that the poise, confidence, successful Mr. James, is still only 24 years old. He has begun to build his Empire in Ohio; and count me among the few who believe that he will remain there, instead of moving to New York.

It was disappointing to learn that USC basketball player Leonard Washington is academically ineligible to play for the school. Unfortunately, many of the promising athletes are not required to study as they progress through high school, instead of studying, they learn how to "get by." They do this in various ways such as having other students do their schoolwork and finding teachers who will give him a passing grade. Many of them don't feel that they need any education, since they expect to design large contracts, when they become professionals. Typically, they take the easiest courses, and the schools will provide them with as many tutors as they need. The schools make it so easy and convenient, that even a 'Cave Man' could do it. I hope that for his sake that he will really improve his academic efforts, and take full advantage of the educational opportunities that are available to him. Although he does not realize it now, the day is likely to come when he will desperately need, what he can learn now.

UCLA has a bye this week, and USC goes up to Berkeley to play Cal. While I was up there, I left some good luck tokens for the Trojans. So there!

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