Sports Blogging in Red and Blue
What will be on tap?
Dodger Blue - the new ownership group has taken big steps to remake the Dodgers according to their plans. The off-season house cleaning has been dramatic with Ned Colletti who built the previous team moved out of the GM spot. The new brain trust, Farhan Zaidi and Andrew Friedman, has shipped off many pieces from the previous season's line-up. So look for blog posts on the upcoming season as the Dodgers continue to strive to return to the mountaintop they haven't been to since 1988.
It is time for new World Series dramatic moments involving the Dodgers!
UCLA Bruin Blue - UCLA Men's Basketball is in for a rough season as they lost almost all of last season's starting line-up to early departures to the NBA and graduation. Nonetheless, will be keeping tabs on their progress with realistic expectations. I think finishing fourth in the Pac12 would be quite a feat with their diminished rooster. Alford's job should be safe as most college coaches get about three years to complete the transition.
One of the pivotal moments of the 1995 run to the title was the last second victory in round two. Not going to get to the finals this year, but hopefully, the team will continue to build to a return to the top.
I went to UC Irvine for graduate school and so I keep an eye on the men's basketball team. They have yet to make it to the NCAA. The only ticket is winning the Big West post-season tournament. They have been to the final game a few times but have come up short.
As for UCLA Football, the rumor mill is whether Coach Mora will be seriously considered for the SF 49ers opening. Mora turned aside last year's speculation that he would take the U of Washington job. We shall see what the mood is around the team and the coach as they head into the Alamo Bowl on Jan 2. Anticipate a high-scoring game: UCLA 38 KSU 35.
UPDATE: What a wild game! Final score: UCLA 40 KSU 35.
Though Hundley was the biggest key to UCLA's success this season, it was his backup, Jerry Neuheisel, coming in for an injured Hundley that probably provided the most memorable victory of the season.
In Red, White, and Blue
Like many US sports fans, hadn't taken to soccer much until the 2010 US World Cup effort. The dramatic goal by Landon Donovan sealed it for me and has made me into a fan of the sport.
The historic goal:
The emotional reaction:
Anyway, US Men's national team (USMNT) will continue to hopefully develop the new talents that will build on what Donovan and his generation established. Also, this year is the Women's World Cup where team USA (USWNT) is expected to do well.
The LA Galaxy's away colors are blue. It will be a year of transition for them as Landon Donovan has retired. Since I started following them as a result of the 2010 World Cup, they have taken three MLS Cups. Am looking for them to be competitive in the 2015 season as they defend their 2014 MLS Championship.
Continuing the soccer theme, I have adopted an English Premier League team to follow: go Liverpool! They remind me of the Dodgers. Liverpool FC is a club with a rich history of great successes but recent struggles with occasional moments of near greatness. With the departure of Luis Suarez (31 goals) and injury to Daniel Sturridge (21 goals) from 2013-2014 campaign (the tandem accounted for 52 of the teams 101 goals), Liverpool has struggled thus far in the 2014-2015 season.
Below is a fan video of the Liverpool supporters singing You'll Never Walk Alone before what would turn out to be a crushing defeat at the hands of Chelsea on April 27, 2014.
In other colors
LA Kings (black, white, aluminum) have won the Stanley Cup two of the last three years. The NHL season is a real grind and it is hard to repeat. The Kings have had injuries and have Voynov has been suspended indefinitely due to pending criminal case against him.
LA Lakers (purple, gold, white) have pretty much fallen apart. Kobe is the only true star in the group and the rest are B+/B-level role players of which most would probably not be on the starting line-up of other teams. But in the end, they are professionals with pride and will play with heart even in losing efforts. It is really weird after so many years of watching them as the favorites to now seeing them as underdog on most nights in the NBA schedule.