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Bruins once cut them off at the pass

JERRY CROWE

Text messages from press row ...

July 14, 2011|Jerry Crowe
  • UCLA students halt traffic on the 405 Freeway after learning USC got the Pacific 10 Conference's Rose Bowl bid.
UCLA students halt traffic on the 405 Freeway after learning USC got the… (Los Angeles Times )

To the idea of shutting down the San Diego Freeway on the Westside, as will happen this weekend, a group of former UCLA students can say, "Been there, done that." …

In November 1966, as The Times reported under the headline, "UCLA RAMPAGE," thousands stormed off campus in protest of UCLA's surprising Rose Bowl snub in favor of USC, twice marching onto the freeway and briefly stopping northbound traffic. …

Two days after Norman Dow and the Bruins upset USC at the Coliseum, The Times reported, obscenity-shouting protesters "left a trail of shocked and bewildered spectators." …

None, however, thought to call it Carmageddon. …

"Vin Scully has nothing on Ian Darke, who is describing constant and unpredictable action," reader Dick Bank writes of ESPN's lead announcer at the Women's World Cup. "As for constant action, he puts Chick Hearn in the popcorn machine." …

Abby Wambach, with two goals off her head and another off her shoulder, is a natural for a Head & Shoulders commercial. …

Some are speculating that Derek Jeter could become the first player unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame. …

Tom Seaver came closest, missing by five votes in 1992. …

"The Dodgers are so broke," comedian Seth Meyers said during Wednesday's ESPYs telecast, "their third base coach is just a mirror reflecting the image of their first base coach." …

Meyers called Blake Griffin's contest-winning leap over a Kia "the most exciting dunk over the least exciting car." …

Former USC linebacker Brian Cushing of the Houston Texans is "juiced out of his mind," James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers alleges in an upcoming Men's Journal article. …

Cushing served a four-game suspension last season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. …

Former UCLA and Lakers guard Walt Hazzard, who suffered a stroke 15 years ago, is recovering from heart surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, wife Jaleesa reports. …

"I think he's going to be fine," she says of her 69-year-old husband, a former UCLA coach. "He's a tough guy." …

Nate Robinson of the Oklahoma City Thunder, contemplating a tryout with an NFL team during the NBA lockout, is a former cornerback who originally went to Washington on a football scholarship and played one season for the Huskies before walking on for the basketball team and quitting football. …

His father, former Washington running back Jacque Robinson, was player of the game in the 1982 Rose Bowl. …

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, noting that a woman in Longview, Texas, had given birth to a 16-pound 1-ounce boy: "In a related story, Mack Brown's recruiting Class of 2030 just got its first O-line commitment." …

USC's Sam "Bam" Cunningham and UCLA's Randy Cross, set for enshrinement this weekend at the College Football Hall of Fame, have at least one other thing in common: They are former high school state champions in the shotput, Cunningham at Santa Barbara and Cross at Encino Crespi. …

Among those bested by Cross in 1972 were Terry Albritton, a future world-record holder in the event, and Jim Neidhardt, later known to WWF fans as Jim "The Anvil" Neidhardt. …

With a Dane (Thomas Bjorn) and an English amateur (Tom Lewis) sharing the first-round lead at the British Open, it's worth noting that golf's last five major championships were won by players from Northern Ireland (Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell), South Africa (Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen) and Germany (Martin Kaymer). …

The last major winner born in the USA was Phil Mickelson. …

Amid reports that Michael Phelps has been secretly dating a Canadian named Ashley Finestone, RJ Currie of sportsdeke.com writes, "Think of her as Madame Butterfly." …

A job posting for the position of executive director of athletic communication at UCLA includes this requirement: "Demonstrated ability to perform under stress and maintain composure in the face of resistance, indifference and hostility." …

It gets easier, presumably, after football season.

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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