The Tokyo Olympics have stolen much of the spotlight from our local sports, but August yanks our attention back to the fields and courts and diamonds of Southern California.
On Aug. 14, the NFL pre-season starts locally with the Chargers “visiting” the Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood at 7 p.m. After three such games in August, the regular season starts on Sept. 12 when the Rams host the Chicago Bears. The Chargers will start the same day in the nation’s capital playing the Washington Football Team.
USC opens its 2021 football campaign on Sept. 4, hosting San Jose State at the Coliseum. UCLA is in action earlier, with the first Bruins contest on Aug. 28 hosting the Hawaii Warriors at the Rose Bowl.
The NHL season is getting longer and longer, starting in early fall and almost reaching summer of the next year. The Anaheim Ducks begin pre-season play on Sept. 26 against the San Jose Sharks and start the regular season on Oct. 14 vs. the Winnipeg Jets. The Los Angeles Kings will drop the puck on Oct. 14 against the Ls Vegas Golden Knights.
THE SLOW PENNANT RACES: The Dodgers and Angels each have their goals and neither team did much over the past week to advance their causes. The Dodgers, of course, are seeking to catch the Giants and not have to advance to the post-season via the wild card route. They took two of three from the local rival Angels but fell a further game back.
The Angels, for their part, won three of four from the Rangers and climbed to two-games over .500 until they lost the last two games of the Freeway Series and settled back to so-so. The Angels have today (Monday) off, and then return to Anaheim for two games on Tuesday. The 3:07 contest will be a make-up game against the Blue Jays, followed by a 7:07 contest against them. The series continues Wednesday and Thursday against Toronto, and then it’s the Astros for three games Friday through Sunday.
As for the Dodgers, they also have today off, and will hit the road for three games in Philadelphia (Tuesday to Thursday) followed by four games against the Mets (Friday to Sunday). August looks good for the Dodgers’ hopes to gain ground on the Giants, as 12 of their last 15 games this month will be in Chavez Ravine.
PREPS IN AUGUST, TOO: If all that’s not enough athletic action for you in August, high school football will be kicking off this month, too. For example, Garden Grove will face Artesia on Aug. 26. Edison will meet Venice High on Aug. 20 and Westminster High is slated to take on cross-city rival La Quinta on Aug. 27.
Pete Zarustica writes “Sports Monday.”