“Ain’t my blanking-fault, Campanis! He’s the blanking-guy!”—Tommy Lasorda
Lead Rewrite—Tommy Lasorda died this morning. It’s not a shock, you knew he was close, and if you saw him at anytime the last few years, you were surprised he didn’t cross the river sooner.
I never got tired of Lasorda. Meaning his schtick about bleeding Dodger blue and constantly rifting about “The Big Dodger in the Sky.” It never got old.
ESPN’s Chris Berman got old. John Madden got old. Magic Johnson and his smile got old. Lasorda never aged. One minute he was a good-Lord advocate of God, Country, and Dodger blue. Then away from the camera, he was the vulgar, crusty, impatient uncle no one wanted to show up for Christmas—Because he was liable to say something.
Two great Lasorda stories came to mind when I got the text: “Tommy Dropped.”
In 1999 I was outside the press box at Dodger Stadium, and Lasorda came and stood alongside me.
“How you doing, Tommy?” I said
“I’m doing fine,” he answered without looking at me. Then he turned and walked away, completely ticked off about something. I like to think it was me.
“Thanks for the interview, Tommy,” I called out.
The second interaction came about ten years ago, as we were being “escorted” through the luxury box section. Fans were walking with us in one direction, and Lasorda was coming from the other with his entourage.
“Hey Tommy,” a middle-aged man said, “can I get a pic?”
I give Lasorda credit. He stopped. He didn’t look like he wanted to stop and wore his perpetual off-camera scowl.
“Alright,” he said. “But I’m in a blank-damn hurry!”
The man and his son came to either side of Lasorda. They smiled, Tommy snarled, and the picture was snapped.
A day later, Lasorda was being interviewed on local news and projecting his best Burl Ives at Christmas. “I just want to thank the good Lord and these Dodger fans for all their love and support over the years.”
Lasorda struck me as a guy who would say, “Oh, I have always been (fill in the blank) fan!”
God bless, Tommy Lasorda.
From MVS Editor Tim Peterson: “I wonder how Tommy answered when Jesus asked about his performance?”
I’ve seen the Brooklyn Nets play four times this season. Three times without Kevin Durant, and twice without Kyrie Irving. Durant is currently in COVID protocol…Irving is just AWOL.
And this is the new power in the Eastern Conference?
As Of Right Now (& Subject to Change):
Buffalo over Indianapolis—Final prediction, the Bills win this game 49-21. They’ve kept their foot on the accelerator
Rams over Seattle—Final prediction: Rams 17, Seahawks 16. The game will be physical. Uninformed fans (like most Rams fans are) will declare it boring. Legitimate fans will appreciate a physical defensive struggle. Because of DC Brandon Staley, I expect a big play. A scoop and score, a pick-six…and that will be the difference. It h
Tampa Bay over Washington—Final prediction: Buccaneers 24, Washington 10. There’ll be a moment D.C. will be up 10-7, or the game will be tied, 10-10…and the announcers will declare, “An upset is brewing!”
Then Antonio Brown will make a play, and Brady will loop one over Rob Gronkowski’s shoulder into paydirt. Game. Set. Match.
Baltimore at Tennessee—Final prediction: Titans 34, Ravens 28. I am not anti-Lamar Jackson. I just don’t like anyone coronated before they win anything. Being an MVP means nothing to me. I’m a fan of my team first, not any particular player. With that said, I like Jackson. He works hard at getting better. I want him to succeed, but he needs to pass the ball better.
Rivers—Passer (but needs a designated runner to get to his car.)
Tannehill—rebirth because he’s a Passer
Allen—is now a Passer
Mayfield—Better be a Passer
I don’t care if Jackson “changes the game” I want to see him as a dangerous passer. If not–See Cam Newton.
New Orleans over Chicago—Final prediction: Saints 40, Bears 7. If this game were at Soldier Field, in bad weather, I’d have some interest, but it’s not. So I don’t have much interest. Rooting for the Bruins, but the Saints need to win…you know, because of Katrina.
Cleveland over Pittsburgh—Final prediction: Browns 24, Steelers 17. Tradition can win this game for the Steelers. But Tradition isn’t wearing a uniform or making a tackle. I get the feeling everything about the Browns is fed up with being the “Insert Joke-Browns.”
It won’t be pretty, but Cleveland takes it.
Philadelphia at Brooklyn: Nets win—122-109
Nets without Kyrie Irving…Kevin Durant in COVID quarantine…and the “best” defensive team in the association gets worked by Brooklyn (5-4).
Absent of stars, the Nets came to play last night. Massive credit to the team and coach Steve Nash. Great win, but if Irving is not dealt with appropriately (given there’s no sickness, death, or depression), it will be a loss in the long run.
I heard a lot about the 76ers (7-2) and how they underachieve, underperform, and
Last week I suggested that New Orleans’ Lonzo Ball was just a guy. He’s in the NBA, good for him, but he’s just a guy. The same goes for Philly’s Ben Simmons.
It’s well-known Simmons can’t shoot. How does he sleep at night knowing that? How does he reconcile that kind of limitation? You don’t have to be an athlete or overly athletic to shoot a basketball. To excel in the NBA, you need to be athletic…But you only need hard work to be a competent shooter.
Is it apathy or just lazy…You make the call.
Dallas at Denver: Mavericks win—124-117
My name is Luka!…Wow! From the days of Uwe Blab to now, Dallas (4-4) loves Berlin. The Nuggets (3-5) long for The Bubble. It was a great run last summer, but the Western Conference is too deep and has gotten much better. Denver hasn’t.
NBA Games Seen: 25
The Dude abides…
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian