Howdy everyone, and welcome to the Thursday edition of the Los Angeles Times daily sports newsletter. My name is Houston Mitchell and I’m your host for the festivities. Subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here.
Let’s get to it.
When you are watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, make sure you pay attention when they show the Rams cheerleaders. Because for the first time in history, there will be male cheerleaders in the Super Bowl.
Their names: Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies.
It started as a tough season for them, as unruly fans peppered the men with jeers and slurs, the taunts continuing throughout the season over social media.
Now it ends at the Super Bowl.
“Whatever has been out there we’ve been able to take it, because we know who has our backs.” said Peron, 26. “Our family has our backs, our girls have our backs and the city of L.A., they’ve got us.’’
Read more in this excellent column by Bill Plaschke.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t seem to be in a rush to make any changes that may have overturned the bad pass interference non-call at the end of the Rams-Saints game.
In his annual state of the league address Wednesday, Goodell said decision-makers in the league, among them coaches, historically have been averse to rule changes that would allow penalties — or uncalled penalties — to be the subject of on-field challenges.
“Are there solutions for this?” he said. “That’s what the [competition] committee needs to focus on: What are the solutions and the unintended consequences?
“We understand the frustration of the fans. I’ve talked to [Saints coach Sean] Payton, the team, the players. We understand the frustration they feel right now, and we certainly want to address that. Whenever officiating is part of any kind of discussion postgame, it’s never a good outcome for us. We know that, our clubs know that, our officials know that.
“But we also know our officials are human, we know they’re officiating a game that moves very quickly and have to make snap decisions under difficult circumstances, and they’re not going to get it right every time.”
By the way, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has advice for how the Rams can beat the Patriots. You can read about it here.
And in the third of a five-part series looking at team strategy for Super Bowl LIII, we take a look at what the Rams will do about stopping Tom Brady’s top passing outlet, New England Patriots running back James White?
Super Bowl podcast
This week, the “Arrive Early, Leave Late” podcast goes behind the scenes at Super Bowl LIII with the Los Angeles Times reporters who will be covering Sunday’s game between the Rams and the New England Patriots.
On the latest episode, new sports and culture columnist L.Z. Granderson says he’s in Atlanta to look beyond the box score “at the connection between the game that’s being played and all the factors that influence where it’s played, how it’s played and who gets to play it.”
He discusses the controversies surrounding the musical acts performing at the Super Bowl, the effect this game might have on future generations of football fans and other topics the casual fan might not pick up on.
You can listen to the podcast here.
When is the Super Bowl?
It will be on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
Who will win?
Who will win the Super Bowl? Click here to vote. We’ll announce the results on game day.
The Clippers are pretty good at making free thrown. The Lakers are not. And that could be the difference in the Clippers making the playoffs and not the Lakers. Read more here.
Prince Ali, Moses Brown and Kris Wilkes each scored 16 points as the Bruins beat Washington State, 87-67.
Noah Dickerson scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Washington defeated the Trojans, 75-62. It was the 10th straight win for the Huskies.
A quick look at the Pac-12 standings:
Washington, 8-0 in conference, 17-4 overall
Utah, 5-2, 11-8
USC, 5-3, 12-9
Arizona, 5-3, 14-7
Arizona State, 5-3, 14-6
UCLA, 5-3, 12-9
Oregon State, 4-3, 12-7
Oregon, 3-4, 12-8
Stanford, 3-5, 10-10
Colorado, 2-5, 11-8
Washington State, 1-7, 8-13
California, 0-8, 5-15
Best basketball movies
We are determining what the greatest sports movie of all time is by asking The Sports Report subscribers to vote for their choices, first divided by sport. Up next are the five best basketball movies of all time. You can vote by clicking here or by emailing me at email@example.com. Here are the nominees:
Above the Rim (1994), starring Tupac Shakur
Air Bud (1997), starring Air Buddy
The Air Up There (1994), starring Kevin Bacon
BASEketball (1998), starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone
The Basketball Diaries, starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Blue Chips (1994), starring Nick Nolte
Celtic Pride (1996), starring Damon Wayans
Coach Carter (2005), starring Samuel L. Jackson
Eddie (1996), starring Whoopi Goldberg
Fast Break (1979), starring Gabe Kaplan
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979), starring Julius Erving
Glory Road (2006), starring Josh Lucas
He Got Game (1998), starring Denzel Washington
Hoop Dreams (1994), documentary featuring William Gates and Arthur Agee
Hoosiers (1986), starring Gene Hackman
Just Wright (2010), starring Queen Latifah
Juwanna Mann (2002), starring Miguel Nunez Jr.
Like Mike (2002), starring Lil Bow Wow
Love & Basketball (2000), starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan
One on One (1977), starring Robby Benson
Rebound (1996), starring Don Cheadle
Rebound (2005), starring Martin Lawrence
Semi-Pro (2008), starring Will Ferrell
The Sixth Man (1997), starring Kadeem Hardison
Space Jam (1996), starring Michael Jordan
Sunset Park (1996), starring Rhea Perlman
Uncle Drew (2018), starring Kyrie Irving
White Men Can’t Jump (1992), starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson
This date in sports history
1952: Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1965: Pud Galvin is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1971: Jake Beckley, Joe Kelley, Harry Hooper, Rube Marquard, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft and George Weiss are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1971: Janet Lynn wins the women’s U.S. figure skating championship. The men’s title is won by John Misha Petkevich.
1974: Ray Kroc buys the San Diego Padres for $12 million.
1977: Joe Sewell, Amos Rusie, and Al Lopez elected to baseball Hall of Fame.
1982: Scott Hamilton wins the men’s U.S. figure skating title.
1988: The Washington Redskins defeat the Denver Broncos, 42-10, to win Super Bowl XXII.
1990: The first ever all-sports daily, The National, begins publishing.
1993: The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Buffalo Bills, 52-17, to win Super Bowl XXVII.
1999: The Denver Broncos defeat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19, to win Super Bowl XXXIII.
Notable births on this date
1914: Heavyweight boxing champion Jersey Joe Walcott.
1919: Baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
1931: Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.
1947: Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
1957: Gold medal winning swimmer Shirley Babashoff.