I took a glance last Sunday morning at the UCLA score before rushing off for a drive. Terrific start for Mick Cronin and UCLA basketball. My only hope is that they can score more than 67. Regardless, looks like a promising year for the Bruins.
Who are these Bruins and where have they been hiding?
Playa del Rey
With UCLA football going from “worst team in 50 years, fire the coach,” to “most amazing game of all time, a turning point for the program” in a single week, maybe we should all relax, appreciate the parity in NCAA sports fostered by massive revenues, and not overreact to every little team trend, up or down, that happens with our favorite schools.
Credit must be given to the UCLA defensive players and coaches for not allowing the Washington State quarterback to have a better game.
Coto de Caza
Why does ESPN hate UCLA fans? First they give us Bill Walton, a terrible basketball commentator who thinks the telecast is about him and not the game. And then they give us Beth Mowins for football. Listening to her is like listening to fingernails on a blackboard. Please, ESPN, give UCLA fans a break.
Clay Helton’s choice not to name a starting quarterback during training allowed all four candidates to vie for the position, giving each ample opportunity to practice with the starting offense. Now with third-stringer Matt Fink clicking on all cylinders, Helton’s decision seems inspired.
I have been a USC fan since I was a young kid in the early ‘50s selling newspapers in front of the Coliseum so I could get in free at the end of the first quarter. When I hear fans yelling to hire Urban Meyer (including my son-in-law) I cringe. How anybody could root to hire a coach that protected a member of his staff accused of domestic violence is beyond me.
I hope that the new president of USC has enough integrity to not listen to a small majority yelling for a person that has had baggage everywhere he’s been.
Bill Plaschke writes: “It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which Helton is fired during this season.” Really?
How about this: He gets blown out by Washington and Notre Dame and then loses to his crosstown rival for the second straight season. It took me all of two seconds to imagine that scenario.
The idea that USC walks over Oregon, Arizona State, Cal and UCLA is what’s hard for me to fathom. Pac-12 championship? Rose Bowl? That’s where a real world-class imagination is required.
William David Stone
Plaschke’s assessment of whether Helton stays or goes as USC’s head football coach overlooks one important consideration. Helton has totally lost the confidence of Southern California high school football coaches and their players with his lack of development of four- and five-star rated high school players and continually revolving coaching staff personnel. The 2020 USC recruiting class is stacked with three-star players in a shocking reversal of recruiting fortune.
Where USC has forever dominated local football recruiting, the elite high school football players are speaking with their feet and selecting better run programs.
USC has a perfect 19-0 record at the Coliseum when Reggie Bush is on the field. Maybe instead of banning him they should pay him to take up residence — oh wait, never mind.
When was the last time that you read something positive about the NCAA? Try never. Mr. Markazi’s column in the Tuesday sports section once again accentuates the typical absurdity of their judgment.
Reggie Bush was the most electrifying college football player that I’ve ever seen. He won the Heisman. USC won the national championship. The NCAA tried to squash SC and all of those memories. It didn’t work.
When Pete Rose is let into the Baseball Hall of Fame, only then can Reggie Bush associate with Tommy Trojan.
Apparently, Dave Roberts is oblivious to the struggles Clayton Kershaw has had in the postseason. Either that or he is auditioning for the next White House press secretary job. He cannot be serious, right? He thinks that a struggling Kershaw will put it together in the postseason? He really said that? I know it’s a good thing to stay positive and uplift your team, but outright lying and senseless comments are not good for anybody.
Remember, he’s the guy who thinks Kenley Jansen is still an elite closer.
I am more than a little confused as to why Will Smith has been given such a long leash in the second half despite his horrific slump and lack of any real track record. He had an amazing start to his career and looks like he will be our starting catcher for years to come, depending on how well Keibert Ruiz does, but with him not hitting any better than Austin Barnes, and the starters’ late-season struggles, isn’t it time for a change? Or is it just total coincidence that Ryu, Kershaw and Buehler are all trending downward as Smith has been given the starting job?
Danny Balber Jr.
In hockey lexicon, Joe Kelly has a total-body injury.
They talked about Bellinger hitting .400; he’s about to drop below .300.
Verdugo is hurt, Hill is hurt, Lux and Smith are in a slump.
Jansen is shaky. The whole bullpen is shaky.
Am I worried?
Not at all. I’m a Yankee fan.
Bad team, man
After watching spring training and hearing Billy Eppler say the Angels will be OK if everybody plays to potential, I knew this was not going to end well. Brad Ausmus, asked if the Angels were close to competing, says, “You never know.” Brad, defending pitching coach, Doug White said, “He’s good but learning the in-game stuff.” There were six games left!
Arte Moreno, this is a double-A team and coaches out there; it’s time to clean house and start at the top.
Yep, it’s been yet another disappointing season for Angels fans. No worries though.
All we need is a boatload of starting pitching and a few more David Fletchers.
It is too early to determine what sort of access to the games Cubs fans will have when the Cubs launch their own TV channel. Whatever the outcome, it will certainly pale in comparison to the outright duplicity and deceit perpetrated upon Dodgers fans by all involved. I refer you to Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge who stated, “We want the Dodgers on every outlet and we are committed to making that happen,” and to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred,”We will continue to do everything we can in hopes of finding a solution that would serve the interests of all parties.”
There will shortly come a time when this short-sighted arrangement will have produced an entire generation of would-be fans who have grown up without the Dodgers as the team in their living room. The question will then become whom the Dodgers will be marketing themselves to, absent the millions who prefer to root for a team they can see.
I see that the Lakers will be in China for two preseason games right before the regular season starts. I understand the NBA’s pursuit of a “Global Game,” but I can’t wait until the team’s sluggish start in the first couple of games and the built-in excuses about the fatigue and disorientation caused by the international travel. We’ve seen it too many times.
While USC fans were fretting about how to get rid of Clay Helton, Dodgers fans were worried about their closer, and Rams and Chargers fans were busily checking injury reports, the L.A. Times allotted valuable column inches to a pair of high school sports features by Eric Sondheimer. They weren’t only beautifully written but interesting and important as well.
CJ Woods, star player on the Brentwood School championship basketball team, found euphoria in being allowed to participate in a sport he had never tried: football. Basketball Coach Ryan Bailey not only allowed CJ to join the football team, he encouraged it, illustrating that he is an educator in the best sense.
Meanwhile, Bob Muzikowski of Chicago Hope Academy and Mick Luckhurst of Santa Barbara’s Bishop Diego High were displaying educational leadership in the best sense. Two years in the making, the football contest between the two respective schools offered students from completely different socio-economic backgrounds to not just meet on the gridiron, but to have a meeting of hearts and souls.
Interscholastic athletics gives the opportunity of developing healthy attitudes toward competition and lifelong friendships and memories to tens of thousands of teenage boys and girls across the country each year. Worry about your pro team if you like, but do not forget the broader aspect of the value and joy of athletics.
After Sunday’s Raiders game and Monday’s Redskins game, it appears that Jon and Jay have more in common than their last name.
Oldie but goodie
As a Cal State Fullerton alum I am terrified about the NCAA notifying Kansas men’s basketball about alleged recruiting violations in the program because I know it is only a matter of time before the NCAA “punishes” Kansas by putting us on five years’ probation.
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