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JERRY CROWE

Text messages from press row . . .

Whoever thought USC's team speed would be found lacking? Oregon sure made it look that way.

November 03, 2009|JERRY CROWE

Who would have guessed two months ago that a true freshman quarterback would be the least of USC's concerns? . . .

All might not be lost for Matt Barkley and the Trojans. . . .

Winner of 42 of its last 43 home games, USC closes the season with three games at the Coliseum after playing Saturday at Arizona State and could still wind up in a major bowl game. . . .

LaMichael James and Oregon made the Trojans look slow. . . .

USC fans might find it hard to believe that in Oregon's season-opening loss at Boise State, Jeremiah Masoli and the Ducks couldn't muster a first down until midway through the third quarter. . . .

They scored only eight points. . . .

Terry Donahue, after listing Oregon at No. 4 and Boise State at No. 9 on his Legends Poll ballot this week, told the Sporting News, "There's no question in my mind who'd win the rematch between Boise and Oregon if they played next week." . . .

But they don't play next week. . . .

New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, on why he wears No. 27, told reporters last week, "The Yankees have won 26 [championships], so we all know what comes after that. . . ." . . .

More champagne? . . .

Speaking of Girardi, reader Len Hall e-mails to note, "Those of us from Laguna Beach remember him first as the backup to Laguna Beach High alum Damon Berryhill, the starting catcher for the [division-winning] 1989 Chicago Cubs." . . .

Berryhill, who played 10 major league seasons and hit a home run for the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 World Series,managed the Dodgers' rookie-league affiliate at Ogden, Utah, last season. . . .

Shouldn't the Lakers' shiny new rings proclaim them "NBA Champions" rather than "World Champions"? . . .

The Lakers' spotty play during the season's opening week illustrates anew the value of sidelined forward Pau Gasol, perhaps the NBA's most underrated All-Star. . . .

The Lakers' declining to offer a contract extension to Jordan Farmar seems more an endorsement of Shannon Brown than an indictment of Farmar, but Farmar might see it differently. . . .

What some call a Clippers curse others call karma. . . .

Before Monday's game against Minnesota, the Clippers were 715 games below .500 since Donald Sterling bought the team in 1981. . . .

Including Farmar and Clippers point guard Baron Davis, UCLA had 14 former players on season-opening NBA rosters, more than any school other than Duke, which also had 14. . . .

North Carolina and Connecticut each had 13. . . .

Fox broadcaster Troy Aikman, who called Sunday's Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers game, is only three years older than Brett Favre. . . .

A new song by hip-hop superstar Lil Wayne, "Banned From TV," includes the lyric, "Talk . . . like Lane Kiffin." . . .

Don't most rappers? . . .

Beefy Jerome Bettis, after New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was shown eating a hot dog on the sideline, "I've had a hot dog. I've had cookies. I actually had a hamburger." . . .

That's probably a partial list. . . .

Before Nov. 1, 1959, when Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens became the first modern-day NHL goaltender to wear a mask, how did coaches convince anyone to take the job? . . .

Meb Keflezighi, the first American man since 1982 to win the New York City Marathon, won four NCAA championships in one year at UCLA: the cross-country title and, in track, the 10,000 meters outdoors and the 5,000 meters indoors and outdoors. . . .

Andre Agassi: toupee-wearing, truth-twisting tweeker? . . .

Image isn't everything. . . .

The late, lamented Herald Examiner ceased publication 20 years ago Monday, longtime sports columnist Doug Krikorian speaking for fans across the Southland when he wrote in his farewell piece, "They tore a part of my heart out yesterday." . . .

A memorial service for longtime Santa Monica College football coach Robert Taylor, whose proteges included NFL receivers Isaac Bruce, Steve Smith and Chad Ochocinco, is scheduled for today at 2 p.m. at SMC Pavilion on campus. . . .

Taylor died last month. . . .

Writes New York Post reader Peter Martin in a note to the newspaper, "As long as baseball's big games are played in freezing weather, wouldn't it make more sense to have spring training in Canada instead of Florida and Arizona?" . . .

No more than extending the World Series into November.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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