It occurs to me that Joe Torre and Norm Chow were separated at birth. Sure, they both have stellar reputations, but where? Joe with the Yankees, the best team that money can buy and with the Dodgers with a healthy Manny. But take away his record with the Yankees, he's got a losing record as a manager.
As for Norm, when he was at USC and had the best college players at his disposal, he could do no wrong. At BYU, the quarterbacks were good. And now he's at UCLA, where the talent level is lower and Norm's true coaching "expertise" has been exposed.
Ezra D. Rappaport
Let's see, if I'm a top high school quarterback, would I want to be humiliated and embarrassed on national TV? If the answer is yes, then UCLA is my choice! Rick Neuheisel's verbal abuse to the QBs in Washington was a national embarrassment. At halftime Neuheisel said that Brehaut needs to relax and execute — relax is an oxymoron with an embarrassing, maniacal coach screaming at him every time he walks off the field. That program is far adrift from the classy tradition of John Wooden.
Also, since when was "run on first and second down and pass on third down" an idea conceived by one of the greatest offensive minds in college football?
Any fan of college football knows that Rick Neuheisel's ranting was not unusual. In almost all games there are instances of a coach getting in the face of a player and "quizzing" the player vigorously. Why do the schools tolerate behavior by the coaches that would be completely unacceptable if done by an administrator to a subordinate, or by a professor to a student? How can coaches criticize out-of-control behavior by players while indulging their own? Such demeaning behavior is not necessary, as was amply shown by Coach Wooden.
At this pace Rick Neuheisel may leave the same way as Woody Hayes.
Rick Neuheisel deserves great credit for the relentlessly optimistic attitude he has demonstrated during a season defined by a series of calamitous injuries to his players. Moreover, Coach Neuheisel is to be complimented for his unfailing politeness in dealing with the increasingly snarky "Page 2" columnist T.J. Simers. While once clever, Mr. Simers' habitual sarcasm and bitterness have understandably disaffected most of his targets. Mr. Neuheisel's continuing willingness to indulge interview requests in the face of Mr. Simers' mean-spirited broadsides stands as a shining example of class and professionalism.
UCLA may not end this season with a winning record, but their coach's commitment to positivity bodes well for the future.
R. Konrad Moore
Any truth to the rumor that after USC's Matt Barkley threw the interception that was run back for an Oregon State touchdown last Saturday, he received a chewing-out text message from Rick Neuheisel?
I'm thoroughly convinced that at 66 years old, I will not live long enough to see UCLA win a conference championship, let alone a national title. And with each passing year, Terry Donahue looks to be a much better coach than we thought he was.
Football fans in Southern California are being sold a bill of goods.
UCLA has quarterbacks guru Norm Chow and look at that sorry mess.
USC has defensive guru Monte Kiffin and that has to be the worst defensive team in the history of Trojans football.
What a story attributed to the life of Anthony Davis [" 'Dame Fortune," Nov. 23]. I wonder if it was caused by messing with the Fighting Irish? The luck of the Irish is well-known, but the repercussions of messing with them is also known by those who live through it.
I like A.D. and am truly sorry for his experience in doing so much damage to Notre Dame. May he find repentance, go to confession and resolve to never do it again and we can arrange some absolution for his past.
A.D. is just another in a long line of former athletes who have no real academic background preparing them for life after sports. And you see the result.
A friend of his says, "He's felt he's had to fight for every inch." Yeah, maybe on the field! Grow up, A.D., get an education and stop trying to cash in on a long-ago college football career!
I, for one, feel no sorrow for this clown as he has gotten what he deserves — living with his mom and checking doorknobs for a living.
So The Times has nothing better to write about than picking on a harmless guy who peaked out as a college football star but has fallen on hard times ever since. What happened, run out of things to say about the McCourts?
In 1968 tennis got tired of wallowing in hypocrisy and whining about the purity of amateurism, and allowed players who accepted money to play in the Grand Slam events. In 1978, the IOC got tired of wallowing in hypocrisy and whining about the purity of amateurism, and allowed players who accepted money to enter the Olympics.
In 2010, the NCAA is still wallowing in hypocrisy and whining about the purity of amateurism. Except it allows Jake Locker to accept a quarter-million dollars as a professional athlete and still play college football. It's time for the NCAA to enter the 20th century, if not the 21st. And time for Bill Plaschke [Nov. 19] to stop wallowing in hypocrisy and whining about the purity of amateurism.
This semester I was limping as usual to the Doheny library at USC when I was offered a ride in one of the many golf carts on campus. Good thing I didn't accept, since I hadn't used up any of my football eligibility in college 50 years ago! I had considered taking ballroom dancing as Matt Leinart did his last year and trying out as a walk-on (OK, a limp-on).
I am worried, though, that the two steroids that I took last summer for gout might show up in blood tests and ruin my planned second career. These NCAA regulations are sure tough on an old feller who still has game.
Emeritus professor, USC
I have been listening to sports talk radio since "Jeff from Tarzana" was "Jeff from Reseda." I am so glad Bill Plaschke wrote the article on Joe McDonnell. Sports talk in Los Angeles is definitely not the same without him. He always had the stories, the good guests and also was fun to listen to. My friends and I were some of those fans who followed him. No matter where we would see him and how busy he was, he took time out to talk to us.
Someone needs to give Joe a job in Los Angeles sports talk radio.
Doug Krikorian can't figure out why Joe's not a radio sports-talk host? I'll tell you why: Because to most of the callers he was the Big Nasty, rude, arrogant and condescending, and he enjoyed it. When he interviewed players, GMs and sports celebrities, he was pleasant and engaging. Then as soon as he'd go back to taking calls he'd "flip the switch" and go back to the "Big Nasty" persona. He took advantage of the L.A. sports scene's obsession with sports-talk radio and fell into the trap that many radio hosts do — thinking that he knew it all and most callers were "idiots" if they dared to disagree with him.
I applaud him for taking steps to improve his health and life, but I certainly don't miss his radio personality.
The Big Skinny is still magic. I read a Plaschke column. To the end.
Ohio State President Gordon Gee's comments were so arrogant and audacious that he should join the school's marching band and dot the "i" in Idiot.
The BCS format will hopefully be replaced by some type of playoff system soon, but until then I'm thankful something is in place to keep these large institutions, like Ohio State, from bullying their way ahead of more deserving schools.
When Roger Goodell refers to Mr. Vick with his statement "society needs more success stories," it brings to mind Bobby Jones' statement, "You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank".
David Stern, as head of the No Brains Assn., when your refs are perfect and never blow or miss a call, then you can demand players be like little angels.
And, while we're at it, how about striking these "unwritten" rules from the officiating playbook:
1. Home teams get the calls.
2. Superstars get the calls. Rookies don't.
3. A foul in the first quarter may not necessarily be a foul in the fourth quarter.
4. (And, here's the best one) The refs let the players decide the final moments of a game.
David, clean your glasses, stop "looking" at focus groups, and "focus" on fan and player reactions to this latest ridiculous and petty rule.
Let's see, the doctor has cleared Bynum to jump and dunk? Has he also cleared him to go ahead and blow out his good knee? I'm curious. Is this doctor from Boston?
After his "decision," LeBron James talked about winning 5, 6, 7, 8. I assumed he meant championships, not games.
As a Dodgers fan, I would no sooner be congratulatory toward the Giants' World Series victory as I would be thrilled if the Celtics had sustained their Game 7 lead.
Merely typing those words caused me to spontaneously combust.
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