Letters: Nine isn't fine with all UCLA fans

Readers comment on UCLA, USC and the football season before the bowls begin

The Bruins won't be national champions.

A Bruin won't be the Heisman Trophy winner.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Headlines you can count on. Year after year, decade after decade.

Thank you, Jim Mora, for keeping the Bruins football tradition alive.

Bill Saracino

Glendale

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Being competitive in the conference, beating USC and going to a "nice" bowl game used to be the goal of UCLA football coaches. Now it is considered a disappointment. For that we have Coach Mora to thank. I know another school that would be happy to have Nine-Win Jim.

Wes Wellman

Santa Monica

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I was dismayed with all the Heisman and championship hype that began the UCLA football season. Predictions like that put too much pressure on a team and the fan base starts to expect too much. Instead of playing Bruin ball they played tentatively. Expectations fell flat and now critics abound.

I choose to look on the positive side. I saw some very exciting football games and enjoyed dozens of thrills. This team brought us many terrific wins and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat numerous times. The Bruins posted nine or more wins for the third straight year. The team may not have won the Pac-12 South, but they beat Arizona, Arizona State and USC.

We suffered a major setback against Stanford, but we remain loyal and supportive. And who knows what can happen with a tweak here and a tweak there? Why, the future looks positively (Josh) Rosen!

Willie Quiñones

Torrance

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The USC mantra under Pete Carroll was "Leave No Doubt!" Until Saturday's blowout against Notre Dame, where they finally finished a game against a quality opponent, the mantra was "Achieve No Rout!"

Larry Herrera

Redondo Beach

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If Heisman candidates are based upon devouring cream puffs, then Bill Plaschke [Nov. 30] is right: Cody Kessler is an odds-on favorite. Looking at Kessler's touchdown passes, 30 of the 36 were against Fresno State, Boston College, Colorado, Washington State, Cal and Notre Dame. A feast on bottom feeders. Against Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and UCLA, he had a whopping total of four.

Reid Rose

San Dimas

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Bill Dwyre [Dec. 2] has either been hitting the Christmas eggnog early or has no concept of the competitive nature of athletes. What football player wants to end the season with a loss when he has the opportunity to redeem himself with a win in a bowl game? USC was thrashed by UCLA but redeemed itself with a win against Notre Dame. Did Bill Dwyre suggest that they not bother to show up against Notre Dame?

I must have missed the part about Dwyre suggesting USC pass on a bowl. Do I smell a Trojan bias from The Times?

Tom Roldan

Diamond Bar

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Thanks to Bill Dwyre for laying out the truth about bowl games. They've proliferated not to reward success but to generate profit. The majority involve middling teams, and ESPN compensates their mediocrity with a few hundred thousand dollars per school while reaping millions in ad revenue.

Try watching a few games and count how many times ESPN shows wide shots of the stands. They don't — because ESPN knows half-empty stadiums accurately depict the indifference of fans and the insignificance of the product they're selling.

Cy Bolton

Rancho Cucamonga

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After reading Chris Dufresne's article on the "Coulda Beens," regarding the final four and those left out, I was trying to decide who suffered more from the delusions of grandeur, he or Steve Sarkisian. Not atomic physics here: You simply cannot be dragged around a football field four times by lesser opponents and spin it that you just missed out on the national title picture. When you consider the athletes they put on the field, USC's uninspired and unmotivated play can be attributed to one thing: the delusional Lane Kiffin knockoff driving the bus.

Dan Johnson

Burbank

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Stanford, with its massive linemen, has been a terrible matchup for UCLA for the last eight years. When quarterback Kevin Hogan finally had a great game, the Cardinal played like the top-10 team we expected. USC, with its depth problems, couldn't stay in the game with a very talented UCLA team whose wins and strength of schedule should have kept them ranked in the top 10. And Notre Dame lost to Arizona State by 24, followed by two more losses before getting crushed by USC.

Instead of bashing UCLA and Notre Dame, maybe we should just acknowledge the strength of the Pac-12.

Lon Shapiro

Chatsworth

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What does all-conference mean when the leading rusher in the Pac-12, UCLA's Paul Perkins, can't crack the first or second team? What a joke!

Vincent Martinez

Arcadia

Protest

If the St. Louis Rams' players are not punished for their "hands-up" gesture, should John Carlos and Tommie Smith be given back their Olympic medals?

Ian Bardin

Redondo Beach

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May I suggest sports are a safety valve that relieves the pressure and strain of today's bombardment of political, economic, and social turmoil? Sports is a unique place where fans become emotionally part of a team. The Lakers, for example, don't only win and lose — we do too.

I do not criticize what the Rams players were demonstrating. I say it is not for them or anyone else to take their message to our sports sanctuaries. We don't need them reminding us about the troubles and turmoil we escape from for a few hours of sport.

We need a separation of sport and statement.

Ken Johnson

Piñon Hills

And the Lakers...

Mike Bresnahan [Dec. 4] writes that the Lakers failed to convince Pau Gasol to stay. He conveniently leaves out that for the last bunch of years Gasol was dangled as bait every time there was the slightest hint of an available trade, thus fueling Pau's desire to get out of Dodge. Then in another article on the same day, Bresnahan wonders if the Lakers will have enough pieces to entice Kobe Bryant to play in 2016. Mike, do you really want the cap-sucking Mamba around past the end of his contract? Or are you as delusional as the Lakers management?

Gary H. Miller

Encino

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Will someone please whisper to Kobe that based on his recent assist outburst of 12.5 assists per game, he will catch Magic Johnson as all-time Lakers assist leader in just over four years. That puts the record-setting day squarely on the 2018 Christmas Day game against the Chicago Bulls. And, based on the recent results, that game may actually matter.

Chris Hibler

San Juan Capistrano

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Questions for Bill Plaschke: Which is worse, intentionally losing while stockpiling high draft picks like the Philadelphia 76ers, or losing unintentionally while actually trying to win and throwing away the team's high draft picks as the Lakers do? Which team at least has a realistic plan?

Richard Raffalow

Valley Glen

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This is how bad it really has become.

A lot of us are more interested in seeing Jim Buss without his cap on rather than the atrocious Lakers' salary cap dilemma.

Jim B. Parsons

Carpinteria

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