My head is still aching from trying to figure out Tee Martin’s logic in abandoning the Trojans’ successful run game at Stanford because, he said: “At some point, they’ll take that away from us on first down.”
Oh, now I understand. Here is the plan: Let’s take away a successful run game ourselves and save the opponent their effort.
Note to Clay Helton: Find an offensive coordinator fast or you both will be looking for another job. Sam Darnold saved both of you last year because of his otherworldly talent that was on display with the Jets on Monday night.
Paul D. Wilson
Bill Plaschke correctly points out that USC should have run the football much more against Stanford. However, this is a systemic problem that starts with Lane Kiffin and continues today with Clay Helton. All of USC’s offensive coordinators in that nine year time frame were ex-quarterbacks who have repeatedly favored the pass over the run. The result is a USC offense that appears to run like an eight-cylinder car but with only four cylinders working. How often have we seen USC marching down the field using the run when, for no apparent reason, we switch to the pass and the drive is stopped. A balanced offense does not mean an equal number of runs and passes on every drive. John McKay should be rolling over in his grave.
I’m a die-hard USC Trojan fan, but sometimes you have to tip your helmet to the opposition. Not only is David Shaw able to recruit top quality student-athletes to a school with academic standards among the highest in the country, he also apparently recruits good citizens. When was the last time you heard of a Stanford player being suspended for breaking team rules or getting into trouble off the field? Urban Meyer (suspended himself) and Nick Saban get all the accolades, but David Shaw is my top coach.
Oh, those Bruins
Had Old Mother Hubbard been able to check what Jim Mora left in UCLA’s talent cupboard, we might have had college football’s first nursery rhyme.
I think it’s safe to say the Bruins’ football program is better known by the company it’s keeping these days rather than the rosy outlook provided by beat reporters. Last weekend, Kelly’s heroes were a 30-point dog to a ranked team. That put them in league with other programs such as Alabama State, Arkansas State, New Mexico, Connecticut and Portland State.
So last Saturday I turned on the TV to watch college football. On one pregame show as an analyst was Rick Neuheisel. I turned to another channel and there was Jim Mora. Then I turned to Channel 11 and watched UCLA lose 49-21. Chip Kelly better keep telling folks that he has a young team and the future is bright, otherwise he will be looking for a Saturday gig as a college analyst.
The darling of the media, Serena Williams showed her true colors in the U.S. Open final while she was being outplayed. She lied when she said she didn’t see her coach’s signals. She showed her ill-temper by smashing her racket. She showed poor sportsmanship by calling the umpire a thief. She claimed sexism and invoked motherhood as some sort of redeeming quality. She deserved to lose.
Serena Williams was absolutely correct when she claimed there was a thief on center court last week at the U.S. Open. The thief was Williams herself by robbing Naomi Osaka’s celebration of winning her first Grand Slam event. The apology that she demanded from the umpire should instead be demanded from her for acting like a privileged, bullying sore loser.
Serena Williams was not going to beat Naomi Osaka. She knew it. Anyone watching knew it. Osaka had her beat mentally, physically, emotionally. Williams did what poor sports do, she found an excuse. That’s the disgrace. Osaka deserved much better.
I am completely disgusted by the behavior of chair umpire Carlos Ramos during the U.S. Open. He robbed both athletes of a victory.
I am old enough to remember, clearly, the profanity-laced screaming that was characteristic of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. So Serena Williams can’t even call him a thief? (Which he was!)
Hidden Springs, Idaho
Serena, we have some inconsistencies.
You say that you never receive coaching during a match, yet your coach says that he always coaches you from the stands.
You say that since everyone get coaching from the stands (a gross exaggeration), it should not be penalized. Would you tell your daughter that something, which is wrong, is OK because everyone is doing it?
You say that you didn’t know the penalty rules for a match. yet you’ve been on the tour for a long time.
When will you take responsibility for your actions?
Harris J. Levey
While the photo on the front page of the Sports Section captured some of the emotions of what happened when Naomi Osaka played Serena Williams, I was hoping for a photo somewhere in your paper that showed Osaka’s face. I think Naomi’s accomplishment of beating Serena deserves a full-faced picture of her, even if the day was tumultuous.
“I have never cheated in my life.” Serena Williams, Sept. 8, 2018
“I am not a crook.” Richard Nixon, Nov. 17, 1973
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” “Hamlet”
Thank you, Gary Klein, for an excellent three-part series about the Rams’ negotiations to land Suh, Peters, Talib and Cooks. I’m a longtime L.A. Times subscriber, daily reader, and Rams fan, and this series was one of the best items I’ve ever read in the paper. I loved it, and love that the Rams’ owner and executives shared their experience with you.
Also, congrats on almost perfectly predicting and nailing the score of the Rams’ victory over the Raiders (30-13 to 33-13). !
When will all the experts and analysts finally realize that the Chargers always have been and always will be a mediocre team? And Philip Rivers is neither Tom Brady nor Aaron Rodgers.
Ralph S. Brax
Spirit of Troy
Outstanding story by Sam Farmer on the post-playing success of Troy Aikman.
Aikman’s football and broadcast career have embodied his UCLA roots in adhering to the great John Wooden’s pyramid of success component, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Is Roberts dozing?
If Brian Dozier is playing with a sore leg that has affected his hitting (obviously), why is Dave Roberts running him out there on a daily basis instead of resting him for the final push? Could it be he wants the fans to fondly remember Logan Forsythe, the ultimate Mendoza Line hitter?
Oh me, oh my!
Los Angeles through the years has been blessed with radio and TV broadcasting icons in Vin Scully, Chick Hearn , Bob Miller and the retiring Ralph Lawler.
Lawler suffered through Clippers losses and celebrated the wins. Replacing him won’t be easy. His skill was such that even some of us longtime Lakers fans tuned in to watch Clippers game.
Let’s not forget Lawler’s mastery of the subtle one-liner. Example: Bill Walton, aghast at Lawler’s opinion on a previous call: “Ralph, have you lost your mind?!” Lawler: “The day I agreed to work with you, Bill.”
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