IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: The NFL machine returns; ‘97 Giants honored
NFL FOOTBALL BACK: Get ready for total consumption starting this weekend. The pre-season games are here! Will the 49ers really be a better team? Can the Raiders reproduce the magic of last season? We begin to get a few of the answers now. Don’t judge the season by the weeks ahead. When it begins for real we will finally have some answers. However, great to see the game back.
MY LIFE SUCKS: Jim Plunkett is a native of San Jose. He starred for James Lick High School, Stanford, and then the NFL. Two Super Bowl victories and the Heisman trophy are part of his brilliant past. However, now, he exclaims, “My life sucks. It is no fun being in this body right now. Everything hurts.” As a standout, he was always accessible to his fans. However, he took many hard hits. And now, at 69, amidst 13 pills per day, he laments how it all turned out.
TEAM REMEMBERED: Last Saturday night the Giants honor the 1997 team. Nothing expected but everything achieved. Western Division Champions of which little seemed likely. However, that year they get it done. J.T. Snow, Brian Johnson, Shawn Estes, Barry Bonds and others honored. Closer Rod Beck is remembered posthumously. Many say it was the beginning of the Giants coming back into competition in the National League. Was it the beginning that led the team to 2010, 2012 and 2014? Great ceremony.
SWEET AND SOUR: The Panda is back. Pablo Sandoval remarkably returns to the Giants. To pave the way, he must admit he, “always loved and appreciated the Giants organization,” and that he had “learned his lesson” after a bitter departure 2 1/2 years ago. However, he starts the big seventh inning rally with a double, goes 1-for-3, and the Giants win in 10 innings 5-4. His batting is overhauled. He is again overweight. However, his average is well above expectations.
JOYCE SUSPENDED: A’s Matt Joyce is suspended two games after making a gay slur to a fan in the eighth inning of last Friday’s A’s/Angels game. He expresses his regrets in letting emotions get the best of him. For his part, he later says on Twitter, “I first and foremost want to sincerely apologize to the fans, Oakland A’s, MLB and most importantly to the LGBTQ community for my comments and actions.” The exchange was overheard by an AP photographer. Joyce hopefully learned a valuable lesson.
HERE WE GO AGAIN: Zach Randolph, with whom the Sacramento Kings inked a 2-year $24 million deal, is arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday night for felony possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He is in Watts. There is a large crowd. They vandalize police cars. Guns, drugs and cars are among the items confiscated by police. Why, Zach? He has had multiple run-ins with the law and this appears like yet another. Poor judgement.
SIMPLY BUCKET LIST: The popular John Rickard of Paulette’s visits Oakland last night for the tilt between and A’s and Baltimore Orioles. Not the common night. He has connected with a third cousin, Orioles starting left fielder Joey Rickard. Meeting up with other relatives, he gets the King’s treatment. A night to long remember.
DISQUALIFICATION WELL EARNED: The Little League International Tournament Committee calls it OUT! The Atlee Team of Virginia wins 1-0 against the Kirkland Team of Washington. Their response? Six Atlee players expose their middle finger towards Kirkland on a social media platform. The Committee determines it foul and disqualifies Atlee. Good decision? You bet. It is a tough lesson learned at a young age. However, upon further review, they get the call right. Simply a necessary dose of reality.
NBA SCHEDULE RE-DESIGN: We have all heard about the issue of resting key players. Now, the NBA has made schedule changes to hopefully curb it. Shorter pre-season. Earlier start to the regular campaign. No more four games in five nights. Elimination of 18 games in 30 days, and a 10 percent reduction in back-to-back games. Decreases of five games in seven nights as well as single game road trips. Will it have the effect? Only time will tell. Greasy issue.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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