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Sports Watching & Wondering

Black news from Pasadena - Sports - Commentary on sportsOne of the big stories was the Monday night upset of the Green Bay Packers by the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle scored an upset 14-12 victory. This is a team that has been down so long, they do not know which way is up. However, this is Pete Carroll's third-year there, and the prospects for the team have never been greater.

The Seahawks are one of the five NFL teams that are starting rookie quarterbacks. Theirs is Russell Wilson, and he was not drafted until the third round. This indicates that his prospects for playing in the NFL were not all that great. So, a few weeks later, this 5'11" quarterback is actually a starter in the NFL. No one would ever believe this.

Wilson did start for Seattle against Aaron Rogers of the Green Bay Packers. He is arguably, the best quarterback in the NFL. Surprisingly, rookie Wilson held his own against Rogers, who is a seasoned, savvy, highly regarded veteran. If indeed, Wilson does become the elite quarterback that he seems destined to be, the Seahawks will become one of the premier teams in the NFL for many years to come.

Seattle won the game due to a last-minute Hail Mary from Wilson to one of his receivers .It looked as if it had been intercepted by one of the Packers. However, the Officials ruled that the ball had been caught by Golden Tate, and thus they awarded the victory to the Seahawks. So, Boo Hoo! The Packers made mistakes, the Seahawks made mistakes, and the Officials also made mistakes. A team should always try to win by more than one touchdown, and then they will not have to worry about the judgment of the Officials.

USC beat Cal by a score of 27-9. USC won the game, but it was a sloppy one. Trojan fans expected more, a lot more, and they are anxious about the rest of the season. The Trojans did remember how to run the football. Silas Redd gained 158 yards in 21 carries. Curtis McNeal contributed 115 in just 10 carries. The focus was more on winning this game, than trying to win a Heisman Trophy.

UCLA lost to Oregon State by a score of 27-20. This was a disappointing upset, following their spirited victory over Nebraska. The Bruins get a week off, and then they go to Utah. Good luck with that. Oregon reeled off a 49-0 thrashing of the Arizona Wildcats. The well-dressed Ducks seem to be unstoppable. They play at a faster pace than any other college team that I have seen. They do not get tired. They use a no huddle offense, so their opponents' defensive team does not get the opportunity to rest between plays. So, the Ducks just wear everyone out.

Having played football myself when I was in the Army, I cannot imagine the extra work required in the physical conditioning of that team. Their practices must consist of two or three times more running than their opponents do. In addition all of the Players must know all of the plays, so that the quarterback can communicate with them quickly and confidently. I am guessing that the Ducks also receive some Psychological training, like Navy Seals, that makes them happy to work harder than anyone else. I don't know how they do it, but no one else does it as well as they do.

The NFL is eager to have at least one team, preferably two, in the Los Angeles area. However, they want it to appear that it is the fans who are doing the begging. The NFL is stuck with teams in places like Charlotte, Jacksonville, or Oakland. At best, these teams are only marginally profitable, and there is little, if any, capital appreciation.

The Owners of an NFL Franchise in Los Angeles would make money hand over fist. They want to be here badly. However, they have become accustomed to having cities beg them to come, and then to give them money to do so. They are like sophisticated gigolos. They will not come to play, unless you pay. It is a code of honor among them.

Most of the working-class fans cannot afford to attend the home games. It is simply too expensive. So, many of them have learned to enjoy the benefits of watching the games on television. There are the instant replays, and the cutaways to other games. Plus, you don't have to worry about the inconvenience and the cost of parking your automobile, or standing in line for hot dogs and/or the bathrooms. It is the Power Brokers who are eager to have the NFL in this area, but they want us to believe that it is our idea.

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