Our Daily Dread: The start of some things … and seeing the finish line in others

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Please, summer, don’t end so fast. Again.

The kids start school today — 13th grade and 17th grade respectively — at locations as exquisite (and expensive) as Portland and as exotic (and extricating) as San Diego.

The vacation period, for now, has ended. The circle of sports life — football, the U.S. Open tennis rumble — begins its fall cycle.

A time to feel a little old. Maybe even some random thoughts of investing in one of these things Kevin Modesti wrote about last week …. the Dodger blue caskets and urns, on display at Rose Hills in Whitter for those who are price-point shopping (linked here).

Or, it’s what fans bury the 2009 Dodgers in if they give away this six-game lead with one month to play in the championship season. We’ll head out to the ballyard to see what’s up tonight. It’s the opening of the final four week stretch to see who gets to keep playing deeper into October.

Do the math when you look at the standings. If everything holds, the Dodgers open against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the playoffs, because the wild-card will likely be either Colorado or San Francisco out of the NL West, facing the division winner with the next-best record, St. Louis.

And in the AL, the Angels and Red Sox are lined up again for another meeting, since the Yankees have a lead in the East that they don’t seem to be able to give away, and they’d face Detroit in the first round.

What else is on the radar:

==The opening of the college football season — Saturday, unless you count Thursday’s games on TV. Does USC and UCLA have contingency plans in case the air quality continues to be so poor that the Coliseum and/or Rose Bowl aren’t viable options for the teams’ home openers back-to-back on Saturday afternoon? Is there a domed facility everyone can converge on for a So Cal doubleheader? Maybe Home Depot Center?

Add to the opening of college football: Preseason No. 1 Florida opens at home against Div. I-AA Charleston Southern. The Gators gave their opponents $450,000 to make the trip as a sacrificial lamb. The point spread? Danny Sheridan had it at 73 points. USA Today dropped it to 63 points. That’s nine touchdowns, you math majors. Some researchers say that’s the largest spread ever given in college football history (usually they don’t even post odds when a Div I-A school schedules a Div. I-AA). In 2007, Hawaii hosted Northern Colorado and was made a 59 1/2-point favorite. The Hawaiians failed to cover in a 63-6 victory.

==The opening of the U.S. Open — on two channels, some even showing the same match, with about as many tennis broadcasters as one nation can assemble. It’s tennis nirvana for those who can’t get enough. Especially with DirecTV’s mix channel of six screens. Just let us know when Sam Querrey and the Bryan Brothers pop up.

==The opening of networks starting to promote all they have in NFL coverage. We’ll spare you the details, except that NBC has a new plan to break up their massive Sunday pregame show, and others have … much of the same ol’ stuff.

==The opening of seasonal allergies. Or maybe that’s just too much smoke in the air. Golf must be played with caution.

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