Laker-mania? It’s A Little Early For Me
The Lakers are the kings of Southern California sports.
I don’t question that. A long time ago the Rams were. Then the Dodgers took over. But now it’s Kobe and friends reigning over all. It’s not even close anymore, thanks to our favorite feuding couple of the moment, the McCourts.
But even given the clear purple and gold superiority, it doesn’t mean I want to start poring over every breathless word in late September and early October. I mean, didn’t the parade from last season just end down Figueroa Blvd.? What was it, 12 weeks ago? Isn’t there still some confetti scattered in the street?
So here we are in late summer (hey, check the thermometer if you think fall has arrived), more than a month away from opening night, and all you can read on the internet, in blogs and in what’s left of the daily newspapers is Lakers stuff.
Where Pau went in Europe. How Lamar celebrated with Khloe. What Kobe has been doing between surgeries. How Fish feels about the new guys in Miami. It’s gotten so bad, people are already writing about Sasha. No, really. I’m not kidding.
Enough already. It’s too soon. It won’t be long before we start getting frantic daily stories about this turned ankle and that pulled hamstring. Can Steve Blake fit in? Will Matt Barnes stay out of trouble off the court? How many minutes will Theo Ratliff get? You know, real engrossing information.
It’s OK. I get it. Fans in this area attack Lakers stories the way teenagers attack the buffet lines in ‘Vegas. They can never seem to get their fill.
All I’m saying is it’s October 1st, for crying out loud. Baseball is just about to enter its postseason. College football is only now starting to play significant games. And the NFL is already cranking out don’t miss matches every Thursday, Sunday, Monday and whenever.
The Lakers don’t need our full attention yet. Let us know how training camp is going. Fill us in on a few details of their European tour. Tell us if the rookies have any chance of playing more than a couple of minutes for Phil Jackson.
But, please, have a little patience. The seven month odyssey that is the NBA season will begin soon enough.
Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m more than willing to wait until it starts.
PICKS OF THE WEEK: Stanford proved to be another easy winner, the second time in three weeks for me. The combination of the Cardinal being undervalued by the oddsmakers and the usual Notre Dame hype made a four point spread too inviting to pass up in South Bend. The NFL, though, was another story. How could anyone predict that the Baltimore Ravens, playing at home, having not allowed a touchdown in their first two games, would not only give up two against Cleveland but let somebody named Peyton Hillis (seriously, that’s his name) rush for 144 yards against Ray Lewis and that superior defense? So I gave the 10 points and lost, for the first time in three weeks, when Baltimore only won, 24-17. Go figure.
RECORD LAST WEEK: 1-1 OVERALL RECORD: 4-1-1
This week’s picks:
STANFORD (PLUS SEVEN) AT OREGON — I’ve been hyping Jim Harbaugh’s team all summer. I’m sure not going to get off it now that it has moved up to ninth in the country and is a seven point ‘dog, even if the opponent is the explosive Ducks. Eugene is among the tougher places to play in America, but for all its dazzling offense, Oregon gave up a jaw-dropping 597 yards to Arizona State last week. My guess is Harbaugh will try to play power football, control the ball, the clock and, maybe, the crowd. That formula worked great at Notre Dame, but Oregon is a much better team. Thankfully, in the early Pac-10 game of the year, Stanford also has Andrew Luck at quarterback. My guess is that will be enough.
JETS (MINUS FIVE) AT BILLS — After that strange start against the Ravens, the Jets and Mark Sanchez have played two outstanding games vs. the Pats and Dolphins. Rex Ryan has talked big all summer, but his team, with a terrific defense and a decent running game, might be the best balanced in the AFC. They’ve allowed only 47 points in three games. The Bills already have coughed up 87. I know Buffalo’s new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a Harvard man, but even he will have a difficult time figuring out how to win this one.
— STEVE BISHEFF