While I hope the Raiders will be moving to Los Angeles, I will say that I admire Stan Kroenke for making a move without the league's approval in building a stadium in Inglewood for the Rams to possibly return. The NFL needs to realize that L.A. belongs to the fans and not the league. Because the NFL has been unable or unwilling to do anything in the last 20 years to bring a team to the second largest market in the nation, they should not be allowed to dictate who, where and when.
Of course, no NFL team is moving to L.A. now, in the intermediate or even distant future. Why? Because the NFL has made L.A. its permanent bargaining chip with disgruntled owners. Sadly, there is a group of owners who would just as soon consign a future L.A. franchise to the trash heap of important issues to be undertaken. And sadly, for L.A. fans, that appears to be a large majority. For shame.
Lawrence M. Kates
The problem with UCLA basketball is not the coaching, but the recruiting. Teams like Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina are great every year because they attract the best players. One of the primary reasons for this is better television exposure. The last few years, UCLA's main television coverage has been on the lowly Pac-12 Networks. The majority of cable carriers do not have this channel, therefore fewer and fewer viewers are able to watch Bruins games. The Pac-12 has made a terrible decision by contracting with this network and unless they are able to get better local and national television exposure for their players, UCLA basketball will be doomed to mediocrity.
During Thursday night's highly competitive basketball game between UCLA and Stanford, Bill Walton, who likes any Bruins opponent more, finally imploded. With raised arms and leering looks into the cameras, his considerable ego led him astray. Often casting rambling and belittling remarks against his partner, both coaches, and players on the floor, he was such a bore. When my polite and normally calm wife yelled, "Shut up, Bill, so we can enjoy the game," I got the message and hit mute on the TV.
So as a Bruins alumni and fan, here's my plea to ESPN, Pac-12 Networks, and other powers that be. Please, for the rest of the season, assign Bill to Arizona, Utah, or anyplace else other than UCLA. That would surely make him happy, as well as me.
Pine Mountain Club, Calif.
Jim Mora has done an outstanding job at UCLA so far. But before we anoint him as the next Pete Carroll, let's see how the team does without Brett Hundley (arguably the greatest Bruins athlete since Jackie Robinson) and Eric Kendricks (Butkus Award winner). True, he has two 10-win seasons and defeated USC three times in a row; however, even with this 2014 outstanding team, he didn't win the Pac-12 South, much less the conference or national title. Let's circle January 2016 for the Coronation Ball.
As a UCLA alum, I am pleased with two consecutive 10-win seasons and bowl victories. However, what was disappointing, shocking and even embarrassing about the Kansas State game were the number of personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties collected by the Bruins.
Jim Mora is on record saying how much he enjoys college football and that he feels he has something to offer this age group. If this is what he is offering, I for one would invite him to go offer it someplace else.
Does UCLA practice committing penalties, or does UCLA recruit players who are already good at it?
Rebuttal to rebuttal
Dear Mr. Thrasher,
You declared that Bill Plaschke "impugned the university's academic credentials." Really?
You say: Florida State is a fine academic institution, boasting six Nobel laureates, and admitting only those students with a GPA average of over 4.0; and test score averages of 1900 on the SATs (highly unlikely).
What you neglected to say how this thug Jameis Winston made it past your hallowed doors. Do he and his team members carry a GPA average of over 4.0? And as president of the university, Mr. Thrasher, you have the power to put out a cease-and-desist order on that moronic and insulting war chant, followed by the infamous hand chop so enamored by your politically tasteless student body.
Not high on Selig
Bill Dwyre writes that "Fans who disliked [Selig] seemed to dismiss his accomplishments." That's just not so. Whether it is canceling the World Series, abetting the deluge of PEDs in the sport and corrupting the record books in the process, attempting to contract the Twins out of existence, or handing one of the most storied franchises in the game over to a pair of carpetbaggers like the McCourts, I give Bud Selig full credit.
Bill Dwyre's myopic take on Bud Selig's "admirable" stewardship of baseball stunningly ignores the elephant in the room. Almost a thousand words on Selig's career as commissioner of baseball and not a single mention of the steroid era? Because of Selig's leadership, Barry Bonds' name will forever sit above Hank Aaron. Enough said.
Troy Aikman and everyone in the booth declared the play to be a penalty, but the referees did not. That's what counts, no matter how wrong they were.
It was not an honest decision, it was a political decision. They were afraid they would not leave that place alive if they allowed their initial decision to stand.
Gary M. Barnbaum
I remember when the "12th man" was the home crowd. Now it is the referee crew.
It's one thing to lose to a team if you don't have the manpower, but the Lakers' shameful performance against the Clippers was abysmal. Losing by 40 in the fourth quarter before making it somewhat respectable? They didn't quit, they just never showed up in the first place. I hear the police arrested them after the game and charged each player with one count of stealing money and one count of impersonating an NBA team.
The Clippers could beat the Lakers every single game from now until the end of time, but SoCal always has been and always will belong to the Lakers. Whose 16 championship banners are covered when the other team plays? Win one game in June and be even semi-relevant in that month and then stick out your chest and tell us how great you are but until then just go back in the corner and be seen but not heard like the Clippers franchise has been almost since Day One.
Gary H. Miller
The Lakers, then and now:
Then: The old Kobe.
Now: An old Kobe.
Then: Jerry and Phil.
Now: Jim and Jeanie.
Then: Byron on the floor.
Now: Byron on the bench.
Then: Fisher and Horry in the clutch.
Now: Nash and Randle on a crutch.
Then: Magic running the break.
Now: Nick running his mouth.
Then: Season goal to win the championship.
Now: Season goal to win the lottery.
In the debate on whose town it is, Lakers or Clippers: Until either of them wins a championship, hail to the Kings!
A big dig
Was Frank McCourt on the USOC commitee?
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
Mail: Sports Viewpoint
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Fax: (213) 237-4322