Karl Dorrell, UCLA Football, and the Roller Coaster Ride Through Hell

Let me start by saying J.A. Adande is my man. We’re tight. We go waaaaay back. And while I don’t agree with his Friday comments about Hip Hop on Around The Horn, I’m not condemning him. There are some extremely important issues to worry about and discuss like why most Black American Democrats (according to the polls) seem to be supporting Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama.


(AFP/Getty Images/File)

Am I down with Hillary? No doubt. Was I down with William H.? No doubt. And I know it’s history one way or another, but wow. When we say “Endangered Species” in America, we speak of the Black man, not the white woman. And we have the chance to elect a Black man to the most powerful post in the world. This will be monumental in so many ways. But I digress…

This is really about My Life 4.5 Years as a UCLA Football Fan.Let me preface this with the statement that I never cared about UCLA Football before Karl Dorrell got there. I went to UCLA and I’m on campus a few times per week but I was always about the Miami Hurricanes, exclusively. However, when new Athletic Director Dan Guerrero dubbed Dorrell the heir apparent to Bob Toledo’s throne before the 2003 season, I was thrilled. Gooooooo Bruins! And boy has it been a ride. Quite a ride, in fact. So much so that every time I attempt to make heads or tails of this situation, I lose my mind. So, let’s leave the past three seasons out of the equation and just speak about this one.



Stanford was the first victim for this year’s Bruins, 45-17. BYU, winners of 11 in a row coming into UCLA’s home opener, was the second opponent. The Bruins rose to the occasion and beat the Cougars 27-17. Great start. 2-0, even though the BYU game was a struggle. So the next game, a road game at Utah, was supposed to be a blowout! Well, it was. Utes win 44-6, embarrassing UCLA and dropping it out of the Top 25.

For some, that was enough. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They wanted Dorrell fired at halftime. But, hey, I let everyone know that “the season does not one demoralizing loss destroy.” So, the Bruins held on against one of the truly great coaches (See Monday’s upcoming post, Charlie Weis: The Right White Man for the Job / Ty Willingham: The Wrong Black Man for the Job), Tyrone Willingham, and his Washington Huskies (44-31). A thumping of up-and-coming Oregon State followed and, despite UCLA’s bad loss, the Bruins were 3-0 in the Pac-10 and searching for the Top 25 again.

In to the Rose Bowl marched the 0-4 Notre Dame Shame Fighting Irish. 60 gut-wrenching football minutes later, the Bruins were left wondering where their offense had gone after a 20-6 loss. Sure, the 3rd-string quarterback played the majority of the game. And he had about 9 turnovers. But when you have a Redshirt Sophomore receiver on the sideline that was an option quarterback in high school, why not play him in favor of the Freshman walk-on that can’t even handle the snap? Who knows?

So after that game, everyone wanted Dorrell’s head. I, on the other hand, explained that the Bruins were cursed with playing under the level of its lesser competition and above and beyond its superior competition. Therefore, Cal would be in trouble two weeks later. And they were. UCLA won 30-21 to stay undefeated in the Pac-10 and in first place.

Unfortunately, my logic held true as UCLA lost the following week to Washington State, 27-7. I mentioned to friends and family that I would sell my remaining season tickets and refuse to renew until there was a change made. I know it seems extreme, but I couldn’t take it anymore. At 4-3, 3-1 (Pac-10), UCLA still had a shot at the Pac-10 Championship and a BCS berth.

Even though I still felt that UCLA would beat USC, Oregon, and Arizona State, I feared the worst might happen against Arizona. And it did.

The Bruins lost again, on Saturday, 34-27. They are now a .500 team (4-4) with two conference losses (3-2) and, therefore, control their own destiny and will probably win the Pac-10. But they will remain un-ranked even if that happens. It’s just embarrassing and I’m finally compelled to say something. I’ve been Dorrell’s biggest supporter though the early successes and the late stumbles and now I’m done. I wish him well but I don’t think this is the job for him at this time. I naively still hope that he proves me wrong, somehow, some way.

Notre Dame is now 1-8 and could very well lose every remaining game this season. And, by the way, look out or my exclusive interview with J.A. Adande early next week. Reserve judgment on my fam until then. Peace.


23 Responses to “Karl Dorrell, UCLA Football, and the Roller Coaster Ride Through Hell”

  1. “Am I down with Hillary? No doubt. Was I down with William H.? No doubt.”


  2. anthonycarter Says:

    Bill Clinton was the first person I was ever able to vote for. I owned that vote and I had a hand in making our country better. What he did for us as a country, getting us back on track after 12 years of Reagan and Bush, meant a lot to me.

    And as our country has turned upside down with another Bush at the helm, H. Clinton would be a breath of fresh air. I am a Democrat, but don’t support Democrats blindly. I feel that Obama is the best candidate. And I feel Clinton is second best.

    My fear is that people who would have otherwise voted for Obama will vote for Clinton because they BELIEVE she COULD win, while they BELIEVE Obama COULDN’T win.

  3. I’m torn on Dorrell because I have fond memories of the 1986 Freedom Bowl. He caught a touchdown pass from Gaston Green–who was unstoppable. The game featured Steve Young at QB for BYU and Ken Norton Jr. at linebacker for the Bruins. I think UCLA won 31-10.

    I named my son after Gaston even though I’m a Michigan fan, he wasn’t born until 7 years later and I was only 18.

    Crazy me naming my son when I was so young right?

    His first words were football and he’s grown into a nice qb–he’s a freshman. It’s funny, when I see him on the field, I can’t help to think of the aforementioned Bruins squad. He plays with Donovan’s demeanor and has ridiculous arm strength. He’s a prospect.

    Karl is a huge part of my past, present and future. I hope he keeps the job forever.

    As far as Obama, I want to hear more substantive information–and that’s not exclusive of Barack.

  4. Good work here CinQue. Looking forward to your Weis piece and also JA’s interview.

  5. CinQue,

    Nice article. Can’t say I’m a Bruins fan but I appreciate your support for the head coach. African American coaches don’t appear to have much support in the media, so good lookin out.

    You mentioned your support for Obama. I’m with you on that one. I’m interested in knowing what about him appeals to you the most.

    As for your boy JA. I don’t know about that one. Their are far too many MSM folks blaming hip hop for everything. We don’t need a guy with black skin supporting that nonsense. You might want to talk to him bout that sh..

    Again, welcome. I’m looking forward to the game you bring to TSF!

  6. SportsDiva Says:

    I don’t support Obama or Hillary…if you keep doing the same things over and over and getting the same results, then….you know….well, that pretty much sums that up.

    Nice assessment of the UCLA football situation. Which kinda gets me to thinking…I wonder which D-1 conference has had the most black head coaching hires??

    Sadly not my Sun Devils. Oh and….damn those Beavers!!!

    Anyhoo, JA’s comments made me roll my eyes, Whitlock has set the ridiculous assertions bar so high that I don’t get as sick to my stomach anymore LOL …and Iived through the Vick-Bonds Summer of 07…

  7. SportsDiva,

    Once again your a breath of fresh air. Where have you people been all my life????

  8. SportsDiva Says:

    That’s exactly how I felt when I first opened the door to the site!

  9. HarveyDent Says:

    Sad as it is for me to type and the fact I got one of my degrees in Poli Sci, I don’t vote anymore. When I lived in GA, the first and only time I used those Diebold machines that was it for me because I know my vote went down the memory hole uncounted. I’m still a registered GA voter up here in NJ but when I read about the legislature passing that voter ID bill to ostensibly disenfranchise my people and other people who don’t fit the mold in early 21st century America I knew the fix was in. If I was to vote though I would cast mine for John Edwards because despite his Iraq/Iran rhetoric I do like that he’s actually talking about trying to rectify the growing wealth disparity in this country. I love Billy C but I don’t trust his wife and Obama is one of those sweet-talking non-threatening Blacks who won’t say anything controversial for fear of being looked at as one of us incorrigible, can’t-get-over-it Negroes. If he truly had a chance I would vote for Kucinich (UFO’s be damned) but I do like Edwards.

    Can’t get a read on Dorrell though because if anything his teams at UCLA have been inconsistent. If he gets fired I really can’t squawk because he hasn’t done anything except beat a down USC team last year.

  10. ND losing to Navy priceless, maybe and just maybe it was Tom Brady and Bill Bellicheck along with that great Patriots defense coached by Romeo Crenel (who is starting to put together a decent program in Cleveland)who won those three championships along with the Hall of Famer Andrew Vinetari and not “Mr. football” Charlie Weis. Ty couldn’t get the top 10 recuirts in the three years he coached the Irish and Weis won with his players now he has his top 10 recruits and they suck big time. When Urban Meyer, Rich Rodriquez and Nick Saban refused to coach the Irish that job ceased to be a great job in college football.

    The Crimson Tide redeemed themselves when they got Nick Saban but wait folks isn’t Alabama a conference school and Notre Dame an independent? The days of an indy winning a National title is over and kids (especially superstar black kids) want to be on ESPN, ABC, and CBS every week to get their pro stock up unlike the Irish. USC along with it’s celebrity and alumni pull can make a kid go to their school along with good coaching than Weis who is rapidly becoming a lousy college coach. Ty must be laughing his ass of in Washington.

    And I am not voting for Obama because I don’t trust centrists at all. And Clinton is as corrupt as her husband and for the Republicrats (or KKK, Nazi whiteboys) Never in this or the next life, I am a member of the Green Party and have been for the past 16 years. I think the Demcians don’t respect the power of the Black Vote and would rather ignore us instead of respecting our issues (mostly because of Al From of the DLC) I say there needs to be a third party or more to contest the two- party system. You don’t need to win the Presidency but 30-90 people of Greens and others in the Senate and House will force the Media and the two major corporate parties to deal with us fairly and not be tied to their agendas.

  11. CinQue,

    Since I purged myself of 24 hr sport, as a player and fan, I don’t really watch too much football, except for certain big games. I guess I am now a fair weather fan. However what’s up with the UCLA Notre Dame game last year when Dorrell’s team was leading late and took his foot off the pedal, ending up losing the game? Is this part of the inconsistency that has carried over to this season?

    As for the current movie production….

    Have you ever heard the term, politics makes strange bedfellow or something to that effect?

    Those who have decided to divide the world in order to control it devised a plan. Within that plan they have put forth an idea – a thesis if you may. Let’s call those thesis right wingers, Republicans.

    Then they came with a counter plan, an option against the original thesis- call it anti-thesis. We’ll call those liberal, left wingers, Democrats.

    They stoke the flames of angry discourse having both ideas do things that will piss off the supporters of the others, hence a divide develops between homes, kin, states and provinces and countries.

    Then when hopelessness sets in the planners introduce synthesis, a middle ground where if you don’t support one or the other programs, then you find something else that can take your mind of the political mess that goes around these days.

    That synthesis is a drug, it is called entertainment. With in the sphere of entertainment – the centerpiece is the cult of personality. Where for instance, in politics, it’s not what you say but what you look like.

    Follytricks today is not about what you say or are willing to do for the people who vote for you. It’s what you do for the people who pay you to look the other way, or will who kill you if you don’t. The bottom line is both Clinton and Obama are part of a rues to occupy your mind while America Inc. crumbles from within.

    Clinton is friends with Daddy Bush, Clinton and Bush and Jimmy Carter have done some hanging out together. William Clinton had married into the Rodham family. The Rodham family is an old European clan and is related to Elizabitch, the original queen B. the use to be Hillary Clinton now calls herself Hillary Rodham-Clinton, to emphasize and point out to those in the know who is down with the program. This is only way the European patriarchal male rulers of America Inc. will seed symbolic power to a female.

    I say symbolic, because ultimately King George don’t actually run shit! Neither does Bill, Ronnie or Jimmy. In fact the last dude who actually thought he ran shit got his head blown off in Dallas a ways back.

    Unfortunately due to deliberate mis-education and miss direction the citizens of this corporation called America Inc. believe that the President has powers. But since the 1900’s, I believe, when the international Bankers encouraged the sitting president to remove the gold standard as a legal tender and utilize fiat (guess) money as the method of trade in labour and service that the so called independence of America Inc. was revealed officially as a sham.

    These very same international Bankers under the guise of the Federal Reserve create and print this fiat money out of thin air and loans it to you and the government at interest.

    Voting either party is a crap shoot with the house holding all the important chips. I am not saying you should feel helpless or see no hope, but knowledge is the beginning stage for enacting change. Unless we change this current voting/political system then no matter what, whether we vote or don’t vote, we all will be jacked!

  12. a few points:

    Notre Dame is on national tv almost every single week.


    Conference teams cant say that, thanks to the joys of regional programming.

    There are Conference teams, Independents and THEN there is Notre Dame.

    the question is…after a few seasons of Bad to mediocre football, will NBC pony up when the contract runs out.

    Bill Clinton’s Middle name is Jefferson.

  13. SportsDiva Says:

    I don’t vote anymore either, I think it’s a major hustle. Fake power. The electoral tactic is ridiculous. And the financial aspect is insane.

    I used to be a critical thinker on the issues (especially surrounding those whom we hire to do exactly that on our behalf) in order to select someone who I hope respects me choosing to employ him/her. Now I’m still a critical thinker on the issues, but not in regard to empowering a fake leader, it’s for self-determination (leading of course to mass self-determination).

  14. A parents only prevailing choice after deciding on accepting a child into this world, is to raise a good citizen and positive reflection on you!

    There are but two kinds of abuse in the home, that of physical/emotional which is direct abuse. Then there is neglect, which is even more insidious because it is indirect. Ultimately we are respnsible for bringing a child into adulthood as parents, thus our values must be the guide on that path.

    This tale, like others even more sad, should caution us about how we view the world and how our children view us viewing the world. This is one of many incidents that encourages me to buckle down and try a little SMARTER in raising my son and daughter to adulthood.

    That’s all we can do in the short time they are with us.

  15. sorry folks I was commenting on another post by TBR!

  16. It’ s one thing to say you don’t vote in national elections for President. I can’t say I have a real problem with that – because, hell, you’re voting for Electors – not the person anyway. However, if you are not voting in local elections and state elections, you’ve LOST YOUR MIND. Straight up – you are buggin’. Forget about our ancestors sacrificing for that right – they sacrificed for other things too – but local elections for school boards, judges, attorneys general and such are CRITICAL. If you’re not voting in state and local elections, put the crack pipe down, get off your ass and get in the booth.

    As for national presidential elections: to each his own because Sankofa is essentially correct in elucidating that American political elections are family affairs – always have been (‘cept for the Irish interloper – bullets for you!!) and will be for some time.

    If you like Slick Willie, I can only recommend a bit more study into his actual record. Publicly, he made the right speeches and shook the right hands, but privately, his record is different. I won’t do the details here – but you can begin with the deaths of 1 million folks in Rwanda and work your way back from there. He had the power to stop it with a WORD (“genocide”) but he never spoke the word or allowed it to be spoken on behalf of those Africans. He may play a mean saxophone, but he’s just another Botha in my book.

  17. One more thing:

    If you own a business or are a non-profit service provider and don’t vote in local elections, you’re also missing the boat. There is a tremendous opportunity for Black folks in certain regions/districts to seek elected office and win. There is a great deal of planning that needs to be done – but it is possible to shift some of the electoral ground underneath our feet.

    Judges, DA’s, AG’s and these other elections are also part of the politics of appointment from which we often find ourselves excluded. I would encourage those of you who are rightly outraged about the political system to have a strategic approach to when and how you withdraw your participation. There is a time and a place for everything.

  18. anthonycarter Says:

    First off, let me say to InkogNegro, “Thank you for the middle initial clarification.” I know it’s Jefferson but I always say, “William H.” I don’t know why. Hopefully, now that I’ve made my blunder in from of America, I won’t do it again.

    As for Notre Dame, nationally… They do have every home game televised on NBC and that deal runs out after the 2010 season. I don’t believe Weis will be there when it’s time to renew the contract.

  19. anthonycarter Says:

    I appreciate your reply. And I know that things need to change and we need to impact that change. However, as we are looking to impact change, we still need to be heard as much as we can while things are the way they are.

    As Temple3 said, “There is a time and a place for everything.” I am not encouraging everyone to vote how I vote. I just want everyone to vote. And vote strategically.

    I have never believed that our civil rights leaders that fought and died for us to be able to vote, did so in vain.

  20. anthonycarter Says:

    Mizzo, Michelle, SportsDiva…
    I will comment when I can get back on this thing. Thank you, however, for your feedback.

  21. anthonycarter Says:

    Harvey Dent and Eric Daniels…
    I’ll respond to you guys as well.

  22. AnthonyCarter,

    Much appreciated!

  23. anthonycarter Says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen…
    I have fallen ill today and cannot submit anymore comments or submit my post on Weis. Please look for the post Wednesday and any comments late tomorrow PST. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

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