My wife attended the University of Arizona. So you can imagine my disappointment upon reading expert prognosticator Bill "It Just Feels Right to Pick the Falcons to Win the Super Bowl" Plaschke's choice of U of A to win the NCAA tournament.
Too bad, Wildcats, there's always next year.
I found Ben Bolch's story on the recent Arizona-UCLA game quite snarky and excuse laden. I question his comments that the game being played in Las Vegas was a home game for the U of A due to a large contingent of their fans. FYI, it's 413 miles from Tucson to Las Vegas and 270 miles from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Maybe all the UCLA supporters were at the beach.
Yes there's an Eastern bias against the Pac-12, but there's also a Pac-12 bias against the Pac-12, with the conference not being carried by DirecTV.
That's 25,000,000 homes or 62,500,000 possible viewers. So perhaps the Pac-12 should look in the mirror.
Bill of wrongs
First of all, after three months of college basketball, conference tournaments before March Madness areompletely unnecessary. When the Pac-12 Networks and ESPN then inflict Bill Walton as an announcer upon us for four days, that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
Dear ESPN: Have mercy and for the love of basketball, please sell Walton's contract to the network in Iowa that televises their high school games. (My apologies to Iowa.)
Undoubtedly, like many of my fellow L..A. Times readers, when I hear Bill Walton's constant drivel and pointless meandering, I want to turn off the TV. But I have the cure. Each time he says "Conference of Champions," drink a beer. By the second half, you will be in drunken haze, but at least tie-dye Bill will be bearable with the nice buzz you got going.
Last Friday night I tuned in to watch the Bill Walton show, and was surprised when a few times the UCLA-Arizona basketball appeared on a half-screen in the background.
Since the Lakers have shut down Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov and literally put an end to Nick Young's Lakers career, is it against league rules to shut down the rest of the team? Each time this group takes the floor they embarrass themselves more than the game before. What we have seen this year is that the Lakers do not have "young talent." All they have is "no talent."
Magic and Rob Pelinka need to cut bait with anything that Kupchak and Buss touched and start all over.
I was watching Johnny Carson doing his Carnac routine from 1975. Answer: Wine and the L.A. Lakers. Question: Name two things you find in the cellar. Over 40 years later and nothing has changed. Unlike fine wine, the Lakers have not gotten better with age.
Funny that Luke Walton has dropped D'Angelo Russell off the starting lineup. When Byron Scott did that last year, suggesting that D'Angelo had to "earn" his minutes, he was ridiculed. Rather than continuity and experience, Lakers management opted for hope and fantasy. We used to laugh at the Clippers for being perpetual lottery participants. Now it's us.
Sorry I missed your call. You wanted me to give you my feelings of the current team.
None of these players would have played on your team of the '80s. They are bench players at best.
You also wanted to know who you should go after.
LeBron, Curry, and Westbrook
Glad I could help
The Lakers' starters are so young that after they beat the Suns, last week, Coach Walton took them all out for ice cream.
Can Jeanie Buss fire Doc Rivers too?
Bob Lentz of Sylmar wrote last week that it would be "blatantly unconstitutional" if athletes suffer "possible consequences" for demonstrating their views during the playing of the national anthem. Just to be clear, for those who may have missed their high school civics class, it would be unconstitutional only if a government entity imposed such consequences. As Mr. Lentz himself quotes from the First Anendment, "Congress shall make no law...." abridging the feedom of speech. The U.S. Soccer Federation is a non-governmental entity and can impose whatever rules it wants, as to speech or otherwise. Contrary to what people like Mr. Lentz may believe, there is nothing unconstitutional here.
I can think of far better ways to use your right for freedom of speech than to disrespect the many lives that were lost fighting for our rights. Is it too much to ask to stand for all those men and women who paid the ultimate price and the loved ones who will never see them again?
Down on Angels
Let me be the first to raise the warning flag that the Angels may now be in the midst of a full-scale jinx relative to who plays left field for them.
I'm sure the new candidate, Cameron Maybin, is a nice young man with millions in his bank accounts, but he appears to be rapidly following in the foot steps of the all time Angel left field bust, the one, the only Matt Joyce.
We waited an entire season for Joyce to even make occasional contact only to see him hit sub .150 and then escape to Pittsburgh where he once again started to hit.
Maybin, currently buried in a 0 for 19 streak, has to now be thinking if he is under the same mysterious jinx that swallowed up Joyce.
And while I'm at it, the good news is that the new Angel second baseman, Danny "Mendoza line" Espinosa, has such a low career batting average, we may never realize he is in a slump.
Jim B. Parsons
What's the deal?
Forget your minor trade with KTLA of telecasting just 10 Dodger games this year and go for the blockbuster deal: Trade all the Laker games that few of us can bear to watch for all the Dodger games! Now that would be a win-win trade for all involved.
A new Leaf
Boy, I never thought the day would come when I would be looking up to Ryan Leaf [March 12]. Sports is, to some degree, about greatness. Interesting how a great idiot can fall to great depths, can find great courage, and then make a great impact. Thanks for a great article and story.
Just when I finally understand the difficult logistics of calculating an NFL's quarterback rating, along comes the World Baseball Classic's confusing tiebreaker. If sports is the supposed toy department of life, the toys must consist of complex Transformers robots, 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzles, and college-level chemistry sets.
Mark J. Featherstone
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