Ron Agostini

June 13, 2014

Reading time, two minutes: Agostini on World Cup, Kaepernick

The World Cup began with Brazil, the host country carrying a boatload of pressure, surviving a nightmarish start against Croatia.

Reading time, two minutes:

• The World Cup began with host Brazil giving up an own goal to Croatia. Now there’s a prop bet with a huge payoff.
• There’s not much pressure on the home team – other than life and death.
• Brace yourself for a month’s worth of sign language, flopping, diving and prima donnas flying toward the net. Sort of like the NBA Finals.
• USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann downplays his team’s chances. Who does he think he is, Bill Belichick?
• The Americans will celebrate if they survive the Group of Death. By the way, how did the Seahawks defense qualify?
• He has signed the megadeal. No charges were filed in Miami. Colin Kaepernick will be smiling at his Against All Odds tournament Monday at Del Rio Country Club.
• Then again, nothing puts a wider grin on Kaepernick’s face than the kids of Camp Taylor.
• The inaugural tournament last year raised $219,000. It’s sold out again (184 for golf, 320 for dinner).
• Hunter “Percent” Pence. Perfect.
• The Nats’ Doug Fister (Merced), 20 months after he was struck by a line drive in the World Series (and stayed in the game), got his win over the Giants. Two things working for him: 1. A hard head and, 2. A good memory.
• Some two-bit advice for free: Disregard any apology from an athlete that begins with, “If I offended anyone ...”
• Never thought I’d see this on a list of prerequisites for NBA coaches: No experience necessary.
• Just because it used to be his time of the year: The Celtics’ Robert Parish. The Chief.
• The next time some talking head refers to the Spurs’ Tim Duncan as a power forward, you may answer, “He’s a center. What game are you watching?”
• This week is the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson’s slow-motion chase on the 405. Johnnie Cochran’s line has outlived him, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
• The Modesto Nuts are approaching the worst first half in 57 years while drawing the second-highest attendance. In the minors, you root, root, root for the home team, but if they lose it’s not a shame.
• Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks (East Union High) will be retained, though many fans wanted him fired. The Thunder won 59 games while its starting lineup played only 30 percent of the games. Funny how stats clash with raw emotion.
• The CIF State Track and Field Championships last week in Clovis featured America’s next great sprinter – Ariana Washington, Long Beach Poly. Next stop, Oregon.
• Outlandish and spectacular, often at the same time – Yoenis Cespedes (Athletics) and Yasiel Puig (Dodgers).
• The more you watch the Miami Heat, the more you realize they would be just another good team in the Western Conference.
• Indiana quarterback Tre Roberson has decided to transfer, which means good news for Nate Sudfeld (Modesto Christian).
• Six-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Amy Van Dyken is paralyzed after her spinal cord was severed in an all-terrain vehicle crash. My money is on Van Dyken.
• Yesterday marked the last full moon on Friday the 13th until August of 2049 – when the Cubs play two.
• Thanks for the thrills, California Chrome, while the clock ticks 36 years after Affirmed.
• The World Cup is the ultimate stage for Ian Darke, the best announcer in the business.
• More about good announcers: It’s Johnny Miller’s last U.S. Open. NBC lost the contract to Fox.
• Fox’s new golf team will be Joe Buck and Greg Norman. Curious about Norman. Dreading Buck.
• Sunrise, taxes and Rafael Nadal on clay.
• The Pacific 12 Conference is working hard to reduce night football games this fall. Very good idea.
• All that’s missing in the World Cup are golden goals. Too bad. Every life needs a golden goal.

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