Sunday, September 30, 2007

USC Washington 2007 recapp courtesy of ESPN

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Holy Cow, Johnny Morton

I am pulling myself out of hiatus for some crazy news. Former USC reciever Johnnie Morton is now entering the Octogon!!!!

Or maybe its some other league like that. Anyway. Crazy stuff.

LAKE FOREST, Calif., May 16 — When Johnnie Morton finished playing wide receiver in the National Football League, he carefully reviewed his retirement options: be host of a talk show, expand his real estate profile, maybe work on his golf game.

Mixed Martial Arts: Marine Is Used to Fighting for His Life (May 22, 2007)

Duane Burleson/Associated Press
Morton played 12 professional seasons, including 8 with the Detroit Lions. He caught 43 touchdown passes in his career.
After much consideration, Morton decided that it would be best to spend his free time being body slammed into a chain-link fence by two men named Joker and Gun.

“Crazy, huh?” Joker said.

Joker’s real name is Mike Guymon. Gun’s real name is Tony Bonello. Together, they are teaching Morton how to compete in mixed martial arts, one of the few sports that may be more violent and more dangerous than professional football.

“I’ve gotten hit a lot in my life,” said Morton, who spent 12 seasons going over the middle against N.F.L. safeties. “But I’ve never gotten hit like this.”

Morton will walk into a ring for the first time June 2 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, beginning his second career. He expects to ask himself the same question that friends, family members and former teammates have been asking him for months: What in the world are you thinking?

Mixed martial arts combines wrestling, boxing and kick boxing with jujitsu, tae kwon do and Muay Thai. Punches to the head and knees to the gut are encouraged. Even the most accomplished fighters get their faces rearranged into cubist paintings.

Two months ago, Morton’s only experience with mixed martial arts was watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship on television. He admired the fighters, mainly because they were the only athletes who seemed more fearless than football players. Morton memorized their names as if they were N.F.L. superstars.

“Some people want to bungee jump,” Morton said. “Others want to jump out of planes. I would never do that. But I want to do this.”

Morton, 35, does not have to fight for a living. He went to the University of Southern California, had a cameo playing himself in the movie “Jerry Maguire,” and was named one of People magazine’s most eligible bachelors. He is rich, handsome, and almost as marketable as Tiki Barber, the former Giants running back who is now a news correspondent for NBC’s “Today” show.

Morton, meanwhile, goes to work at a gym in an Orange County office park. The gym — Joker’s Wild Fighting Academy — includes a ring with a chain-link fence. Japanese and American flags hang from the ceiling, reminding Morton of his mixed heritage.

In Detroit, where Morton spent eight seasons, he was the kind of player who did not get tired even during two-a-days. He can bench press 400 pounds. His body fat is less than 5 percent. But during a sparring session Wednesday, he could not summon the energy to get off his hands and knees. Joker and Gun had to drag him to his feet.

“Let me die in peace,” Morton moaned.

Then he remembered that he was a former professional football player, that his girlfriend was watching, and that Joker and Gun do not believe in peace.

Morton charged at his sparring partner, battering him with a combination of punches and dropping him to the mat with a sweep of his leg. Morton used one hand to grab the man’s neck and the other to pound the side of his face.

If Morton were in the N.F.L., he would have drawn a 15-yard penalty, an automatic ejection, a fine and a possible suspension. But here, he prompted Joker and Gun to do their version of a touchdown dance.

“Look at this guy,” Gun said. “He’s beautiful. He has tons of money. He has an incredibly happy lifestyle. And he’s putting his brain on the line. He’s putting his manhood on the line. It’s hard to say what would make him do it.”

Morton is not the first N.F.L. player to enter the ring, only the most celebrated. Michael Westbrook, a former receiver for the Washington Redskins, won a fight two years ago over Jarrod Bunch, a former running back for the Giants. Bob Sapp, a washout as a N.F.L. lineman, became a formidable competitor in mixed martial arts.

One afternoon last winter, Morton was eating lunch at the Health Emporium when a man named Joey Sakoda approached him. Sakoda first asked Morton if he wanted to go to a mixed martial arts fight. Then Sakoda asked Morton if he wanted to participate.

Sakoda works for Superagent Athletes, a Japanese agency that represents Joker and Gun, both title holders. Sakoda acted quickly, placing Morton on the Dynamite!! U.S.A. fight card, which includes a mixed martial arts star (Royce Gracie) as well as a novelty act (Hong Man Choi, a 7-foot-2 South Korean.)

Morton was afraid to tell his parents. His mother, Katsuko, is Japanese-American. His father, Johnnie Sr., is African-American. Johnnie Sr. was once shot eight times while in his car. Katsuko and Johnnie Sr. did not want their son taking any more risks with his body.

Mark Avery for The New York Times
Johnnie Morton, left, with the trainer Mike Guymon, known as Joker, who urged Morton to “take chances.”
Mixed Martial Arts: Marine Is Used to Fighting for His Life (May 22, 2007)

Morton is getting no tuneups. He is fighting in less than two weeks, on Showtime pay-per-view, in the same stadium where he played college football. He will be paid about as much money as he used to earn for a single N.F.L. game.

One of the broadcasters will be Jay Glazer, who has a unique perspective on the bout. Glazer is best known as an N.F.L. analyst, but he also competes in mixed martial arts. When he visits N.F.L. training camps in the summer, players ask him more about fighting than about football.

“Football players are looked at as the biggest and baddest guys on the planet,” Glazer said. “People see them as superheroes. But football players also need someone to look up to. They view mixed martial arts as something even they are unwilling or unable to do. All the guys love Johnnie. But they think he’s nuts.”

N.F.L. players may not want to get into the ring, but they are willing to get in a gym. For years, many players have used boxing as part of their off-season workout regimen. Recently, they have started to turn to mixed martial arts.

According to Glazer, Philadelphia’s Brian Dawkins and Jacksonville’s Donovin Darius have trained at a mixed martial arts gym. So has Barber. This winter, Kansas City’s Jared Allen worked out at Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe.

“Football used to be our only real gladiator sport,” said Trevor Lally, the owner of Arizona Combat Sports gym. “Now, players have M.M.A. to give them a taste of that one-on-one combat. The combat is what they love.”

Morton was never a fighter. Like many receivers, he would try to hit linebackers when they were looking the other way. But Morton said there was only one person in the N.F.L. he would really like to see in the ring — Matt Millen, the Lions’ president. Millen directed a homosexual epithet at Morton after a game between Detroit and Kansas City in 2003, when Morton was playing for the Chiefs.

Morton is not ready to give up football just yet. He was released by the San Francisco 49ers two years ago but said that his agent was talking to a couple of teams. Ideally, he would fight in June and go to a training camp in July.

Morton is trying to shift back and forth, from the mainstream of sports to the fringes, from Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to Joker and Gun. When Morton finished his workout Wednesday, Joker shouted out one more piece of advice, for the road home and the road to retirement.

“Drive fast,” he said. “Take chances.”

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mustain is IN

Quarterback Mitch Mustain, who started eight games for Arkansas last season, will transfer to USC, a source said Wednesday.

Mustain, 6 feet 3 and 205 pounds, had been contemplating transferring to either USC or Tulsa. He visited USC in February and also watched the Trojans scrimmage at the Coliseum this month.

Mustain could not be reached for comment. Coach Pete Carroll declined to comment.

Mustain passed for nearly 900 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2006. He will not be eligible until the 2008 season, when he is expected to compete with Mark Sanchez and Aaron Corp for playing time. Former Razorback receiver Damian Williams, who transferred to USC in January, also will be eligible in 2008.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Foxnews predicts USC to win out in 2007

Fox Sports (who have actually beefed up their college football mindshare) went with wildcard USC to be in the BCS championship series this year. While not really a surprise, its good to see the major media companies lining up behind the Trojans.

Hopefully they will get the proper national and international airtime they deserve - especially with not one, but two, top five All American Freshman tailbacks. Is anybody else out there thinking Reggie and LenDale?

Wow looking at that, we have half of the top 6 recruits in the country and four of the top twelve. Great videos too...

My god, we still have 6 months :(


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rule Changes on the way in College Football

The latest round of rule changes is on the way for College football. It repeals most of the clock changes (not stopping the clock after a kick and moving the clock on a change of posession/kickoff. These rules were meant to speed up the game. However there was no mention of shortening the TV timeouts or Commercial breaks.

Its funny how that works. Go College football.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

For Those USC Expats...

This hits home in a big way...except I'd never hang with the Irish...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Welcome Joe McKnight to the USC Trojan Football Family

IF this video is any indication of his talents, I think we are in great shape.

Joe McKnight to pick USC?

Of course he is!

From SI
McKnight to USC?'s Greg Ladky is on-site covering Marvin Austin's decision later today. Austin just received a text message from the USC staff stating that No. 2 prospect Joe McKnight will be a Trojan.

The formalization is on Wednesday morning. And in other news another off season sportswriter picks Pete Carroll as the focus of his undying lust.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Danelo Drunk?

Yeah .28 is pretty wasted. However not too drunk to walk. Too drunk to drive, yes, too drunk to walk, no. The article says 3 times the legal DRIVE!

So what am I getting at here? He was barely 1/2 to drinking himself to death. Suicide? I don't think so. After that loss to FUCLA we were all pretty sad but I don't think anyone thought this drastically. Plus he had another great season.

Perhaps he was pissed off about Buehler? eh...let's hear some more news from somewhere someone!

Monday, January 29, 2007

South Carolina please stop using "USC"

Its over. Drop it. Stop using USC. Everytime I see USC loses to blank or USC is total crap in this I think they are talking about Southern Cal. Usually though, they are talking about South Carolina..the poor man's USC. Well, I am here to say Stop.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Quarterbacks have to be smart


Sorry - SC content kinda low and this is kinda funny

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lane Kiffin to the Raiders?! WTF

Man, I didn't see that coming...I can't imagine many people did what's that mean for SC? That means the better 1/2 of last years play calling is still here...I will give Sarkisian that much.

Don't fuck it up

I heard that if Kiffin didn't take the job, Al Davis was interviewing a song girl who doesn't wear underwear...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sarkisian staying. Shit. Lucky Raiders

Well it looks like we have another year of crappy playcalling and "We'll look like we'll run and then we'll on 1st down...all day long...

This is bad news my friends, bad bad news.

Sarkisian informed the Raiders that he wasn't going to leave SC.

I kinda want to die a little bit. Go basketball team!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

USC Preseason #1 in SI Power Rankings

Well, what have we here? The 1st of the 2007 season's rankings. Looks who is at the top...USC

Not too shabby. A few things to consider: At the end of the season we had 0 running game and our 2 starting receivers are now getting paid in the NFL. Will Patrick, Vidal and company step up? Will we get a running game? Stewart Mandel certainly thinks so.

Way to start the year off right Stewart!

Go Sarkisian!

I mean it. Go.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

USC to share the Coliseum with an NFL team?

This LA Daily News story tells of how a plan to put a 800 million dollar stadium inside the LA Memorial Coliseum fell through. I remember when the Raiders played in the coliseum which was kinda fun and exciting however, all of those new luxury boxes and TGIFridays and such would have been a major downer.

Anyway - long story short, it ain't gonna happen. LA already has a football team as far as most people are concerned.


Linebacker Keith Rivers coming back

Oh my stars are we gonna have a good defense next year. Keith Rivers just announced he is on his way back for another season.

That leaves Duane Jarrett as the only USC underclassmen to check out. A very good sign of things to come next year!

Coaching News..

Two great signs in one article.

Firstly, Sarkisian is a gonner. No more "Let's try running the ball for the 15th straight loss in a row"from the offensive coordinator. He's going to the Raiders. Bye, don't let the door hit you on the way out big guy.

and Second, Miami is giving second interviews to a number of their headcoach candidates and Pete Carroll isn't one of them. JOY! Also mentions that Arizona has a final candidate that isn't Pete Carroll.

Its a good day to be a Trojan!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dolphins, Pete Carroll..hahah

The onion always finds a way to put the lighter side of an incredibly scary scenario. This is just such an occasion

Jarrett Gone, Carroll Staying

IT ain't over til its over but it looks like the predictable happened. Duane Jarrett is a gonner but Pete has reiterated (?! yesterday's statement was anything but definitive!) that he's staying. I can live ith that although, itn a perfect World Duane Jarrett stays another year.

Please, someone feel the Miami job so that I can put it out of mind. Please.