Sports Talk with Chris Grant: Peaks and Valleys

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I wonder if the Cleveland Indians will ever lose again? When I sat down to write this Thursday morning, the Tribe had won 21 games in a row, coming out of nowhere to seize the title of “best team in the American League.”

I’ve got to admit, I did not see this coming. I had forgotten that the Indians came within one game of winning the World Series last year. Isn’t that always the way with the losing team? But, here they are, on the verge of setting the MLB record for most wins in a row and looking like world beaters. I suppose that’s the way it goes with winning streaks, or losing streaks for that matter. There is no telling when they will hit.

Don’t believe me? Ask the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just a few weeks ago, in this very space, I was pretty much ready to hand them the World Series. Then they went and lost 11 games in a row. Even worse for them was the fact they’d lost five in a row – prior to a win that precluded their 11-game slump. That’s 16 losses in 17 games. Not good for a team with championship aspirations. As I said with the Indians’ win streak, sometimes these things just happen. Even to good teams. The fact is the Dodgers still have the best record in baseball. Despite the fact they lost all those games. Think about that, because it should tell you just how good they were prior to their current slide. I would not make any more of this than I would of Cleveland’s surge. Both are good baseball teams. Maybe they are great. October will decide that.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The NFL kicked off this past weekend. The reigning Super Bowl champions looked pretty bad in their first game, losing to Kansas City. I wouldn’t write New England off, though. Don’t forget they have Tom Brady and are coached by Bill Belichick. The guy who is probably the greatest coach in NFL history. Plus the Chiefs are a good team! They won 12 games last year and have a pretty good coach of their own. One game does not make or break a season and I am sure that will be the case for the Patriots.

While the Patriots were losing, the Los Angeles Rams and Jared Goff were making a bit of a statement in front of a few fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Yes, the same Goff who struggled mightily in his rookie season after being selected with the first pick in the 2016 draft, looked worthy of that selection in his first sophomore season game. He lit up the Colts for 306 yards and a score, leading his team to a 46-9 win over the Andrew Luck-less team from Indianapolis. So, maybe Goff is for real? Could be. My question is, will anyone in Los Angeles notice? The attendance at Sunday’s game in the 90,000-plus seat Coliseum was nowhere near the 60,000 the NFL announced. Watching the game, it appeared the old stadium was maybe half full. But that’s probably being generous.

 

If you recall, the Rams once abandoned Southern California for St. Louis because they did not like their stadium or their attendance numbers. Then for 20-something years, people marveled at the fact Los Angeles had no NFL teams. Now it has two and maybe we are getting clued into why it went so long without any. The fans of Los Angeles have always been fickle. It is my hope that Goff and the Rams can continue to play well enough to draw those fans’ attention away from all the other wonders of L.A. for a period every Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, that big, fancy, new stadium in Inglewood is going to be more of an eyesore than the palace everyone expected it to be.