The hed and deck to Lee Jenkins's piece called La La Palooza: "For a 78-hour stretch Los Angeles was, finally, the sports capital of the world: 300,000 fans, 10 events, four teams, three playoff series, 110 cyclists. And an eclipse. Results be damned, it was a good four days." He strikes just the right tone, as usual. Here's an excerpt:
The assignment sounded like a scavenger hunt, part of pledge weekend for the Phi Delts at USC: Attend 10 sporting events in downtown L.A. in four days, including four NBA playoff games, two NHL playoff games, three major league baseball games pitting two first-place teams, and the biggest bike race in North America. I made nine of them. Game 4 of Thunder-Lakers was too good to leave. I had to catch Clayton Kershaw's complete-game shutout for the Dodgers on TV.
Not to name-drop, but since this is Los Angeles.... I sat in the dugout with Magic Johnson, the booth with Vin Scully, the tunnel with Penny Marshall, the front row with Jeanie Buss, the club level with Luc Robitaille and the 46th floor of the Ritz Carlton with the people I'd like to be when I grow up. I compared schedules with Ice Cube and received bar recommendations from the Cocktail King. I even rode to a hockey game on a subway. Yes, L.A. has a subway, and yes, this particular line was finished less than three weeks ago.
Los Angeles is a city of a thousand clichés, most involving smog, silicone and Sig Alerts, spectators who arrive late and leave early. I encountered more than 300,000 fans during La-La-palooza, and my car was the only one entering the Dodger Stadium lot in the third inning or exiting in the fifth. L.A. may be a front-running town, but this weekend Angelenos were underdogs: the eighth-seeded Kings, the leg-weary Lakers, the injury-addled Clippers, and the Dodgers as Frank McCourt left them. By Sunday night the Kings were on the verge of the Stanley Cup finals, and the Lakers were on the brink of elimination. The Dodgers had the best record in the major leagues, after sweeping the defending-champion Cardinals, and the Clippers were finished after being swept by the Spurs. The rendering of that football field, meanwhile, was looking a bit more lifelike.