Morning briefing

Times Staff Writer

He makes an Ohio statement

Hut one, hut two. Open mouth, insert football.

That would be the snap count and cadence for Carson Palmer of USC and the Cincinnati Bengals, who had to break into some open-field fence-mending after airing out the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Palmer, who was in L.A. for former USC teammate Matt Leinart’s charity bowling event, visited KLAC and wound up ripping the Buckeyes, who play the Trojans at the Coliseum on Sept. 13.


Said Palmer: “I don’t watch what I say. I cannot stand the Buckeyes and having to live in Ohio. . . . It drives me completely nuts . . . I just can’t wait for this game to get here so they can come out to the Coliseum and experience L.A. and get an old-fashioned Pac-10 butt-whipping.”

Palmer explained later he was speaking to a local audience as a Trojans follower and didn’t mean any harm.

At least Bengals owner Mike Brown got the joke. Kicking off the team’s preseason news conference, Brown said he had an announcement to read.

“It says, ‘Go Bucks,’ signed, Carson Palmer.”

Trivia time

What quarterback who played college football in Los Angeles and was a first-round NFL draft pick and said at his introductory pro news conference that he hardly ever read the local sports page or watched the TV sports because of negativity, said the traffic drove him crazy and was “ready to get out of L.A. [because] it’s too up-tempo for me.”?


Randy Friedman is the executive vice president of the Tampa Bay Rays and Matt Silverman is the Rays’ president, but you wouldn’t have known that the other night at a game against the Oakland Athletics.


Instead of making trades, smoking cigars in back rooms or second-guessing the manager, they were going incognito -- as ushers.

The idea is to build a better connection between the team and the fans.

Good plan. Here’s a better one: Finish ahead of the Red Sox and Yankees and win the American League East.

Sales pitch


Michael Vick who? The Atlanta Falcons have bought about 250 30-second spots on two Atlanta television stations and about 2,000 spots on local radio stations, according to a report in USA Today.

That’s in addition to e-mails sent to 600,000 in the team’s database and the 23 billboards that carry this message: “Screamers Wanted.” Translation: Tickets are still available.

You can be sure they are, with the 4-12 Falcons still trying to shake the messy fallout of Vick and the dog cruelty case.

Good plan. Here’s a better one: Finish ahead of New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Carolina and win the NFC South.


Shell game

You’re not going to be able to shell out for peanuts in the future at Seattle’s Safeco Field, at least in some spots. The Mariners have designed two seating areas for upcoming games as peanut-controlled zones for fans with peanut allergies.

Buy them some _________ and crackerjack.

Trivia answer


Carson Palmer of USC in 2003.

And finally

Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch wrote that he isn’t sure Palmer’s soliloquy against the hometown Buckeyes is such a big deal: “Opening the season against I-AA Youngstown State and charging your fans $70 per ticket is more offensive than anything Carson Palmer said.”