This week, the Top Five takes a look over the entire Los Angeles sports landscape, picking the most appropriate Tom Petty song to describe each team. For the most part, this means Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but can also include Petty's solo work, or any collaborations with other artists (I'm looking in your direction, Traveling Wilburys).
Without further ado, here are the top five Tom Petty songs to describe LA sports squads
Angels - Free Fallin'
On July 4, the Angels were very much in the race at 46-38, only three and a half games behind the Rangers, but since then the Halos are 20-33 to drop far out of contention. For the most part, the offense has gone south, as the Angels are averaging 3.66 runs per game in their last 53 games. They are 10-21 on the road during that period as well. To top things off, the Angels have been swept, twice, by the Orioles, who have the worst record in the American League.
This is the song new athletic director Pat Haden has played for Reggie Bush, as the program has disassociated itself from the former Heisman Trophy winner after getting hit with NCAA sanctions earlier this year. For the Trojans, we would have also accepted Into The Great Wide Open, which, after Hawaii piled up 588 yards on Thursday, could describe the unmolested path taken by opposing offenses this season.
Blake Griffin was drafted first overall in the 2009 NBA draft, but has yet to play an NBA game, missing all of his first season with a stress fracture in his left leg. This year, he's healthy and ready to go, and he is surrounded by a nice nucleus of players. However, if the Clippers are going to make any noise, they need Griffin to stay on the floor, so they should protect him at all costs.
Dodgers - I Won't Back Down
This is for general manager Ned Colletti, who has refused to admit defeat this season even in the face of insurmountable playoff odds. He reportedly had a chance to deal both Hiroki Kuroda and Ted Lilly, both impending free agents, at the end of August, but pulled both back off waivers. If the Dodgers don't re-sign or at least offer arbitration to both pitchers, this lack of movement will have been for naught.
For the Dodgers, we would also accept Don't Do Me Like That, which is what fans would like to tell both Frank and Jamie McCourt. Also, given that Joe Torre still hasn't announced his decision on whether or not he will manage the club in 2011, I Need To Know would work, too.
UCLA - You Wreck Me
A perfect song for junior linebacker Akeem Ayers, who destroys opponents and who has a chance to collect a lot of hardware this season.We would have also accepted Breakdown, which described the Bruins' rush defense in the second half against Kansas State on Saturday.
I am cheating a bit here, adding a sixth song, but there is no better Petty song to describe the back-to-back NBA champions. In the end, Los Angeles is a Laker town, and we're all subjects.