Different strokes for different folks: Was the Rose Bowl near capacity? You tell us, some think not

Above: Staff Photo by Watchara Phomicinda

Having been to many soccer games at the Rose Bowl, I thought the announced crowd of 81,224 was spot-on for the Chelsea-Inter Milan friendly on Tuesday night, but you would have thought colleague Scott Wolff and I were at different games. “The game between the Italian domestic champions and one of England’s most star-studded teams looked like they drew about the same as a UCLA-Fresno State football game,” Wolff wrote. “There was an announced crowd of more than 81,000, but the actual turnout was clearly less. This is Los Angeles, the melting pot of the world. And it failed to sell out the Rose Bowl.” Wolff also wrote, “Soccer boosters in the U.S. always pin their hopes that some event will cause us all to come to our senses and embrace the sport. But that won’t happen until teams the quality of Chelsea or Inter Milan are actually based here and playing every day. And if you actually follow soccer, you know that will probably never happen.” If you read my column, you might find former U.S. President Alan Rothenberg’s quote very interesting on why he believes soccer already has arrived, and it’s the media that needs to catch-up. “The problem is that media is still dominated by a bunch of old white men who grew up on baseball, football and basketball, and maybe occasionally golf or tennis,” the 70-year-old Rothenberg said. “As far as they’re concerned, everything else is a foreign sport. A new generation is growing up with the game. A new generation is growing up that’s very international and soccer won’t get short-changed with them. What’s going on now didn’t happen 20-years ago when we were walking around the Rose Bowl with 200 or 300 people watching a (L.A) Aztecs game. It’s a different time now.”

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Is ESPN giving Big Ben Roethlisberger a pass?

At lunch I was glued into the discussion on KLAC 570-AM between Steve Hartman and Chris Myers debating ESPN’s stance not to report the alleged sexual assault civil suit against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, even though many other news outlets have already reported it. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez gives you more background and his opinion. What do you think?

“At this point, we are not reporting the allegations against Ben Roethlisberger because no criminal complaint has been filed,” an ESPN spokesman told Gonzalez. “As far as we know, this is a civil lawsuit that Roethlisberger has yet to address publicly.”

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La Verne and Hacienda Heights keeping the Little League World Series dream alive

For once I would like to see a San Gabriel Valley Little League team advance to the World Series. La Verne went on to defeat Hacienda Heights 3-1 in a Little League Section 3 championship-round game at Highlander Field on Tuesday. La Verne’s win forces a deciding rematch with Hacienda Heights at 6:30 tonight at Highlander Field. The winner will advance to the Southern California Divisional Tournament’s North Bracket, which starts play Saturday at Encino. I was hoping my hometown team West Covina National would advance, but they got eliminated by La Verne, so La Verne and Hacienda Heights are our last chance to reach Williamsport. Can anyone tell me the furthest an SGV team has gone?

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Steve Ramirez’s summer baseball tour continues with Carlos Fisher, the former Duarte High phenom now with the Cincinnati Reds

Above: Duarte’s Carlos Fisher has traded his Falcon blue for Cincinnati Red.

By Steve Ramirez
– Carlos Fisher remembers it vividly.
For him as a child, there was nothing better than the thrill and excitement of coming to Dodger Stadium. It’s still that way for Fisher, who made his return to Chavez Ravine on Monday night. He’s back, not as a fan, but as an opposing Major League Baseball player.

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What’s taking so long Lamar?

I’m growing tired of checking NBA rumor boards for news on Lamar Odom. I’m guessing a decision will come sometime this afternoon or tomorrow. He either will accept Miami’s five-year 36 million deal, or resign with the Lakers, who can offer him more annually if reports are true that he was offered three years and 30 million, or four years and 36 million. It makes no sense for him to leave, other than maybe he wants a starters role instead of a back-up role with the world champions. I still believe the Lakers will be a good team without him, but championship worthy, I’m no so sure.

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Alyssa Milano, she’s still the boss .. Chelsea-Inter Milan square off tonight at the Rose Bowl, 8 p.m.

Yes, yes, the mixer with Inter Milan went well in Pasadena last night. I told you I would find a way to meet Alyssa Milano .. Mission Accomplished. Pictures of Inter Milan players and Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci are also on this thread. Chelsea plays Inter Milan tonight at the Rose Bowl at 8 p.m. Get there early for the old-timers game at 6 p.m. A crowd of more than 75,000 is expected.

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After a test run in Chicago, ESPN’s high school coverage is coming to Los Angeles. How will this threaten hometown newspapers?

ESPN is exapanding its high school coverage to Los Angeles, which poses a big threat to hometown newspapers: Not content with being a sports colossus with broadcasts in 200 countries, ESPN is taking aim at hometown sports coverage, threatening one of the last strongholds of local newspapers and television stations.

Said Randy Harvey of the Los Angeles Times: “It would be foolish to underestimate ESPN, but it comes down to resources. I don’t see them being able to replicate what we do.”

Fred’s Thoughts: The high school coverage in ESPN Chicago is very minimal at the moment, that page is mainly a general sports page of professional and college sports in Chicago. It is more threatening to the Los Angeles Times than us. Look at the high school link, it doesn’t offer much. However, if they get going, they do have the brand name. Here is the link: ESPN Chicago

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Nonleague football in September is intriguing, here is a list of the Tribune’s best games

Fasten your chin straps: Here is a look at the best games in September. Things change from week-to-week, but I will list these games in order of importance (for coverage purposes). Bishop Amat leads with three No. 1′s against Dominguez, West Covina and Damien. You can tell me if I have it right. All games start at 7 p.m. unless indicated otherwise.

Friday, September 4th
1. Damien vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Los Osos
2. San Dimas at Los Altos, 7:30pm
3. Diamond Ranch at Muir
4. West Covina at El Rancho

Friday, September 11th
1. Dominguez at Bishop Amat, 7:30pm
2. Glendora at Upland
3. Northview at Los Altos, 7:30 p.m.
4. Ayala vs. South Hills at Covina District Stadium
5. Monrovia at Duarte
6. Covina at Rosemead

Thursday, September 17th
1. Anaheim Canyon vs. Glendora at Citrus College
2. South Hills at La Habra
Friday, September 18th
1. Bishop Amat at West Covina
2. Rosemead at Monrovia
3. Charter Oak at Diamond Bar
4. Northview vs. Arroyo at Covina District Stadium

Thursday, September 24th
1. South Hills vs. Tesoro at Covina District Stadium
Friday, September 25th
1. Bishop Amat at Damien
2. Glendora at West Covina
3. Rancho Cucamonga at Charter Oak
4. San Dimas at Monrovia
5. Northview at Rowland
6. Diamond Ranch at Chino Hills

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An interesting study finds that high school football players’ injuries to the head and spine are more dangerous than in college football

The New York times posted a story a few days ago that says: The differences in height, weight and technique may make high school football tackles more risky to the head and spine than those that occur in college football, a new study shows. The report, published by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, analyzed the biomechanics of football tackles to better understand the high risk of concussions and serious cervical spine injuries faced by high school players.

But most important, the study showed that the average linear accelerations resulting from the impact of a high school football tackle exceeded those that occur at the college level. Impacts to the top of the head had the greatest speed and force. Among high school players, blows to the front of the helmet were about 10 percent more common and carried three more “Gs” of force compared to college players.

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Just Tribbin back to work

I feel like I need a vacation from the vacation. Playing golf in 115 degree temperatures in Palm Springs isn’t exactly the time off I had in mind, but it was good to be with the family and spend time by the pool. Don’t ask me what I shot, it was one of those weeks. Now it’s back to work and Lamar Odom is still unsigned, Tom Watson nearly pulled off one of the greatest underdog stories in sports, and I have an invitation to an Inter Milan-Chelsea reception tonight in Pasadena, and with all the great soccer players attending, I’m interested in meeting just one of the hosts, Alyssa Milano, so all tips on how to introduce myself are welcome … So fellas and ladies, what should we talk about in the prep world? In years past I would take three or four weeks off in July and start back in August. But in these economic times, those vacation hours have been cut short, so now I’m looking for stuff in the middle of the summer when all passing leagues are finished, and coaches and players are on vacation…In other words, we’re all just Tribbin, but if you suggest a blog topic, I will post it. Let’s see how creative you can be in the dog days of summer.

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I’m ready for some football!

I guess this is why they call it the the dog days of summer. We are still about two weeks before NFL training camps open and about a month before our local high schools begin fall camp. Maybe that’s why I’ve been watching this video clips on youtube. This one of Roger Staubach from the 1970s is one of the best. You can talk all you want about the parity of the NFL of today, but I’ll take the dynasty level of the 1970s, when only three teams played in the NFC title game from 1973-78 – the Dallas Cowboys, the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams. And either the Cowboys or Vikings represented the NFL in the Super Bowl those years. It was great to watch every year, unlike now where in the past five years nine teams have advanced to the NFC title game, with the Philadelphia Eagles being the only repeater.

Here’s also the intro to the NFL Today show on the day of the 1975 “Hail Mary Game” between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings. I admit I miss the days of the Vikings playing outdoors in the snow and cold, even if they broke my heart, being a Rams fan back then:

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….and on review, Federer is better than Tiger

I bet Tiger Woods, left, wasn’t smiling today, like he is seen here with Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre last year, after missing the cut for the British Open.

Well, I have to admit I didn’t see this coming. Not from Tiger Woods, a player who once went seven years without missing a cut, and who has only missed the weekend play of a major once _ failing to make the list at the 2006 U.S. Open, which was shortly after his father, Earl, had passed a way.
But maybe this settles the argument of a few weeks ago. Tiger Woods missing the cut at the British Open would be like Roger Federer losing in the first round of the Championships at Wimbledon, and we all know that would never happen.
My hat is off to you, sir Roger, and are good friend Andre Marshall.
Here’s the Associated Press story of Woods failing to make the cut.

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Charter Cove to double dip at 6th Area playoffs

Above: Northview’s Kevin Jones, seen here playing for the Vikings this spring,
is among the leaders for the Charter Cove Blue team that opens the 6th Area
American Legion playoffs at UCLA today.

Charter Cove, which consists of players from Covina high schools, is sending two teams to the American League baseball Sixth Area playoffs, which begin today at UCLA. The four-day tournament runs through Sunday.
The Blue team faces Playa del Rey at 6:30 p.m., with the Red team facing Highland at 4 p.m.
Here’s my advance of the 6th Area playoffs that ran in today’s paper.
Charter Cove’s Blue team has won it the past two seasons and three times since 2005.

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Locals to give ELAC Huskie Shootout a try

Rosemead coach Matt Koffler, center, will take his Panthers to the East L.A.
Huskie Shootout Passing League tournament, which begins Thursday.

You wanted some football?
Well here’s something from the desk of our ace reporter in Whitter, Andrew Campa, about the upcoming East Los Angeles College Shootout, a three-day passing league tournament at ELAC. The tournament, which concludes Saturday, will include local teams Baldwin Park and Rosemead. The tournament kicks off with a coaches’ social tonight at ELAC’s Ingalls Auditorium at 7 p.m., and it will feature former USC and Los Angeles Rams coach John Robinson as a guest speaker.
The tournament will feature CIF-Southern Section teams and Los Angeles City Section teams. It will open with pool play, with City Section teams playing on Thursday, beginning at 4 p.m., with the CIF-SS teams meeting on Friday, also at 4 p.m. The bracket portion of the tournament will be on Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m. The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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Young gets the call

Above: Former Bishop Amat star Michael Young will
start in tonight’s All-Star Game.

Covina native and former Bishop Amat star Michael Young of the Texas Ranges will be in the starting lineup for the American League in tonight’s 80th Major League All-Star Game.
Young, added as reserve, gets the call to start after former Rio Hondo College star Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays was removed to do an infected right ring finger (Mickey Mantle must be cringing). Young, who is playing in his sixth All-Star Game, will bat seventh.

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Fiesta Bowl: Inland Empire steals the show

Above: Former Duarte star Desmond Hayes (No. 10) helps make a tackle in Saturday’s
Fiesta Bowl. The Inland Empire defeated L.A. County, 35-27.

The Inland Empire all-stars ruled their Los Angeles County counterparts, scoring a 35-27 victory in the third annual Fiesta Bowl game at Whittier College on Saturday.
The Inland Empire scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes to get the victory.
Here is staff writer Andrew Campa’s story on the Inland’s 35-27 victory.
Football now takes a respite until early August, when summer camp for the upcoming season begins in earnest.

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Volleyball upate

Are you ready for some volleyball?
Well, got a message from GHigh, and Ganesha just completed it’s summer girls volleyball tournament.
Here are the results:
Ganesha Volleyball Summer Tourney
1st: Ganesha def. Chatsworth, 25-20
2nd: Chatsworth def. Eastside, 25-20
3rd (tie): Eastside and Burroughs
5th: Ontario def. Southlands Christian, 25-17
6th: Southlands Christian def. La Puente, 25-23
7th (tie): La Puente and Colony
9th: Pomona Catholic def. Pomona, 25-23
10th: Pomona
11th (tie): Covina and LA Lutheran

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Twitter Rumor: Tim Gilmore at Citrus?

I’m starting to get a lot of tips on my twitter account, and would like more of you to add me on your twitter, and I will add you as well. The tip of the day is that Tim Gilmore will play for Citrus this fall. I always felt he was the best pure running back in the area last year, but he never had a chance to show it his senior year at Wilson. As a sophomore and junior for the ‘Cats, he was simply one of the best. Hopefully if this is true, he can turn around his career with the Owls.

Below: That is Tim Gilmore (Middle in Red) on our 2007 football preview edition

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Time to get away …

Folks, it’s that time of year again when I take my vacation. I will be off until July 20, but Steve Ramirez will be here to update the blog and spend time with you. If you have any request threads for him, post your comments here. No thrilling vacation plans like Cabo this year, just going to Palm Springs next week to play golf with the family in 110-plus degree temperatures. When I get back, Lamar Odom better be a Laker…

Above: This is what a vacation should be, but guess I’ll have to settle for some R&R by the pool instead.

Below: This is when you know it’s time to get away …

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Fiesta Bowl: Falcons say goodbye as one

Above: Duarte football players Desmond Hayes, Durriae Williams and Tim Starr practice at Alhambra High School in Alhambra. This will be their final game as teammates.

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
ALHAMBRA – Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl at Whittier College (7 p.m.) between former high school football players from Los Angeles County against a group from the Inland Empire will be a farewell game of sorts. It will not only be the final high school game for Duarte’s Durriae Williams, Tim Starr and Desmond Hayes, but it will also be their last as teammates.

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Leyland, Meir and France earn state honors

San Dimas’ Josh Leyland earned a spot on Cal-Hi Sports’ All-State Team.

Cal-Hi Sports recently announced its 2009 All-State baseball team, and Tribune Player of the Year Josh Leyland, from San Dimas, and all-area first teamer Jiovanni Mier, from Bonita, were named to the first team.
The duo led a list of nine area players selected, including South Hills’ Tyler France earning Freshman Player of the Year honors.

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A Doozy: Look for higher scoring softball games when the circle gets pushed to 43 feet in 2010

Read a snip of today’s press release from CIF, especially pertaining to rules changes in softball…. For all the rule changes, click this link.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has
announced several new rule changes in various sports including, softball,
football, basketball, baseball, swimming and diving and track and field.
Softball and basketball experience a big change. The pitching distance in
softball will move from 40 to 43 feet starting in 2010
, while instant replay
may be used in state championship basketball competition next season.

Below: San Dimas’ Kortnie Clark will be affected by next year’s rule change, which moves the circle back three feet.

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