I have been a USC football fan since I was a kid in the ’40s. I have always thought that the greatest college football game I have ever seen was USC’s 55-24 victory over Notre Dame in 1974. With all due respect to Anthony Davis, Pat Haden, and J.K McKay, and the Trojans’ great defense that year, I think that come-from-behind victory may have to be dropped down to second place in the record book of the greatest USC victories. Congratulations to Clay Helton and his assistants, quarterback Sam Darnold and the entire USC football team.
If Josh Rosen has an inflatable hot tub in his dorm room, shouldn’t Sam Darnold start drawing up initial plans for an indoor pool?
I have it on good authority that Clay Helton has said “no” to the Rams. He will not trade Sam Darnold for Jared Goff.
Palos Verdes Estates
The Penn State play caller would do well to remember the old adage: “When you pass the football, three things can happen, and only one is good.” I’m not sure who gets the credit for that bit of wisdom, Bob Neyland, Duffy Daugherty, Woody Hayes, or Darrell Royal, but it surely applied to the last minute of the Rose Bowl game.
James R. Helms Jr.
Bill Plaschke’s description of the USC-Penn State game was wonderful. He puts you in the stadium with his details. The game was fantastic, and Bill brought the emotions of the players (on both sides), the travails of USC, the drive, the “fight on” feel of both squads to each reader. I was never a devout sports person and am a old lady, but Bill has drawn me to the sports page with his wonderful, poetic, and sometimes witty commentaries. It’s been an education and a pleasure to read his work.
“USC fights on and on,” Bill Plaschke wrote. On and on and on and on! That had to be the longest game ever televised. Between penalties, official reviews and numerous repetitive advertisements, a 60-minute game took almost 41/2 hours to watch. Ridiculous, ESPN.
Never mind that it was one of the greatest Rose Bowl games ever. Or that even there was plenty of scoring and drama galore. Or that even USC won. If there are any remnants of that magical pixie dust left in the air from that night, hopefully it lingers and clings to UCLA’s uniforms as the Bruins play their home games next season.
Mark J. Featherstone
In light of USC’s dramatic Rose Bowl victory and the basketball team’s 15-1 record, let’s not forget which former beleaguered AD hired both coaches despite the demand from the overwhelming majority of Trojan supporters to hire bigger names. Fight on, Pat!
Well, that’s over
To paraphrase the late Dennis Green, “The Rams are who we thought they were!”
Well, at least it’s not just another fake news story: The Rams are definitely back.
Jeff Fisher definitely had one thing right: Jared Goff was not ready.
Most powerful Wizard of Oz, please bestow upon Jared Goff the brain needed to release a football in a timely, accurate manner. Please bestow upon Todd Gurley the courage to run behind a porous offensive line. Last but not least, please bestow upon the Rams the heart needed to compete.
While at Cal, Jared Goff reliably threw short, mid-range, and long yardage, rainbow passes with laser precision to a decent but unspectacular receiving corps — all while taking shotgun snaps. The Rams’ response? Force him into a pro-style offense behind a weak line, get questionable results, then wonder if just maybe he’s a bust. The decision is akin to drafting Rembrandt and then complaining that he doesn’t paint like Jackson Pollock.
The L.A. Chargers? No
Is the Spanos family that clueless to think L.A. will embrace the Chargers? This is a franchise with one of the worst histories in the NFL. Only one Super Bowl appearance and that was a blowout loss 20 years ago. More recently, they have won a total of nine games the last two seasons. The Chargers have a loyal fan base in San Diego. In Los Angeles, they will be lucky to play in front of 40,000 (many of whom will be cheering for the opposition). The Bolts bolting to Los Angeles is a lose-lose situation.
Life in fast Lane
No surprise about how Nick Saban feels about Lane Kiffin. When Kiffin first came to USC after being booted out of Tennessee, The Times had a major piece about him and a sidebar of quotes from people who knew him, including this: “I’ve known a lot of creeps during my career, but if being a creep was a competition like the Indy 500, Lane Kiffin would have the pole position."
You have to love Lane “Dream Job” Kiffin! He puts the “O” in offensive. And what was Florida Atlantic thinking? “How do we put FAU on the map?” Well, you did it. Now all Lane has to do is find his next dream job while perfecting his ability to be truly offensive.
Once again, Lane Kiffin proves he really is the guy we think he is, walking out the Alabama door while potshotting Nick Saban and the Tide program. Kiffin claims he didn’t mesh there because his personality profile indicates he’s “imaginative, a visionary and learns by experimenting.”
Maybe he should imagine humility and graciousness; envision not biting the hand that’s fed him; experiment with a character void of self-aggrandizement. Of course he could have learned all that had he paid any attention to the guy who hired him.
This isn’t Showtime
It is easy to be critical of Luke Walton, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, but unfortunately, no Magic Johnson or James Worthy was available at the team’s recent draft slots and no quality free agents even considered the Lakers. Maybe criticism should be redirected to Doc Rivers, whose Clippers have consistently underperformed. In the meantime, Lakers’ fans need patience.
How can Walton be “proud of the way our guys competed,” when the Lakers gave up 123 points to Toronto?
Being a pro-UCLA “homer” [Letters, Dec. 24] is the least of Bill Walton’s problems as an announcer. Walton apparently believes that he, rather than the game, is the reason viewers tune in. Hence his seeming obsession to fill every second of air time with chatter that is often irrelevant, distracting, stream-of-conscious and pompous. Watching with the audio muted is not the way to enjoy an exciting UCLA team basketball team, but it’s the best option when faced with Walton, who has become easily the most annoying announcer since Dick Vitale.
Bill Walton was one of the greatest Bruins basketball players ever. Some would say the greatest. That being said, it is unfortunate that the people who continue to put him on the air can’t possibly be listening to his commentary. He talks too much, is frequently a little loose with his facts, and spends far too much time talking about Neil Young and Jerry Garcia than the game being broadcast.
Thanks for the memories on the court at Pauley, Bill, but it’s time to step away from the microphone.
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