Friday, November 4, 2016

Best of my Work (September/October)

Okay so that idea of writing more sports on here? A lot more difficult when you're working 12-hour days and driving for three of them. Ambition is a wonderful thing.....execution is a lot harder as I've learned from my running/exercise journey.

Either way, I figured I'd give you guys a chance to see what I've been up to for work. Since I'm not writing here. Here's some of the best stuff I've written since late August. I'll try to do this every month.

1986 Crespi: Part 1 and Part 2
As a prep sports scribe, I've always been fascinated by Russell White, one of the greatest running backs in California history. He's the only sophomore named State Player of the Year and that 1986 Crespi High School team is the only team from the San Fernando Valley to win a title at the highest division.

Crespi coach Troy Thomas, left, and former Celts coach Bill Redell, right, show off the school’s memorabilia from the 1986 championship season. Thomas played defensive back on that team. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

White went on to an All-American career at Cal (still their all-time leading rusher) but I wanted to study his team. Coaches and players from that team became successful around Southern California. So I wanted to know what drove them to be great. The first story is a general reflection. The second is short snapshots of three guys from that team I didn't talk to in Part 1.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

USC lost because....Alabama is really good

I don't know what fans expected between USC and Alabama. Did they expect a close game? Did they think USC could beat the national champions with a quarterback making his debut? I was on record saying to friends that if USC lost by 10, that's a good sign.

USC got housed 52-6 by a great team with the best coach/defensive mind in college football. This was won because Nick Saban and his defense vs. a rookie non-mobile quarterback is an easy mismatch.

It was ugly early on but Alabama did what the Tide do best - make big plays on defense, trust their training and take advantage of mistakes. Jabari Ruffin lost his cool on his penalty? Alabama comes back with a pick-6. USC blitzes and nobody rotates? Easy touchdown for ArDarius Stewart.

USC couldn't run the ball. JuJu Smith-Schuster was locked up all night. Its defense was bullied up front by Alabama's massive offensive line. Max Browne was in trouble all night. They didn't score a touchdown for the first time since 1997. Obviously they played poorly - which is what Alabama has done to good teams over and over the last 5-6 years.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

What I've Been Up To (Sept. 3 edition)

So I've been far too quiet in this space. It's been two years but as most of you know, I've been pretty busy with my full-time gig for the LA Daily News. And by busy, I mean since last fall, a ton of late nights thanks to us adding videos to our coverage.

In the past, I used to blog while I wrote for my main gig but when you're basically on call for an 15-hour day, driving close to 3 hours roundtrip when on assignment, plus up until 2-3 a.m. editing's been hard to blog the way I want to (not to mention the rare piece I write for Bro Jackson).

I don't like writing quick stuff because I think my thoughts need to be developed and if you've read me, you know I hate wasting words. But at the recent NABJ Convention, I was challenged to find time for my blog. I was reminded that as much as I tell younger journalists to have one, I need to devote some resources here so people can see my work easier.

So here we go. The EB Sports Report 2.0 will basically be me sharing my videos, story links and whatever quick notes I can find time to drop. Maybe it won't be long analysis but you'll get a chance to enjoy what I've done.