Enter the Warzone, opening day’s journey into night.
• When Duke wins the national championship, only Duke fans are happy.
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Everyone else complains about the officiating or goes into a prolonged sports mope that lasts roughly until whatever team LeBron James is on gets eliminated from the playoffs.
• Annual tradition in the Warzone household: Flipping the channel before the first note of “One Shining Moment.”
• If that 1991 UNLV team coached by Jerry Tarkanian couldn’t go undefeated, nobody will.
Sorry Kentucky. Better recruit 10 McDonald’s All-Americans.
• There are some who say baseball’s opening dayshould be declared a national holiday
To which we reply, “Wait, it’s not?”
(Uh oh. Better get to work …)
• Let the record show a certain someone predicted the Padres to win the NL West before Sunday’s trade that brought them closer Craig Kimbrel.
Thanks for having our back, A.J. Preller.
• San Diego’s main competition in the division will be the Dodgers. No getting around that. Which relegates the defending World Series champs to third place, though the Rockies look more frisky than usual.
Sorry, Giants fans. That means no parade down Market Street this year. Hope you didn’t skip the first three.
• The Giants used to get away with paying Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain less than they were worth.
Now the tabulations have turned.
• Cain is getting nearly $21 million this season, Lincecum $17 million and Jake Peavy $16 million. That’s a lot of dollar signs for three big question marks.
• Don’t know what to make of the Athletics. Putting us in a group that includes, well, everyone on planet Earth.
• The A’s did install a new $10 million scoreboard. To help fans identify the players.
• Whether Lon Simmons was calling games for Giants, A’s, 49ers or even Fresno State (from 1954-56), the husky, throaty voice was unmistakable. His sparse delivery and wry sense of humor could not be imitated.
Tell him goodbye.
• One of Simmons’ mostmemorable calls had to be
on Steve Young’s 49-yard touchdown scamper against the Vikings in 1988.
“Young, back to throw. In trouble, he’s going to be sacked. No, gets away,” Simmons says, his voice rising in excitement. “He runs. Gets away again. Goes to the 40. Gets away again!”
As Young leaves defenders scattered, Simmons perfectly describes the action: “To the 35, cuts back at the 30. To the 20, the 15, the 10, he dives. Touchdown 49ers!”
• After all that, quarterback and announcer were equally exhausted.
“I don’t think either of us could have gone on much longer,” the 2002 Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame inductee later cracked.
• If the Fresno State baseball team intends to turn its season around, now might be an opportune time.
• The NCAA granted Bulldogs guard Alex Furr a sixth season of eligibility.
They don’t build ’em any scrappier.
• Fresno State distance runner Annemarie Schwanz recently broke a school record in the 5,000 meters that had stood since 1984.
So long ago the person who held it has probably forgotten.
• What have we learned from the Aaron Hernandez trial? One does not have to be a person of high intelligence to pass the NFL’s drug tests.
• For no particular reason: Chris Codiroli
• A 7-foot-5, 360-pounder named Sim Bhullar recently became NBA’s first Indian-born player.
Or, as Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle calls him, Mahatma Grande.
• No complaints about Robin Lopez winning the Grizzlies’ bobblehead contest. The bearded, frizzy-haired 7-footer was a fine choice.
But when Lopez makes an appearance at a game, he and Parker ought to be separated. For the safety of both.