October 7, 2012 |
If there's anything more American than a college football game, it's the marching band's halftime show. Baseball games don't have it. Pro football games rarely have it. Hockey games definitely don't have it. It's a beloved oddity of tuba-flavored Americana jammed halfway between four quarters of watching giant men batter one another. And despite the brutality of American football - where the athletes get bigger and faster every year and careers are brutish and short - marching bands have helped usher nerd culture into the mainstream.
August 14, 2012 |
Monday was the 39th anniversary of my mother's death, a shock I know, because I had one. She never met my kids, and every time I've tried to tell them about her I get the same look as when I ask them to watch a black-and-white movie. (By the way, we have a baseball beat writer at The Times who never heard of Clint Eastwood or Paul Newman . Can you imagine going through life without ever watching "Cool Hand Luke"?) My wife probably remembers my mother the most — for not liking her. The truth is, my mother didn't like any of the girls I dated, and almost all of those girls came to dislike me as well.
June 21, 2012 |
After the coffee. Before finding a new hiding place for my pine tar. The Skinny: I'm hoping Oklahoma City can extend the NBA Finals to at least six games. Thursday's headlines include a look at whether "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" will slay audiences this weekend, a shake-up is in the works at NBC's "Today" and TBS shells out big bucks for reruns of "2 Broke Girls. " Daily Dose: If you thought you might escape the hype for Charlie Sheen's new FX sitcom "Anger Management" by watching the Mets - Yankees games Saturday, think again.
May 31, 2012 |
David Berg appeared in the last 18 baseball games of UCLA's regular season. That kind of streak is nothing special if you're a position player, or filling in as a defensive replacement. But Berg is a relief pitcher — and is a freshman who isn't even on scholarship. "The 18 in a row is staggering to me," he said. Coach John Savage, whose team will play Creighton on Friday night in an NCAA regional opener, calls Berg "a savior. " How Berg became such an invaluable player for a team that was co-champion of the Pac-12 Conference and is seeded No. 2 nationally stems from his decision to change his pitching delivery.
April 7, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO - Every so often I get an email suggesting Vin Scully has lost it, and I smile. I wish I had just what he's lost. There is no accounting for some people in this world. The same miserable cusses who might respond " Sam Gilbert " when John Wooden's 99-year span of life is mentioned probably would have been the first to say that Chick Hearn was too old to close the refrigerator door anymore. I've never been able to get enough of these old men, their talent and wisdom allowing them to survive for so long while so many others did not. I used to sit with Hearn before Lakers games with the hope of learning his secret, knowing full well as I was walking up the stairs he was telling his usher pal, "Oh no, here he comes.
March 29, 2012 |
An NFL stadium at Chavez Ravine? You can bet the new owners of the Dodgers will at least kick the tires on that idea. In fact, a league insider said the buyers had preliminary discussions with the NFL while doing their due diligence on the investment. Peter O'Malley did more than that in the late 1990s. He was well down the road on a proposal to build a football stadium next to Dodger Stadium when the city let the air out of his balloon by supporting the Coliseum, which it partly owned.
March 1, 2012 |
President Obama says he had "Linsanity" before Linsanity was cool. "I knew about Jeremy before you did, or everybody else did," Obama said in an interview with ESPN's Bill Simmons for his new site, Grantland. "I've been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while. " The president explained that his Education secretary, Arne Duncan, was captain of Harvard's basketball team and would rave about his play. "It's a great story, and what's interesting is the fact that somehow folks were missing it in practice," he said.
February 25, 2012 |
From Tempe, Ariz. -- The coach once helped carry his son from tee ball to the top of the high school baseball world, never missing a game, cheering every moment, from midnight batting practice to driveway bullpen sessions to championship glory. Today, the coach gently places his son over his shoulder and carries him from his wheelchair to the front seat of his dusty truck. "We were never much for hugging," Dale Hahn says. "But now I get to hug my son all the time. " The coach once pushed the son to become California's Mr. Baseball, working on his swing, inspiring his hustle and watching him become a powerful outfielder with speed, smarts, a full scholarship to Arizona State and a major league future.
February 14, 2012 |
When Jack McDowell was a pitching standout at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the early 1980s, umpires frequently found themselves receiving an earful from a teenager unafraid to express his feelings, because he hated to lose. He didn't change much at Stanford or in the major leagues, where he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1993 with the Chicago White Sox. At 46 and in his second year as head coach at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, McDowell jokes, "That's my biggest accomplishment with umpires -- staying in games.
February 5, 2012 |
Southwest Airlines, the nation's biggest carrier of domestic passengers, doesn't provide its customers with high-tech entertainment systems or in-flight movies, like many of its competitors. But the Dallas-based airline will soon offer professional football and baseball games, at least for passengers who travel with Wi-Fi-enabled laptops or other portable devices. Row 44, the in-flight Internet provider for Southwest, last week announced a deal with the NFL Network to provide live streaming football games, video highlights and analysis for passengers who pay the $5 Internet connection fee. Row 44 has cut a deal to broadcast Major League Baseball games as well.