Sam Farmer

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Sam Farmer, a three-time finalist for California Sportswriter of the Year, is in his 20th season covering the NFL. Because he works for the Los Angeles Times in a city that only recently got an NFL team, he's had unique assignments such as traveling with an officiating crew, spending a week behind the scenes with Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, spending a Sunday watching games with John Madden, sitting next to Al Michaels in the "Monday Night Football" booth, and climbing Mount Rainier – or at least to base camp – with Commissioner Roger Goodell. Farmer, a 1988 graduate of Occidental College, began his career at small papers in the Pacific Northwest before moving onto the San Jose Mercury News, where he was an Oakland Raiders beat writer for five seasons. At various times, he has also been a beat writer covering the NBA, PGA Tour, and college football and basketball.

Recent Articles

  • Ask Farmer: Explaining the 'foot' in football

    Ask Farmer: Explaining the 'foot' in football

    Have a question about the NFL? Ask Times NFL writer Sam Farmer, and he will answer as many as he can online and in the Sunday editions of the newspaper throughout the season. Email questions to: sam.farmer@latimes.com :: Why is it called “foot”ball when the feet are rarely used outside of the kickoff,...

  • Trump's latest target is the sports world, and it's fighting back

    Trump's latest target is the sports world, and it's fighting back

    Sports and politics, two worlds that usually like to stay clear of each other, found themselves on a collision course when President Trump decided to take on both the National Football League and the National Basketball Assn. The response from players and the NFL was akin to a benches-clearing...

  • The NFL is always full of surprises, and 2017 has provided plenty

    The NFL is always full of surprises, and 2017 has provided plenty

    Football is a game of misdirection, so we can’t always believe our eyes. It’s only Week 3 of the NFL season, so we’re still going to see a lot of developments that seem like trends but turn out to be hiccups. Lots of false starts, if you will. Still, there are some surprises in this young season,...

  • Chargers moving back to San Diego? Not much of a chance

    Chargers moving back to San Diego? Not much of a chance

    The Chargers’ move to Los Angeles has been more underwhelming than any franchise relocation in memory. The club doesn’t have a big fan base here, and failed in its debut to sell out the 27,000-seat StubHub Center, less than half the size of the next-smallest NFL stadium. Although the team has talent,...

  • Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 3

    Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 3

    The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 13-3 (.813); season 22-9 (.710). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 10-6 (.625); season...

  • Alex Smith has reinvented his play and his legacy with the Chiefs

    Alex Smith has reinvented his play and his legacy with the Chiefs

    The words were sympathetic and surprising. Before Alex Smith made his first start for San Francisco in 2005, the mother of legendary 49ers quarterback Steve Young pulled his parents aside and offered her condolences. “She said, `Oh, I’m so sorry for you. I can’t imagine having to go through that...

  • L.A. Times' Sam Farmer predicts the Rams will beat the 49ers 23-16 in Thursday night football

    L.A. Times' Sam Farmer predicts the Rams will beat the 49ers 23-16 in Thursday night football

    NFL Thursday night RAMS (1-1) AT SAN FRANCISCO (0-2) When: 5:15 p.m. PDT, Ch. 4 and NFL Network. Line: Rams by 2. Over/under: 40. Sam Farmer’s pick: Despite losing at home to Washington, the Rams are finally dynamic on offense. They’re playing with confidence. The 49ers are pretty solid, but they...

  • Denver Broncos are off to a running start

    Denver Broncos are off to a running start

    The team from the Mile High City is on the rise. The Denver Broncos are running the ball and stopping the run — they did neither well last season — and have a surprisingly effective quarterback in Trevor Siemian. As a result, they are 2-0 with impressive home victories over the Chargers and Dallas,...

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