In Just a Few Days, 2020 Will Be Hindsight
December 28, 2020

This is the week. If you pick up a newspaper, go to your favorite website, or turn on the television or radio, there will likely be some sort of 'year in review' feature. In the news biz it's obligatory, only in 2020, the one constant all year long is the one thing we hope we can forget about soon. Covid...(continued)

'Twas a 2020 Christmas
December 21, 2020

You have probably already heard or read some parodies, or adapted carols or stories for this strange holiday season. With apologies to Clement Clark Moore, who wrote A Visit From St. Nicolas in 1822, here's mine...(continued)

Electors Affirm Biden; Trump Still Won't Concede
December 14, 2020

It's a civics lesson that we don't normally see play out on national television. That's because we never see a defeated sitting President refuse to admit he lost. Today, the Electoral College made its formal vote, and, to the surprise of no one except maybe the current President, Joe Biden won. Again. Or still...(continued)

During the Worst of the Pandemic, Sports Continue
December 7, 2020

Hospitals are filling up, restaurants and other businesses are being shut down, states and counties are issuing stay at home orders, but turn on your television and you can still see live sports. Whether or not this is a good thing could make for an interesting debate, but sporting events, collegiate or professional, are still trying to muddle through, despite postponements, cancellations, and positive tests for COVID-19...(continued)

Thanksgiving For One This Year: I Think I Overdid It
November 30, 2020

Good. You're here. I know just a few of you bother to read this, but the fact that you are means the internet is working. I was afraid with everyone spending Thanksgiving on Zoom that the old information superhighway was going to be shut down because of a crash. What would we do without teleconferencing in 2020?...(continued)

NFL Weekend Sets Table For Holiday Sports
November 23, 2020

Watching NFL football on Sunday in northern California this weekend reminded me of what it was like in the Los Angeles area for two decades—before the Rams moved back from St. Louis. Yeah, LA didn't have a home team to root for, but the market got all the best games. With the 49ers off this week, and closer teams playing at other times, it was a national showcase, and it didn't disappoint...(continued)

Johnson's 20-Under Wins November Masters
November 16, 2020

A tradition unlike any other in a year unlike any other. With all of the pandemic-related postponements and cancellations, the sports calendar is way off kilter in 2020, including the most prestigious golf tournament in America played in November instead of April. No azaleas blooming at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, but fall foliage instead. No patrons, either...(continued)

Biden Wins, But Early Voting Means Later Results
November 9, 2020

Three-and-a-half days. It seems a lot longer than that, but that's how long it took from the time polls closed on the West Coast to the time Pennsylvania was finally declared won by Joe Biden, giving the former Vice President more than the 270 electoral votes needed to become the 46th President of the United States. We want information instantaneously in this information age, but with more people voting, it takes more time to count ballots. It's a new reality that has actually been in effect for some time now, at least for some of us...(continued)

Thank You, Dodgers, For Winning The World Series
November 2, 2020

It's been almost a week since that final out, and with things calming down, now seems like the appropriate time to write some 'thank you' notes. Yes, this idea is completely stolen from Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show, so while reading this, maybe you can imagine putting pen to paper with the proper music in the background. And Jimmy, feel free to use these if you want. You don't have to pay me or even mention my name, but I am unemployed, so a job writing on your show would be nice...(continued)

Despite Debacle, Dodgers Dream One Win Away
October 26, 2020

“That is into center field. Here comes Kiermaier. Phillips has tied the game. Arozarena comin' around. Throw home. Now he stumbles, but the ball gets away! Tampa Bay wins it! Brett Phillips, Game Four hero!”...(continued)

Gritty Comeback Propels Dodgers to World Series
October 19, 2020

Vin Scully said it about Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series, but it may be more applicable today. “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” True, the Dodgers have been favorites all along to get to this year's fall classic, but not after falling behind 2-0 and 3-1 in a best-of-seven series...(continued)

Extra Long NBA Season Ends With Lakers Title
October 12, 2020

In sports, a particular season is often referred to as a year, even if it only lasts a few months. In baseball, for example, the 2020 season was only ten weeks, although its the only season that's played in a calendar year. For the National Basketball Association, though, the 2019-20 season was truly a year, and actually even longer. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 Sunday night to win the NBA championship, 355 days after their regular season officially got underway...(continued)

Dodgers Move On to Aptly Named 'Division Series'
October 5, 2020

It was a roadblock to a championship that shouldn't have been there, and didn't even exist until the day before the start of baseball's abbreviated regular season. Expanded playoffs meant an extra round, but it turned out to be a hurdle that the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to clear rather easily. There were some surprises in the newly-added best-of-three Wild Card series, and we knew there would be, but the team with the majors' best record just brushed aside the Milwaukee Brewers....(continued)

Too Much Baseball? Expanded Playoffs Get Underway
September 28, 2020

It was a roadblock to a championship that shouldn't have been there, and didn't even exist until the day before the start of baseball's abbreviated regular season. Expanded playoffs meant an extra round, but it turned out to be a hurdle that the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to clear rather easily. There were some surprises in the newly-added best-of-three Wild Card series, and we knew there would be, but the team with the majors' best record just brushed aside the Milwaukee Brewers...(continued)

Virtual Emmys Are Real in 2020
September 21, 2020

I couldn't sleep Saturday night. I'm not really sure why, but after a few hours of tossing and turning, I realized that the whole process was futile, so I got up and turned on the TV. I had ESPN on, and sometime around 3am a promo aired that told us to 'watch the Emmys live tonight on ABC'. I wasn't aware that there was going to be an awards show on, so I tried to remember to watch. It was, as all things are this year, a little weird...(continued)

NFL Opens On Time, And With A Few Fans
September 14, 2020

Basketball and hockey have their playoff bubble. Baseball has had several bouts of positive Covid-19 tests that have resulted in postponements and seven-inning doubleheaders. Soccer held a playoff-style tournament to get started again. The Kentucky Derby was this month, the Master's is next month, but, for the most part, everything with the National Football League is just fine...(continued)

Virtual Parades? What Will Celebrations Look Like?
September 7, 2020

There are three weeks remaining in the pandemic-shortened baseball season. The NBA is now well into its playoffs, and so is the National Hockey League. It's a strange time of year, but championships are about to be won. Southern California could be a big part of that, but how are fans going to get to be part of it? How do you celebrate a title during a pandemic?...(continued)

To Athletes, Walkouts Are More Than Symbolic
August 31, 2020

There has not been a lot of action on the playing fields of professional sports over the past week, but there has been a lot going on. Reacting to a near-fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin three days earlier, players of the Milwaukee Bucks didn't feel up to playing basketball against the Orlando Magic Wednesday night. They didn't show up for their game in protest of the events in their home state. What followed were similar walkouts, even in other sports, and as far away as Seattle and San Francisco...(continued)

Party Conventions Should Stay Virtual From Now On
August 24, 2020

With two-and-a-half months until the November election, it's now time for the candidates to take center stage with their political parties rallying soundly behind them. The debates are over, and it's on to the conventions. Those, however, like everything else in this Covid pandemic era, looks and sounds completely different. In this case, however, that might not be such a bad thing...(continued)

Revenue vs. Caution: At Odds Over College Football
August 17, 2020

It's like this in the real world. Business owners are clamoring to either re-open or get back to normal operations so they can make a living, while health officials are either shutting them down or curtailing their activity in an effort to keep people safe from coronavirus. College football is wrestling with that same decision. Some conferences are shutting down, others are proceeding. Players want to play, but officials are worried about safety (and liability), and a lot of money is on the line...(continued)

Sports, the Pandemic, and Abe Lincoln in Wyoming
August 10, 2020

This is how crazy things can be when you cross the lines of the coronavirus pandemic, the world of sports trying to exist inside it, and my recent road trip. When I set across the Loneliest Road in America in Nevada, en route to Wyoming on July 30, the St. Louis Cardinals were enjoying an off day after losing to the Minnesota Twins the night before. I've been back for four days and they haven't played a game since...(continued)

A Summer Vacation Covid-Era Style
August 3, 2020

CHEYENNE, Wyoming—Ahh summer. Time to take a couple of days or a couple of weeks and get away from it all. The problem, of course, is that nothing is open, and the places that are open probably shouldn't be. Coronavirus numbers are spiking worse than they did in March. If you like (or at least don't mind) driving, then there is one thing you can do. Hit the open road...(continued)

Covid-Era Baseball Begins, But Virus Issues Linger
July 27, 2020

Cardboard cutouts in the stands, cheers from fake crowds coming over the public address system, announcers not even at the game, and even computer-generated fans for nationwide telecasts. It is real baseball, though, and it all got underway over the weekend in a season they hope to complete in just 67 days. But, just as the fun and games got started, and all there was really to quibble about were rule changes, reality has set in...(continued)

At Least There's Plenty of Baseball to Watch, Right?
July 20, 2020

Well, it had to happen eventually. I have now been bitten by the Covid bug. No, I have not tested positive for coronavirus, thank goodness, but, what maybe could be even worse, at least in the short term, and for someone who is otherwise healthy, I lost my job...(continued)

Flynn Fired, Rush Pulled As Part of KNCO Shakeup
July 13, 2020

While coronavirus cases continue to spike in California and around the country, economic casualties continue to mount, including at a small radio station in Grass Valley. Ownership and management informed News Director Geoff Flynn Tuesday that he was being dismissed. Other personnel and programming changes would also be made, Flynn was told...(continued)

60 Games in 66 Days? If They Play, It Won't Be Boring
July 6, 2020

Major League Baseball has finally announced its abbreviated 60-game schedule for 2020, and while there is a significant debate about whether it should be played at all, you can make a compelling case for an entertaining season. That is, if the coronavirus cooperates, and social distancing, constant hand washing, face masks, and baseball can all co-exist. It's a pretty tall order, but owners, television networks, and most players are ready to give it a try...(continued)

How About This TV Lineup to Get Baseball Rolling?
June 29, 2020

Has it sunk in yet? Major sports are coming back. At least, that's what they keep telling us. Basketball and soccer think they are going to keep their players in a 'bubble', yet they are going to play their games in Florida, which is one of the worst states in the nation for Covid-19 right now. Baseball players report to their various home ball parks Wednesday, but some are opting not to play, while others who plan to play are testing positive. It's a wacky world out there, folks...(continued)

It Looks Like We'll Have Baseball, but Why Bother?
June 22, 2020

It's not an agreement. It's an imposition. After failing to reach a deal, Major League Baseball has announced it will go ahead and impose a season of approximately 60 games, starting in late July. While some of the conditions are probably better than if owners actually struck a deal with the players association, it's a case of be careful what you wish for. Yes, it now looks like there will be games on TV this summer, but how will the micro-season of 2020 be remembered down the road?...(continued)

No Crying in Baseball? Well, There's Plenty of Whining
June 15, 2020

“48 games? You're a commissioner just like I an a Hall of Famer! 48 games is NOT a season. It IS however a direct reflection of how little you care about the game or it's fans. You do NOT represent the game I love. You are the very embodiment of the stunted growth of our game.” --Dallas Braden...(continued)

Will Black Lives Really Matter This Time?
June 8, 2020

Video is a powerful thing. We saw it in 1991 when Rodney King was beaten severely by Los Angeles cops in 1991. Four were charged, three were acquitted, and the jury failed to reach a verdict on the other. There were riots. Fast forward to 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. An 18 year-old unarmed man named Michael Brown was shot to death by a white officer. There was no indictment on the officer. We watched the riots that followed. In 2018, Stephon Clark was running from police in Sacramento when he was shot in the back. He had a cell phone in his hand, which officers thought was a gun. They fired 20 times. The officers were not charged...(continued)

Everyone Seems to Want to Open, Except Baseball
June 1, 2020

In most places, you can dine in restaurants again. You can go to the mall. Haircuts are back, but nail salons still are waiting. Music festivals and county fairs are clamoring to open their doors, but still have to wait. Auto racing is happening. Hockey, soccer, horse racing, and golf have formulas in place to return. But baseball? Uh uh...(continued)

Four Guys on a Course, Charity, and Huge Ratings
May 25, 2020

In these days of sheltering in place, social distancing, and the death toll from Covid-19 rising, often it seems sports doesn't really matter. Sure it would be nice to have a ball game on, especially over Memorial Day. In the sporting world, the three-day weekend's marquee event is the Indianapolis 500. Even if you don't normally follow the sport, it's fun to check out. None of that this year, of course. Instead, we had, and a lot of us watched, including for some reason me, we had nationally televised exhibition golf...(continued)

Sports Kinda Sorta Starting to Come Back
May 18, 2020

If you really really love sports, and I mean really really really love sports, and were desperate to see some live competition for the first time in eons, this was a big weekend. Major League Baseball, NBA Basketball, NHL Hockey, and soccer as we know it are still a ways off, but many are rejoicing having something to watch on TV that has never been seen before. The weekend menu? Auto racing, a celebrity golf match, and German football. At least it's something. Right?...(continued)

Yuba-Sutter Goes Rogue; Nevada County Tows Line
May 11, 2020

Welcome to the current coronavirus capital of California. No, not Sacramento where Governor Newsom does his popular daily talk show with his finely coiffed slicked-back hair while the rest of us have gone at least eight weeks without so much as a trim, but beautiful downtown Yuba County—a place that does what it wants, when it wants...(continued)

People Are Itching For Normalcy, But When?
May 4, 2020

Alright, enough already. We've been sheltering in place for going on two months now, and we're tired of it. Not only is the weather nice, but coronavirus cases are dropping, or so it seems. We've been cooped up, we're broke, and we want to go back to work. Maybe we'll wear a mask, maybe we won't. You can't tell us what to do. If you've been watching the news lately, this is what you've been seeing. You can kind of understand why...(continued)

As the Weather Warms Up, Covid Frustrations Mount
April 27, 2020

The almanac says summer is still about six weeks away, but the weather is warm, temperatures are expected to hit 90 in the Sacramento Valley, and mixed messages are pouring in about coronavirus restrictions and the stay at home mandate. Most people still can't go to work, but despite being told to 'shelter in place', that now doesn't apparently mean you can't go to the beach or out to the golf course...(continued)

Doctor Cutler Needs to Talk More
April 20, 2020

It’s been a long month. It was a month ago yesterday when California issued its shelter in place order, and longer than that since states of emergency were declared because of coronavirus. If you watch or listen to the constant news updates, you’ve become familiar with the national experts. The local experts, however, in least in Nevada County, have been mostly quiet...(continued)

It's Only Been A Month. Doesn't It Seem Longer?
April 13, 2020

Proof that the entire world can change in just a few weeks. Not necessarily for the better, of course, but they tell us that 'social distancing' is working, and we have to believe that, even though a month ago we had never heard of that term...(continued)

Getting Used to Doing Nothing
April 6, 2020

Heyy. How ya doin'? How was your weekend? Wow, did you see that great game last night? Boy, those referees really blew that call, didn't they? How was that movie? Was it really good? Do you think my (son/daughter/niece/nephew/grandma/neighbor) might like it? I heard the acting was fantastic. You went to that new restaurant? How was the food? Was it crowded? I've been wanting to go there for awhile. Oo, I heard that show was good, but I don't get that channel...(continued)

Old Games Are Better Than No Games
March 30, 2020

This sheltering in place thing is getting a little dicey. It's one thing that I'm either too tired or too lazy to go anywhere in the first place, but now I don't have any choice, and if I do decide to go out, wherever I was going to go isn't open anyway. At least I have sports to fall back on. Well, kinda...(continued)

Fortunately, Coronavirus Is Just Inconvenient For Now
March 23, 2020

This is not a brag or a boast. It's actually a little sad, and kind of pathetic, really. It's something that maybe I'll be able to continue to use to my advantage, though. With all of the social distancing, large events canceled, and now the 'shelter in place' orders, for the most part, my life has changed very little since the outbreak of Covid-19, or coronavirus...(continued)

The Sky Has Fallen!! Sports Has Stopped
March 16, 2020

So Wednesday, when I got home from work, I turned on ESPN and learned that the NCAA basketball tournament was going to played in empty arenas due to the potential spread of coronavirus. For reasons I'll explain in a moment, I was fired up, angry, and yelling at the TV. I calmed down, took, a nap, woke up two hours later, and the NBA season had been suspended. Fast forward another 18 hours or so, and all sports are gone. What the?...(continued)

Lakers Win Ugly; UCLA Loses Pretty
March 9, 2020

This just in. College basketball is much more fun to watch than professional basketball. Actually, to people my age, this isn't news, but Milennials may disagree. To make the case, we go to southern California this weekend, where the two local NBA teams battled for supremacy on Sunday, after an LA college extravaganza less than 24 hours earlier...(continued)

So Much For California's Early Primary
March 2, 2020

It was not only supposed to increase voter turnout, but holding a presidential primary on Super Tuesday, rather than just weeks before the nominating convention, was supposed to make California matter when it came to choosing the President of the United States. Nice try...(continued)

Mamba Out, In Fond Farewell
February 24, 2020

In a public tribute to the most public of figures, you would certainly expect a star studded event. Beyonce sang, Jimmy Kimmel cracked one-liners, and stars from sports and Hollywood collided. They were there to honor Kobe Bryant and his 13 year-old daughter Gianna, who were killed in a helicopter crash almost a month ago. You would expect moving speeches and tributes, but what you wouldn't expect, was how straight to the heart the entire experience would be...(continued)

Sniping, Squabbling Subsequent to Sign Stealing Scam
February 17, 2020

It's hard to feel sorry for the Commissioner of Baseball these days with all the rule changes and gimmicks that he is forcing on the game. This week, however, is something I wouldn't wish on anyone who is trying to clean things up after an investigation into the Houston Astros revealed cheating in 2017...(continued)

Korean Film Big Winner at Oscars
February 10, 2020

Hollywood's big night had a Asian flavor to it this year. While there was still cries of lack of diversity and no women directors, a foreign language film with subtitles took home Best Director and Best Picture. Not only did most of America not see Parasite, but even the most ardent moviegoer likely couldn't tell you what it was about...(continued)

Niners Didn't Win Super Bowl; Phil Didn't See Shadow
February 3, 2020

It's true. None of us woke up Sunday morning at 6am with I've Got You Babe playing on our radios. We didn't go downstairs, have a cup of coffee, walk outside, step in an ice puddle, and then head over to see a weather prediction from a furry rodent. It was Groundhog Day, but more importantly for most of America, there was a big football game to watch...(continued)

20 Years in the NBA, but Kobe Was Just Getting Started
January 27, 2020

He was without question one of the best to ever dribble, pass, or shoot a basketball. He played for 20 seasons for one team, the Los Angeles Lakers. When he retired in 2017, he was only 37. Now he's gone. Another Laker, LeBron James,just passed him into third place on the all-time scoring list. Saturday night, he tweeted congratulations. Now he's gone. His life as a professional player was over, but he's was starting27 to make something else of himself. He was just 41, but now he's gone. Forever...(continued)

Niners, Chiefs in Super Bowl; Baseball Steals Headlines
January 20, 2020

I know a lot of San Francisco 49er fans. They aren't all the whiny bunch that some southern California stereotypes suggest. I suppose I should be happy for them. I'm not really, but maybe I should be. I mean, the Rams went to the big game last year, right? Anyway, it should be a good game, and a great matchup with Kansas City. Wait a minute! Breaking news. Another baseball manager has been fired...(continued)

LSU Beats Clemson; Astros Busted For Cheating
January 13, 2020

It might not be a classic, but it was still an entertaining game. But while college football was crowning its champion, Major League Baseball has confronted its newest scandal. For more than the past decade, cheating meant performance enhancing drugs. Now, it means electronically stealing signs. Players, coaches, and managers knew. No one stopped it, and now there's a price...(continued)

Hello 2020. Good Riddance 2019!
January 6, 2020

Wow. I never realized what a pessimist I am. I like to think I have a sunny disposition and a positive outlook on life, but looking back at previous years, it seems like I've always written about how bad they've been. So, even with that admission, and a public chance right here to promise to be better, I have to tell you that I can't remember being so excited for a year to end than I have been for this past one. Good bye 2019. For me anyway, you will not be missed...(continued)

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