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Sports Watching & Wondering

John Randolph Rogers

John Randolph Rogers
When Tiger Woods had knee surgery about eight months ago, many of us wondered if he would be able to play competitive golf again.  Some of us recall that Sandy Koufax retired at about the same age that Tiger is now. It was almost unthinkable that he would quit at that age. He had just completed an extremely successful season, but he was plagued by arthritis. Athletes can avail themselves of the best surgeons in the world.  However, there are no guarantees, and for some of them surgery can be career ending.  Tiger starts his comeback this week in faraway Australia.  He will be playing in Tuross Head, a small isolated city that hardly anyone knows about.  He has been working hard to be ready for his comeback, but even he can't simulate match conditions.

Can he pick up where he left off, or will it take several matches for him to find the winning touch?  We don't know, and that is why many of us will be glued to our television sets. In Tiger's absence, Phil Mickelson has been playing very well.  Is he now ready to give Tiger a real challenge?  We will soon find out. Welcome back Tiger, we have missed you.

Charles Barkley became a role model after all.  He has been sentenced to five days in jail for Driving Under the Influence.  This five day sentence may give him the wake-up call that will cause him to improve his behavior.  As a star professional basketball player, he often seemed to be on the verge of getting into serious trouble.  He was involved in public brawls, and he once threw a man through a window.  When he had problems, the charges were usually dropped, or he was acquitted at the trials.

He is now a popular television sportscaster.  It is probably the best job that he will ever have.  If he loses it, he will likely discover that life can be very tough.  Here's hoping that he understands that now.

If anyone still cares about the Clippers, they are not the worst team in the NBA with a record of 14-43. They are better than Sacramento, Oklahoma City, and Washington.  Dunleavy and Sterling are proving to be an awesome combination.  They deserve each other.

NBA Commissioner David Stern must have some provisions in their by-laws, which would allow him to force an owner a to sell his Franchise, if it has been determined that he cannot run it successfully.  In addition, since the Clippers are playing in a facility that was partially funded by taxpayers, the citizens here may also have a legal interest in how the Franchise is run.   Maybe some of our great legal minds will look into this and come up with some remedies.  No city should be permanently saddled with a Slum Dog Basketball Team.

Renardo Sidney, the 6-foot-center from Los Angeles Fairfax High School, announced that he plans to enroll at USC this year.  He is considered one of the best high school players  in the country.  He is averaging 24 points a game.  It appears that, at best, Sidney will be one of those One and Done Athletes.  The NBA now requires that he be parked someplace for a year, before he can play in that league. There are at least two other complications revolving around Sidney.  He has been having academic problems in high school and he has not taken the SAT. If he passes those hurdles successfully, then he will have to study hard enough to remain academically eligible to play for the Trojans.  If, for any reason he is unable to play for any college, then he is likely to play for one year in Europe.  I hope that he and his family will try to do everything necessary to get him into USC, and if they do,  he will take advantage of the educational opportunities that are available to him.  If he has to actually attend a college, he may as well spend that time trying to get an education.  It may come in handy some day.

The Lakers are merrily rolling along towards another NBA Championship.  In addition to Bryant, the team is getting important contributions from Farmar, Ariza, Odom, and Powell.  Walton and Vujacic sometimes disappear during important parts of the games.  It seems to me that the Lakers need to acquire a veteran center, before they face either the Cleveland Cavaliers, or Boston in the Playoffs.

One of the big stories in Pac-10 Basketball this year is the success of  the Oregon State Beavers, with Craig Robinson the President's Brother-In-Law, in his first year of coaching a team.  Who could have possibly known?

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