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Monday, January 6, 2014

Sporting Life

It was quite the day yesterday in San Diego sports. I was helping a friend move his paintings out of a gallery in La Jolla in the morning and listened to the Charger Bengal playoff game on the radio. The underdog Chargers managed to dominate in their win. Given no chance by the oddsmakers, good for them. Next up is Broncos, a team that they split with this season. Don't know how far they will go, their secondary is pretty miserable.

Skyler swats
Afterwards I watched the San Diego Aztecs beat the Kansas Jayhawks at my friend Seymour's house. I watched the game at Seymour's, they played at Allen Fieldhouse, a place they lose at maybe once a decade.

I am an SDSU alumni and have season tickets and this is the biggest win in memory. In what was supposed to have been a rebuilding year, the team is 12 and 1 and plays the best defense in the country. When I look at Coach Steve Fischer I see John Wooden, I really do.

Next year should be really unbelievable as they get heralded recruits Malik Pope and Zylan Cheatham, Kell and Sabo. But this year is long from over and their ranking just moved up to number thirteen in the nation, eight points up from last week.

Spencer had a big day yesterday but I think the unsung hero is Josh Davis, just a rebounding fool.

These guys have this great vibe around them. Rode into Lawrence liked the magnificent seven, cool gunslingers in their black uniforms.

There is a major Big 10, 12 and east coast bias in college sports and nowhere worse than NCAA basketball. The UConns and Syracuse's and Kansas. They forget that we have a few people out here that can play a little bit as well. Like Arizona, the only team to beat the Aztecs this year. They are really great, just drilled us.

Nice of the Aztecs to get on television and show the nation their stuff. Like the Chargers, a little under the radar. might sneak up on somebody.

After the game I was listening to Ted Leitner interview the shy Spencer and wasn't quite ready for what happened next. Ted's voice broke as he announced that Jerry Coleman, his long time radio partner and close friend had died.

Jerry Coleman started broadcasting in San Diego in 1972. I am biased but I loved the man, loved his humble yet knowledgable style, his easy going banter with Ted, Bob Chandler, back to Dave Campbell even. But mostly the easy going Jackie Gleason/Art Carney banter between he and Ted. Loved him better than Scully, all San Diego natives like me are taught to hate Los Angeles early. We have a little chip on our shoulder. But the guy was genuinely great. an even better person.

What did you do today Jerry? You would hear his dog walks and his wife and family and you would get such great stories, sometimes great old yankee stories. Told rather laconically, like you were sitting right up there next to them on an old rocking swing. Ted and Jerry had rhythm, the rhythm you can only develop after years together. Like dance partners. I'll lead, you lead.

Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Coleman was a Marine Fighter Pilot who made it through World War II and Korea, an endeavor that cost him a few years on the Yankees. A talented second baseman, an even better man.

I admit that I cried when I got the news, just like I cried when we lost Chet Forte. You listen to some people every day, with Jerry it was over forty years. Like losing a member of your family.

Hang a star on that baby. Jerry, you were the best.

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