oregon sports

State of world through sports

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 12:18pm
Cliff Pfenning
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Last seen: 5 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

In the wake of political garble from Tuesday night, it occured to me to look at where the state of the world is in relation to ... our future. As in, if the students of today watched one of the 24-hour news channels for about 90 minutes (and as a parent of two teenagers I wonder what the Vegas odds would be on that), how would they look at the world they're inheriting from the leaders of today.

What lessons are they getting from politicians, from journalists who dominate national news coverage? What are they getting out of their parents? Their teachers? Their coaches ... if they're lucky to be involved in a sport.

It wouldn't take long for many students to get a handle on the idea that the only thing that matters is winning. You're either a Democrat or a Republican and your side has to win, pretty much at all costs. That those two parties combined make up America - so you're an American above all else - seems to have gotten lost, although these days the significant focus on immigration has made the nation one of Americans and immigrants who are invading the nation illegally.

The supreme focus on winning at all costs is one I cannot think would go very far in the sports world, especially in youth sports. Imagine a football coach telling his players it was okay to injure an opposing player because that would impact that team's ability to win? If there were an assistant coach available, that strategy would get challenged immediately. Players would challenge that, and likely rebel. But, that's essentially a lesson coming from so many leaders, and that's politics and business. Win at all costs.

A "New American Moment" ended up as a catchphrase Tuesday night, but it had exactly zero weight behind it. The new moment is one of collaboration? Teamwork? President Donald Trump has made a name for himself as one of a bully starting with his mantra of never apologizing. Apologies are a sign of weakness, so don't apologize for anything.

A "New American Moment" would start at the top, with the nation's head coach, and it could start with an apology for basic things such as name-calling, from the President. Hillary Clinton. Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio. They all should get an apology for the playground names thrown at them. Imagine what a simple round of apologies would do for America? For the world for that matter.

Political leaders of today owe their voters of the future, students in the education system and before, a big apology for allowing the world to veer in directions that are entirely opposite of what they should be getting taught.

Nuclear codes? That's the most basic way to get students to tune out, tell them that America is actually ready to unleash an atomic bomb on another nation. All the education that the adult world has, and it still hasn't figured out there's never going to be a need to drop a nuclear bomb on a city. America apologizes to Japan annually for using atomic bombs to motivate the end of World War II. At least it has in the past.

There's a great source of strength within the sports world, and these are days when that strength is sorely needed by our leaders, both political and business.


List of Oregon Sports Clubs

Alphabetical with links to web pages










Blazers romp through Texas

Portland beats Houston again to take 2-0 series lead
April 23, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

LaMarcus Aldridge did it again, this time with a deeper supporting cast and a more motivated opponent.

Aldridge scored 43 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 112-105 victory at Houston Wednesday night, giving the Blazers a 2-0 lead in the NBA Playoffs first round series.

Damian Lillard added 18 points, while Mo Williams and Dorell Wright combined for 28 points off the bench to help carry the team past the Rockets, who got 32 points from center Dwight Howard and double-figure points from its other four starters.

Portland, though, outscored the Rockets 30-13 off the bench, and Howard scored only seven points in the second half.

"This is definitely the best I've felt going into a game, and I think this team in general just believes in me so much," Aldridge told media afterward. "They just ride the wave so well. ... I think having 15 guys have your back like that, it's great."

Portland plays host to the Rockets Friday and Sunday, with the best-oif-seven series winner facing either San Antonio or Dallas in the second round.

Should the Blazers beat Houston, they're guaranteed another series in Texas.

Portland, which finished the regular season with nine wins in 10 games, has not won a playoff series since 2000.

The Blazers, after a 122-120 overtime win on Sunday, looked headed for a 1-1 series tie in the first half, when the Rockets pulled to an 8-point lead and twice had 3-point shots rim out off fastbreak opportunities. But, they rebounded and had the game tied at 53-all at halftime. With their lead at one late in the game, they pulled away in a fashion they hadn't shown off during the second half of the regular season.

After two games, only Portland, Washington and Miami hold 2-0 series advantages. Of the 16 first-round games played, the visiting team has won nine - a playoff record.



It was fairly super, the HarBowl

SPORTSLAND 2013: Jim went ballistic over a non-call, but not the blackout
Feb. 4, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

It would have been a lot better if David Akers had somehow managed to be the deciding factor in the Super Bowl Sunday, and not an uncalled penalty. If it was a penalty.

Not only has Akers been a shaky kicker all season, but he got injured on a second-half field goal and had a camera in his face as he practiced in the fourth quarter, getting ready for the game-winning or losing kick that the CBS anchor crew had predicted prior to the game.

They should have, instead, promoted the Ravens winning on a phantom non-call for pass interference to bail out a bad play-call in the first place. It would have been an easy call if the Niners had taken a delay-of-game penalty and given that fade route more space to work. But, blame the officials, and make that play the memorable one from Baltimore's 34-31 Super Bowl win.

That's a key point of this week's Sportsland Episode, when co-hosts Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber talk up Sunday's results, including the commercials involved, as well as the Blazers, Ducks' football and basketball, and the connection between the Winterhawks four-game skid and the NHL getting back to work.

That, plus What We're Watching, all from Blitz in the Pearl in downtown Portland.


Oregonsports Journal - STATE SOCCER REVIEW

Catch up on photos and game features from the state high school championships and more
Nov. 19, 2012

Summit High didn't just win the Class 5A girls soccer championship Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium, it gave the state a pretty good preview of why it might win the next three titles.

Led by freshman goal-scorer Christina Edwards, the Storm beat Sherwood 3-0 to claim its second title in three years with Edwards set to return after leading the team in scoring with 26 goals.

This highlight and more is part of the Nov. 19 issue of Oregonsports Journal with four different regional covers available to subscribers through e-mailed PDFs.

The issue also has coverage of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony of Joey Harrington as well as highlights of pro, college and high school events from the past week and upcoming events.

Subscriptions are only $25 for 52 issues and comes with a copy of the Oregon Sports Almanac set to be published in June following the close of the academic year.

Take a look at a preview of this week’s issue and subscribe today.




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