Sports Report: Vote in biggest icon in L.A. sports history tournament (football regional)
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the tournament.
As we continue our “Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History” tournament, we move on to the football regional.
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
1. There are four regionals (basketball, baseball, football and wild card), with 32 people in each regional, seeded from No. 1 to No. 32. The winner of each regional will face off in the Final Four until we get to the championship round, where the last two remaining competitors will be voted upon.
2. With each matchup, there will be a link for you to click on where you can go vote. You will be able to vote either via Twitter, Polldaddy or email. If you want to send all your selections in one email, that is fine.
3. When voting, ask yourself “When I think L.A. sports, who do I think of first?” and vote for that person.
4. A brief sentence or two accompanies each entrant below. It is not meant to be an all-encompassing list of their accomplishments, just a brief reminder of why they are on this list.
Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times
Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.
So without further ado, let’s get to today’s regional first round, the football regional. Click here to take part in the basketball regional. Click here to take part in the baseball regional.
No. 1 Marcus Allen vs. No. 32 Red Sanders
Marcus Allen: He was a legend for two local teams. He won the Heisman Trophy while playing for USC in 1981 after becoming only the second person in NCAA history to gain 2,000 yards rushing in a season. Then, with the L.A. Raiders, he ran for 191 yards, caught two passes for 18 yards, and scored two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 38–9 victory over Washington in Super Bowl XVIII.
Red Sanders: Sanders coached UCLA from 1949 to 1957 and finished with a record of 66–19–1 (.773). He led the Bruins to their only national championship in football in 1954. He guided them to four top-10 national rankings, three Pacific Coast Conference titles and two Rose Bowls (1953 and 1955 seasons).
No. 2 Pete Carroll vs. No. 31 Ricky Bell
Pete Carroll: Let’s face it, most Trojans fans were disappointed when he was hired, but he coached the team back to prominence. Under Carroll, the Trojans reached the BCS title game two times (winning once) and seven consecutive BCS bowl appearances.
Ricky Bell: In his senior season of 1976, Bell led the Trojans to an 11–1 record and a Rose Bowl game victory. He was the runner-up for the Heisman, behind Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh, the national champions. Bell died at the age of 29 because of dermatomyositis and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
No. 3 Reggie Bush vs. No. 30 Gary Beban
Reggie Bush: A two-time Pac-10 player of the year and Heisman Trophy winner, when he left USC he was 10th in NCAA Division I-A history with 6,541 all-purpose yards, racking up 3,169 yards and 25 touchdowns on 433 carries (7.3 avg) and 1,301 yards with 13 scores on 95 catches (13.7 avg).
Gary Beban: The only Heisman Trophy winner in UCLA history, he was named to the all-conference team three times, and led the Bruins to a 24–5–2 record. His school record for total offense lasted for 15 years.
No. 4 Eric Dickerson vs. No. 29 Jon Arnett
Eric Dickerson: Broke the NFL season rushing record in his second season with the Rams and it still stands. He was with the team only four full seasons, but his number was retired by the team and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He remains very active in the Rams community.
Jon Arnett: Had three strong seasons with the Trojans followed by seven strong seasons with the Rams, leading the league in rushing once. A member of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
No. 5 “The Fearsome Foursome” vs. No. 28 Kenny Washington
The Fearsome Foursome: Lamar Lundy, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones and Rosey Grier was one of the most dominant defensive lines in NFL history. They transformed the Rams from a mediocre team to an NFL powerhouse.
Kenny Washington: Rushed for 9,975 yards while playing for UCLA in the late 1930s, a school record for 56 years. Washington was the first Bruin to lead the nation in total offense and became the first consensus All-American in school football history. And he did all of this while many opposing fans and teams hurled racial slurs at him throughout the game. UCLA teammates have commented how strong Washington was when confronted with racial slurs and discrimination.
No. 6 John Robinson vs. No. 27 Dick “Night Train” Lane
John Robinson: Was USC’s coach from 1976-82 and again from 1993-97, leading the team to four Rose Bowl victories overall and a national title in 1978. In between, he coached the Rams to two NFC title games and his 79 victories with the team are the most in franchise history.
Dick Lane: While working at an aircraft plant in Los Angeles in 1952, Lane passed the Rams offices on his bus ride to work. He walked into the office and asked for a tryout. They gave him one and he made the team. In 1952, he broke the NFL single-season record with 14 interceptions. He also led the league with 298 interception return yards and two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
No. 7 Anthony Davis vs. No. 26 Charles White
Anthony Davis: AD led USC in rushing, scoring and kick return yardage for three consecutive seasons. He was also the first Pacific-8 Conference player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons: 1,191 in 1972; 1,112 in 1973 and 1,469 in 1974. For his career at USC he carried the ball 784 times for 3,772 yards and 44 touchdowns. On Nov. 30, 1974, he started an amazing rally that brought the Trojans back from a 24-0 second-quarter deficit against Notre Dame to a 55-24 win. Scored 11 touchdowns against the Irish in three games.
Charles White: In 1979, this USC running back won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and was named UPI player of the year after leading the nation with 2,050 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. He was the second player in Rose Bowl history (of four, total) to be honored as player of the game twice (1979 and 1980).
No. 8 John McKay vs. No. 25 Carson Palmer
John McKay: All McKay did in his 16 seasons coaching USC was win nine conference titles, five Rose Bowl games and four national championships.
Carson Palmer: He had an incredible senior season at USC, with 3,942 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes while also breaking the school record for completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns in a season. He was voted the winner of the 2002 Heisman Trophy, the fifth player and first quarterback from USC to win the award.
No. 9 Jack Youngblood vs. No. 24 Bo Jackson
Jack Youngblood: He anchored the Rams defense for years and played in the 1980 Super Bowl with a broken leg. If that doesn’t spell “Top 10 Football Icon,” I don’t know what does.
Bo Jackson: Remember when he was a member of the Raiders and ran over Brian Bosworth on his way to a touchdown? Remember when he scored on a long touchdown and just kept running up the Kingdome tunnel? That was awesome.
No. 10 Terry Donahue vs. No. 23 Troy Polamalu
Terry Donahue: He was UCLA’s coach from 1976 to 1995, compiling a record of 151–74–8. Donahue has the most conference wins of any coach in Pacific-10 history (98) and also the most wins in UCLA football history. He compiled a record of 8–4–1 in bowl games and was the first coach to win a bowl game in seven consecutive seasons. His UCLA teams won or shared five Pac-10 championships and won three Rose Bowls (1983, 1984, and 1986).
Troy Polamalu: One of the best defensive and big-game players in Trojans history, Polamalu finished his college career with 278 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss, six interceptions, four blocked punts, and three touchdowns.
No. 11 Matt Leinart vs. No. 22 Tom Fears
Matt Leinart: The third part of the Pete Carroll-Reggie Bush-Matt Leinart triumvirate that led the Trojans back to national prominence again in the 2000s. Leinart was an outstanding quarterback who won the Hesiman Trophy once and finished third once.
Tom Fears: Won All-American honors in his two seasons with UCLA, then became a standout receiver with the Rams, who made him the first Mexican-born player to be drafted into the NFL. During his first three seasons with the Rams, he led all NFL receivers in catches, and set the league’s season record with 84 in 1950.
No. 12 Mike Garrett vs. No. 21 Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch
Mike Garrett: Garrett won the Heisman Trophy after the 1965 season, during which he led the nation in rushing with 1,440 yards. He also caught 36 passes, returned 43 punts, returned 30 kickoffs and threw six passes, two for touchdowns. He was also USC’s athletic director from 1993 to 2010.
Elroy Hirsch: During the 1951 season, Hirsch led the Rams to their only NFL title in L.A. and tied or broke multiple NFL records with 1,495 receiving yards, an average of 124.6 receiving yards per game and 17 touchdown receptions. He was nicknamed “Crazylegs” because of his unusual running style in which his legs twisted as he ran.
No. 13 Pat Haden vs. No. 20 Aaron Donald
Pat Haden: Haden quarterbacked the Trojans to three Rose Bowl appearances and won two national championships. He went on to a strange career with the Rams, who seemed to never want him as the starter but always turned to him at some point during the season. He returned to USC as athletic director from 2010 to 2016.
Aaron Donald: The Rams have been back in L.A. only a short time but Donald has already been named the NFL defensive player of the year twice in that time and was a key component of their Super Bowl team.
No. 14 Howie Long vs. No. 19 Tom Flores
Howie Long: With the Raiders, this defensive end was named to eight Pro Bowls and helped them win the Super Bowl in 1984. He finished his career with 91 1/2 sacks and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Tom Flores: Flores and Mike Ditka are the only two people in NFL history to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach, and head coach (Super Bowl IV as a player for the Chiefs, Super Bowl XI as an assistant coach of the Raiders, and Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII as head coach of the Raiders). Flores was also the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl.
No. 15 Jackie Slater vs. No. 18 Roman Gabriel
Jackie Slater: Offensive tackle for the Rams for 20 seasons, 19 of them in L.A. Slater was selected to seven Pro Bowls and broke a record for most seasons with one team. His number was retired by the Rams and he was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Roman Gabriel: As Rams quarterback, he won the NFL MVP award in 1969 and earned Pro Bowl spots in 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1973. When he retired, he ranked as the Rams’ all-time passing leader with 22,223 yards and 154 touchdowns.
No. 16 Jim Plunkett vs. No. 17 Jack Snow
Jim Plunkett: He won a Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders in 1980, then after the team moved to L.A., he ascended from backup to starting quarterback to assist the Raiders in winning Super Bowl XVIII in 1984. He is the only eligible quarterback with two Super Bowl wins as a starter not to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jack Snow: Snow broke into the Rams’ starting lineup in his rookie 1965 season and remained there until 1975. In 1967, he averaged a career-high 26.3 yards per reception. He ended his career with 6,012 career receiving yards, 30th in NFL history.
“This is a step-by-step process,” Sean Smith, Chris’ father, said via text message.
Smith has long intrigued NBA personnel because he’s a bouncy 6-foot-9 guard with a versatile skill set, but he’s also been prone to consistency issues throughout his college career. He’s considered by some a borderline second-round pick after a season in which he averaged 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds a game, becoming a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.
The requests have not been made, but will be done in hopes of avoiding cuts that affect lower level staff members. Once the deferments begin, they will last until the first regular-season game of the 2020-21 season or mid-December, whichever comes sooner. The NBA season typically begins in late October, but it is still unclear how the pandemic will affect the schedule for this season and the next.
Major League Baseball stated Tuesday that holding games in one central area is one of several ideas discussed regarding how and when it becomes safe to start the season.
But, the league added, that option has not been settled on and has not been submitted for approval from government and health officials or the Major League Baseball Players Assn.
The statement came a day after ESPN reported that a plan to start the season as early as May with all games taking place in the Phoenix area with no spectators present has been embraced by the league and the players’ union with support from “high-ranking federal public health officials.” The Associated Press reported that such a plan was discussed Monday during a phone call between the MLB and the MLBPA.
BORN ON THIS DAY
1886: Golfer Jim Barnes (d. 1966)
1912: Figure skater Sonja Henie (d. 1969)
1940: Basketball player John Havlicek (d. 2019)
1946: Baseball player Catfish Hunter (d. 1999)
1949: Sportscaster Jim Lampley
1954: Baseball player Gary Carter (d. 2012)
1963: Basketball player/coach Terry Porter
1982: Boxer Gennady Golovkin
DIED ON THIS DAY
1978: Baseball commissioner Ford Frick, 83
Gary Carter doubles for his final career hit. Watch it here.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.