My fellow Trojan fans, as you know, we have a problem with The Times.
As you might have noticed in Friday's "Six Games to Watch" the last two weeks ... that's the last two weeks ... Times reporter Pete Thomas has predicted that USC will lose. That's firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sometimes wonder why they don't go ahead and call it the UCLA Times with the favoritism shown the Bruins. There are days, and by golly I've measured, The Times actually runs 12 inches of copy on the Bruins, and only 10 on our guys, and I ask you, who is No. 1?
I've seen pictures from a UCLA game run bigger than USC pictures in the paper. Several of you have e-mailed to point that out, and I appreciate it.
I know they're doing it on purpose, and it's almost enough to make me write under an assumed name, join one of the Trojan chat rooms and say all the nasty things I would never say to anyone's face.
I thought The Times was supposed to be our hometown paper. What do you think our guys feel like when they read they're supposed to lose? As long as I've been a Trojan die-hard, I've done nothing but cheer and show support for our guys.
IN HELPING you to prepare your off-color and nasty e-mails -- that's email@example.com.-- I've come up with some helpful background information.
Thomas writes about UCLA for the paper with the additional duty of predicting USC's games. As if that's fair. I'm surprised the sports editor doesn't have a Notre Dame grad forecasting USC's demise weekly. You can e-mail the sports editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two weeks ago Thomas -- remember, the UCLA reporter -- wrote that Cal would beat our guys. You can imagine what that did to Mike Garrett's disposition. The Times not only printed Thomas' prediction but allowed him to continue working without any disciplinary action.
Some Trojan fans have told me in the past that although they were longtime Times subscribers they were canceling their newspaper because someone had made fun of USC. Personally speaking, I worry that Thomas could put us out of business.
I checked The Times' internal website, and it lists Claire Noland as Thomas' immediate supervisor in the sports department. That means she not only approved of Thomas' selection of Cal over USC a week ago but did nothing about it, because it happened again this week. That's email@example.com.
THOMAS PREDICTED this week that Arizona State would beat our guys, and right now it's halftime and USC is winning, 42-7. That's firstname.lastname@example.org.
After USC finished off Arizona State, 45-7, our great coach, Pete Carroll, said, "Everybody was doubting us," and you know specifically who he was talking about.
"Now there is no doubt," said Carroll, including that email@example.com wrong.
I know Thomas has distinguished himself in the past as some kind of great outdoors writer and has gone swimming with a great white shark, spitting in its eye. And although I commend him for going the extra mile to prepare himself for dealing with Trojan fans, let me tell you, he hasn't felt their bite yet.
Listen, you've got folks over at the Orange County Register who obviously read The Times to get the full story, and here's the problem: In Saturday's Register the newspaper gave the coaching nod in the USC-Arizona State game to the Sun Devils. That's how far Thomas' influence reaches.
Lee Corso on ESPN called Auburn the best team in the nation, and Kirk Herbstreit said it was Oklahoma. They read The Times, and if USC's hometown newspaper is picking the Trojans to lose for the second consecutive week, what would you expect them to say?
It's bad enough USC has to deal with the obvious East Coast bias to get its due. But let me tell you, even though I sometimes feel like I'm the only one in town supporting our local teams, I will continue to fight on!
I'M OFF to Reno on Monday to win $1 million. To dedicate the opening of Somersett Country Club, 10 golfers have been invited to try to make a hole in one on the 149-yard sixth hole.
I intend to win the $1 million and immediately donate it to Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, and I bold-faced "immediately" so the Grocery Store Bagger, the wife and the two daughters who have never paid for anything in their lives don't get any greedy ideas.
I've enlisted the help of Tom Kite to make sure I win the $1 million.
Kite designed the Somersett layout just outside Reno, and he will be working with me Monday in preparation of scoring the first ace in my life.
Kite has nine career holes in one, so it's almost a certainty the kids at Mattel Children's Hospital will be getting $1 million, unless Kite doesn't do his job.
THE DODGERS didn't take the opportunity to have an enthusiastic Jose Lima sing the national anthem before a playoff game they needed to win, but the folks who run the Conga Room on Wilshire Boulevard know a star when they hear one.
"We're talking to him about appearing here on a consistent basis," said Brad Gluckstein, the managing partner of the Conga Room, which is owned in part by Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez and Paul Rodriguez. "Jose came in here the night he pitched the playoff shutout, and in the eight years we've been open, he put on one of the top five to 10 performances we've ever seen."
My concern now, of course, is that the Boston Parking Lot Attendant will read this, factor in what the Conga Room might pay Lima, and lower his contract offer to the free-agent pitcher.
T.J. Simers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.