"PLAYING THE FIELDTV"
with MARIA SERRAO
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Welcome to 2023
Here we are another New Year and more sports than ever to talk about in Southern California. Lets start with the NFL...
Coming off of a Superbowl victory in 2022, the Los Angeles Rams had a rough season out of the gate. Too many players were not brought back for the season or retired all together and a constant string of injuries did not let up. There were so many moving parts last season which allowed for the perfect storm to come together for the Rams to win the Superbowl. But lightning did not strike twice.
The Los Angeles Chargers ended the 2002 season on a mistake. But in 2023 they have learned their lessons and will play in the playoffs. This team has gotten better with QB Justin Herbert in his third year and Head Coach Brandon Staley in his second. RB Austin Ekeler has the most TDs for the season and continues to play like a Superstar. Now we will see how far this team can go into the playoffs.
Let's just say things didn't go as planned for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a tremendous season winning 111 regular season games the time off between regular season and post season did not work in their favor. Manager Dave Roberts told me it's the rest vs. rust dilemma. You in the division and now yu have to wait around until the Wild Card games are completed, The Dodgers took on the red hot San Diego Padres in the first round and that was as far as it went. After winning a team high regular season 111 games, it was a struggle to win one game against the Padres. For the Dodgers and Dodger fans, it was a failed season.
For the Angeles it was well a strange season. They began, leading the division with a winning record into the month of May. Then the team hot a skid of 13 losses. But it's baseba;; and you never panic. Especially with Joe Maddon at the helm. But GM Perry Manasian did and he fired Joe Maddon. The team never recovered. Phil Nevin took over as interim manager but moves by Manasian continued to not make too much sense. The only bright spot was Shohei Ohtani who continued to dazzle at the plate and on the mound. Mike Trout had an injury that kept him off the field for a time but he was able to get back and finished strong with 40 home runs. Then there was the announcement by owner Arti Moreano that he was looking for a buyer for the Angels. That is where we are now, waiting to see who will buy the team and for how much. The biggest question is will Ohtani stay or be traded this season? MUCH more to come...
Oh the NBA in Los Angeles...it feels more like your watching a soap opera instead of watching a basketball game. Ok its just the Lakers I am talking about. The Clippers are another story.
The Lakers are not what they use to be. They are not cohesive, they don't have chemistry, they don't win many games. Yes they have LeBron but with first year coach Darvin Ham its a balancing act as to who is really the coach of the Lakers. Darvin is not the problem, LeBron is. He dictiates too much including the decisions that GM Rob Polinka makes and this just isn'y working. Fans are more interested in talking about Owner Jeannie Buss and her new finance than where the Lakers are in the standings. They are number 12 in the standings.
The Los Angeles Clippers are in the middle of the pack. They look great some nights. Other nights, you wonder if its the same team from the night before. These are the Clippers. With Kawai Leonard back on the floor, they should be playing alot better. They are 7th in the standings. Will they make it to the playoffs? More than likely. But for the Clippers they are still looking for a championship season. Will this be the one?
2023 will also be a year where Diversity and Inclusion will happen. It will be visual. Maybe not how you might imagine but you will see they are leaving out a very large group of people. The same group that most businesses say they never discriminate against, but almost never hire. So lets start there.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION in Sports
My name is Maria Serrao. If you are reading this, you might already know who I am and what I do for a living. I am a sports reporter in Los Angeles and have been for 20 years.
I also use a wheelchair to get around. It has never prevented me from doing my job, but it has prevented me from getting a job.
The same executives who post that they do not discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, race or disability DO DISCRIMINATE against hiring me.
My resume speaks for itself from covering the Dodgers in the World Series to the Rams in the Superbowl, the Lakers in the Finals, the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Indy 500. This includes everyday reporting for every professional sports team in Los Angeles.
You know who has never discriminated against me? Athletes and Professional Sports Teams. Never. Never treated me different than any other reporter who covers their teams.
Its all about lack of knowledge and ignorance. Statistics show that 25% of all people have a disability or injury. That INCLUDES and does not discriminate against Sex, Race, Religion or Gender. Across the board 25%.
I thought by now people in power would be more cutting edge. More open to new ideas. ESPN claims they are the Worldwide leader in Sports. The NFL is all about overcoming adversity even hiring coaches in wheelchairs. MLB and the NBA are being more inclusive to women in power positions than ever before. NBC Sports covers Olympic Games that include Paralympics. IndyCar has an owner of a race team who is a quadriplegic.
Last year I contacted every diversity department at every sports channel. only one of them contacted me to meet. Here is the problem, they simply don't consider disability to be Diversity. The people running these departments are content to hire Women, or people who are Black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, LBGT and say, I did my job! You are not doing your job if you are not including people with disabilities.
I am ready to shake this up. I love my job and I want everyone to see how much!
Playing The Field can be seen on COX-TV on Channel 3, RPVtv Channel 33 and Verizon Channel 38 and on PLAYINGTHEFIELDTV.COM