This post was updated at 11 AM, July 23:
Yes, the NFL is back this week.
The Rams and Chargers open their training camps — the Rams on Thursday at UC Irvine, and the Chargers on Saturday in Costa Mesa.
They don’t play their first exhibition games until April.
Now let’s move on …
In this exercise, we will pass over this summer ritual. Too many other things that are worth reminding you about, including …
So there was the guy last month who, with no shirt and just in his boxer shorts and white sneakers, tied up morning rush-hour traffic by climbing up a sign on the Harbor Freeway and began dancing around. By the time he dismounted with a backflip onto the inflated cushion below, some where stuck in their cars for two hours. “The worst qualities of Los Angeles — endless traffic and shameless self-promotion — collided in exasperating fashion” was the lead of the story in the L.A. Times the next day.
Which brings us to the next installment of “El Trafico” – the Galaxy’s first visit to the LAFC home Banc of California Stadium on Thursday (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.), let’s show some respect for those who’ll be trying to get home from work and don’t do anything foolishly self-serving on the Harbor Freeway just across from the pitch. In their first meeting at StubHub Center in Carson last March, Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his league debut coming on in the 71st minute and his team trailing 3-1. Somehow, he scored twice and the Galaxy had a 4-3 triumph that could be one of the greatest rivalry experiences in L.A. pro sports history.
As long as post-World Cup soccer is back on the radar, there’s also the flash-and-dash International Champions Cup that gets some SoCal attention – namely, AC Milan facing Manchester United at StubHub Center (Wednesday, 8 p.m., ESPN), AS Roma vs. Tottenham Hotspur in San Diego (Wednesday, 7 p.m., ESPN2) and then FC Barcelona vs. Tottenham Hotspur at the Rose Bowl (Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN).
The Chase Utley Farewell Tour stops in Philadelphia for the final go-around when the Dodgers stop in for three games (Monday and Tuesday, 4:05 p.m., and Wednesday, 9:35 a.m., SportsNet LA). The Phillies also thought they had a real shot of landing/renting Manny Machado before the Dodgers worked out a package deal for him, so expect the City of Brotherly Love to still be stinging a bit. The Dodgers then end the road trip with four more in Atlanta (Thursday and Friday at 4:35 p.m., Saturday at 4:10 p.m. and Sunday at 10:35 a.m.). TBS is doing that last game on Sunday as a national broadcast, but it’s blacked out in L.A. But if you really need to be in Dodger Stadium this week, Luke Bryan is performing there on Saturday night.
Also this week for the Angels:
At Angel Stadium vs. Chicago White Sox, Monday-Wednesday at 7:07 p.m., and Thursday at 1:07 p.m., Fox Sports West
At Angel Stadium vs. Seattle, Friday at 7:07 p.m., Saturday at 6:07 p.m. and Sunday at 1:07 p.m., Fox Sports West
Updated: The greatest plans of Ryan Lochte showing up for the Phillips 66 U.S. National Swimming Championships that runs Wednesday through Sunday at the William Woollett Jr., Aquatic Center in Irvine have been derailed by another suspension. Did he do something stupid again? All along, the star attraction was to be, and still is, five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, just recognized as the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for posting a 3.99 GPA as she continues to pursue a psychology degree at Stanford. The 21-year-old is the top seed in the women’s 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meter freestyle. On the men’s side, Chase Kalisz is the reigning world champ in both individual medleys and has the best time in the 200 meter butterfly. NBC has coverage all week on the Olympic Channel, NBCSN and Channel 4. The schedule highlights are at this link.
It was on this day — July 23, 1951 — when Vin Scully, in his second season broadcasting for the Dodgers, paid a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time. The Dodgers were playing in the annual Hall of Fame Game at Doubleday Field against the Philadelphia Athletics. WMGM decided to broadcast the game in New York with Scully on the call. The scorecard he marked up in pencil from that game – a 9-4 Dodgers win, with Reese, Snider, Robinson, Hodges and Campanella in the heart of the lineup — is in the Hall of Fame’s safe, and you can see it here.
Scully would come back 31 years later to be honored with the Ford C. Frick Award. That honor will be given this time to Bob Costas on Saturday for his MLB broadcasting career. Sunday (10:30 a.m., MLB Network), they’ll gather at the Clark Sports Center for the induction ceremony of Vlad Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Jack Morris, Jim Thome and Alan Trammell That will bring the Hall of Fame membership to 323, 77 of whom are still living.
The AVP’s now-annual return to Hermosa Beach happens Thursday-Sunday at the Hermosa Beach Pier. Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb silenced “Rosie’s Raiders” by defeating Redondo Beach’s Sean Rosenthal and Trevor Crabb for the men’s title last year. Top-seeds Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar won the women’s side in a final against Geena Urango and Angela Bensend. Many of the main players missed this event because of a FIVB tournament in Poland, but there is no FIVB schedule conflict this time. (NBCSN airs the finals delayed at 9 p.m. Sunday)
Qualifying starts Thursday at 8 a.m.
Main draw begins Friday at 9 a.m.
Tournament continues Saturday at 9 a.m.
Finals are 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.