Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Video Soul: Recapping UCLA and USC

Regretfully I took a week off from making my weekly videos. Unless I get sick or crazy busy, I'll try to be better with it. Anyways, here's my thoughts on UCLA and USC.

Late kudos to UCLA for fundraising to build a new football facility. It's long overdue and it finally shows that the school is committed to building up their football program to a level it demands. One more strike to show recruits they are committed to winning them over and Jim Mora that they want him to keep building something.

As for USC, I'm still trying to burn that second half out of my mind. It's fitting they're heading to the desert because just like Walter White, I feel like that's where their failures will catch up to them. Arizona State's got something to prove and I think Will Sutton and that defense will be licking their chops to see the mediocre Trojan offense.

For more of my Pac-12 reactions, check out my weekly roundup over at Bro Jackson

Monday, September 23, 2013

#APU: The Latest Movement vs. the NCAA

If you missed this, several football players at Georgia, Georgia Tech and Northwestern wrote APU on their gear. Not to be confused with Azusa Pacific University out here in California, it stands for All Players United – a sign of solidarity for athletes fighting against what they consider unfair treatment by the NCAA.

I’m glad this was a slow week for college football games because this is the real story of the weekend. For one of the first times, we’ve seen current, active athletes step up and make a statement against the NCAA on the field of play.

It’s a pretty huge deal because it’s a sign that the NCAA’s fake empire is under more attack from within. The life-blood of the NCAA is the athletes and if they start to speak up while currently students, then the dominoes are falling hard.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dodgers are NL West Champs (And Everybody's Celebrating)

I remember watching the Dodgers this spring and thinking this year was going to be terrible. But you want to know the moment when I first had hope they could turn it around? June 7 against the Braves when they were still meandering in last place.

I was there with my church during the humble beginnings of the Yasiel Puig era. Puig hit a game-tying home run while I was at the concession stands and despite leaving guys on base, the team won in extra innings for their first walkoff of the season. The season was still bleak but I had hope that Puig was going to be some kind of spark.

Fast forward three months later. The Dodgers clinched the division and they're celebrating in the Arizona Diamondbacks pool like kids. Don Mattingly held back tears talking about how great this team was and how resilient they were. Hanley Ramirez finally gets to taste the postseason and played like he wanted it going 4-4 with two home runs.

And in true Dodger fashion, AJ Ellis provided the surprising biggest blow with the go-ahead home run. I listened on the radio and could only smile.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday PM Links (The Week in Review)

Another week, another great load of writing to share. I'm proud every day of the work that I've done and even though I'm not able to post more here, I'm still happy to bless you with the fruits of my labor.

Without further adieu - the week that was in my writing world.

The Pac-12 Roundup. Looking back at this past weekend for the Pac-12 (Bro Jackson)

UCLA report card vs. Nebraska. Another dominant statement vs. a Top 25 team. (UCLA 24/7)

UCLA preview vs. Nebraska. Pretty close on my final score prediction (UCLA 24/7)

The Fall of Troy: The scene from USC's fallout vs Washington State. (Bro Jackson)

Usher vs. Justin Timberlake: A fun back and forth on the two biggest male pop stars of the century (Bro Jackson)

Serra vs. Notre Dame. A high school that was dull for 36 minutes but got wild all the way to the second overtime. Best regular season game I've seen in a while. (Daily Breeze)

Mary Star vs. St. Monica. Another close HS game with a game-winning touchdown in the final minute. A postgame video I did can be found here. (Daily Breeze)

Below is another interview I did at my two games. Serra HS standout Adoree Jackson - one of the top players in the country - caught the go-ahead TD to give Serra the lead. He also had an 80-yard touchdown to tie the game in regulation where he reminded me how incredibly fast he is.

This is the same school that produced NFL rookie Robert Woods and USC's Marqise Lee. I've covered them both and Jackson is definitely in that special category.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Oklahoma State Scandal - Why Should I Care?

Why should I care indeed? This story could be written about any school in the country. Just so happened Oklahoma State caught the glare for some reason.

In the post-Penn State era, these scandals seem almost ho-hum and very low on my radar. Paying players vs. a school covering up pedophilia. Abusing drugs vs. administrators turning a blind eye to child abuse when told about it. What really matters in the grand scheme? Low-level incidents or true institutional failure and criminal behavior.

Nothing will compare to Penn State obviously but my point is that guys taking money and having folks pass their classes is nothing new. Where's the shock in that? Where's the newsworthiness in reporting something that happens seemingly every year? Are reporters playing Catch a Criminal or are we actually trying to change a system in the process. 

It's like police officers catching weed sellers and low-level guys while the bigger empire just replaces them with other folks. I’m not shocked by these things anymore. It's all a byproduct of a crooked empire where winning is always prevalent and more money is at stake, coaches, AD’s and boosters will do whatever it takes to win.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

USC's Glorious Fall (In Words and Video)

I finished uploading this video right before work so apologies for the late post. But USC's loss to Washington State bears a double dose of my commentary so enjoy that short video on Lane Kiffin's failures and then read my in-depth thoughts over at Bro Jackson.

That game reminded me of watching UCLA and Notre Dame in 2007. One of the worst games I've ever seen where both teams could barely score points and UCLA couldn't get touchdowns despite being inside the 5-yard line twice. That was rock-bottom for UCLA under Karl Dorrell so now it's USC's time.

Seriously. They only scored seven points at home?? Three days later I'm still smirking and hopefully Lane Kiffin doing the right thing giving Cody Kessler the starting job will be a start. But who am I kidding. I'm just waiting for Arizona State to tear them a new one on September 28 to continue the Pac-12 shellacking the Cougars started.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Afternoon Links (Recapping Evan's Week of Work)

Some housekeeping notes. I'll be posting a video with thoughts on USC followed by longer thoughts at Bro Jackson in a seperate post but I forgot to give you all the weekly link recap. For new readers, every week, I'll post all my links from my last week of work in one place so you can check them.

Oh and the Pac-12 roundup will be featured tomorrow along with the USC links. Til then, enjoy.....

On Brett Hundley's Heisman trophy chances as the season progresses (UCLA 24/7)

My videos on UCLA's Week 1 win and USC's Week 1 suspect performance (YouTube)

Peninsula HS coach Mike Christensen returns to the South Bay with shutout win (Daily Breeze)

Redondo girls volleyball loses season opener in five sets to Mater Dei (Daily Breeze)

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin deserves more credit for his handling of Johnny Manziel (EB Sports Report)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Respect the General (Why Kevin Sumlin Deserves More Credit Handling Johnny Manziel)

"I think it's important now, based on where he is, that his focus is to try to be our quarterback and a student-athlete. That's his biggest challenge right now. It's not his challenge to be here. That's me. Like I said before, this is college football; it's not pro football. That will be coming, but certainly, right now, we don't think that it's the right time."

After reading Kevin Sumlin's words on Johnny F. Manziel and why Manziel didn't address the media, I'm even more convinced that he's the right coach to handle him.

While everyone's over-analyzed and overreacted to Manziel's debut, I've chilled. As I've stated, I'm cool with him and his personality. Now I want to see how he plays, not discuss his character to death over every little thing.

(By the way, we need to stop associating character with on-field demeanor. Plenty of stoic athletes were terrible people and plenty of boisterous ones were fine citizens off it. The two don't always correlate and shouldn't, especially in football when you need a bit of crazy on the field.)

But I don't hear too many bring up a point I made in my Manziel piece. Sumlin is handling him with the right amount of freedom, restraint and protection. He's striking the perfect balance of letting Manziel be himself without stepping over whatever boundaries Sumlin has between the lines.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

College Football Wrap (Pac-12 Notes and Videos)

I have more thoughts over at UCLA 24/7 where I did my weekly notebook but safe to say there were a lot of positives to take from a great win. Looks like the Bruins are back where they left off and if that offensive line can force their will, expect to see Brett Hundley in the Heisman chatter.

There's no doubt in my mind who the more confident, best team is in Los Angeles right now. Now for a few Pac-12 notes.

As I wrote in my Bro Jackson piece, beware the underrated backfield of Keith Price/Bishop Sankey of Washington. They torched Boise State without All-American tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins so imagine what they'll do with him.

Nice to Oregon State crap the bed against Eastern Washington but props to QB Vernon Adams, who almost singlehandedly whipped the Beavers. Several of my colleagues remember him as a dual-threat QB out here at Mission Hills Alemany so I'm happy he got payback against a conference that didn't recruit him.

My biggest concern was seeing how De'Anthony Thomas would handle a bigger load, something he hasn't done since high school. Well Saturday, the Black Momba showed he could (18 carries) that he's improved running between the tackles and he can make the small runs as well as the explosive ones.