Tag Archive: USC Trojans


Boys will be boys.

And what interests boys? Football? Sex? Both?

Going back to the golden broadcast age of Roone Arledge, Chris Schenkel and Keith Jackson, ABC Sports college football cameras were among the first to start featuring cheerleaders and student bodies in search of healthy examples of the female form. Coming as no surprise, seemingly no one argued.

Why not incorporate beauty into football broadcasts to drive ratings? We all know that sex sells.allie

But what happens when pure sex appeal is brought down to the sidelines? Is the network mission to inform or to titillate? The majority of football fans are still male, so why not introduce telegenic women to the broadcast?

The rub comes when less-than-intelligent “reporting,” emanates from the sidelines, causing the viewer to question whether the reporter knows what she is talking about. Is our collective intelligence being insulted because the perception is that all males care more about T&A, than the T-formation?

There are few instances in life that drive serious football fans insane than an ex-beauty queen making inane remarks and asking less-than-intelligent questions of coaches and players. Can’t the networks provide us with more than a pretty face?

Before Launching Your Verbal Grenades

Almost DailyBrett will always plead innocent when it comes to any-and-all allegations of misogyny.

At the same time, your blog author is guilty as charged in terms of being an over-the-top, über football fan.

For the past 26 years and counting, yours truly has been a season ticket holder on the opponent’s 30-yard-line at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. My tenure at Autzen started with Bill Musgrave and company in 1990 right through this season’s one-year stint of Vernon Adams.

The author of Almost DailyBrett also served as a football manager for the Oregon Ducks and the USC Trojans, and therefore knows what goes on in the huddle, in the locker room and on the sidelines. The “Sam” backer is lined up over the tight end on the strong side. The “Mike” patrols the middle. The “Will” plays the weak side.

Wonder how many former beauty-queen sideline reporters understand the placement of “backers” on the field, let alone the other intricacies of the complex game of football? If they do not, then why are they there?

This question is not to insinuate that women shouldn’t be on the sidelines … they should … but to contend they must know what they are talking about before they are given a sideline pass. Does Miss Teen USA 2005 and Trump Modeling Management model, Allie LaForce, really know football? The 26-year-old played basketball at Ohio University and majored in broadcast journalism, but did not graduate.

Why is she covering football? She knew how to instinctively flip her strands of blonde hair while interviewing Nick Saban at halftime during the SEC championship game, while asking canned questions. Hey CBS Sportss, is that all it takes for Allie to earn a ticket into the living rooms of literally millions of fans across the country?

Less Ornamentation; More Knowledge Please

Let’s compare Mizz LaForce to Doris Burke, who covers NBA basketball for ABC. When she interviews LeBron James or Dwayne Wade, she asks probing, intelligent questions. Burke, 40, started playing basketball in the second grade and starred with the Providence Friars, and is second all-time in dishing out assists. She was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame. Doris received her bachelor’s in Health Service Education/Social Work and her master’s in Education from the same university.dorisburke

Doris is attractive, but not a former model. More importantly she is accomplished on-and-off the court, and she obviously knows her zone and man-to-man defenses. She played the game. She holds two degrees. Almost DailyBrett has far more respect for Doris than Allie.

The same is true for ESPN’s Lisa Salters, 49, a Penn State graduate in Broadcast Journalism. She played guard for the Penn State women’s basketball team, and is the shortest ever player for the Nittany Lions at 5’2.” She covers football and basketball, and once again she can distinguish between her Xs and her Os.

Washington Wizards v/s Cleveland Cavaliers November 18, 2009 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Washington Wizards v/s Cleveland Cavaliers November 18, 2009 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Michele Tafoya, 50, has seemingly reached the pinnacle of her trade, serving as the sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football since 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from University of California, Berkeley, and her MBA from the University of Southern California (May the Horse be with you, Michele).

She joined CBS in 1994, covering March Madness and U.S. Open tennis. Michele moved on to ABC/ESPN in 2000 as a sideline reporter for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Does Michele Tafoya understand basketball, football, tennis and conceivably other sports? Yes. Was she chosen strictly for her ornamental value? No. The same is true for Doris Burke and Lisa Salters.tafoya

Can we say the same for Allie LaForce?

The purpose here is not to beat up on Allie and other beautiful sideline reporters. They should not be penalized for their appearance. At the same time, they should not be awarded prime sideline real estate just for being a pretty face. They should know the game and they should be smart and accomplished, otherwise the networks are insulting our collective intelligence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/06/business/roone-arledge-71-a-force-in-tv-sports-and-news-dies.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.si.com/more-sports/2015/12/06/media-circus-michelle-tafoya-sunday-night-football-lorne-rubenstein

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allie_LaForce

http://nypost.com/2015/03/16/meet-allie-laforce-a-former-miss-teen-usa-whos-ruling-the-march-madness-court/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Tafoya

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Salters

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Burke

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/misogyny

 

 

 

 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

There are no statues of critics.

There is no glory for Monday morning quarterbacks.olbermann

Second guessing is the easy part; making the crucial decision in a matter of seconds under the glare of spotlight is not for cold-and-timid souls, who will neither know victory nor defeat.

For many, the perceived and real shortcomings of hated overachievers provide a warm feeling of Schadenfreude. They are so happy that someone better than them is so sad.

And why is this? Maybe because their own lives are so desultory, so mundane, so unfulfilled.

Never underestimate the power and the extent of jealousy.

Almost DailyBrett must ask the jealous types, instead of hating others, why not generate and celebrate your own victories? Instead of rejoicing the shortcomings of others, why not become an overachiever yourself?

Sure wish it was that easy.

From Genius to Goat

Life can be so cruel.

With only six seconds before halftime and Seattle set up for a relatively easy three points, everyone expected Pete Carroll to send on the field goal team.

His quarterback, Russell Wilson, wanted one more shot at the end zone. It was a risky decision as Wilson could be sacked or he could have thrown a pick. Carroll made the decision to go for it. The result: Touchdown Seahawks.

Pete Carroll was a genius. The Man in the Arena had taken a calculated gamble and won. The game was now tied 14-14.carroll

Another Man in the Arena, overachieving quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, directed two fourth quarter drives under incredible pressure, to put the Pats up by four with time running down.

Seattle had one more chance, and certainly was making the most of the opportunity. First down on the six-yard line became second down on the one. Carroll was more than aware of the comeback capability of Brady et al. and wanted to leave no time on the clock.

As we all know, Seattle threw on second and goal from the 36-inches away. It didn’t work out. In the time it took for Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz to play the Super Bowl half-time show and two quarters, Pete Carroll had been transformed from genius to goat.

Yes, life can be that unfair.

Being a Stand-Up Guy

“I think the criticism they’ve (Carroll et al.) gotten for the game is totally out of line and by a lot of people who I don’t think are anywhere near even qualified to be commenting on it.” – New England Coach Bill Belichick

The credentialed vultures were circling, and yet Pete Carroll was the Man in the Media Arena.

He faced the music. He answered the myriad of questions. He took full responsibility. He was the Stand-Up Guy.carrollsuperbowl

Predictably, those who know at least four-volumes less about football than Carroll were instant pigskin gurus. Keith Olbermann, who has been unceremoniously ejected from more TV networks than you can count on two hands and two feet, was among those leading the charge.

All the past transgressions – real or perceived – by Pete Carroll came rocketing to the surface. There was no balancing the discussion with the undeniable success of Carroll including two national titles at USC and the only Super Bowl win for the Seahawks. Absent from the conversation was Pete’s devotion to helping others and building “A Better LA” and “A Better Seattle.”

What may bother the jealous types more than anything else is that Pete is a winner, Sunday night notwithstanding. He always has a huge smile on his face. He has tremendous energy. He is 63-years-young and looks like he is 33. He is a classic overachiever. He is the Man in the Arena.

For the jealous, the depressed, the unhappy, the underachievers, they now can rejoice for a short period of Schadenfreude. Maybe they can now all take turns in carving a statue to Keith Olbermann.

The author of Almost DailyBrett would be more than happy to serve as the first pigeon.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000468089/article/pete-carroll-continues-to-defend-seahawks-oc-bevell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Carroll

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000467707/article/seahawks-pete-carroll-explains-illfated-call-in-super-bowl-xlix

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt

http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/12277589/criticism-seattle-seahawks-play-call-line-bill-belichick-new-england-patriots-says

 

 

Believe it or not, college football finally got it right.

Now let’s not screw it up.National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State

Think of it this way, there have been three eras in college football: The Bowl Era; the BCS and for the first time this past season, the College Football Playoff.

Using these three systems, only one would have produced the Ohio State Buckeyes as the national champion even though they would have played Oregon in the terminal bowl under each of the trio of regimes.

The other “champions” would have been Florida State (bowl system) and Alabama (BSC).

The Bowl Era

As a young tadpole, the author of Almost DailyBrett remembers spending virtually all of New Year’s Day watching the bowls.

As a football manager of the USC Trojans in 1976, we lost one damn game, our opener against Missouri at the LA Coliseum. That loss cost us dearly. We were contractually tied into the Rose Bowl. We beat Michigan. We ended up No. 2 in all the land.

Pitt with Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett went to the Sugar Bowl and ended the season, No. 1 and undefeated. We never had a chance to play them.

Using this very same bowl system, Florida State as the ACC champion would have gone to the Orange Bowl. Alabama as the ESECPN champ would been dispatched to the Sugar Bowl. Oregon and Ohio State would have played in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl.

If Florida State prevailed in the Orange Bowl, regardless of the opponent, the Seminoles would have been the national champion because of its perfect season and an unbeaten streak of 30-straight. There is zero doubt about this conclusion because everyone else had at least one loss.

Reality check time: This is the same Florida State team that survived a series of close calls against basketball schools only to be literally destroyed by Oregon 59-20 in the Rose Bowl (e.g. first playoff semifinal) as the Ducks feasted on five Florida State turnovers.GTY 460965378 S SPO FBC USA CA

So much for Florida State as the national champion, and its 29-game winning streak.

The BSC Era

In order to solve the automatic bowl tie-in conundrum, the college football gods came up with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

Reflecting back on the unfortunate BSC era, the idea was to create a non-subjective human/computer ranking system that would disregard bowl tie-ins and conceivably send the best two teams in all the land to the BCS Championship Game.

Besides triggering coast-to-coast controversy, the flawed subjective system paved the way for sanity to ensue in the form of a four-team playoff.

If the BSC still existed this past season, is there any doubt that Florida State and Alabama (e.g., the two semifinal losers) would have played in the Championship Game? And the winner most likely would have been Alabama, making everyone at ESECPN (e.g., Rece “Alabama” Davis, Jesse “Florida” Palmer, David “Georgia” Pollack, Lee “Florida State” Corso …) real happy.

The two playoff finalists (e.g., the teams that handily beat Alabama and Florida State respectively) would have played in the Rose Bowl. Translated: the result of the Ohio State vs. Oregon Rose Bowl would have been irrelevant in determining the national champion.

Thankfully: The Playoff Era

Ohio State would have been locked into the Rose Bowl under the auspices of the bowl era. Under the BSC, the Buckeyes would have been relegated to the Rose Bowl because the college football Pharisees would have selected undefeated Florida State and ESECPN champ Alabama.

In neither case would Ohio State be able to compete for the national title even though the Buckeyes have now proved they are the best team in the land.

The college football playoff provided the backdrop for Ohio State to play for and win the national title. Baylor and TCU may be upset about being left out of the dance, but doing the Texas two-step … there is no way the Bears or Horned Frogs would have beaten the Buckeyes.

There are some who may clamor for an eight-team playoff or a 16-team playoff, a 32-team playoff, a 64-team playoff, a 128-team playoff (e.g., Oregon State would be playing for the national championship).

Yes, there are five major conferences and increasingly inconsequential Notre Dame and one champion obviously will not make it to the four-team dance. Three wouldn’t have made it to the BSC championship game.buckeye

Let’s leave well enough alone. The College Football Playoff worked. Let’s salute The College Football Playoff for a job well done, and also the Fighting Chestnuts of Ohio State.

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowl_Championship_Series

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/rose-bowl

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Bowl_Game

 

 

 

“I don’t want to play in a Rose Bowl unless I’m playing for a national championship.” – Oregon wide receiver, Josh Huff

“It’s not a big deal at all … We already won a Rose Bowl, so I feel like it’s whatever.” – Oregon running back/receiver/athlete De’Anthony Thomas

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Wisconsin vs Oregon

The 100th Anniversary Rose Bowl … “Whatever”?

Former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was shaking his head reflecting on DAT’s Rose Bowl whatever  dismissal during the latest installment of Comcast’s “Talking Ducks.”

Harrington grew up in Portland, Oregon dreaming of playing in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

He took the Ducks to three consecutive bowl game wins: The Sun over Minnesota in 1999; the Holiday over Texas in 2000; and the Fiesta on New Year’s Day 2002 over Colorado. Three-for-three for “Captain Comeback,” but no Rose Bowl.

An awful Civil War game against Oregon State on a frigid November Saturday in 2000, and a nightmare fourth quarter against Stanford in October, 2001, kept Harrington out of Pasadena for the final two years of his college career. His ultimate dream was not realized, and it obviously still hurts to this day.

joeyharrington

Josh Huff and De’Anthony Thomas are good guys and their comments are understandable, considering that Stanford pretty much put the kibosh on Oregon competing for the national championship.

To some the Rose Bowl has become a consolation prize, largely because of the BCS. Similar sentiments are being heard in Columbus, Ohio, where an undefeated Ohio State team may be relegated to…the Rose Bowl.

“I don’t mind playing in the Rose Bowl, playing for the fans and my teammates,” Huff said. “But deep down I don’t wanna be a prep game for the national championship game.”

It hasn’t always been this way, and it really shouldn’t be this way.

Growing up I didn’t want to die without seeing the Rolling Stones live, and the Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

I achieved Satisfaction (even hearing the song played live three times), doing my best Jumpin’ Jack Flash with the Stones six times, proving that you can get what you want.

The first Oregon Rose Bowl in the modern era came in 1994 from an Oregon team forecasted to finish 10th in the Pacific 10 conference. Tears were rolling down collective faces as the band played “Mighty Oregon” on the floor of the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

There was no place else I was going to be on Planet Earth for those four hours on January 2, 1995 (Never on Sunday for the Tournament of Roses).

Since that time, the Ducks have been back to Pasadena twice, losing to Ohio State in the 2010 game and beating Wisconsin two years later. And now the Ducks sit on the precipice of their third trip to the Rose Bowl in five years.

oregonrosebowl

As Ronald Reagan would say, “Not bad, not bad at all.”

Almost DailyBrett generally refrains from making categorical, unequivocal statements but will state for the record that Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day is gorgeous on the most beautiful day of the year. The Los Angeles smog takes the day off. The skies are blue. The air is warm. The tailgate parties on Brookside Golf Course are rocking and rolling by 8:30 am, about five hours before kickoff.

My childhood home was literally next door in Glendale, The Bedroom of Los Angeles (dubbed out of the sheer boredom of the LA suburb, not for rampant sexual activity). You could almost hit the Rose Bowl with a rock from the balcony of my high school, St. Francis, in adjacent La Cañada.

I always dreamed of going to the Rose Bowl game.

My first time was as a junior manager for the USC Trojans, right on the sideline, on New Year’s Day 1977. We beat Michigan that day, 14-6. I still treasure my Rose Bowl ring and watch. Since that day, I have been to eight more Rose Bowls including the three aforementioned Oregon Rose Bowls.

As Gary Horowitz of USA Today wrote there was a time that Oregon even making the Rose Bowl would be relished, and not seen as the warm-up act before the headliner: The BSC National Championship Game.

Part of the reason for the lack of overall excitement by Oregon player’s lies in the fact that the program played in the “Natty” in 2011. That was the dream this year. The Bristol, Connecticut network Pharisees (e.g., former Florida QB Jesse Palmer or former Georgia LB David Pollack) at ES(SEC)PN have already discarded any chance of one loss Oregon playing in the Natty, so the Rose Bowl is now the realistic goal.

Keep in mind that five nationally ranked Pac-12 universities are still in the hunt for Pasadena on New Year’s Day: Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, USC and UCLA. The latter four do not see the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize.

The precious nature of the Rose Bowl is magnified if one makes a visit to Corvallis, Oregon, Berkeley, California or Tucson, Arizona. The Beavers have not been to the Rose Bowl since 1965 (48 years); the Cal Bears have been shut out of Pasadena since 1959 (54 years); and the Arizona Wildcats have never made it to Pasadena.

And these three schools are not making it this year either.

If Bear Down Arizona or the Old Blues of Cal or the Beaver Nation ever makes it to Pasadena there will be tears shed in Tucson, (even) Berkeley or Corvallis.

No one would be dismissing the Rose Bowl as, “Whatever.”

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10011543/oregon-ducks-unhappy-prospect-rose-bowl-trip

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/dbMv4?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=oregon-ducks-football

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2013/11/20/oregon-ducks-rose-bowl-pac-12-marcus-mariota/3659641/

http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2013/11/oregon_ducks_football_deanthon_8.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/lifelong-search-for-satisfaction/

200px-MikeRiley

Hanukkah in Seattle?

New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles? Ditto for Austin, College Station and Lubbock?

Or maybe it is the equivalent of a New Year’s Day hangover in Corvallis and Seattle with the Oregon Ducks playing in the Rose Bowl?

Isaac and Big Suke, the talking heads on Portland’s “The Fan” (1080 AM) were discussing Tuesday how Oregon State Beaver fans were anticipating the equivalent of Christmas Eve with the NCAA bestowing gifts to be opened in the form of crippling sanctions on the University of Oregon football program.

There were some stocking stuffers indeed, but not what were prayed for in Corvallis, Seattle and other exotic locales. There are a few sore wrists in Eugene…but nothing more.

What do you get when you cross a Washington Husky with a ground-hog? Six more weeks of NCAA probation.

Will Husky fans try to reverse this joke, substituting an Oregon Duck with a ground-hog? Probably. Deep down they know that the rampant “loss of institutional” control under former Washington Coach Don James doesn’t even come close to the relatively minor offenses committed by Oregon.

Now that Washington’s dreams of crippling punishment against Oregon have been dashed, the pressure is on the Huskies to end Oregon’s unprecedented nine-game winning streak over the Dawgs will intensify. Circle October 12 in Husky Stadium on your calendar.

For those of you scoring at home, Oregon received probation of three-years, a loss of one scholarship per year for the same time period, an 18-month “show cause” penalty against former Head Coach Chip Kelly (who will serve out his sentence in the NFL) and a reduction of paid recruiting visits from 56 to 37 in the next two years.

No bowl ban.

The penalties arise as a result of a $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles and his Texas-oriented “recruiting service provider” firm.

Yahoo Sports, which broke the story two years ago, clearly wanted blood to flow. They still want blood to flow, particularly from Chip Kelly, as evidenced from today’s coverage. Sorry to disappoint you, sorry indeed.

What is also causing the crucify Oregon crowd to gnash their collective teeth is the massive coverage of New England Pats tight end Aaron Hernandez being charged with murder in the same news cycle. Sorry Yahoo Sports, but an East Coast murder investigation trumps a West Coast recruiting service snafu any day of the week. In fact, God’s time zone transgressions (e.g., EDT or EST) beat anything on the Left Coast virtually any time.

They say that a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Did the institutional model of arbitrariness and capriciousness (a.k.a. NCAA) actually get it right for a change? Is that different from a slap on the wrist as interpreted by ESPN’s Joe Schad and Brock Huard (former Udub quarterback).

Consider there are no NCAA regulations governing recruiting services. Cal, Tennessee and others used the services of Willie Lyles. Where are the sanctions against Cal and Tennessee, both Autzen Stadium visitors this season?

In direct contrast with USC’s former AD Mike Garrett, who fought the NCAA tooth and nail, Oregon cooperated with the institutional giant from Indianapolis, Indiana, even proposing sanctions and asking for a summary disposition, basically a plea bargain. To USC’s credit, new AD Pat Haden demonstrated how honey as opposed to vinegar wins more friends than enemies, including the NCAA.

Even though I have no evidence to back this up, one must wonder how it would look if Oregon was slapped with a bowl ban for a $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles with NCAA boss Mark Emmert having previously served as the President of…you guessed it…The University of Washington.

Finally, the key player in Le Affaire Lyles was Texas five-star stud Lache Seastrunk. He was buried on the Oregon running back depth-chart, transferred to Baylor in Texas, and never played a down for Oregon.

Where is the benefit to Oregon?

This is a case of so many, waiting way too long for so little.

Has the NCAA shed its record of inconsistency? No.

Has the ground shifted in terms of Oregon Football? You bet ya.

The program that was at best ignored for decades is today respected, feared and in some cases hated.

There is a love-hate relationship with Oregon, its fancy uniforms, incredible digs and Uncle Phil and his Nike money too.

To the good folks in Corvallis, Seattle and elsewhere, there is more to come from Eugene, starting August 31.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9424556/oregon-ducks-put-probation-ncaa-lose-scholarship

http://www.registerguard.com/rg/news/30077980-76/oregon-ncaa-recruiting-lyles-kelly.html.csp

http://www.oregonlive.com/

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2013/06/canzano_blog_ncaa_was_as_tired.html#incart_big-photo

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–chip-kelly-is-latest-successful-coach-to-skate-free-of-ncaa-harm-174023192.html

http://www.1080thefan.com/pages/12623116.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_James_%28American_football%29

%d bloggers like this: