When you have guests come from out of town and they ask about going to Venice Beach, or walk up and down Hollywood Blvd., or hang out the Santa Monica pier … that’s all nice and (sometimes) good. But a true SoCal experience happens this weekend. The second half of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing finishes at the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier, all week long, with the finals on Sunday. Sure, there could be a little rowdiness, but … don’t be turned off by the few knuckleheads out there. They extend the whole party with skateboarding and BMX bike competition. The World Surf League’s best are there. The Surfing Walk of Fame induction happens Thursday. More info: vansusopenofsurfing.com
If the OC is too far away, stick to the South Bay. The International Surf Festival returns Wednesday through Sunday on the beaches of Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo and Torrance, with classic events like the Charlie Saikley 6-man/6-woman volleyball tournament, the international bodysurfing championships, the two-mile beach run, the pier-to-pier swim and paddleboard championships, the dory races and more lifeguard race events. More info: www.surffestival.org
Thirty years ago, “227” meant you were watching an NBC sit-com where Marla Gibbs was sitting on her stoop in Washington D.C., bickering with neighbor Jackee’ about this and that. The viewership rivaled “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World” in that six-year time frame.
It’s a different pay-per-view world now. UFC 227 stoops to Staples Center on Saturday night at 7 p.m., where the bickering continues between two-time bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw (15-3-0) and former champ Cody Garbrandt (11-1-0) – Dillashaw won their previous matchup in UFC 217 with a second-round KO to claim the title back. The co-main is also a rematch – flyweight Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) goes up against former Olympic freestyle gold medalist and L.A. native Henry Cenjdo (12-2-0). Johnson won the first time at UFC 197 with a first-round TKO. The mandatory female matchup pits Polyana Viana (10-1-0) against JJ Aldrich (6-2-0). A dozen fights are on this card that gets distributed among UFC Fight Pass, FX and PPV.
Breathe deeply: The Dodgers have no national TV exposure this week, even as new rental shortstop Manny Machado comes to L.A. for the start of a 10-game homestand, Moose Moustakas comes in with his new Brewers teammates, and there’s a 2017 World Series reunion with the Astros. Wednesday is back to a $1 Dodger Dog promotion. Friday will be a retirement ceremony for Andre Ethier — in his final big-league at bat, he drove in a run for the Dodgers during their Game 7 loss to the Astros. And after Sunday’s game, the Dodgers are sponsoring a yoga day – bring your mats, come onto the field, and stretch it out. Try the Downward Dodger Dog at some point in the game first. Namaste.
Dodgers this week at Dodger Stadium:
Vs. Milwaukee, Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m., SportsNet LA
Vs. Houston, Friday at 7:10 p.m., Saturday at 6:10 p.m., Sunday at 1:10 p.m., all on SportsNet LA.
Angels this week on the road:
At Tampa Bay, Tuesday and Wednesday at 4:10 p.m., Thursday at 10:10 a.m., Fox Sports West.
At Cleveland, Friday at 4:10 p.m., FSW; Saturday at 4:10 p.m., FS1; Sunday at 10:10 a.m., FSW (nationally on TBS)
As we passed by the Coliseum the other day, it looked as if the place had been gutted and an excavation was in progress. If the construction crew assigned to make improvements to the seating areas have things put back together by USC’s home opener on Sept. 1, it could be a modern miracle. The Trojans will let the 24/7 work continue on fixing up the insides as they launch fall practice at Howard Jones Field on Friday. The starting QB to replace Sam Darnold? We’ll find out among JT Daniels, Matt Fink and Jack Sears.
UCLA also starts fall practice Friday on campus with new head coach Chip Kelly trying to find out what he’s inherited. The starting QB to replace Josh Rosen? We’ll find out among Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Wilton Speight and Devon Modster. UCLA also opens it season at home – the Rose Bowl is looking spiffy – on Sept. 1.
You can put Terrell Owens in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but you can’t lead him to Canton, Ohio, for the ceremony. The second greatest receiver in terms of career yards in NFL history, based on his time in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas (OK, we’ll count Buffalo and Cincinnati as well) between 1996 and 2010 informed the Hall that he was not only going to be a no-show, an act of defiance because he didn’t get into the Hall during votes in 2016 and ’17. Instead, he’ll give his acceptance speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, on Saturday instead of doing it with the Class of ’18 — Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher. Those eight up the total number of membership to 318. Before that, the Hall of Fame exhibition game between people wearing the uniforms of the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens takes place Thursday (5 p.m., Channel 4). More info: profootballhof.com
Since the Sparks gave up the last two games of their five-game WNBA Finals series to the Minnesota Lynx last fall, the two have met three times this regular season – the Sparks posted a one-point win back at Target Center on May 20 and an eight-point win at Staples Center on June 3, but then suffered a nine-point loss in Minnesota on July 5, noteworthy because the Lynx’ Rebekkah Brunson passed Sparks star Lisa Leslie as well as Tamika Catchings to become the league’s all-time leading rebounder. The fourth and final regular season meeting between the teams that are presently No. 2 (Sparks) and No. 4 (Lynx) in the Western Conference standings goes back to Staples Center on Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN2). After that, the Sparks have seven regular-season games left until Aug. 19, and then the playoff start.