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Welcome to Sofi Stadium
There won’t be fans watching NFL games in person this season (atleast this is how it will start) but the players will be playing the games on schedule. For the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, they will be playing at the brand new 5 billion dollar stadium in Inglewood called Sofi Stadium. This stadium is the largest in the NFL with a video board that towers over the entire playing field. I am sure Rams and stadium owner Stan Kronke would love to see fans in the mecca buying tickets to help pay for his investment but for now all of that will have to wait.
The Rams had the opportunity to scrimmage twice at the stadium while the Chargers only had time for a walk thru. In any case, players and coaches as well as media are blown away by Sofi. It is state of the art with all of the bells and whistles you can ask for. The one thing Rams head coach Sean McVay would like to ask for is an answer to the “crowd noise”. After the 1st scrimmage the coach said the pumped in crowd noise was just irritating. You never hear the same constant sound during a real game. Each NFL team will make adjustments to the sounds in their stadiums for every game. The Rams will create the photo cardboard fans that actual fans can purchase with all of the funds going to the Rams charities. (The Los Angeles Dodgers started this with much success at the start of their season.) And although there will not be fans, the television ratings for this 2020 Covid NFL season are expected to be bigger than ever. Stay tuned...
DODGERS STAY ON TOP
The Dodger players must be getting something from the card board cut outs in Dodger stadium because even tho there are no live fans to root them on, the players are finding a way to win. And not just win but stay in first place a top a very competitive division. The much improved San Diego Padres went after all of the free agents at the trade deadline. In a strange move the Dodgers traded away long time starting pitcher Ross Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays for no player of note. Dodgers GM Andrew Freidman saying that he wanted to put Tony Gonsolin in the starting rotation and it would have shuffled Stripling back into the bullpen. The Dodgers have made fairly good decisions thus far. Now we will see if trading away a player who was liked by everyone in the locker room makes a difference with team chemistry. There were tweets from almost everyone on the team as well as media, wishing Ross well in Toronto. Me included...
ANGELS SELL BUT NOT THE FARM
There were rumblings that Dylan Bundy would be out of the Angels locker room by August 31st. Although the Angels are 23-31, they stil have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, A HOFamer in Albert Pujols and a hot bat in Anthony Rendon. If they had more in pitching depth, they would be competitive. So Angels GM opted to keep starting pitchers Dylan Bundy and Andrew Heaney to build on. They did trade away Brian Goodwin, Tommy LaStella and Jason Castro. Its very clear, the Angels have a good team but they are lacking in Starting Pitching. That means Arte Moreno will once again have to dig deep into his pockets and find a way in the off season.
TAKUMA IS A 2 TIME 500 CHAMPION
They say winning the Indy 500 changes your life. Being a 2 time champion takes you on your way to legendary. For Japanese Indy Car driver Takuma Sato, he is not only famous in the US but he is a Superstar in Japan. But it was a feat that almost didn’t happen this season. When Carona virus hit, drivers had to return home and wait... For Sato, home is in Indianapolis and Japan. Takuma had to make a decision, stay in Indianapolis and drive the 2020 season or return to Japan and stay with his family with the possibility of not being allowed to return. The decision was difficult but he decided to stay with his Rahal, Letterman Lanigan family in Indianapolis. It certainly paid off as his face will again be memorialized on the Borg Warner Trophy for 2020.
Lakers Move Forward, Clippers Move Back
If you are a Laker fan, your hopes and dreams of a championship are still alive. The Lakers have advanced to the Western Conference Finals and are up 2-0 over the Denver Nuggets. LeBron is on a mission and the team has dominated.
If you are a Clippers fan, you are scratching your head. After all it was supposed to be the Lakers and Clippers meeting in the Western Conference Finals but the Clippers once again lost with a 3-1 lead. The Nuggets came back to win the series. These are strange days, playing basketball in a bubble but what is wrong with the Clippers even more disturbing than the bubble.
Although there are a lot of strange things happening in sports this season, one of the strangest for the fans has to be the virtual fans at NBA games. These digital moving entities But here is the kicker, these are real people who sign into a video program to be at the game. Even famous people like Chris Bosh pulled up at the Lakers/Clippers game.
I gotta say, these are just plain weird. Almost distracting. The players don’t see them so it doesn’t matter but what an oddity. Really NBA, just show us the game. No real/virtual fans... just the game.
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