Rankman's Friday mailbag: Coach Pete cutting off media reminds Rankman of Eric Dickerson and a tuna sandwich

(A Letter from Camp)

Hello Muddah, hello Fadduh,
Here I am at Camp Grenada

Camp is very entertaining
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining.

I went hiking with Joe Spivy
He developed poison ivy

You remember Leonard Skinner
He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.

All the counselors hate the waiters
And the lake has alligators

Allan Sherman

Unbuckling this week’s mailbag:[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

I’m sure at some point media members will realize that complaining about access doesn’t resonate with readers.


I realized that a long time ago and actually don’t complain about it. I just think Chris Petersen shutting off access to his Washington players this week, before a big game against Oregon, is silly.

It’s not going to change who wins or loses and might actually be counterproductive.

I saw it happen years ago with John Cooper at Ohio State, every year when he played Michigan. He was so tight Michigan week it reflected directly in how his teams played (not well).

But ask yourself this: on whose behalf are we trying to gain access? It’s for Y-O-U. We’re trying to get information to our readers, our subscribers, who pay us to do our jobs. Teams and athletes used to respect this concept more when newspapers had a monopoly on the news. The beat reporters, often, were the only direct conduit from the field to the fans.

So, when I covered the Rams in the 1980s and Eric Dickerson didn’t talk after the game, it wasn’t hurting me. I really didn’t care. Eric not talking was hurting the fans who bought tickets and newspapers to read about their favorite team.

I told Eric this once after he refused to talk after a tough loss at New Orleans. I walked with him across the Superdome field on the way to the bus and told him he was the star of the team and fans wanted to know what he had to say. Two days later, back at Rams Park in Anaheim, he screamed at me during lunch on the asphalt.

He was eating a tuna fish sandwich and part of it hit me in the face. How dare I persist in trying to get him to talk. Except the word he used was Mother F-ker.

A couple of offensive lineman separated us so that no one got hurt.

You think I enjoyed that? Eric and I made up but my point was back then, before the Internet, access DID matter to readers.

There is so much information now people are inundated with “free news,” but it’s usually cleansed, controlled and filtered through the lens of organization.

In other words—you get what you pay for.

Have you been to practice at USC lately? Highly restricted. Kiffin also had blackouts. The media availability angle is absurd.

Flint Crewneck


Practice? Practice?

We’re sitting in here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise sportswriter in this town, and we in here talking about USC practice. I mean, listen, we’re talking about PRACTICE, not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking about practice? Not the sport that I go out there and make my fingers bleed on the keyboard like it’s my last. Not the game, but we’re talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? …When you come to the stadium, and you see me write, you see me write, don’t you? You’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, right? But we’re talking about practice right now.

Wow do you have an axe to grind against Coach Pete? You’re probably right, he wasn’t a fit for USC because (of?) the LA Media

Kevin Ki


I haven’t carried an axe since getting bunions on my feet playing the star role in the third-grade stage production of “The Feats of Paul Bunyon.”

I love Chris Petersen, what he’s doing now at Washington and what he did at Boise State.

It was Rankman, remember, who picked Boise State as his preseason No.1 in 2010. And boy was my face blue when it didn’t happen.

Here’s the hilarious part about USC fans crying now about why the Trojans didn’t hire Petersen to replace Lane Kiffin\Ed Orgeron in 2013.

This is Petersen’s third year in Seattle. He has posted seasons of 7-6 and 8-6. His first year, he looked lost on the field, just like Clay Helton. He mismanaged games.

You think USC fans would have been patient with Petersen, or called for his head if he started 1-3 against a schedule that included Alabama, Stanford and Utah?


I can’t imagine Petersen in LA under any circumstances.

Redmond Longhorn


I could see Petersen in LA, maybe, on a trip to Disneyland with his family. Or connecting in LAX on his way to Costa Rica. That’s IT! He is a great coach but not all good coaches are right for a city or an area. Look at Rich Rodriguez at Michigan? I thought RichRod was a great coach at West Virginia but he was the wrong guy for Ann Arbor.

Petersen in L.A.?

He thinks five people in one room is a stampede. He operates best “under the radar” while hand-picking and developing players who fit his mold. Having known Petersen a bit in Boise, I just couldn’t see him leaving his family in Manhattan Beach and commuting to USC each day.

Hell, I grew up here and couldn’t see myself doing that. In fact, at the time Petersen was considering a move to L.A., I was considering a move to Boise.

No one who spends any time on our freeways would think this is still a great place to live. Let’s face it, we stay for the weather and our real estate investments.

Well, that’s why I’m still here.

Coach Pete is not a good fit for USC, feeling is mutual though. Who is a good fit for USC at this point?

Kevin Bartholomae

I’m going to say Sam Darnold. This young freshman quarterback might be able to save Helton’s job, if anyone out there is even still on board for that.

Darnold is USC’s best run-pass threat since Rodney Pete in the 1980s.

If I am as right about him as I was about Mike Trout five years ago, Trojan football should be exciting for the next couple of years.

Can you imagine Pete w SC talent?

Todd Gammill


I’m pretty sure Washington has “SC” talent right now. Did you see the team speed against Stanford? And, remember, Stanford is the team USC aspires to be.

Simply, there is nothing in LA that Chris Petersen can’t do in Seattle. The Washington program is a sleeping giant with all the “want-to” and booster backing to win the national championship.

USC and Washington are the most “SEC like” programs in the Pac 12. They will do almost anything to win and, in some cases, everything.

Have to believe regardless of which coach USC might bring in that changing AGAIN would only make things worse.



Come on Heis! Helton is 2-3. Throw the bum out!

This is no time to think rationally. Only a dope would give a coach a five-year contract and allow him to complete his first full year. Unless the boosters at USC have gone completely insane, which is certainly possible.

But hey, it isn’t my alma mater. Do what you want. Not happy? Buy the guy out.

As I say in these situations, “Don’t boo, write a check.”

So USC beats up on ASU like always and now you want to claim they are going in the right direction?

Jeffrey Cruz


“Like always?”

Wow, Jeffrey, I’ve got a different history book than the one you purchased on USC-bay.

The Trojans’ 2013 loss at Arizona State, in which they allowed 62 points, cost Lane Kiffin his job after the team arrived back at LAX.

I don’t remember the exact time Kiffin got hacked, but he does if you follow his hashtag history on Twitter: #3:AM-LAX.

Oh, and what about that time, way WAY back in 2014 when USC lost to Arizona State at the Coliseum on a last-second Hail Mary?

I now hope Rankman has emptied the gun at Coach O. He has a new team, new challenged and a AD who is not “Squirrel Haden.”


Here’s a little secret: the gun wasn’t loaded. I’ve never owned a gun that didn’t squirt.

(Now my wife, on the other hand, well, she’s packing heat with two holsters).

I’ve never understood a word Orgeron has said but I wish him the best of luck at LSU. He’s a good coach who speaks English as a second language better than anyone I know with English as his first language.

LSU’s big win over Missouri last week proved just how fast Coach O can work his Cajun magic. And he already scored half-a-win this week after LSU’s game at Florida was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.

If that important game isn’t made up, Coach O will have one less big game to win in his quest to get the permanent job.

For example: Had a hurricane canceled USC’s game against UCLA in 2013, there’s a good chance “interim Ed” would be the Trojans’ current coach.

And I’m telling you, if LSU upsets Alabama on Nov. 5, in Baton Rouge, Orgeron will be carried by his players to the AD’s office to sign his new long-term deal.

Pay walls are wack. Put your content out there



Joel, what do you mean by put it “out there.”? Do you mean on a platform bombarded with pop-up ads, spam and people taking your private information? That’s not really “free” is it? We are offering quality information for pennies a day with ZERO ads on our site. Just content. We have more than 100 years of experience in our business. Is that not worth a nickel a day? Ok. If you think that’s unfair the option for you is clear. Don’t sign up. Thanks for your comments, they are appreciated. What’s “wack” to me is people ripping off intellectual content for years and thinking there is nothing wrong with it. Thinking you should get, for free, information from professional journalists and music from bands that have worked their entire lives to hone their talents. Signed: Rankman of TMG.

Ooooookay, I may have known Rebozo, but I had to Google Laird Hamilton. But keep ‘em coming.



Where else but TMG can you get references to Bebe Rebozo and Laird Hamilton within a week? My goal is to make at least one person each week search Google to decipher some obscure reference I’ve made in a sports column. Some people didn’t know Rebozo was an aide and confidante to Richard Nixon, but you did. Others knew Hamilton is a world famous “big wave” surfer. And now you do.[/membership]