Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Around the horn

The L.A. Kings, who started out the season with high hopes based primarily on the club's strong finish last season, are regressing and now resemble some of the franchise's bumbling teams from the past.
I don't claim to be a hockey expert but, watching the Kings play on television, it's easy to see that their defense and skating are both sub-standard.
The Kings have won just one of six games on their current homestand, the victory coming against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.
When the Kings were knocked out of the playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks last year, the promise of better things to come was fueled by a euphoric L.A. media, and only a few cautioned that if the team was to progress, it would have to acquire a top-flight scorer during the off-season.
That acquisition didn't happen and the lack of a big gun at forward is showing up in the loss column.


The 2011 PGA Tour got underway last week with the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in Hawaii, and although the field was made up of last season's tour winners, the lack of star-power was noticeable.
No disrespect meant toward players such as Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood, but with Phil Mickelson electing to stay home in Rancho Santa Fe and Tiger Woods not being eligible to play, TV's shots of the surfers riding the big waves off the Plantation course's ocean-view holes was more exciting.

add Kapalua: The shot of the tournament, and maybe of the year, came in the first round on Thursday when Bubba Watson used his driver to hit his second shot on the long par-5 No. 18. After hitting his drive over 300 yards, Watson used his driver again, aiming to the right and slicing the ball back to the center of the fairway. It rolled up to within 15 feet of the hole, giving him very makable eagle try.

It's happened before: Some observers of Michael Dyer's run late in the fourth quarter, which turned out to be the key play of the BCS Championship game between Oregon and Auburn, had seen a similar dash in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl, played between Oregon and Colorado.
In the third quarter of that game, Oregon's Maurice Morris ran for a 49-yard touchdown after he was thought to be tackled by the Colorado defense. However, Morris' knee never touched the ground, as was the case with Auburn's Dyer Monday night.
Morris rolled over the back of a defender, got up and continued race to the end zone. Dyer did the same but was stopped at the Oregon 1-yard line.

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