Letters to Sports: UCLA-USC rivalry game a roller coaster for fans

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So when is a win really a loss? When the UCLA win probably saves the Chipper’s job. Our only hope now is when the Chargers fire Brandon Staley, they offer the coaching job to Chip Kelly. It would be a great holiday present.

Fred Wallin
Westlake Village


Bruins upset mighty USC!

Let’s give Chip Kelly another extension!

Jack Wolf


Searched desperately for a silver lining to USC’s historically horrific defense. Found one — no one will accuse Alex Grinch of stealing opponents’ signs.

Mark Roth
Playa Vista


Three yards rushing against UCLA. So much for Student Body Right, Student Body Left. Fight On?

James Schweitzer


Look to Lincoln Riley’s postgame comments for signs of his character as a coach. His team had just been plastered by his crosstown rival and what does he say about them? Not a word. No nods to Chip Kelly, who clearly had the Bruins better prepared. Not a word of compliment to Liatu Latu, who was in the Trojan backfield as much as its running backs. Kelly was more eloquent (hard to believe) in his comments about Caleb Williams than was Riley, who waxed on about … himself. This wasn’t just a coach taking responsibility for a hard loss. This is a coach who can’t see far enough past his own nose to understand that in moments of defeat, a coach’s sole job isn’t navel-gazing.

Mike Murashige
Eugene, Ore.


Is there anyone out there who thinks former USC coach Clay Helton would have done worse? And for a lot less money.

Jack Dietz
La Quinta


There once was a coach named Clay,
Who often beat UCLA.
He won five and lost one,
But was under the gun.
Now a new coach leads them astray.

Brian Robinette
Van Nuys

Criticizing the critics

Reading the comments of The Times’ sports columnists about the fanfare given to USC coach Lincoln Riley on his arrival sounds as if they forgot that it was this newspaper that announced Riley’s arrival at USC as though it was the “second coming.” Although USC quarterback Caleb Williams is a fine player, let’s not forget that the Heisman Trophy is the result of a huge, costly public relations campaign put on by the sponsoring school.

Too much was expected from USC this year, including its preseason rating.

Martin A. Brower
Corona del Mar


On Monday of this past week, after the UCLA Bruins’ humiliating loss to Arizona, Bill Plaschke wrote that coach Chip Kelly should be fired: “Bruins can’t enter Big Ten with a coach like Kelly, who has been mediocre at best.”

Now, after UCLA’s drubbing of USC, Plaschke is ready to fire Lincoln Riley: “Honeymoon has quickly ended for Riley at USC.” If coaches can be allowed to retain their jobs only when they are perfect, how can Plaschke continue to be allowed to write for the L.A. Times?

Henry A. Hespenheide
Hermosa Beach

NBA thoughts

With LeBron James playing like he is 29 — rather than almost 39 — on this Turkey Day I am thankful that when LBJ “weighed retirement,” he decided against it.

Ken Feldman


What a mensch! Coach Gregg Popovich quelled a disrespectful crowd who were booing former Spurs player Kawhi Leonard. While the hard-fought win for the Clippers was welcome, the respect and warmth of coach and player displayed at game’s end was even more moving.

D.H. Sloan
Los Angeles


Stop it, NBA. Just stop it. The game on TNT at the moment (Cavaliers-76ers) is unwatchable. A shiny orange court? Seriously?? I can’t see the freaking ball! The worst court I’ve ever seen (until tonight) was that thing the Oregon Ducks play on. Here’s a clue, NBA: These busy, bright, multicolored courts distract the eye like crazy and destroy for the viewers a very visual game. You make it impossible to watch. I literally can’t tell what’s going on. But dang, those sure are pretty colors!

Bill Lewis

Staley subject

If Brandon Staley defended the Chargers as well as he defends himself, they’d be a winning team. Instead, they’ve given up a league-worst 393 yards a game, and he has become a toxic presence on and off the field. What a bummer for Chargers fans — and players!

Mario Valvo


The following are similarities of the Chargers and USC football teams.

1. Both have underachieved in 2023.

2. Have a great quarterback.

3. Defenses are inept.

4. Their head coaches would be better off as coordinators.

John C. Borrego
Safety Harbor, Fla.

Follow the money

Eric Sondheimer’s review of St. John Bosco and Mater Dei dominating CIF football points to the 2010 lawsuit allowing transfers with no restrictions as the major cause. There is no mention of the money involved, the parochial and private schools discussed having yearly tuitions of $15,685, $18,850, $33,280, and $40,770. Each of those teams dress 60 players on varsity, so who pays the average tuition total of $1.6 million per team? If our local high school team was given $1.6 million per year for its football program it would level the playing field. Conversely, prohibiting scholarships to parochial and private schools would achieve the same result.

Kevin Park
Westlake Village


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Email: sports@latimes.com

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