Huskies superfan cheers through adversity

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The Ambassador– David Candelas watches afternoon football practice at East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium.

By Dan Gudino

It doesn’t matter what sport you talk about, David Candelas, 74, will be there – a women’s water polo match in the fall, a badminton tournament in the spring and in the stands at all the mainstream sports.

Originally from Madera, California, Candelas is an East Los Angeles College sports enthusiast and alumni, who graduated with an associate degree in Liberal Arts in 1997, years after his first run on campus in the ’60s.

Dubbed “Superfan” by fellow ELAC fans, he can be seen dressed in Huskies gear on Atlantic Boulevard and on Cesar Chavez Avenue.

He’s always seen in ELAC t-shirts or a sweatshirt and an occasional ELAC baseball cap. He’s most proud of is his Army Veteran baseball cap which he flaunts with pride.

“The Army taught me three things, discipline, respect and survival,” Candelas said.

Candelas put emphasis on the last, survival. Candelas has been homeless since 2012. Cellulitis, a bacterial infection that typically affects the skin on the lower parts of legs, put Candelas in the hospital for 10 days.

During his stay in the hospital, he lost the room he was renting in Monterey Park. The person who rented to Candelas kicked him out for a family member.

“Being out in the streets is a experience and-a-half. All the stuff I see and have seen, I would have never thought or believed,” Candelas said.

Candelas claims he has avoided sleeping on the streets. Instead, he jumps on late night buses and rides them to their end. Then jumps back on in the wee hours of the night and rides them back their opposite way to stay out of the cold or rain.

When his Social Security check is deposited, he says he has money for about three weeks. He can then afford to stay at local $60 per day Monterey Park hotels, yet not every day.

Four years of the late night bus routine, has taken its toll. He sleeps in spurts when he rides the bus, but on a bad night, he gets three hours of sleep.

“I just listen to my body. I know when I have to rent a (hotel) room and rest my body. The bus routine is hard. I sleep very little,” Candelas said. “In the service, I learned to survive. I also have a lot of help. I sometimes go up north (to Fresno) where I have family and stay a few days or I stay with my daughter sometimes,” Candelas said.

His relationship with his daughter is as shaky as his sleeping routine.

Grandfather of two, Candelas loves to visit his grandchildren but is not allowed to constantly see them because of a personal fallout with his daughter years ago. Nonetheless, he continues to try to mend things.

“I occasionally visit my daughter and my grandchildren, but not all the time. Differences have made things hard for me to see them. I sometimes spend a night, but I always pay my daughter when I do,” Candelas said.

Born on a Friday the 13th, Candelas’ luck has not stopped him from being a fan of sports. His devotion to ELAC sports has given him purpose and recognition.

The ELAC women’s basketball team has returned to Candelas the same support he gives. Women’s head coach Bruce Turner mentioned how Candelas personally went to Monterey Park’s City Hall and suggested the women’s team should be recognized.

On April 19, Monterey Park Mayor Peter Chan presented the ELAC women’s basketball team with a city recognition award and the Huskies were brought on stage for their state final runner-up season. Coach Turner, in his acceptance, speech called Candelas a community leader.

“An ambassador to ELAC and ELAC sports. He’s the ambassador. He personally went to city hall and told them about us. Since then, we have been recognized,” Turner said.

Candelas helped this past basketball season by coming up with sponsors to help distribute monthly player awards. One of the awards players received was the Most Inspirational Player of the Month Award.

Despite his situation, Candelas continues to give any way he can. An inspiration to many, he carries his belongings in a personal pull dolly and showed off the clothing he was donating to a homeless man. He mentioned that this homeless man hangs out in front and around ELAC in only a small t-shirt and Candelas, with a humble heart, recalls understanding being cold.

“I been there done that. I’ll soon retire from the streets too,” Candelas said.

A veteran’s three-day event at the Los Angeles Convention Center in December called Honor a Hero organized by Standdown L.A., is giving Candelas a chance to get off the street.

“The paper work took hours, but worth it. The VA assistance program is granting me a chance to get an apartment with a grant,” Candelas said.

Conversations with Candelas, no matter what, turn to good and back to ELAC sports. The ambassador can mention all the former ELAC football players to enter the NFL. He can shoot them out like an encyclopedia: Ben Davidson, Mike Davis and Clarence Davis, all whom he said played with his old favorite team, the Oakland Raiders.

“I support this school like the Oakland Raiders fan supports his team. Through the good and the bad, I’ll be there,” Candelas said. “I bleed ELAC green.

All

What a sport– David Candelas supports and follows all ELAC sports played at Weingart Stadium.

Loyal to the game- Candelas sits across the street from ELAC at McDonald's and uses the WiFi to check on the softball score.

Loyal to the game– Candelas sits across the street from ELAC at McDonald’s and uses the WiFi to check on the softball score.

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Golovkin vs. Canelo Is A Rivalry In The Making

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Gennady Golovkin, with his crushing power and humble demeanor, could become one the next faces of boxing. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

(Original piece from Fansided, L.A. Sports Hub, April, 2016)

By Dan Gudino

It is no accident after Floyd Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao May 5, the following two weeks displayed the next best stars in boxing.

Using momentum from the richest fight in boxing history, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1) knocked out James Kirkland in the third round of their non-title fight on May 9.

A week later, May 16, Gennady Golovkin (33-0) took care of Willie Monroe Jr., in a sixth round TKO.

In his post fight interview, Golovkin said he is now ready for Canelo and a week prior Canelo was asked if he would consider a fight with Golovkin, saying it would happen in the near future but not with the enthusiastic response Golovkin gave.

Golovkin must be eager to get a big payday, as showing a 345-5 amateur record needs its reward.

For Canelo a fight with Golovkin would be high risk because he can not afford another big payday fight loss, like his unanimous loss to Mayweather.

Canelo in the past used Golovkin as a sparring partner, acknowledging in interviews himself and Golovkin have sparred many times.

This adds to the risk Canelo faces if matched up  with the Kazakh boxer.

A comparison to what a Mexico vs Kazakhstan fight looks like, is the classic war of Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward. In a time where boxing needs excitement from the bad taste of what was dubbed as a boring Mayweather-Pacquiao fight — a fight anything like a Gatti fight would instantly give boxing the continuous attraction it craves.

Golovkin’s last 20 fights have ended in a TKO or KO and now has 30 wins by KO making him the most exciting man in boxing.

Then, adding the 75 percentage knockout rate of Alvarez and you have a toe to toe exchange.

If the next great rivalry is to come into existence it would be safe to say it will happen because both fighters are on board with HBO.

Since September 2012 Golovkin fights have been on HBO or HBO PPV.

Alvarez recently, as of September 2014, left Showtime to HBO too, having all the makings of a rivalry in the making.

Since everything is in place also safe to say, the drawing of fans is inevitable too.

The Canelo-Kirkland fight drew over 31,500 to Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas and 2.1 million viewers tuned in on HBO proving the most popular fighter in Canelo and the most exciting fighter in Golovkin make for a classic fight to be called by Jim Lampley.

Take a look at the HBO stable of fighters on Canelo’s and Golovkin’s target before a showdown with each other and you have the modern day Ward, Andre Ward, the British sensation Carl Froch, and veteran Miguel Cotto.

Then there is Mayweather and Pacquiao who both have to leave the boxing scene and retire before Canelo-Golovkin could meet in the ring.

The next big fight to occur during the reign of Mayweather is not smartest move, adding Oscar De la Hoya wants Canelo to face Golovkin two years from now in order to challenge a much older 35 year old Kazakh brawler.

Even WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman understands a fight between Canelo and Golovkin is necessary, saying he would allow Cotto to fight Canelo this year if they sign a clause stating the winner faces Golovkin all setting up the rivalry in the making.

AUDIO: The Discussion, Episode 14: Talking CIF-SS playoffs on AM 830

Discussion

The Crew

https://hearthis.at/pcnyqt7c/thediscussionhighschoolfootballroundup1125/

The Discussion (11/25) on AM 830: Host Chris Sylvester, guest Dan Gudino and star Rahshaun Haylock discuss the semifinal round of the CIF-SS football playoffs.

Guests include Torreahno Sweet, Bishop Amat star running back, and Venture County Star writer Jeffrey Dransfeldt.

Courtesy: AM 830

Juan Uribe Trade To Braves Now A Yes

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Apr 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe (5) looks up for a foul ball in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

(Original piece from Fansided, L.A. Sports Hub, May, 2015)

By Dan Gudino

Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe, after 407 games in Dodger blue will now walk across to the visiting locker room and suit up as an Atlanta Brave.

The Braves finish up a three game series Wednesday at Dodgers Stadium.

Atlanta will send left-hander Eric Stults, who returns to the Dodgers, who drafted him in 2002 and played as a middle reliever the majority of the four seasons in Los Angeles.

Since Andrew Friedman became President of Baseball Operations and Farhan Zaidi became the General Manager of the Dodgers they can’t get enough pitchers into the house.

The Dodgers will get another another Braves lefty in Ian Thomas and right-hander Juan Jaime along third baseman Alberto Callaspo, barring another change of mind, like the commissioner’s office saying no, since the MLB office has the final say.

Callaspo signed with the Braves as a free agent during the off-season and was the one who initially rejected the trade since he had vetoing rights before June 15 per the collective bargaining agreement.

Prior to Tuesday night’s game at Dodgers Stadium between L.A. and Atlanta, reports of the six-man trade that involved both third basemen Uribe and Callaspo was shut down.

Refusing to go was Callaspo, who later gave it deep thought, eventually deciding it was best for him to switch locker rooms.

The Dodgers seem to have the better outcome in the trade, right-hander Chris Withrow, who is recovering from Tommy John’s surgery and is already being said will be sat out till 2016.

Questions of why the Dodgers and Braves would agree to such a deal, where both sides receive aging, hurt, struggling and minor leaguers within the mix bag will rise now.

Juan Uribe lost his starting role to Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero.

Uribe played off the bench as the third man at third base in the depth chart. Stults the once again Dodgers pitcher, lost his spot in the rotation earlier this year with Braves.

Then there’s Juan Jaime, who struggled with ball control and was first demoted to Triple-A, then again demoted to Double-A. So as weird as this trade has been from the beginning, six men have to go.

The choice in players was also hard to understand.

The man in the center of attention, Callaspo, was going to get released possibly later this week anyway, because third baseman Chris Johnson who is recovering from an ankle injury is coming back for his starting job next week.

Callaspo finally got the point that the Braves have parted ways, after second baseman of the Braves, Jace Peterson became the official every-day starter and being scratched from the lineup card Monday and Tuesday.

Callaspo on the Dodgers looks like this — one home run, one for 18 in his last at bats against lefties, and batting a mere .206 with three extra-base hits.

An instant third man on third base, if it even gets to that.

The upcoming days will show whether Callaspo even will get a role in Los Angeles, most likely landing in Rancho Cucamonga, the minor league affiliate of the Dodgers.

Reasons why the Dodgers and Braves created this trade are many but the main reason lies between Dodgers’ current co-owner and team president Stan Kasten and his past relationships with the Braves as their President, between a long 1987 through 2003.

Making favors for old friends could of played a role to Dodgers bidding adios to “Papi” Uribe, or even locker room issues from older veteran players like Callaspo and Uribe would cause for instant change too.

Reasons must remain positive for the Dodgers as they continue their minor league stockpiling of pitchers, as Dodgers GM Zaidi, continues his Moneyball ways, knowing Los Angeles will need pitchers in later innings and hopefully to the Zaidi plan, later in September and deep in October.

 

 

UCLA Is A No. 1 Seed In NCAA Baseball


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Shane Zelle congratulates pitcher David Berg after UCLA defeated UNC 4-1. (Photo: Bruce Thorson, USA TODAY Sports)

(Original piece from Fansided, L.A. Sports Hub, May, 2015)

By Dan Gudino 

The way UCLA (42-14) finished on top in 2013 as national champions, the Bruins on Memorial Day, were named the top team team in the College World Series tournament.

The NCAA placed No. 1 UCLA in front of  the six time national champion, No. 2 LSU (48-10), ahead of No.3 Louisville (43-16) and No. 4 Miami (Florida) (44-14).

UCLA starts its run to win its second national championship in Omaha, by taking on Cal State Bakersfield (36-22-1), May 29, in a double elimination first round Los Angeles Regional, at 8 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

If all goes well for the Bruins they would be on a collision course to with rival USC (37-19), in a best of three series in the Super Regionals. USC currently holds 12 baseball titles, the most by any school, this will also be the Trojans’ first appearance into the tournament since 2005

Look for local product David Berg from Bishop Amat in La Puente, CA, to show off his sidearm throw to the plate. Displaying the third best earned run average in the country at 0.73.

He is also the single season record holder for most saves in a season with 24 making him the UCLA all-time saves leader with 48 saves.

Berg is the perfect weapon going into late innings with the lead, in their 2013 national title run, going into the final series with Mississippi State, the Bruins were involved in four straight one-run games. Berg was involved in all four games and closed out the final game 8-0, giving UCLA its historic 109th athletic national title.

Historic numbers and accomplishments continue with the Bruins this season, finishing the season with a 22-8 PAC-12 record, the most conference victories in school history.

For Coach John Savage his success has come quickly and often, UCLA has reached the the postseason in 8 of the 11 seasons Savage has been at the helm.

His most successful season, in 2013 during their title run, the Bruins finished on a 11-game winning streak and went undefeated in the tournament, (10-0) and if they plan the same outcome they will have to rely on the rest of the pitching staff.

James Kaprielian in 15 starts has top prospect numbers, like his 107 strikeouts which are top 25 in the country, his mere 1.94 ERA and only walking 31 all season long.

This is the type of dominance the Bruins will need to erase last years disappointing season, finishing ninth-place in the PAC-12, not even making it into the tournament.

UCLA hopes for continued success for the PAC-12, the “Road to Omaha” has been swayed in favor of the west coast, winning four of the last nine titles.

Thursday’s Biggest Game: Fullerton and Northridge Meet with Big West Tournament Berth on the Line

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Cal State Fullerton goes on the road Thursday night to try and secure its spot in the Big West Conference Tournament. Standing in their way is the other bubble team, Cal State Northridge.

by Feb 26, 2015, 8:30am PST

With just eight teams able to earn spots into the Big West Conference Tournament, the final four games will be crucial for both the Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-11) and the Cal State Fullerton Titans (1-11).

CSUN currently holds the final spot in the tournament, despite some imperfect play. Cal State Fullerton is not so lucky — on the outside, looking in from ninth place. That is why Thursday night’s matchup between the Matadors and Titans will be crucial for who gets that last berth in Anaheim from March 12-14.

Despite the poor records of the two teams, this will be the game of the night in Big West hoops.

The Titans’ lone victory was against the Matadors,  a 69-53 win, three weeks ago. Another victory for the Titans on Thursday will technically put them into the tournament, as they would own the tiebreaker.

But a few other things must occur for the Titans to remain in.

Fullerton must get help from UC Riverside and Long Beach State – the last two teams on the Northridge schedule. A clean sweep against the Matadors would all but assure the Titans were in.

Fullerton could also help themselves with at least two victories in its last four games of the 2014 regular season.

But that is not so easy for the Titans. They are on a five-game losing skid and Thursday’s game begin a set of three on the road. To add to the uphill climb, the Titans might be without star guard Alex Harris.

Harris leads the team in minutes, points, assists, and steals per game. There is no question that if Harris were to push himself to come back from a severe thigh contusion, it needs to be against the Matadors.

According to the Daily Titan, Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor said there is no timetable for a Harris return. He has been missing in action for the last three games.

Cal State Northridge has been riding an upset win on the road against UCSB back on Jan. 15, to get to this point. They are the leader in the clubhouse for that …, well, eighth spot.

CSUN will look to put the hammer down on the Titans out of fear of the tiebreaker. They will rely on their own star, senior Stephan Hicks. Hicks officially moved into the top 10 in career scoring in Big West history after scoring 16 points in a loss Saturday to UC Irvine.

Hicks averages 20 points per game at home, five points better than his overall season average. The slight difference could very well be the shot that his team needs to secure its spot in the Big West tournament.

Northridge needs no reminder of the importance of the Thursday prime time showcase, with so many variables present that will impact who is in and who is out, much like last season. It is hard to forget that Cal Poly entered the Big West tournament as a 7th seed and ended up beating the Matadors in the conference final.

That should serve as a reminder to everyone: we can not doubt these lower seeded teams.

Mayweather Wants Pacquiao

MoneyMay

Photo courtesy of So Max O – Flickr License

(Original piece from Guardian Liberty Voice, December 14, 2014)

By Dan Gudino

Floyd Mayweather at ringside told Showtime he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao. The fight would occur May 2, 2015, which he dubbed Cinco de Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The five-division champion stood ringside in San Antonio describing how the fight has been in the works for years. The first reason the deal has not been made, Mayweather only offered Pacquiao $40 million, excluding pay-per-view buys, this did not sit well with the Filipino star. The second reason, was the random urine and blood testing set in place was denied by the Pacquiao negotiating side.

Final reason, when $40 million was offered to Pacquiao, he went on to lose twice in a row. Therefore $40 million should not even be offered anymore, Floyd describes Pacquiao to now be begging for the initial offering.

The ten-time world champ and Manny Pacquiao bring in star power, combining for four of the top 10 highest grossing pay-per-view buys in boxing history. At No. 9, Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosley, totaling $75 million, No. 6, Floyd Mayweather vs Miguel Cotto, bringing in $94 million, and No. 2, Mayweather vs Oscar de la Hoya, grossing $136 million leading to reports, a potential Money-Pacman fight would exceed the No. 1 highest pay-per-view buys, surpassing the Canelo Alvarez vs Mayweather fight at $150 million. That night, Mayweather took home $41.5 million even before the final pay-per-view numbers were reported.

Showtime the broadcast channel of Mayweather fights knows, HBO, their biggest competitor is in the works for a Canelo Alvarez vs Miguel Cotto middleweight fight May 2, causing an instant scheduling conflict.  Even before Money May said he wants Pacquiao, a back and forth display of trash talking has been on going. Like when Pacquiao appears in a Foot Locker commercial, where Mayweather is depicted as avoiding a fight versus the Filipino star and since 2009, when negotiations started, Mayweather has accused Pacquiao as dodging a fight with him, by not closing any deal. The closest it ever became a closed-deal was in 2010, but the drug testing was not agreed on by the Pacman camp.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is in talks with CBS/Showtime to work out a May fight. The fight would come in the later part of both fighter’s careers, like Manny Pacquiao, 35- years old, is on a three fight winning streak and last lost to Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012. A fight in which Pacquiao was knocked out cold, face first to the canvas. Pacman currently holds a 57-5-2 record while holding the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship belt.

For the undefeated fighter nicknamed Pretty Boy, Money May, The Best Ever (TBE) or just Money, a fight vs Pacquiao would be fight No. 48. Also, considered the pound-for-pound king by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Ring Magazine, the highest paid athlete in the world for three consecutive years, Mayweather will be 38-years old by the time he faces Pacquiao on May 2.

If a fight were to occur both sides will have to reach a decision on what weight to place the bout at because Pacquiao’s last fight was negotiated at 144 pounds, against Chris Algieri. Pacquiao took a unanimous decision and knock down Algieri six times in last month’s fight. When the Argentine, Marcos Maidana, fought Pretty Boy, it was at 155 pounds, so a catch-weight must be decided on or a specific weight class must be determined in meetings. What is known for the first time ever, as acknowledged by Floyd Mayweather, he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao May 2, 2015.

Commentary by Daniel Gudino

Sources:
The Richest
ESPN
Yahoo

Photo courtesy of So Max O – Flickr License 

Opinion: Donald Sterling- Boyle Heights bred not Boyle Heights made

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Screenshot of CNN’s AC 360

(Original piece from the Boyle Heights Beat, May 20, 2014

By Dan Gudino

It is rare when sports transcends itself into the front page of the paper. The large bold-faced headline goes to the politician, the war overseas, the murder, or even the latest celebrity gossip. The final score often does not matter.

But for the past month or so, a sports controversy has made top news, and for Boyle Heights, it’s been a whirlwind of shameful connections and discoveries.

The media frenzy began April 25, when the gossip website TMZ posted an audio recording of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling V. Stiviano, his former mistress, that she should not be photographed with black people and should not bring them to Clippers games.

The audio was allegedly recorded by Stiviano who then gave it to a few friends for “safekeeping.”

Here’s where all the Boyle Heights connections gather.

Donald Sterling and his estranged wife Rochelle Sterling, attended Roosevelt High School–Donald graduated in 1950 and Rochelle three years later in 1953. V. Stiviano, 31, formally know as Maria Vanessa Perez, was raised in Boyle Heights and also graduated from Roosevelt in 2000.

By now, you have heard your neighbor talk about the Sterling-Stiviano circus; your friends have posted countless related stories on Facebook– It’s basically old news.

But for those of us from Boyle Heights, it’s more than just sports “chisme,” it’s a bad representation of our community.

When listening to the initial recording of the racist comments, I initially felt angered at V. Stiviano and saddened for Sterling. Angered that privacy was broken. One should be allowed to speak on any subject on any level in the comfort of their home. We are dealing with an actual human right here.

But as I learned more about the contents of the recordings and the history that precedes Donald Sterling, I later found myself at anger again.

In 2003 Sterling was accused of being a slumlord. A discrimination suit was filed on behalf of 19 tenants from one of his Koreatown properties. Sterling was accused of mistreating and denying the availability of units to black and Hispanic families with kids. Sterling would not have allowed my family into one of his properties! Sterling went on to pay over $5 million to plaintiffs and attorney fees on that case.

This is the man raised in our Boyle Heights.

Since the recording surfaced, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million, banned him from the league and called for the sale of the team.

Shelly has said she is willing to fight the NBA for her part-ownership of the Clippers. However, that may not be the best route for the team. Shelly does not represent Boyle Heights in a nice light either.

In 2003 as Donald was being sued for housing discrimination, a video surfaced of her posing as a housing inspector to illegally enter an apartment. In 2004 a court deposition states, one of the Sterling property employees testified Shelly wanted “certain ethnic groups” evicted. The race-related incidents continued in the next few years, where Shelly was accused of racist comments against black and Latino tenants.

And then, we have V. Stiviano- also a bad representation of Boyle Heights. With a rap sheet of her own, including petty theft and DUI, Stiviano is currently being investigated for extortion.

This is a woman who changed her name because she felt she wasn’t fully accepted because of her race- black and Mexican. An education, hard work, and not trying to take advantage of anyone would help. In the recordings she tries hard to cause a reaction, and baits Sterling. Not defending either side here but bringing to the stage what a shame both sides have been in the public eye.

In March, Shelly filed a suit against Stiviano to take back all gifts Donald has given her, including a $1.8 million duplex, a red Ferrari, a black Bentley, and $240,000 in living expenses. The suit claims Stiviano “engages in conduct to target…seduce…cajole…and/or receive as gifts and transfers of wealth from wealthy older men.”

Sadly, I doubt this story is over. And many effects have surged from it. Just last week there were rumors that Donald Sterling’s college scholarship fund which he donates $5,000 annually would be renamed.

And to bring more shame to the already controversial story, Donald Sterling provoked even more outrage last week in a television interview. The 80-year-old man dug his own grave with stupid, ignorant, an unapologetic comments, including attacks against Magic Johnson, arguably one of L.A.’s most beloved persons.

Stop it already. Please. It’s bad enough Boyle Heights gets portrayed negatively in mainstream media, and now this?

2014 NFL Draft in Third Year of Expansion

By on April 22, 2014 No Comment

Draft

It is just two weeks until the 2014 NFL Draft, now officially in the third year of expansion. This year’s edition features an extra 32 players making it to the pros. There is enough for another round with 32 teams and an extra 32 picks, it is the perfect amount to go around, but not every team gets one. For a team to receive an extra draft pick, that specific team must have lost at least one player during the off-season.

Last year the Green Bay Packers lost receiver Greg Jennings and linebacker Erick Walden as unrestricted free agents. The Packers were not willing to resign them because of expired contracts which would have been costly. This puts the Packers in position to draft not seven but nine players in seven rounds in 2014

This rule of adding extra picks, called “compensatory draft choices,” was introduced in 2012. Under the rule, a team which loses more, or better, free agents than it picks up in the previous year is eligible for these draft choices.

Like in the recently released film Draft Day starring Kevin Costner, Costner plays GM to the Cleveland Browns Sonny Weaver in which Weaver uses the draft to rebuild a struggling Browns team. He does this with pin point strategy of trading up, down, wheeling and dealing picks during the draft.

Last week like in Draft Day the Seattle Seahawks were involved in a trade. Trading away their seventh round pick to the Oakland Raiders for QB Terrelle Pryor. If this trade would have occurred in 2011, last years Super Bowl champion Seahawks would have given away the last pick in the draft, trading away “Mr. Irrelevant”, a title going to the last pick in the entire draft. After 2012, it is just the tenth to last pick in the draft.

There are 224 regular draft picks and 32 compensatory picks, a total of 256 new players will enter the NFL. The compensatory draft picks start on the second day at Radio City Music Hall in the third round. Only 13 teams get to participate in this part of the game.

The NFL Draft and the expansion will be kicking off 2014 with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round with the No. 97 pick, they will cap off their last compensatory pick in the fifth round at No. 173. Still in the third round the Green Bay Packers are next at No. 98. The Packers like the Steelers have another pick left in the compensatory field, in the fifth round with the No. 161 spot.

Up next are the Baltimore Ravens choosing No. 99. The Ravens have an additional two players coming in, one in round four and finally one in round five. The final draw in round three comes from the San Francisco 49ers right at the century mark, picking player No. 100, this being the 49ers only compensatory draft pick.

Round No. 4 brings on the Detroit Lions with two picks in the same round. These are the only players they will get a chance to grab in the compensatory section, No. 133 and No. 135. Also featured in the fourth round are the Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, and the New England Patriots.

Houston will pick an additional two more draft choices, one in the sixth round at No.211 and in the seventh and final round, to name out who will be Mr Irrelevant at No. 256. The Falcons get two more in the seventh round, No. 253 and No. 255. New England is stopped in the fourth round with only one draft choice, at No. 140.

Now in the fifth round, the New York Giants come in as new members of compensatory picking with only one in 2014 at No. 174. Giants in-stadium rival the New York Jets come into action with three picks in the sixth round, with picks No. 209, No. 210, and No. 213. Along with their current draft picks, the Jets will have a total of 12 to choose from, the most this year.

The Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams will decide who to bring on-board in the sixth round. Cincinnati gets the No. 212 pick and a final pick in the seventh, at No. 252. St. Louis gets No. 214 and has a total of three pick-ups, the final two coming in the seventh round, one after the other No. 249 and No. 250.

Finally the Dallas Cowboys name out three players in the last round. The Cowboys will rope in a new name to the league every two picks at No. 248, No. 251, and No. 254. The seventh and deciding round has the most compensatory picks, a total of nine. The continued expansion of the 2014 NFL Draft is a three-day event and starts May 8 ending May 10.

Commentary by Daniel Gudino

Sources:
AcmePackingCompany
NFL
BleacherReport

PLAYER PROFILE: JOSH LOVE’S “OPERATION PATIENCE”

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Photo courtesy of Ed Kaufer.

By Dan Gudino

When I was looking for a player to interview I asked myself, “What should I look for in this team of Long Beach Poly?”

I first thought I should get Poly’s Coach Raul Lara to recommend a player.
Then thinking, “How about a star player?”

Like Juju Smith, who has countless letters from Division 1 schools. I decided not to go the star route because the publicity is already there. I’d probably just reiterate what was already being said.

I decided to hold off on the player profile until I observed a few games.

Before the season started I had a sit down talk with L.B. poly Head Coach Raul Lara.

Going through players and strategy, he mentioned he has always used a two-quarterback system. I found this to be very engaging. Who was the other quarterback?

I did not have film, nor did I have stats on this guy. So I observed.

Josh Love’s name kept playing through the season in the PA after his completions. More and more I kept paying attention.

He has not allowed a turnover in this young season. To my surprise he looks like a starting QB on any team.

Still not knowing much about him I thought he was part of the local talent which breeds great athletes in Long Beach. It was not until the Servite loss, a game which he looked poised and determined that I found out he transferred from Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

I decided to sit down with Josh and his father and discuss what brought us together …

Football.

It was a pleasure talking to both. Josh Love is a 6’2, 188 lbs pure pocket passer from the No. 16 ranked football team in the nation, the Jackrabbits.

Josh helps this team with his tremendous accuracy. His ability to string passes through defenders provides consistency and keeps starting QB Tai Tiedemann on his toes. A good thing. (Tiedemann, now part of the MLB, Texas Rangers organization)

Chants of “Josh-Love-Josh-Love” were heard in the stands, heard by journalist, writers, and cameramen, wanting Josh to be put into the game. As the season went on, chants became moans and groans from Poly faithful.

When I approached Coach Lara about this his response was firm, ” I don’t care what anybody says.”

This is the game plan Lara imposed on this team. One game, two QBs play. Part of the reason is he wants both guys to have experience under their belts is, “If one guy goes down, I want the next guy up to have some experience under him.”

When speaking with Josh this is where his slogan, his mantra comes from.

“Operation Patience”

It actually stems from Washington Redskins, QB Robert Griffin III, who in the preseason did not play a single game because Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan refused to put RGIII in because he was taking care of his surgically repaired knee, despite Griffin being ready.

Other coaches, players, friends and family have spoken to Josh about being patient.

I figure for an individual who thinks highly of his abilities as a QB to be called the number two QB on the depth chart must be very tough. I went in and asked, but not before wanting to know, why football, why not any other sport?

Josh says it’s his favorite sport with a convinced face. As a kid Josh developed a minor problem with his arm from throwing a baseball so much. Just a small reason he led himself onto a football field.

As the conversation went on we talked about his transfer to Long Beach Poly from Tesoro.

The main reason was academics. Josh being the hard worker he is, part of the (CIC) Center for International Commerce, which offers students the opportunity to study a variety of subjects with a global emphasis. CIC prepares students for college level academics and offers a chance at success, giving them business minded skills.

These students are accepted to the University of California system, Ivy League, and other numerous private universities throughout the United States. It is this program that gives Josh his reason to be a Jackrabbit. “The atmosphere in L.B. is different. Everyone is welcoming,” Josh said..

It was not an easy transition. At Tesoro, he went through a team’s ups and downs. Tesoro’s Coach got fired. His QB coach was arrested on heroin charges. We won’t get into this at all and focus on Josh as a football player.

Another reason for transferring is his father’s job has a greater opportunity in Long Beach. Positioning the Love family for future success comes from the city of Long Beach.

Josh is a fiery young man. His upset in the Servite loss caused me to ask, ” What he thinks of the two QB system?”

“I won the job, all coaches are on my side,” but Josh reassured me, “There is no controversy”

The game plan revolves around two quarterbacks.

He doesn’t get upset anymore and now takes his opportunities to his advantage. He did all this at a flick of a light switch. He has had to adjust to this quickly in a four-game span. He feels when he is on the field his team will win. Now this sort of confidence is what all coaches need from their QB. I found this to be his greatest ability, greater than his arm.

There is no bragging in Josh, just pointing out to what is real, again Josh has not allowed a turnover this season.

Being a junior at Poly is a good thing right now, the opportunity to be looked at by colleges is greater in the L.B.C.

At this time he has no offers.

But with this season just starting and all his senior year on the horizon it looks like this guy’s presence will get to shine. It’s his patience that will burn onto the high school football scene.

I brought up Juju Smith and how he will be gone after the season. With a positive manner he gave credit and mentioned his future go to guys.

“We have Johnnie Rucker who caught my TD pass yesterday, Douglas Curry, Daejohn Logan, Jackie Jones, CeeJhay French-Love, Taariq Johnson and Biggie (Iman Marshall).”

Showing his humbleness to make sure they are recognized for their efforts.

Josh’s expectations are very simple and direct. In short answers I got an understanding of his goals from high school football. Academics and playing at the next level. He’d like to attend Stanford or UCLA. Great ambition. Like his expectation for this season, “A state ring and CIF ring.”

He feels like this about his play as well.

“If you want to win keep me in the game. I’ll do anything to win the game like take the hit. I play like it’s the playoffs.” Josh said. It’s this belief in himself and a higher source that makes Josh a great example to many.

Every Wednesday a group of students athletes meet up at lunch time for their weekly FCA meeting. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is led by Coach Herm. Where they talk about god, read verses and join together in prayer.

“Religion is important to me absolutely,” Josh said, when describing the FCA.

When I heard about this side of Josh it brought a welcoming feeling from him to me. I liked this about him the most. It was good to hear that a separation of church and state was not present at L.B. Poly.

When football is not the most important thing in one’s life it is easy to play a game like football. Josh plays with a strong knowing that he is the main man. Keeping this within himself has put Poly to continue rolling this season. An eye should always be kept on Josh Love when he is on the field. Technique and poise will be seen. As a fan and journalist covering Josh and the Jackrabbits this season will be fun.

Can’t wait for him to continue with his great play and see him develop into a greater person.

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Ed Kaufer

(Update: Josh is now competing for the starting QB role in Spring 2017 at San Jose State.)

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September 2013