Ducks, slows and scapegoats

ANAHEIM Ducks center Mason McTavish, front, reacts after scoring during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

A little of this, a little of that ….

Football’s turn: Is it just me, or does it seem like football, especially pro football, is slowing down? Just as baseball has taken steps to step up play, the masters of the gridiron are watching as the pace of their sport begins to lag.

Replays, challenges, media time-outs and ridiculous penalties seem to slow many games down to a crawl. On a challenged play, for instance, first the officials talk among themselves. Then they squint into the replay monitor for however long they feel like it. Maybe the wizards in New York weigh in. Meanwhile, my fries are getting cold.

Then you have the practice of letting the 30-second clock almost run down, in the hope that some wound-up nimrod on the other side will jump off-side. which does happen at an alarmingly high rate.

Next to that you have the number of tackles and guards who line up in the neutral zone. Never mind the fact that these guys have been playing tackle football since they were a couple of years out of Pampers and were told not to do that about 450,000 times over that period.

Whose fault?: I see that USC fired its defensive football coordinator in the wake of a high-scoring loss to Washington. Did they also fire the scout who recruited the players, or the head coach who hired the DC?

And how about the defensive coordinator for the Huskies? They gave up 42 points, not exactly the ideal performance.

Some things don’t change. In a close game, if you win, you’re the genius. If you lose, you’re the goat.

Ducks know the pucks: With all the attention devoted to the end of the 2023 MLB season and the crunch time for NFL and college football, the average sports fan can be forgiven not noticing what’s happening on the local ice.

The Anaheim Ducks, who looked pretty frozen last year (23-47-12 and last in the NHL Pacific Division) are now on a hot streak. They’ve won six games in a row and went for a seventh Tuesday night, hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. Will it last? Hard to say, but at least they’ve got our attention.  P.S. The streak was snapped on Tuesday night with a 2-0 loss to the Penguins.

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