AFL: Turnovers, miscues plague LA KISS. Spokane Shock win, 64-46.

•June 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment
It's a rock 'n roll party at L.A. KISS AFL football games at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

It’s a rock ‘n roll party at L.A. KISS AFL football games at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

ANAHEIM, CA – The expansion L.A. KISS have changed players, held an open tryout and tried everything you can to produce wins in their inaugural season but turnovers and miscues continue to plague Los Angeles.

That was the case in Saturday’s 64-46 loss to the Spokane Shock in front of more than 11,000 fans at Honda Center.

The game was close in the first quarter. Quarterback Aaron Garcia threw two touchdown passes in the frame. The first an 11 yard hook-up with Brandon Thompkins tying the game at 7-apiece.

Then after an 11 yard TD connection from Erik Meyer to Rashard Carter put the Shock (8-7) back on top at 14-7, Garcia found Donovan Morgan over the middle for a 29 yard score. Kenny Spencer missed the extra point and the KISS trailed 14-13 after one.

Los Angeles (3-11) was shutout in the second quarter. In the meantime, Meyer – who completed 23 of 34 passes for 214 yards and six touchdowns – got one of them on a 17 yard hook-up with Carter again making it 21-13, Spokane.

On the ensuing drive Garcia was picked off Terrance Sanders resulting in another Shock touchdown.

When the KISS got the ball back, Garcia was driving them towards the Spokane endzone. On second and seven from the Shock 20, Garcia went back to pass and was hit by Paul Stephens – HARD. And according to head coach Bob McMillen Garcia was hit late.

Stephens wasn’t ejected from the game to McMillen’s displeasure. The team is planning to file a complaint with the league office for action against Stephens. To hear from coach McMillen and Garcia about the hit, click on the video with this story.

Garcia was down on the carpet for about five minutes with numbness in his shoulders. He regained feeling and was helped off the field replaced by Kenny Guiton (completed 5 of 9 passes, 82 yards, 2 TDs one INT) for the remainder of the drive and was unable to get six.

Garcia (16 or 25, 203 yards, 3 TDs, one INT), who was also sacked three times, came back just before halftime thaqt saw the Shock hit intermission with a 35-13 lead.

Los Angeles was forced to play catch-up which shortens an already short field for the opposition making it too difficult to come back.

The KISS host San Jose on Sunday, July 6th. Los Angeles lost the first two meetings against the SaberCats this season. Kick-off at Honda Center is set for 5pm.

2014 NBA Draft: L.A. Clippers select Washington sharp-shooter C.J. Wilcox with 28th pick.

•June 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Ex-Washington Huskie C.J. Wilcox is the newest L.A. Clipper. courtesy: NBAdraftblog.com

Ex-Washington Huskie C.J. Wilcox is the newest L.A. Clipper.
courtesy: NBAdraftblog.com

PLAYA VISTA, CA – Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers – according to NBA pundits needing some front court help to spell Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan – went against the grain picking University of Washington sharp-shooter C.J. Wilcox with the 28th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Wilson – a 6’5” guard from Pleasant Grove, Utah – set the Huskies career record for 3-pointers with 301 during his senior year in Seattle. He’s one of just 3 players in PAC-12 history with 1800 points, 275 made 3-pointers and 400 rebounds over a four-year college career.

 “I just think shooting is a premium in our league,” said Rivers addressing the media after the selection. He added, “The more you have it (shooting) the better for us.”

The Clippers were near the bottom in the league in 3-point shooting last season which was brought up in the selection of Wilson who’s been compared to Miami Heat 3-point sniper Ray Allen.

“We were last in three’s but we led the league in scoring,” Rivers reminded everyone. “So, we’re not going to care where it came from as long as you’re scoring and you’re efficient, you’re pretty good.”

To hear more from Doc Rivers and C.J. Wilson during his conference call, click on the video with this story.

The Cleveland Cavaliers picking first overall for the second straight year choose Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins. Milwaukee selected Duke forward Jabari Parker with the second pick and the Philadelphia 76ers rolled the dice tabbing oft-injured Kansas center Joel Embiid with the third overall pick.

The Los Angeles Lakers added what some think was a top-5 prospect with 6’9” forward Julius Randle out of Kentucky with the 7th overall pick.

For the first time since 1979, three UCLA Bruins were drafted in the first round. Reserve guard Zach LaVine was chosen by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 13th overall pick. Guard Jordan Adams was taken by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 22nd pick. The rich get richer as the newly crowned World Champion San Antonio Spurs took Kyle Anderson with the 30th overall pick.

WNBA: Sparks end 4-game losing streak. Beat Tulsa Shock, 87-77.

•June 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Sparks beat Tulsa, 87-77.

Sparks beat Tulsa, 87-77.

LOS ANGELES – Talk about June Gloom, and I certainly don’t mean the weather.

The Los Angeles Sparks have been in a free fall ever since the calendar turned to June losing 7-of-8 including the last four coming into Thursday night’s game against the Tulsa Shock at Staples Center.

A nice ray of sunshine for the Sparks who were led by Candace Parker’s game-high 24 points halting that losing skid beating Tulsa, 87-77.

The defense sparked the Sparks as they turned 15 Shock turnovers into 13 points with most of them coming in a first quarter that saw Los Angeles pull away early and never look back.

“We played well in the first couple of minutes of the game.” Said Parker who also grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 6 assists. “It got us off to a good start. Got some easy buckets. Got some stops. I think that was the key.”

After Tulsa took the opening tip Jantel Lavender stole the ball pushing it forward to Parker for the 2-0 lead.

 

Candace Parker led everyone with 24 points in L.A.'s 87-77 win over Tulda.

Candace Parker led everyone with 24 points in L.A.’s 87-77 win over Tulsa.

Leading 19-10, Armentie Herrington got in on the thievery and pushed it to Alana Beard who got the hoop and the hack scoring three of her 20 points putting L.A. up by 12.

“We knew that we needed to come out and jump on them defensively,” said Lavender who registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. “We knew if we handled them on the defensive end our offense would flow. We were making the extra passes and got into an offensive rhythm early in the game.”

Lindsey Harding added 18 for the Sparks who widened their lead to 23 in the third quarter.

Nneka Ogwumike was held to just two points and left the game in the third after getting stuck by an elbow in the nose. She immediately went to the locker room where x-rays taken were negative. Diagnosed with a severe bruise she’ll be evaluated later in the week.

The win improves the Sparks’ record to 4-7. Los Angeles plays host to the San Antonio Silver Stars Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. The Sparks were trounced in San Antonio last weekend, 101-74. Sunday’s tip-off is set for 12:30pm PDT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kershaw goes 8 innings striking out 9. Dodgers beat White Sox, 5-2.

•June 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Cuban phenoms Jose Abreu (left) of the Chicago White sox and Yasiel Puig (right) of the Dodgers meet in a 3-game inter-league series at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers took the opener Monday, 5-2.

Cuban phenoms Jose Abreu (left) of the Chicago White sox and Yasiel Puig (right) of the Dodgers meet in a 3-game inter-league series at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers took the opener Monday, 5-2.

LOS ANGELES – Save for a couple of fat pitches in the 4th inning that were letter-high, Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw pitched a superior 8 innings allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits striking out 9 as Los Angeles opened a 3-game inter-league series with a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox at Dodger Stadium Monday night.

After getting the first 10 White Sox batters out, Kershaw (4-2) gave up a single to Gordon Beckham who found right-center to get on base. The next batter was Jose Abreu – the “other” Cuban phenom – who crushed a 2-run home run to left field (16) right after being taken off the disabled list.

The White Sox led 2-0 with their starter – Jose Quintana – pitching as well as Kershaw but becoming the victim of a couple of fielding errors in the 6th inning that saw 10 Dodger batters come to the plate with Kershaw starting and endng the frame at the dish, plating 5 unearned runs for the Dodgers and that would be it.

To see Clayton Kershaw’s post game interview, click on the video with this story.

The hard-luck Quintana got the loss for Chicago pitching 6 innings, allowing 6 hits and 5 unearned runs. He struck out 5 Dodger batters.

The Dodgers improve to 31-28 while the White Sox fall to 29-30. Game 2 of the series is Tuesday back at Dodger Stadium with Chicago’s Hector Noesi (0-3, 4.33 ERA) facing the Dodgers’ Dan Haren (5-3, 3.28 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10pm PDT.

“The Wild Horse” celebrates a year with the Dodgers.

•June 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Yasiel Puig's carried a big stick for the Dodgers since his call-up to the majors on June 3rd, 2013.

Yasiel Puig’s carried a big stick for the Dodgers since his call-up to the majors on June 3rd, 2013.

LOS ANGELES – My how time flies. The Cuban phenom Dodgers’ hall-of-fame broadcaster Vin Scully likes to call “The Wild Horse” is celebrating his first anniversary in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It’s been a whirlwind year for Yasiel Puig who blasted onto the scene last year on June 3rd infusing a dose of life into a Dodgers team that was lifeless floundering in last place in the N.L. West with a 23-32 record 8-and-a-half games behind the then first place Arizona Diamondbacks when he was called up from double-A Chattanooga the day before.

To read the rest of the story and see the video, please click here.

Sparks thrilled to still call L.A. home open at Staples against Phoenix tonight.

•May 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Sparks' newcomer Candice Wiggins is banking on her million-dollar smile and jump shot to help L.A. win another WNBA Title.

Sparks’ newcomer Candice Wiggins is banking on her million-dollar smile and jump shot to help L.A. win another WNBA Title.

LOS ANGELES –  The WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks tipped off their season Friday night with an 80-69 win in Seattle over the Storm.

The Sparks were led by defending league MVP Candace Parker who poured in 18 points. Alana Beard added 17 for L.A.

For a time, it looked as if the Sparks would be in Oakland or San Francisco after the previous ownership group had to let go of the franchise because the group couldn’t handle the financial burden any longer.

To read the rest of this story, please click here.

L.A. KISS coach WANTS YOU! after getting “Shocked” by Spokane, 70-21

•May 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

ANAHEIM, CA – Last time I was at a professional football game in Anaheim on a Sunday afternoon was sometime in December of 1994. The last pro game the Rams played at the “Bigger A” was Christmas Eve of ’94 which was a Saturday.

The Rams lost to Washington, 24-21 then headed to St. Louis.

I was, rudely, welcomed back with another disappointing performance on the field by the home team.

The LA KISS got shocked losing to Spokane, 70-21.

The LA KISS got shocked losing to Spokane, 70-21.

On this Sunday – May 4th 2014 – just short of 20 years later, I’m sitting in the Honda Center hockey press box, not to watch the Anaheim Ducks, but the Arena Football League’s newest franchise – the LA KISS, owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the legendary rock group, KISS – take on the Spokane Shock with 10,552 fans in the building and a National TV audience on ESPN2.

The "WOW" factor isn't on the field but above it at all LAKISS football games.

The “WOW” factor isn’t on the field but above it at all LAKISS football games.

How can you not like an indoor football game with go-go dancers in cages high atop each back corner of both end zones?

I’ll tell you how. When the home team – the KISS – embarrasses itself with a 70-21 drubbing at the hands of the Spokane Shock.

The beating was so bad that during his post game press conference KISS head coach Bob McMillen asked for tapes and resumes from anyone who could play football. I was there to catch it of course so take a look at my video report at the end of this article.

Before the KISS could get anything going and thanks to two turnovers – one an interception by QB J.J. Raterink, who had three in the game, and then a muffed kickoff off the end zone crossbar A.J. Cruz couldn’t recover – they found themselves down 28-0 early in the second quarter.

Spokane QB Erik Meyer threw for two scores completing 10 of 17 passes for 89 yards and ran for two more before being sacked by L.A. LB Beau Bell on his throwing shoulder sending him to the bench for good with an unspecified collarbone injury.

The KISS threatened to make a game of it scoring twice in the last three minutes of the first half. J.J Raterink (9 of 30, 101 yards 2 TD’s, 3 INT’s, 2 sacks) found Samie Parker for a four-yard touchdown making the score 28-7.

More than 10,000 fans saw the LA KISS lose, 70-21.

More than 10,000 fans saw the LA KISS lose, 70-21.

On the Shock’s ensuing drive that stalled, kicker Taylor Rowan missed a 33-yard field goal attempt that was taken off the end zone cage by Cruz and returned 50-yards for another KISS score cutting the lead in half, 28-14. Looked as if it was going to be a party all night long, and it was………for the Shock.

Taking over the QB duties for the Shock was wide receiver – yes, I said wide receiver – Rashaad Carter who looked like he was meant to play quarterback. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns both coming in the last 31 seconds of the second quarter.

The first on a 45 yard bomb to Brandon Thompkins who finished with seven catches for 89yards. Then Adron Tennell got into the act after one of the KISS turnovers – L.A. had five in the game – catching one of his three TD scores from 13 yards out.

That made the halftime score, 42-14 and all the crowd had to look forward to – aside from the go-go dancers in their cages at each far corner of both end zones – was the concert by Flashback Heart Attack appropriately covering Flock of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away).”

Did I mention the KISS Go-Go Dancers above each far corner of both end zones?

Did I mention the KISS Go-Go Dancers above each far corner of both end zones?

The KISS opened the second half with a 15 yard score from Raterink to Donovan Morgan making the score 42-21. The wouldn’t get any closer as turnovers inside L.A.’s own one yard line helped Spokane score the next four unanswered touchdowns.

The KISS fall to 2-5 on the season losing their third straight. They head to Cleveland on Saturday to take on the Gladiators who started L.A. on its losing streak with a 40-20 win last month at Honda Center.

 
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