Congratulations to Jeff Fisher for the win Sunday, putting him at .500 this season. Unfortunately, that's his career average and the best we can expect. He's had only six winning seasons in 21 years as a head coach, the last with Tennessee in 2008. Stan Kroenke must know that in Southern California, the promise of a glittery new stadium will not equal attendance gold with more 8-8 seasons.
Bill Plaschke's take on the Rams' home opener was topnotch, especially regarding Alec Ogletree's and William Hayes' comments about never having "experienced anything like that" regarding the enthusiasm of the fans. Thanks, Bill.
The Coliseum was indeed loud Sunday, certainly a factor in the Rams' victory over Seattle. But that will have to be the new norm — even for games we didn't wait 22 years to see — if we expect the players to win at home. So, to the "Rams fan" behind me who requested I sit down during a pivotal defensive play in the fourth quarter: Please watch from home next time.
It was a good game if you like soccer.
It's like when you you're going through a breakup and you hear, "It's not you, it's me." Clay Helton was quoted as saying of Max Browne: "He is not the reason we're 1-2. He is not the scapegoat here." Then, he names Sam Darnold the new starter of this undisciplined, outcoached, underachieving team. What he said and meant was exactly the opposite.
Coach Helton, just be prepared to hear the same line from new Athletic Director Lynn Swann some time during this lost, miserable season. For your sake, I hope it's not at 4:30 in the morning in an LAX tarmac.
That was no bus Clay Helton threw Max Browne under. It was Traveler's hindquarter.
Barry P. Resnick
Glad to hear Clay Helton sees a humiliating loss to Stanford as a "giant leap forward." I'm not sure what game game he was watching, but the game I saw, the Trojans were outplayed from start to finish. At what point does Lynn Swann step in and put an end to this rudderless ship?
So Clay Helton wants USC to be just like Stanford (last national title was in 1940) and thought last week's 27-10 loss to the Cardinal was a "giant leap forward". What's next, a trip to the Freedom Bowl and nothing left to lose?
Jack Von Bulow
Really, Coach Helton, you want to be like Stanford? Perhaps you would be better suited to be like USC. Do a little research, Coach. Go back to John McKay, and John Robinson. It was those programs that Stanford has been emulating the last few years. You want to keep your job, you better embrace the tradition.
Clay Helton is part of the Pat Haden legacy at USC. He is not a failure yet, but he did not have the pedigree to be given the head of this storied program. He may turn out to be the next John McKay or the next Ted Tolner but either way he was a gamble that shouldn't have been taken. All of which proves that being a Rhodes scholar does not necessarily make you a good manager.
Clay Helton is rapidly taking USC from PAC to WAC.
David A. Sánchez
Flag on the play
UCLA is found to be in violation of paying recruits' housing and private training bills under the table, and the NCAA levies a paltry $5,000 fine on UCLA and penalizes an assistant coach, who remains on Jim Mora's staff, with a two-year show cause order (but fortunately the Bruins didn't have to vacate any football national championships — oh, wait).
Frankly, I'm surprised USC wasn't stripped of five more scholarships as a result of this lack of institutional control in Westwood.
They're not so bad
After reading dozens of negative letters questioning Dodgers management, I choose instead to submit a long overdue letter of gratitude to Andrew Friedman & Co:
Gentlemen: Thanks for displaying patience while saddled with expensive, inherited bad contracts. Thanks for Mattingly out and Roberts in. Thanks for no to Greinke and yes to Maeda at half the price. Thanks for your measured handling of Yasiel Puig. Thanks for taking our farm system from worst to first. Thank you for not mortgaging our future, allowing no less than nine rookies to contribute to this season's success. Most importantly, thanks for a philosophy that promises the Dodgers will be World Series contenders now and for years to come.
Whatever Yasiel Puig's legacy ends up being at the end of his career, he'll be credited with basically cementing the National League West for the Dodgers this year. While at the same time exposing Madison Bumgarner's weak-kneed sensibilities — thrown completely off his game by a Puig stare — he helped the Dodgers get to the porous Giants bullpen and win a game they seemed destined to lose, for an almost insurmountable division lead. The "new" Puig has made Eddie Haskell proud!
Passing the blame
I suppose I was heartened to read that D'Angelo Russell likes his new coach, is excited for the upcoming season and expects big improvement in his play. But I would have been more optimistic had he taken some responsibility for the uneven play and immaturity he showed last season, instead of blaming all his difficulties on the coaching staff, the Kobe Farewell Tour, etc. — basically on everyone and everything but himself.
Last week you ran an opinion piece declaring that boxing is dead. Then last weekend you gave excellent coverage to its funeral, with Canelo Alvarez burying Liam Smith before nearly 52,000 mourners in Texas (and millions more on television and the Internet).
May boxing rest in peace.
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