Day 1 of the NFL draft is gone and the Rams are once again spectators, with no first-round picks until 2022 thanks to the Jalen Ramsey trade. The Rams also recently traded two first-rounders for Jared Goff and one for Brandin Cooks. Les Snead and his ridiculous contract extensions have also created salary cap problems so we can’t keep our core players. Watching NFC West teams load up on good young (and cheap) talent tells me that Snead might be in over his head. This season will tell the tale.
Although I applaud the NFL for taking the necessary precautionary measures to hold the draft remotely during these unprecedented times, didn’t the whole scene play out to look like a glorified Fantasy Football draft that takes place in thousands of homes every August? The only thing missing to complete the ensemble was for Roger Goodell to have a beer in his left hand when announcing the picks.
I don’t mean to rain on the Chargers’ NFL draft parade or anything, but I’m not sure I’d want my franchise quarterback of the future to be known as “Pick Six.”
William David Stone
Shout-outs for shut-ins
By all accounts, Clayton Kershaw is and has always been a gentleman, charitable as they come and a true sportsman par excellence. For the most part, I believe he is appreciative of his gifts and the perks that go along with them. That’s why it is so surprising to hear him, without giving the plan time to be fleshed out, dismissing out-of-hand spending four months in Arizona, displaying those very gifts and treating his fans to some of the much-needed diversion baseball can supply.
I understand his reticence to leaving his growing family and missing out on his baby’s first months of life but maybe that’s the price and sacrifice he needs to pay for all he’s been given during his life up to now.
If Major League Baseball truly wants to open up and have fans, here is my solution. For the 2020 season, let fans attend the games for free. Refund season-ticket holders, should they choose, or apply their purchase toward next season. Each team can computer-model the stadium seat configuration to allow for social distancing between seats. Fans can apply online for up to four tickets, as done in ticket lotteries, up to a week in advance of the game. The tickets would be randomly assigned for the game throughout the stadium. Parking would be complimentary. Food concessions could still be used during the game using proper social distancing guidelines. This would be a win for the fans, the players who would not have to play in front of empty stadiums, and a PR boon for MLB.
I believe it is time to right a wrong, to demand that sports leagues stop the insanity of paying millions to athletes when the real people who deserve more money are the front-line workers who have stepped forward to save lives, who are putting themselves at risk, and whose compassion for others, their expertise and sense of humanity, do more for the well being, safety, and lives of Americans, than any athlete has ever done.
Eric Sondheimer’s excellent series, “Season Interrupted,” reinforces what groundbreaking San Jose State sports psychologist Tom Tutko emphasized a generation ago. Namely, even though the students featured are extremely competitive athletes who want to win in the worst way, the mantra of “All I want to do is play” is repeated time and again.
Tutko said that, along with winning, the values of developing lifelong friendships and the pure joy of playing the game are just as important to young athletes. So when youth league sports resume, let parent-coaches remember what has been highlighted during these difficult times: The scoreboard is important, but the inherent benefits of athletic competition provide so much more.
I truly appreciate you sharing “Murray Moments” during this prolonged seventh-inning stretch of no sports. Why not raise the bar and give us an entire Jim Murray column one or more times each week to memorialize a great happening on that week in sports history?
Thank you for Helene Elliott’s insightful article highlighting Hayley Wickenheiser. This woman is a gifted Olympic athlete, and soon to be medical doctor, now helping to fight the pandemic. We need more stories like this to lift our spirits.
Palos Verdes Estates
Bill Plaschke’s front-page story about Ken Mallory, eventually to be honored in Dodger Stadium for his service in World War II, reminded me of my own experiences in that war. The similarities between us are truly remarkable.
Mr. Mallory was in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945, as I was. He is 95; I shall be 95 in August. Mr. Mallory was in charge of a mortar squad, as I was. He was in the Battle of the Bulge, as I was. Both of us were under the command of General George S. Patton. Ken crossed the Rhine River probably on March 22, 1945, as I did, except he did it in a boat, and I did it in a jeep, riding over an engineer’s bridge. And most unusually, we were both married to gals named Elizabeth.
Clearly, there are many differences between us, but the main one is obvious. He will be in Dodger Stadium at a time uncertain in the future, and I shall be playing in a swing band in Ventura at an equally uncertain time.
Arthur O. Spaulding
The first two episodes of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” were riveting, but they misled viewers in a couple of respects. First they implied that Jordan hit a buzzer beater in the 1982 NCAA championship game (17 seconds remained, and thereafter the ball was accidentally passed to N.C.’s James Worthy by Georgetown). Second, ESPN omitted a reference to Worthy and Byron Scott getting hurt in the 1991 NBA Finals. Ironically, it was the last dance for the Showtime Lakers – the greatest team of all time.
Nice going, Dean Spanos, you found another way to stick it to San Diego.
After decades of not listening and ignoring our desire to return to powder blue, you now decide Los Angeles gets the best uniforms in all of sports.
Hopefully, it doesn’t help you sell even one additional ticket.
Any portal in storm
USC’s J.T. Daniels could wind up at LSU as a Louisiana State understudy. Good Bayou!
So the Astros get to keep their title and essentially nothing happens to the Red Sox.
Where is Bart Giamatti when you need him?
Yeah, the Lakers’ potential championship run is over. The Dodgers have yet to throw a pitch. These old rerun games are tired. But Vin Scully fell recently and he’s cracking jokes. “The Last Dance” is pretty good . And they might open the beaches soon.
We might be turning a corner. Stay positive, Los Angeles.
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