December is chalk-full of great sporting events and since we’ve just passed through Thanksgiving, a holiday all about football in the sports world, let’s begin there.
Our region’s one and only professional franchise, the San Diego Chargers are fighting for a playoff spot. But to get there, they have a tough schedule that includes hosting the New England Patriots on Dec. 7 and the Denver Broncos on Dec. 14. And if you want to see the Chargers play the San Francisco 49ers, take a weekend road trip up north and they’ll be playing on Dec. 20.
UCLA and USC have wrapped up their regular season games (their playoff and Bowl schedules were not available at the time this went to print). San Diego gets to host San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23 at Qualcomm Stadium, which is also the site of the Dec. 27 National University Holiday Bowl.
If those cold 60-degree winter days that come crashing down on Southern California are too much for you, head indoors and catch a little basketball. The struggling Los Angeles Lakers host the New Orleans Pelicans (Dec. 7) Sacramento Kings (Dec. 8), Oklahoma Thunder (Dec. 19), Golden State Warriors (Dec. 23) and close out the 2014 home schedule with the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 28.
In addition to being the home court of the Lakers, Staples Center is also home to the Los Angeles Clippers, who are having a much more successful season than their roomies. The Clippers host the Minnesota Timberwolves (Dec. 1), Orlando Magic (Dec. 3), New Orleans Pelicans (Dec. 6), Phoenix Suns (Dec. 8), Detroit Pistons (Dec. 15), Indiana Pacers (Dec. 17), Milwaukee Bucks (Dec. 20), a Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz (Dec. 29) and close out the year with New Year’s Eve game against the New York Knicks.
If you enjoy college basketball, USC is hosting Loyola Marymount (Dec. 3), Utah State (Dec. 7), Army (Dec. 13) and Vermont on Dec. 30—all at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. UCLA has invited Cal State Fullerton (Dec. 3), San Diego (Dec. 7), UC Riverside (Dec. 10) and Gonzaga (Dec. 13) to join them at Pauley Pavilion.
While Southern California is not known for our snow, we have done pretty well on the ice in recent years. The reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angles Kings are playing against the Boston Bruins (Dec. 2), Philadelphia Flyers (Dec. 6), St. Louis Blues (Dec. 18), Arizona Coyotes (Dec. 20), Calgary Flames (Dec. 22) and the San Jose Sharks (Dec. 27) at Staples Center.
In Anaheim, the Ducks are home at the Honda Center hosting the Boston Bruins (Dec. 1), Philadelphia Flyers (Dec. 3), Edmonton Oilers (Dec. 10), San Jose Sharks (Dec. 22), Vancouver Canucks (28th) and a New Year’s Eve battle with the San Jose Sharks.
And while the baseball season is long over, congratulations are due to the Angels’ Mike Trout, who won his first MVP, and to the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who also won his first MVP and his third Cy Young award.
With regards to the events listed above, more detailed information is available at the team or event websites, so please check for dates, times and ticket availability. Please know that this short column only touches the surface of the various sporting events available for your attending and viewing pleasure. I’ve tried to cover the “bigger events,” and a couple of those that might be less well known.
While you’re visiting, should you find an upcoming event that you think would be of interest, or one I missed this month but should note it for next year, just drop me a line. Enjoy!