SPORTS DIGEST: Pleasing today’s fans is becoming hard to do

September 28, 2017

When you are one of the two most popular sports teams in town, everyone talks about you, win or lose.

Some fans are never satisfied.

The Dodgers have clinched the National League West division crown and are zeroing in on the best overall record in baseball, which would give them home field advantage through the postseason.

And still their fans complain.

USC is 4-0, ranked number five in the country, and some fans are unhappy that the games are too close. Whatever happened to being satisfied with a win?

A friend was so disgusted with USC’s 30-20 victory over California Sept. 23 that he said the Trojans didn’t belong in the top 25.

I could understand his concern if he had taken the points and lost his bet, but he was just angry that the Trojans didn’t perform to his expectations.

Did his expectations factor in the part that running back Ronald Jones II and wide receiver Steve Mitchell didn’t even get on the plane for Berkeley let alone play?

Those are two pretty big weapons to be missing for the first road game of the season against a 3-0 opponent. I was more than happy with a 30-20 win.

A high school football coach once told me “It’s always good to win.” I agree.

The Trojans face another tough game this week. They play another undefeated team — Washington State — on the road and this one is on a Friday night.

For decades, the Trojans have always played to the level of their competition. They don’t always get up for Western Michigan or Oregon State or the Arizona schools.

The Trojans played their best game of the season so far against Stanford. The Cardinal was ranked at the time. USC came to play and Stanford didn’t recover until UCLA came to town.

The Trojans will be ready for Washington State Sept. 29, mark my words, just like the Dodgers will be ready for the postseason next week.

September has been the Dodgers’ worst month since April, but the way the team played during June, July and August, it didn’t matter how the Dodgers played in September.

Dave Roberts is getting time to tinker with his starting lineup and the bullpen so he has an idea of what to expect when things get real again in October.

For the fifth season in a row, the Dodgers have a chance to make the World Series. The fact that they have fallen short of that goal four years in a row doesn’t mean they will fail again this time.

You can prepare yourself for that disappointment if you choose to, but I will just watch the games play out, enjoying the intensity of October baseball and hoping for the best.

That’s the way I choose to do it as a fan.

Enjoy the games. You can dissect them later if that’s what you enjoy doing.

But don’t decide after a bad quarter or a bad inning that your team isn’t very good.

Unless you’re a Chargers fan.


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