Wild World: The quiet summer

SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers (SoFI LP).

As we at The Tribune predicted, the Washington NFL franchise will no longer be known by the charming nickname, “Redskins.” This has been a long-time coming and although some will mourn the end of one tradition, it’s also a way to celebrate a new one.

Let’s face it; football is a business. Think how much new merchandise – hats, jerseys, bobble-head dolls, license-plate frames, etc. – can be sold for the Washington … uh … whatevers.

No decision has been reached on the new monicker, but the Warriors seems to have already attracted some fans. Other, more sarcastic hostilities could include the Politicians, the Swamps, Bureaucrats, the Procrastinators and the Senators, since that name is apparently now available.

Next up: The Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves etc. etc.

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Baseball will soon be back, but you may have trouble recognizing it. Instead of your usual 162-game slog, the coronavirus-curtailed campaign will be 60 games.

Some players are electing not to show up, concerned about health issues. And you, long-time fan, will definitely not be showing up, as all these games will be played in empty stadiums.

The Angels will start the 2020 season with three “summer camp” games July 20-22 and then begin the games that count with a four-game series in Oakland (July 24-27), then come home to an equally quiet three-game series hosting the Seattle Mariners (July 28-30).

As for the Dodgers, after the summer camp-outs, they will begin the real deal with a four-game home stand against the San Francisco Giants (July 23-26) in a hushed-up Chavez Ravine.

And, of course, you will have to follow the games on TV.

The 2020 All-Star game has been cancelled. The contest was scheduled for Dodger Stadium, and that game will come back to The Great Big Freeway in 2022.

Of course, it’s still possible that an improvement in the public health situation – such as a dramatic decline in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths – will allow fans back in the stadium, but don’t count on it.

It may seem strange to see big league hardball played in a stadium as empty as a tax court judge’s heart, but that’s the way the spitter flutters.

• • •

College football programs are still planning to go ahead with a trimmed-down version of their sports. At the university levels, seasons are being discounted to conference-only games, and even that may not be enough if the pandemic takes a tighter grip.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL seasons will be scaled down (Shutterstock).

Community colleges have taken a bolder step, pushing football – and all autumn sports – into the spring. That makes sense because the two-year schools are pretty much all going to an all-online fall semester.  On the other hand, attendance at many JC games is so small that social distancing wouldn’t be much of a challenge.

The NFL, regardless of whatever name the D.C folks end up being called, is plowing straight ahead. The Rams are planning on debuting their brand new Taj Mahal – SoFi Stadium – in Inglewood with a pre-season game against the New Orleans Saints on Friday, Aug. 14. The regular season will begin at home on Sunday, Sept. 13 hosting the Dallas Cowboys.

Making their debut at the SoFi on Sunday, Aug. 16, will be the Los Angeles Chargers, hosting the Cowboys in a preseason game. The real deal for the LAC will start on Sunday, Sept. 13 when the Bolts visit the Bengals.

Maybe. The best-laid plans, etc. Or, as the old saying goes, when wrestling a gorilla, the match ends when the gorilla gives up, not when you do.

Wild World of Sports is posted on Mondays.






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