As I've Said All Along, This Is a Bruin Town

I've been a Bruin fan for as long as I can remember.

The simple fact is, I like a team that has the ability to extend an unbelievable winning streak.

My favorite color, of course, has always been blue.

Now I have no idea how high Karl Dorrell jumped off his couch Wednesday night, but right now he can speak about winning his last game, while the other guy, old what's his name, has some explaining to do.

He can begin with a pair of fourth-down calls to go for it -- one in the first quarter, and another in the fourth -- and I know for a fact after watching Dorrell at work against USC, he would never have done that.

How do you measure greatness? USC went ahead 7-0 with a chance to make it 10-0, and maybe 17-0 before an ill-advised Reggie Bush lateral resulted in a turnover. All the momentum was going the Trojans' way, just as it had for Northwestern, who had built a 22-0 lead on UCLA in this year's all-important Sun Bowl.

Great teams, of course, bounce back to win, which allows me to mention Texas and UCLA in the same sentence.

*

SOME PEOPLE might say no one has played better in Pasadena the last two years than Texas. But if it's true, as coaches and players tell us, that you're only as good as your last game, then how about those Bruins?

Texas not only had fans who were louder than the jaded USC followers, and a more entertaining band, but it answered every Trojan challenge, including a phenomenal job in putting the wraps on Bush for much of the game.

As for the Trojans, and what have they done for us lately other than disappoint, they should get credit for the Heisman Trophy factory they have become, all but assuring Vince Young will win it next season -- if he returns to school.

*

OBVIOUSLY, THE belly dancers are going to have to do a better job of attracting defensive players to USC, because when it came time to salt away a third consecutive national title, the Trojans were unable to pressure the quarterback, unable to cover the Longhorn receivers and failed to keep Texas out of the end zone.

One defensive stop on fourth and five and USC rules the world. Instead, the Trojans must begin anew, hoping somehow to one day again enjoy the same momentum UCLA now feels.

I hope to go golfing with Uncle Karl in the next week or so, and talk a little about next year's dynamite team. I'll ask what I can do to help, and maybe where I might be able to buy an UCLA Aloha shirt.

I never did like the way I looked in that other one.

*

I AM calling on the police, the vice squad, the FBI or whatever the proper authority to arrest the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times for illegal gambling, which might even be a federal offense since it's wagering across state lines.

The Times' editorial board announced in Wednesday morning's newspaper it had made a wager with the Dallas Morning News, promising to praise the state of Texas for the good things it has to offer in an editorial if the Longhorns defeated the Trojans. That would be the first time, I think, The Times would knowingly be publishing things not true.

In describing it as a "friendly wager," The Times doesn't mention that anyone else receiving such advertising space to promote the best it might have to offer -- true or not -- would pay around $10,000, making this a considerable financial wager on the outcome of a sporting event.

"Why should governors get all the action?" is how The Times' editorial page put it Wednesday morning. " ... Our respective editorial boards are betting our most treasured resource -- our opinions."

I would've thought the editorial board's most treasured resource was its integrity, so I called the editorial page editor, Andres Martinez and got a call back from Michael Newman, which is the kind of thing that happens to me when I call the Dodgers.

Newman said Martinez was out of town last week, had nothing to do with the contest, and probably is in hiding now in case the authorities stage a raid.

"It's not the end of the world type thing here and I don't think our integrity is at stake; it's all in good fun," Newman said. That's what most gamblers say before standing up at a meeting and admitting they have a problem.

The Dallas Morning News published an editorial Wednesday announcing the wager, which read: "Why should the governors hog all the action on tonight's Rose Bowl?" which was very close to the way The Times' editorial note began. The Dallas editorial continued, "We editorial writers have decided to gamble our most treasured products," once again sounding like The Times' blurb, and we might have a plagiarism problem here as well.

I reminded Newman that Times' sports writers are not allowed to cast Heisman Trophy votes, or anything else, but now The Times' editorial page was openly rooting for USC.

"We don't have to be objective," he said. "We just have to be fair."

Tell it to the judge at the arraignment.

*

TODAY'S LAST word comes in (immediate) e-mail from Mirja Bishop:

"Try eating a little dead meat next time. It might help you. As far as your Trojans are concerned, they are dead meat. Go Bruins. We win when it really counts."

That's what I like about our guys.

T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
63°