Letters: Season ends with a whimper, not a bang, for USC and UCLA
The Foster Farms Bowl was hardly finger-lickin’ good; more like “the sky is falling” for the chicken little Bruins. I now know the answer to which came first. UCLA laid the egg.
Next time there’s preseason talk about my Bruins contending for a national championship, I trust that it will be just a bit more realistic than it has been the past two or three seasons. Myles Jack or not, we had no defense to speak of, and not enough Oregon-like offense to compensate for that by winning game after game by scores like 48-37. Here was a Nebraska team that, with a 5-7 record, did not even belong in a bowl game, yet proved they were the better team.
Jim Mora is the Bernie Madoff of college football. He squandered the inheritance of Brett Hundley, a Neuheisel recruit, easily the best UCLA quarterback since Cade McNown. Having never beaten Stanford or Oregon, Mora’s legacy is no more impressive than that of his predecessor. Losing a bowl game to a 5-7 Nebraska team is the ultimate embarrassment in the Mora era.
Mark S. Roth
I guess Cody Kessler has never heard of Doug Flutie.
Despite Bill Plaschke and Clay Helton apparently going to the same hair stylist, Plaschke now is exhibiting the first signs of bailing out on his strong support of Clay, not that we should too be surprised.
Perhaps we all ought to be thankful that Pete Carroll looks pretty solid in Seattle or Plaschke would have him competing against Chip Kelly as a finalist for the guy to replace his former can’t-miss pick, Helton.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Jim B. Parsons
As USC seeks to add new luxury suites by reducing the Coliseum seating capacity almost 20%, it seems Pat Haden’s strategy was to bypass any of the bigger-name candidates and move quickly to hire a neophyte head coach to polarize and eradicate the Trojans’ fan base, thus lessening the demand for tickets. Now, after ending the season with losses in three of their last four games, continued mediocrity ensues. Clearly, it can be said this brilliant plan is working.
Hey ESPN, because of your ridiculous scheduling, we’ve missed the beginning of almost every USC game on your network this season, including the entire first quarter of the Holiday Bowl against Wisconsin.
Come to think of it, thanks.
In watching the bowl games this season, I have come to four conclusions.
First, no one channel should have control of the games because one cannot see the games one wants to when they start; second, the second and third person in the broadcast booth are superfluous and add nothing to the games except cheerleading; third, the has-been, clueless talking heads at halftime should be replaced by allowing us to watch the bands; and fourth, USC and UCLA are going to have to get a lot tougher, a lot stronger, more disciplined and more imaginative if they want to play with the big boys. Right now they are both second-tier at best, the only Pac-12 teams to lose in bowl games.
Leaning to the left
The signing of Scott Kazmir should be great news for Clayton Kershaw. Now he’ll only have to pitch every other day.
Dodgers sign Scott Kazmir to the rotation. Not even a Bernie Sanders White House would have that many lefties.
Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi needs to actually talk to Dodgers fans as opposed to “thinking” what drives them. Dodgers fans won’t be happy with a “good and competitive” team unless that team beats the Giants each and every year. You don’t do that by swapping Greinke for Kazmir in your rotation.
As anyone who’s ever coached Little League will tell you, parents always want to see their kids pitch. This week proved why. The Dodgers “settle” for a barely .500 (98-90) lifetime pitcher for the low, low price of $48 million! No wonder the dream lives in all those parents. Where else can a guy barely break even and make that kind of dough? Only in America.
Baseball analytics has never won a World Series, so by all means let’s embrace it. Right now the Dodgers are at best a third-place team in their division. If the front office works any harder, we’re talking basement.
Hiring Dave Roberts was an excellent choice. Leave him alone to run the team on the field and we may have a fighting chance for success. Any chance we can trade Friedman for Brian Sabean or maybe Sabean’s dog? Let’s raise ticket prices again and Go Blue.
Michael J. Anderson
Clearly, Andrew Friedman is not ready to play with the big boys. Instead of worrying about how effective Zack Greinke will be in the final two years of a seven-year contract, he should have been excited about how many wins Greinke would have in the first five years of the contract.
On the bright side, Friedman is the perfect guy to find a backup second baseman with a decent on-base percentage whom no one else wants.
Happy holidays, Dodger fans.
With all the time that Dodgers “owner” Magic Johnson doesn’t spend in his stadium office reeling in big-time free agents as he had promised, it is amazing he has the time to continue tweeting his ongoing critique of Lakers woes.
After going so long without a single pro football team, does Los Angeles really need three mediocre ones? The Chargers, Rams and Raiders will not make the playoffs this year and most likely won’t in the foreseeable future. This city needs a contender pronto! I suggest the three teams consolidate, putting the best players from each on the field. That would make the L.A. Raider-Charging-Rams instant Super Bowl contenders. Roger Goodell, still mired in Deflategate and reeling from the Will Smith movie, won’t even notice.
Now back to my spiked eggnog.
Gary H. Miller
We lost a good one this past week. Meadowlark Lemon and the Globetrotters helped pave the way for integration in the NBA —if not overtly, then unconsciously. Meadowlark was a magician. I suspect even Steph Curry could have learned a move or two from him. But more than being a showman on the court, Meadowlark was a true ambassador of the sport the world over. His game made people smile. His smile helped people love the game. His name deserves to be right up there in the pantheon of greats.
Off the dribble
Am I the only person who wonders why the Clippers play better when Blake Griffin is not playing? I bet his teammates have a few thoughts.
Ralph S. Brax
Hopefully, Mike D’Antoni can help the 76ers’ offense enough to pass the Lakers in the standings.
If so, he will have done more for the Lakers than he did while he was coach.
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