A Hail Mary sprint to the USC book store . . . do I have a prayer of making this work?

I confess: I purchased this sweatshirt  at the USC book store on Saturday afternoon. But I'm not feeling real good about it passing the "Priest Test."

I confess: I purchased this sweatshirt at the USC book store on Saturday afternoon. But I’m not feeling real good about it passing the Fr. Tom Kelly smell test.

This is just about the dumbest place you can wedge yourself on a Saturday afternoon — the Trojan campus bookstore, about an hour before a USC-UCLA football game. It’s sweating room only, digging through stacks of marked-up sweatshirts on a post-Black Friday frenzy with the intent on making it out of there and over to the Coliseum by kickoff.

Unfortunately, it was a case of painting myself into this cardinal-and-gold corner with a previous numbskull move.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa . . .

First, a little more context.

Fr. Tom Kelly will tell you it’s not a sin at all to root for USC. Even if they’re taking on rival Notre Dame. Just don’t tell his bosses.

“You know there are more Catholics on that USC coaching staff than there are on Notre Dame’s,” contends Fr. Tom, not to be confused with the former Trojan Hall of Fame broadcaster by the same name, and values.

One of those Trojan Catholics happens to be Ed Orgeron. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Media column version 11.29.13: Welcome to Tim Lavin’s world — A walk-on, the wild side

In 1989, prior to the USC-Notre Dame contest, walk-on fullfback Tim Lavin rigged up a Fighting Irish gold helmet and played on the scout squad against the first-team Trojans defense. (Photo courtesy of Tim Lavin)

In 1988, prior to the USC-Notre Dame contest, walk-on fullfback Tim Lavin rigged up a Fighting Irish gold helmet and played on the scout squad against the first-team Trojans defense, putting a block here on Junior Seau. (Photo courtesy of Tim Lavin)

1233994_530272770372832_907364857_nWhere to find this week’s sports media column:

Traditionally, we throw out our “Dubious Dozen of the Sports Media” for the Black Friday after Thanksgiving, but this year, we’re pushing it back to a more digestible December feast and going with a USC-UCLA angle to this one. In this case, it’s a book by former Trojans walk-on and Chaminade High grad  Tim Lavin called “Walk-On U,” and how he’s trying to expose some of the NCAA hypocrisy that underminds the success of non-scholarship players.

What else could have been included in the media column but was pushed here instead:

1464111_569619563104819_1097157645_n== Lavin has two meet-and-greet book signings scheduled for this weekend. Saturday, he’s at the Trojan Football Alumni Tailgate party near the peristyle entrance to the Coliseum, from 1 p.m. until the 5 p.m. kickoff (and possibly making an appearance on the USC extended pregame show on KSPN-AM (710). Sunday at 1 p.m., Lavin will be at the Fat Face Fenners Fishack near the Hermosa Beach Pier starting at 1 p.m.

== One of the things that Lavin says he gets “fired up watching” is this YouTube.com clip of Vanderbilt’s Marc Panu being promoted from a fourth-year walk-on to scholarship player by head coach (and reportedly someone USC is interested in hiring) James Franklin during a players’ film session. “It’s still chilling to me to watch, and I’ve seen it 400 times,” said Lavin. “I feel like we’re brothers.” It is inspiring:

== In reference to note we have in the column about the ESPN “Outside the Lines” piece airing Sunday (5 a.m., ESPN2) on former UCLA quarterback Bobby San Jose, here’s a link to the Press-Telegram story about his death, and here’s a link to a short preview of the ESPN piece. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

One mOre way to lOOk at the prOs and cOns o’ COach O gOin’ fOrward

Coach O bodypaintPhoto credit: Kevin Tsukii/Neon Tommy

Holy moly, Coach O.
Now you’ve gone ahead and make a big o’ mess of things.

hi-res-7709910_crop_northOn an interim basis, you’ve made a permanent mark on the USC football program. And it’s become Pat Haden’s best-case scenario and worst nightmare possibly rolled into one.

The Trojans athletic director succeeded in short-term damage control. Now he’s got a long-term decision to make based on a whole lotta Ed Orgeron going around Southern California this holiday season.

Stanford v USCHaden calls Orgeron’s 6-1 fun run over the last two months “absolutely remarkable.” In the next breath, he says they’re “going to go through this process” and will take the time to make a “rational decision.”

If all this causes your blood to boil, take a test to see if you’re the type to go O-positive or O-negative here.

Read more of this column on the website


Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

College football ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 14: A prime-time national spot for UCLA-USC, but not with the crew you’d think (enjoy Musburger Helper)

628x471While the ESPN scheduling crew has decided that UCLA-USC would go national in its ABC prime-time window Saturday night, the network isn’t matching that up with A-team broadcasting trio of Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox on the contest.
It’s likely a matter of logistics.
Herbstreit will be part of the ESPN “GameDay” team at Auburn on Saturday morning, then will fly out to cover the Texas A&M-Missouri contest for ESPN at 4:45 p.m. A cross-country flight, even on the Disney jet, isn’t all that prudent. And had Texas A&M defeated LSU last week, this one against Missouri would have been more likely to be in that 5 p.m. ABC spot instead.
So with that, ESPN has decided to send to the Coliseum ….

img_4426== No. 22 UCLA (8-3, 5-3) at No. 23 USC (9-3, 6-2): Coliseum, Saturday at 5 p.m., Channel 7 (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake)

== Washington State (6-5, 4-4) at Washington (7-4, 4-4): Friday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11 (Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington, Ryan Nece)
== Oregon State (6-5, 4-4) at No. 13 Oregon (9-2, 6-2): Friday, 4 p.m., Fox Sports 1 (Justin Kutcher,  Joel Klattt, Molly McGrath)
== Colorado (4-7, 1-7) at Utah (4-7, 1-7): Saturday, 11 a.m., Pac-12 Network (Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth, Jill Savage)

== Arizona (7-4, 4-4) at No. 12 Arizona State (9-2, 7-1): Saturday, 6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker, Drea Avent)
== No. 25 Notre Dame (8-3) at No. 8 Stanford (9-2): Saturday, 4 p.m., Channel 11 (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)

Iron-Bowl-1== No. 1 Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC West) at No. 4 Auburn (10-1, 6-1 SEC West): Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Channel 2 (Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson) — as Auburn alum Katherine Webb attends her first Iron Bowl match.
== No. 6 Clemson (10-1 ACC) at No. 10 South Carolina (9-2 SEC): Saturday at 4 p.m., ESPN2 (Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Jessica Mendoza)
== No. 3 Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten Leaders) at Michigan (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten Legends): Saturday at 9 a.m., Channel 7 (Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)
== No. 21 Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC West) at No. 5 Missouri (10-1, 6-1 SEC East): Saturday at 4:45 p.m., ESPN (Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)

BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

NFL ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 13: Gobble it up, channels 2, 4 and 11 (but the Denver-KC rematch is days later … if we even see it))

turkey-football-BW-400x240 This is the week in the NFL season where eight — count ’em, eight — games go over network TV.
Be thankful (especially for the Monday night matchup):

9:30 a.m., Channel 11:
Green Bay (5-5-1) at Detroit (6-5)  (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver, Erin Andrews)
1:30 p.m., Channel 2: Oakland (4-7) at Dallas (6-5) (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms)
5:25 p.m., Channel 4: Pittsburgh (5-6) at Baltimore (5-6) (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

10 a.m., Channel 2: New England (8-3) at Houston (2-9) (Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf) 
The rest of CBS’ games in this window:|
= Miami (5-6) at N.Y. Jets (5-6) (Marv Albert, Rich Gannon)
= Jacksonville (2-9) at Cleveland (4-7) (Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots) 

= Tennessee (5-6) at Indianapolis (7-4) (Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein)

The Fox games in this window that won’t be seen in L.A. either:
= Chicago (6-5) at Minnesota (2-8-1)
(Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin)
= Arizona (7-4) at Philadelphia (6-5) (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa)
= Tampa Bay (3-8) at Carolina (8-3) (Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jennifer Hale)

1:25 p.m., Channel 2: Cincinnati (7-4) at San Diego (5-6)  (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts)
CBS also has in this window that you will only see if the Chargers do not sell out:
= Denver (9-2) at Kansas City (9-2) (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms)

1 p.m., Channel 11: St. Louis (5-6) at San Francisco (7-4) (Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Molly McGrath)
Fox also has in this window:
=Atlanta (2-9) vs. Buffalo (4-7) in Toronto (Dick Stockton, Ronde Barber, Kris Budden)

5:30 p.m., Channel 4: N.Y. Giants (4-7) at Washington (3-8) (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

5:40 p.m., ESPN: New Orleans (9-2) at Seattle (10-1) (Mike Tirico. Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email