IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Bad luck hurts Rossi in Portland; Nike gambles with new ad campaign | TheUnion.com

IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Bad luck hurts Rossi in Portland; Nike gambles with new ad campaign

Jim Adams
Sports Columnist

BAD LUCK IN PORTLAND: Lady Luck abandoned Alexander Rossi in Portland. It appears to be going his way when point leader Scott Dixon was involved in an incident on the first lap. In fact, Rossi took over and by lap 37 he looked poised for another brilliant day. However, it all turned sour on lap 61 when he was faced with an untimely pit stop as the yellow flag came out. He slipped to 17th, rose to eighth, and finished in that position. Sept. 16 is the big double points race in Sonoma. It will be the finale of a very successful campaign.

NIKE TAKES BIG GAMBLE: The shoe and clothing giant revealed that Colin Kaepernick will be the face of its "Just Do it" 30th anniversary ad campaign. It will have a close-up of Kaepernick with the caption: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." Nike revealed that they have been paying Kaepernick all along, waiting for just the right moment. It apparently arrived. Nike is a corporate sponsor of the NFL. With so much in play, it will be interesting to see how this one works for Nike.

A'S ROLL ON: They go 5-4 in three critical series vs. Seattle, Houston and the Yankees. The dog days of summer find them six games ahead of the Mariners for the final Wild Card spot. The Houston Astros have become healthy and have their pedal to the metal. They will be hard to catch. Oakland is a team that came together in June. The youngsters all improved at the same time. Khris Davis is second in RBI's in the AL. They face a lighter part of the season. Watch the second-to-the-last series vs. Seattle. Let's hope it is meaningless.

BIG QUESTIONS IN OAKLAND: Jon Gruden is facing tough moments on the eve of the NFL season. Three-time Pro Bowler Khalil Mack never reported to training camp. Respected for his potent pass rush, he is finally dealt to Chicago. Mack commented on ESPN, "I was definitely shocked." As he was welcomed by the Bears, he quipped, "To be wanted, that's all it takes." In reality, this hurts the already suspect Raiders. Gruden is under fire for a number of decisions, but it all comes down to Oakland's debut on Monday Night Football.

ROAD TRIP CONTINUES: Early on, it looks like nothing can stop the Bear River Bruins. Bruins win big, again, 49-0 vs. the reigning Nevada 2A state champion, Pershing County High School in Lovelock, Nevada. This time is was a 36-0 lead at half. Calder Kunde threw but five times for 54 yards. However, the ground game was stifling. Tre Maronic and company were literally unstoppable. They have outscored opponents 153-10 in the non-league season and traveled to Galt yesterday for a showdown with Liberty Ranch.

MINERS TASTE VICTORY: Whatever Dawson Fay ate before the game, it worked! He was a wrecking ball as Fay amassed 247 yards and four touchdowns on a mere 19 carries. Nevada Union ate up more than 500 yards on offense in the 59-34 victory over the Napa Grizzlies. A sigh of relief for coach Brad Sparks as he noted, "It's nice to finally get a win and a big win. A win that we needed." Fay added, "This was a huge victory." Indeed! It is a week off for the Miners before they resume next Friday night vs. River City.

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HARRELSON RANT: It was Ken "Hawk" Harrelson Day in Chicago on Sunday. The broadcast is wrapping it up after 33 years of White Sox broadcasts. However, he could not resist the temptation of one more mercurial comment. For some reason, he went after LeBron James. He noted that he would rather see him "shut up and dribble. I used to watch LeBron, but no more. I wish these guys would keep their nose out of politics and just play." This is not his first clash with inappropriate comments. However, it may be his last as he plays out the string in Chicago.

PHIL AND TIGER STILL RELEVANT: Some say it is for ratings. However, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have been named to the 2018 US Ryder Cup Team. Captain Jim Furyk decided to bring back a couple of very experienced players. Mickelson will be playing in his record 12th Ryder Cup while Woods has only missed three since 1997. It will certainly add entertainment and drama to the September 28-30 event at Le Golf National in Paris.

KD BAITED AGAIN: It borders on comical, but another random fan trolled Kevin Durant on Instagram this week. He questioned, "How do you sleep at night knowing you ruined the league and your 3 rings mean nothing?" Well, KD took the bait and replied, "I know. I still get good sleep." It continued from there with Durant finally posting, "Stop hating lol." On the one hand, Durant is a man who replies. On the other hand, he might be better served by leaving the jealous haters alone.

Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at adamses@inreach.com.