USC v. UCLA

I don’t care how much promotion Jim Mora did to get fans to the UCLA spring game or if he personally rented buses to bring in people, shouldn’t USC be disturbed that more people went to the Rose Bowl for the Bruins’ spring game (20,000) than the Coliseum for the USC game (15,000)?

And that’s even with the complaints about the cost of parking, food, etc., at the Rose Bowl.

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Matt Barkley Under Pressure

Yesterday I ran a quote from USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“He performs at the highest level when the pressure’s at its most,” Helton said.

A reader points out Barkley threw 36 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions last season but if take away the Hawaii, Syracuse and Colorado games, Barkley had 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

The Trojans also went 4-4 in those toughest games. So is he better under pressure?

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USC v. UCLA

UCLA wrapped up spring practice last weekend and Jim Mora said, “I feel like everyone has bought in. Everybody has the same vision and the same goal.”

So the question remains, does the same apply to USC?

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A Quick Word About Jason Collins

The big news today is NBA player Jason Collins becoming the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. I covered Collins when he was a star basketball player at Harvard-Westlake school in Studio City.

He and his twin brother, Jarron, led their team to the CIF title the year I covered them and eventually went to Stanford. What I remember about Jason Collins was that he was polite and very. very quiet. This line from his article in Sports Illustrated today struck a chord with me.

“I’ve always been scared of saying the wrong thing,” Collins said.

I think he probably felt that way in high school too. One time he came to visit our offices to take a picture and I remember how he asked later if he could have a copy of the photo mailed to him.

It was a rare moment when he let his guard down and revealed a little bit of his personality. I was grateful he did. Now that he has come out, I hope he feels free to always speak his mind without reservation.

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Andy Enfield On The Road

The new USC basketball coach was in Phoenix last week and spent the weekend in Virginia and Colorado. Among the players Enfield watched: forward Zylan Cheatham of Phoenix, forward Malik Price-Martin of Oakland Park, Fla., point guard Jeremiah Paige of Aurora, Colo., guard Josh Perkins of Aurora, Colo., and forward Chimezie Metu of Lawndale, Calif.

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