This fall could mean a rise in L.A. sports excitement
Will this fall turn into the best sports season L.A. has ever seen?
Factor together a Dodgers World Series run, Doc Rivers’ Clippers, Kobe’s comeback, the Kings and the Galaxy, and you have a fall that L.A. sports fans may remember forever.
It’ll all be capped by the Bowl Championship Series title game at the Rose Bowl, then an outdoor hockey game at Dodger Stadium between the Ducks and Kings.
Add UCLA football to this fall festivus as well. Think Blue, the sequel.
In its opener, Jim Mora’s offense moved north-south in ways UCLA hasn’t in years.
In past seasons, the running game revolved around some speedy Bruins tailback trying to outrace the speedier cornerback around the corner.
Not anymore. This Mora team goes right up the gut. Tailback Jordon James had more yards than Lawn Boy.
“Remember 2013?” your kids may be asking their friends 40 years from now.
Sometimes, the “good old days” are right in front of you.
Meanwhile, glimpse the future Sunday night when NBC surrounds the Dallas red zones with dozens of super high-def cameras.
Synced to special software, a dozen of the tiny cameras will be positioned inside the 20-yard lines at each end of the field, to generate the type of revolving effects usually seen only in video games.
“Huh?” you’re asking. Well, just think of it as surround sound for the eyes.
“I think this is the first step in a revolution,” says Fred Gaudelli, coordinating producer for “Sunday Night Football.” “I think in 10 years this will be commonplace.”
For now, the setup will be used only in Dallas, where the high-tech stadium supports such digital magic. The network will share feeds from the cameras with the Cowboys, to show on stadium video boards.
How often will you see it at home? That depends on how the game goes, Gaudelli says. Lots of red-zone action between the Giants and Cowboys will mean more of the high-tech inserts.
The NFL and American Youth Soccer Organization starting on the same weekend is almost too much excitement for one nation. On the AYSO side of things, I recommend taking the Purple Bumblebees and the points.
On the NFL end of things, here are a few lines, courtesy of Bovada, an offshore Internet site:
• Odds Tim Tebow signs with an NFL team: 4-7
• Favorites to win the Super Bowl: Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, both at 6-1
• Least likely to win the Super Bowl: Jacksonville Jaguars, 300-1.
• Head coach most likely to be fired first: Rex Ryan, 3-2.
Hope I have as much giddy-up at 81 as Ben and Rue Pine, the longtime Bruins fans who brought their charm and enthusiasm to the chancellor’s tent before Saturday’s UCLA game.
The couple met in seventh grade and have attended an estimated 35 straight season openers. Ben and Rue make the long trek across town, then stay to the end no matter what.
“There’s only six games a year,” says Rue, her eyes a bright Bruins blue. “Why would you want to miss a minute?”
Rising prices. Lines at the loo. Lousy sound systems. There are plenty of reasons to stick it out on the couch each week. But then you wouldn’t get to hang with fans like Ben and Rue.
New software aside, there’s still something magic about actually being at a game.
By the way, a few predictions of what will be happening when I’m 81:
• Donald Trump will get his first haircut.
• Kobe will still be promising “one more year.”
• The NFL will be “seriously considering” a stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
If you thought that the Rose Bowl sound system sounded like complete gibberish last week, you were not alone.
“It’s horrible,” said season-ticket holder Barry Posner. “It rumbles ... like there’s reverb.”
Posner is almost too kind. The noise emitted from the stadium speakers sounded like the garbled squawks of a cartoon parent.
Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn says acoustic engineers are working on the problem. He says complaints were confined mostly to the midfield seats on the press-box side.
Note to fellow junkies: Having four fantasy leagues is a hobby. Five is a fetish.
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