Letters to Sports: Can playoff-bound Rams and Matthew Stafford get it done?
In recent memory, has there been a more overrated quarterback than Matthew Stafford? The Rams gave up entirely too much for such a mediocre player. Four pick sixes for touchdowns? Not an encouraging stat. An interception each game is almost guaranteed and if not for Kupp, his best receiver would play either cornerback or safety for the opposition.
Watching Matthew Stafford play against the Ravens makes me wish for the good old days when we had Jared Goff and two first-round draft choices.
City of Industry
As a Southern Californian, losing to any Bay Area team is hard to take for a fan, especially when it involves the Rams and 49ers. To the Rams players, pretend you are back in school playing against your biggest rival and show us fans some passion this time. Losing five games in a row to what should be your biggest rival is embarrassing.
A dozen disasters
The Pac-12 is a football disaster and its teams deserved to be shut out in their bowl games. No team in the conference has any idea how to play defense, and until they do they will continue to be a national laughingstock. Utah’s defenseless performance in the Rose Bowl was some embarrassing icing on the cake.
Dylan Hernandez believes there is only one team in the Pac-12 (USC) and they only have to worry about Utah. Well Mr. Hernandez, it’s called the Pac-12, not the Pac-1. Why not just write about Utah and what a great season they had and how tough they’re going to be next season for the other 11 teams and stop being such a homer.
I was flabbergasted when I read the Dylan Hernandez column saying that “USC’s road to national prominence will go through Utah.” First of all, at least 10 other Pac-12 teams would disagree, most of whom have beaten/pummeled USC over the last three years. Secondly, USC is a very long way from national prominence. They added a very small recruiting class to a roster that is obviously undermanned based on their recent record. National prominence if they can only get past Utah? I don’t think so.
I shook my head as I read letters castigating UCLA for its decision to pull out of the Holiday Bowl hours before kickoff. One would think they had access to the same information UCLA leaders, coaches and medical staff had, which of course they didn’t, and don’t. Anyone close to the football program or paying attention would have seen the trajectory this game was headed one week prior, when individual Bruin players continued to be taken off the roster due to COVID protocols. There have been so many instances of reckless, arrogant and irresponsible behavior during this pandemic. UCLA deserves a lot of credit for making a last-minute decision protecting the players’ health in spite of the blowback and criticism it was bound to receive.
Expand the number of teams in the NCAA football playoffs to determine a champion? Why? Only two teams are needed — just rename the SEC championship game.
Alabama will play Georgia, once again. Alabama having recently defeated Georgia, if Georgia wins the matchup, who’s No. 1? The series will be tied one win each. We’ll be back to pre-BCS days when one team could be deemed No. 1 by the AP, while another team No. 1 by the coaches poll. Putting two teams from the same conference in the CFP doesn’t work.
Playa del Rey
Ohio State and Utah played in the Rose Bowl game. Georgia and Alabama are playing for the national championship. So? All four teams have a quarterback, three of them starters and one who left USC, who played their high school football within approximately 50 miles of UCLA and USC. There is a recruiting problem here.
My first exposure to football was when I was 6 years old playing flag football. It seems, however, that flag football has been resurrected. In every college or pro game, there seems to be more down time than playing time because of the those darn yellow flags. I get the feeling that the refs are paid by the flag, and have a need to justify their existence. Penalties probably add an hour or more to the duration of a game, but the concessionaires must love it.
College and pro football, should follow the policy of the NBA, “no harm, no foul.”
Before fans discard their Rajon Rondo jerseys, they should take comfort in knowing that he will most likely be recycled again by the Lakers just in time for the 2023-24 season.
Mater Dei woes
Here’s everything you need to know about Mater Dei’s response to the brutal, football hazing scandal. The new president was forced out and will be reassigned half a country away. The football coach stays.
As the immortal Stan Lee would have quipped, “’Nuff said!”
As racehorses continue to die, the state is suspending the license of the current equine medical director. While the death toll mounts during the current dispute, isn’t this a classic example of putting the cart before the horse? Save the horses.
In this age of linguistic hyperbole, I have just one word to describe The Times’ — and as usual, Wally Skalij’s in particular — photo coverage of the Rose Bowl game: awesome.
There is a postscript that should have been included in Friday’s story about the Lakers’ historic 33-game winning streak. As I recall it from a previous story in The Times, when the streak finally ended in Milwaukee, Mal Florence, The Times’ reporter who was traveling with the Lakers, got a call from his editor telling him to return to L.A. With the streak ended, the paper could save money by relying on a wire service to report on road games. When Florence got down to the hotel front desk with his bags packed to check out, Lakers coach Bill Sharman happened to be sitting in the lobby. Sharman asked, “Mal, where are you going?” Florence, without missing a beat, snapped, “I don’t cover losers.”
Craig A. Smith
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.