IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Rossi races to winner’s circle; Giants hit the Panik button
ROSSI IN WINNERS’ CIRCLE: He leads for half of the 60 lap race, overcomes some challenges and wins at Watkins Glen on the Indy Car circuit on Sunday. Nevada County’s Alexander Rossi has five top-6 finishes this season. The reward is the win, but also the inking of a contract extension with Andretti Autosport. Rossi has quietly orchestrated an impressive campaign. He rises in the standings and looks for a positive balance of this racing season.
MINERS WIN BIG: Ah, what a relief. After a draw at halftime, the Nevada Union Miners roar in the final 24 minutes. It is a 43-16 win vs. Placer on the strength of strong performances by Owen Bal Bon, the Fay brothers (Hayden and Dawson), Tyler Nielson and Justin Houlihan. Head Coach Dennis Houlihan quips, “It was really nice to see the kids have fun.”
BRUINS ORCHESTRATE SHUTOUT: It is a nifty 20-0 win for Bear River vs. Union Mine. It is a scant 3-0 lead until Garrett Pratt swings the momentum with a blocked punt. It leads to a 10-0 lead. Stephen Taylor notches 79 yards on the ground and 51 yards in the air. Quarterback Calder Kunde goes 8-for-14 for 74 yards. It is an excellent defensive effort as Union Mine rushes 37 times for 11 yards. Signs point to another positive season.
PURE PANIK ATTACK: There have been few bright notes for the San Francisco Giants this season. However, infielder Joe Panik provided a big one in the recently completed three-game series vs. the Colorado Rockies. He goes 12-for-15 to set a new franchise record for hits in a three-game series. His batting average goes from .267 to .285 during the torrid streak. He collects a homerun and four doubles. Giants history on Wednesday night. On a down note, Pablo Sandoval extends his hitless streak to 0-for-38 in Colorado. The Giants won one of three, but Panik’s fete will long be remembered. It is labeled the “Series of a lifetime.”
AMAZING COMEBACK: The UCLA Bruins trail 38-10 at half and 44-10 with 4:08 left in the third against Texas A&M. However, in a comeback for the ages, quarterback Josh Rosen leads UCLA all the way back for a 45-44 win at The Rose Bowl. The crowning blow is a fake spike with less than a minute to play that turns into a left corner fade for the winner. Rosen passes for an incredible 35-of-58 for 491 yards. After the debacle, A&M fans are calling for the firing of their head coach.
PERFECT SEASON SQUASHED: Al Michaels said it well when he stated, “There was all the talk about a perfect season.” Many journalists went out on a limb stating the New England Patriots would go 16-0. Someone forgot to tell Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith dominates with an incredible night and the Patriots lose big 42-27 Thursday night. It all dissolves in Week 1 for New England. Talk about predictions gone bad.
THE REAL PROBLEM WITH KAEPERNICK?: This story remains on the front burner. According to Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens refused to sign Colin Kaepernick because of his girlfriend, Nessa Diab. It appears as though the Ravens were about to sign Kaepernick, and then Diab posts on Twitter a racial gesture aimed at Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. She depicts Lewis and Bisciotti as master and slave. It puts a kibosh on all talks and Kaepernick remains unemployed. The saga continues.
LEBRON SWAN SONG?: Most around the NBA feel that LeBron James will depart after the coming season when he becomes a free agent. Many believe he will play for the Los Angeles Lakers to complement Lonzo Ball. Of course, father LaVar Ball states it is all but a done deal. The brand and the desire to play for an improving team seem the lure. It makes for another dramatic footnote in 2017/18.
WORLD CUP RELIEF: The US Men’s national soccer team sits on the bubble of qualifying for the World Cup. Tuesday was a huge game vs. Honduras. Trailing 1-0, Bobby Wood saves the day for the Americans with a goal that salvages a 1-1 tie. Ahead is Panama and Trinidad, both must-win games. One home, one away. The team appears stagnant. If they want to punch their ticket to Russia, the opportunity is now.
FINAL EXAM: Who is the only player in baseball to win a Little League World Series and a MLB World Series? Hint: He played for the Giants.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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