Letters to Sports: It’s time for UCLA football team to make changes
I graduated from UCLA in 1966 and have had season football tickets for over 25 years. I am a loyal Bruin … but this last game broke my heart and maybe my will to continue as a fan. So much failure over so many years. Just look at the stats: Fresno State completed 72.5% of their passes; Fresno’s first downs, 32, and UCLA’s first downs, 17 ; and time of possession 40 minutes for Fresno … UCLA, 19 minutes. This display was pitiful and clearly shows we were outcoached by miles. How we did not adjust our loose pass coverage in the second half is beyond me. The season may not be over but it is cratering, just like so many past seasons.
As I watched the UCLA-Fresno State game, I saw the same defensive mistakes made more than a dozen times and it was similar to the same mistake made countless times over the last three years. When a Fresno State receiver caught the ball in the flat, usually on the right side, there wasn’t another player on the screen. How many times must a team get burned by the same play before an adjustment was made?
According to Bill Plaschke, UCLA was “outgained … outplayed … outclassed”. Yes, yes, and yes. But he forgot “outcoached.” And not just during the game. It was clear that the team was unprepared to execute, but it was also unprepared emotionally, despite all we heard during the previous two weeks from Chip Kelly about how great their practices had been. And not for the first time by a long shot.
USC bit the bullet and fired a coach who couldn’t get the job done. Has UCLA’s performance been any better than USC’s over the time Helton and Kelly have been across town from each other? Of course not. It’s time for a change.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s gutsy performance lifts UCLA to a 35-24 victory over Stanford, but the quarterback’s shoulder injury could be cause for concern.
Why isn’t Bill Plaschke screaming to the rafters for UCLA to make a coaching change? With his history of success and domination, Chip Kelly is a much bigger disappointment than Clay Helton and Plaschke couldn’t stomach Helton for another minute.
No, UCLA doesn’t have USC’s football tradition but when the Bruins were finally poised to reenter the local recruiting conversation, their inconsistent and overrated quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, along with their vastly overrated coach, set the football program back again to who knows how many years of irrelevance.
Here’s a concept, Chip Kelly: Find a quarterback that can run an offense, complete more than 45% of his passes, hit wide-open receivers and not force the defense to be on the field for 70% of the game.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been the Achilles’ heel of this team for the last four years. He will be the death of your career and many of us Bruins fans.
After reading your article on the new Clippers arena in Inglewood, I was shocked to see that you failed to acknowledge how another attraction disproportionately affects the city’s current residents. A new stadium calls for possible gentrification, leaving locals in the community at a standstill. That $1.8 billion spent on this new dome should have been invested into bettering the city’s residents, and this does the opposite.
I know Bill Shaikin is a well-regarded and respected baseball writer. But seriously what is Bill thinking when he writes a column stating Dave Roberts is or could be the best manager ever? Roberts manages the best players in baseball, based on salaries. The Dodgers for years have ranked near the top of the “payroll ladder.” This year alone they are No. 1, shelling out a total payroll of nearly $270 million, over $100 million more than the first-place San Francisco Giants. And if that’s not enough money to assure winning, he has a front office that goes in to its “petty cash” fund and makes deadline trades for the likes of Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
Seeing Julio Urías and Walker Buehler struggle in their last couple of starts, I just hope Dave Roberts is lining up the pitching rotation in order to have Max Scherzer pitch in the wild-card playoff game, given the fact the Giants don’t seem capable of losing two or more in a row and will probably win the division.
Clayton Kershaw struggles and the offense can’t keep up with the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 7-2 loss that puts the Dodgers two games behind of the Giants.
Is there such a thing as weak bone disease? Because if so, Cody Bellinger has it. Shoulder by Kiké Hernandez, leg by opposing pitcher, ribs by Gavin Lux, all three in less than one year, and all three fairly innocuous.
After watching Bellinger’s woeful season, it is a pleasure to see Lux not hit for the bagel nightly.
Remembering the Ravine
Many thanks to Gustavo Arellano for reminding people about the history of Dodger Stadium. One of my favorite CDs is “Chavez Ravine” by Ry Cooder. If you haven’t listened to it, you should. Several years ago I saw the play “Chavez Ravine” in Culver City. It’s a great story, but one the Dodgers should be ashamed of. It’s the main reason I no longer support the Dodgers, the others being Frank McCourt charging a ridiculous amount to park your car, and the general money grab attending a game has become. Go Giants!
Three protesters wanted to remind L.A. about the Latino families uprooted to build Dodger Stadium. But even many Latino fans just aren’t interested.
Lakers fans will wait
Re: “Clippers owner Steve Ballmer puts jeering Lakers fans on notice: He’s coming for you”
Hey Steve, get back to us Lakers fans after that, let’s say fifth championship. Then we can have a meaningful conversation …
So sad to hear of the passing of Jo Lasorda. She had to be a real gem, putting up with our tempestuous Tommy’s tirades for more than 70 years. Wonder what her opinion was of Kingman’s performance.
Palos Verdes Estates
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
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.