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Sports Watching & Wondering

Black news from Pasadena - sports - commentary on football and basketball...The San Francisco Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to earn the right to meet the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. This was an improbable victory for the Giants who were down 1-3 in the Playoffs. However, the team had some talent and a lot of grit and they simply would not give up. This victory has to please my daughter, Joan, who lives in San Francisco, and may be their Number One Fans. Do not be surprised if you get a report that she was arrested for dancing in the street.

The Detroit Tigers will have to be favored to win the World Series. They have Justin Verlander, the best pitcher in the universe. Plus, they also have Fielder and Cabrera, today's version of the Boom Brothers. Baseball is getting a break, since some of the games will be played in the moderate weather of San Francisco. It would not be a great shock if it snows during the games in Detroit. I have always been a fan of the Giants, but because of my daughter, I am really going to root hard for them. She gets upset when they lose.

The Lakers are about ready to begin this season. They have added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. With Bryant and Gasol already here, they will be strong contenders to win the NBA Championship. However, in my opinion, the title will go to either the Miami Heat or the Oklahoma City Thunder. Again, in my opinion, their egos will overwhelm their talent. This will prevent them from being their best when they need to be. In addition, I do not think that Coach Brown has really taken charge of this team. I also recognize that since Kobe Bryant is on it, that may not be possible. Talent aside, most teams that win championships have great discipline and tremendously strong leadership from their head coaches. The Lakers don't have that, and this is likely to be their undoing.

The University of Oregon has reinvented football. They started playing the way that they do about four years ago. Chip Kelly became the head football coach, and they lost their first game to Boise State. They had just started to use the no huddle, fast paced passing game that has become their trademark.Their athletes must be in tip top condition to play at full speed for an entire game. In addition, the quarterback has to come up with the play and communicate it to his teammates in less than 10 seconds. He does that, with the combination of voice and hand signals. So, they have to play fast and think even faster. This is not an easy task.

If you take a moment to reflect on the history of football, the Single Wing was the offense used by most teams, until 1940. Then the University of Missouri introduced the T Formation. Within a few years, this formation was used by most college and professional football teams. Now, Oregon has come along and they're using something called the Spread Formation. With this approach, they practically score at will. If I was a USC Athletic, I would certainly be interested in talking to the person, who is the Offensive Coordinator for the Oregon football team. That team knows something that very few other teams know, and I would want to be one of the first to learn it. So, I would certainly be interested in talking to, and possibly hiring, one of the inventors.

The USC Trojans rank number 10 in the AP Poll, and Arizona, their next opponent is not rated. The teams will play this Saturday in Tucson. Although they may be favored, the Trojans are very worried about this game. The Wildcats quarterback, Matt Scott is fourth in the nation in total offense. This man is a nightmare to opposing teams, even those with good defenses. If he has a good showing against USC, then he will be in the discussion about Heisman Trophy Candidates.

In what seems unusual to me, the UCLA Bruins will be visiting the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe, while the Trojans are in Tucson. Should one of these be playing at home? Who's watching the store? The television audience for this game is likely to be small, since it will be competing against both big-time college football games and the baseball World Series. Good luck to the Bruins, they will need it.

Lamar Odom, according to reports, has been receiving spiritual and psychological counseling. I was happy to learn about that, and I hope that it will be beneficial to him. It seemed to me that Odom lacked the motivation to use the basketball skills that he was born with. He seemed to be lazy and unfocused. With his size and athletic skills, he has the potential to be a superstar. However, he was just drifting through his career, while the teams hoped that one day he would wake up and fulfill his potential. Odom was sometimes late for practices, or he missed them all together. He gave the impression that his basketball career was not that important to him. So, it was a real surprise to many of us, that the trade to the Dallas Mavericks was so devastating to him. He has not gotten off to a good start with the Clippers, since he is reported to be both out of shape and overweight.

Robert Griffin III, or RG III as his close friends call him, has become my favorite player in the NFL. He has adjusted well to playing professional football, and while his team lost last week to the Giants, it was not his fault. He has led his team to a potential winning touchdown, with less than 2 minutes to play. It was up to the Redskin Defense to stop Eli Manning and to thus preserve the victory. However, they could not and the Redskins lost again.

King James is likely to be playing basketball in Los Angeles in the year 2014. The King would like to play on the basketball team that has the possibility of helping him to win another Championship Ring. However, the main reason that he might come here is because this might be the place for his budding business empire. He has growing business opportunities in China, and he is also interested in the entertainment business. He has an aggressive business team, and he is more interested in becoming the next Warren Buffett than the next Michael Jordan.

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