Something Amiss

There is something amiss in the Universe.   Perhaps the little known 13th sign of the Zodiac, the Joker, is in the night sky.  And maybe the moon is in the 13th house and Saturn is aligned with Uranus.  You may not be able to tell from wherever you are but it sure seems that way here in Los Angeles.  My USC Trojans, who were ranked Number One in the preseason polls, have lost three (three!!) games.  OK, that’s happened once or twice before.   But we (that’s the traditional sports-fan-who’s-never-played-football we) are ranked lower in the polls than our crosstown rivals, the UCLA Teddy Bears … er, Bruins.   USC is only a 3 1/2 point favorite in Saturday’s Cross Town Rivalry Game, a game that USC won 50-0 last year.  And this game means something: the winner will go to the Pac-12 Conference Championship.

Not convinced that the universe is off-kilter?  OK. The Los Angeles Lakers, who signed all-star point guard, Steve Nash, and all-star center, Dwight Howard, in the off-season are 3-5, are almost last in the Pacific Division of the NBA.  They’ve fired their coach, Mike Brown, then passed on the Greatest Coach of All Time, Phil Jackson, to hire Mike Antoni.   Mike’s real name is D’Antoni but he’s often called Antoni because his teams play no D.   Defense, for those of you who aren’t sports fans.  The L.A. Clippers, who have been traditionally so bad that no one saw Lakers-Clippers as a rivalry even though they share the same building, are leading the Pacific Division.  To make matters worse, my son is a Clippers fan and keeps reminding me how good they are this year.

As mellow as I may seem here on Bud’s Blog, when it comes to sports, I am not a good loser, nor am I a particularly gracious winner.  An end of season collapse by USC and a continued swoon by my Lakers could be more than my psyche can stand.   Anti-depressants and Ambien here I come.  Maybe I’m just being pessimistic.  Maybe Saturday night we (USC we) knock off the Bruins as usual and once Mike Antoni gets here … and finds his D … we (Lakers we) will start winning.  I’ll have been Chicken Little, running around screaming that the sky is falling when it’s only a freaking acorn.  But I’m not taking any chances.  I’ve got incense burning on my window sill and candles burning in my office.  I’ve checked with my Runes and cast my coins for I Ching.   I’ve collected a rabbit’s foot (synthetic, of course), a four-leafed clover and a horseshoe.  And, of course, I’ll be lining up my beer labels.

Wish us luck.

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