It’s been a crazy few days, but I’m coming to the surface for air. I’ll have more to say about that, either here or in the Fishing News, but for now …
- Congratulations to the kids from Chula Vista, CA who beat the team from Taipei to win the Little League World Series. It was just a few weeks ago that the parents of these kids, mostly lower-income working class folks, were scraping together money to travel to Williamsport to watch their kids play. The Padres and other San Diego businesses helped out financially, and you gotta think it was worth the trip! The SoCal team has been the class of the tourney, showing off impressive power at times, but were down 3-0 early before rallying for a 6-3 win. Their victory makes them the fifth consecutive US team to take home the trophy, the longest such streak since the ’60s. Well done, boys!
- It’s almost time to kick off the new NFL season, and this is clearly a year of change. Nowhere is that as true as at the quarterback position, where new field bosses are in charge of many teams. You’ve got the Broncos and Bears who swapped disgruntled signal callers, the Jets and Chiefs who are staking the future of their franchises on unproven QBs, and the Eagles who’ve opted to given the fallen Michael Vick a second chance. Then there’s the Vikings, the next (and hopefully final) stop on the never-ending Brett Favre retirement train. Another trend to note is that there are three clubs with former Southern Cal QBs at the helm (Jets, Chiefs & Bengals) and a fourth (Cardinals) that are just a snap away. Not bad for “Tailback U”. Finally, a fond farewell to John Madden, who has opted to retire. His place alongside Al Michaels has been filled by the much-less-capable Cris Collinsworth, but there’ll never be another John Madden. All together now … BOOM!
- If you believe the reports, pitcher Brad Penny will sign later today with the San Francisco Giants, and make his first start for his new club against one of his old clubs, the Dodgers. Penny, who signed with the Red Sox after the Dodgers declined his option at the end of last season, has a pretty miserable experience in the American League, and was waived by the Sox last week. I’d hoped he’d resign with the Marlins, where he initially broke into the big leagues, but the Giants continued their attempts to simultaneously improve their club while poking their SoCal neighbors at the same time. Penny is a stud, but has broken down a lot lately, so it’ll remain to be seen if this is brilliant or bust. But give SF credit for taking action.