. . . why won't their fans laugh?" (the title to his most recent Page 2 Column in the Los Angeles Times. Of note, the online version of his column is titled,"Smile, UCLA fans . . . then maybe the joke won't be on you".
Now, back when I first got to Los Angeles I emailed TJ to give him a scathing review of one of his column- having to do with . . . . .???? Exactly! He made it a point to me in his reply, in the only way a guy like TJ Simers has the talent to do- to tell me to lighten up. He was only getting started. (it was true, he had inherited the coveted Page 2 from the exiled to Chicago, Mike Downey (who had inherited the position from the late Jim Murray).
Here are just a few excerpts from TJ's latest:
"Some folks get so upset they let it be known they will no longer subscribe to the newspaper, or will read one that lacks the resources of The Times.
This inability to turn from Page 1 to Page 3 in the sports section without peeking seems to speak to a problem they have rather than anything being written."
And then, "UCLA fans get their legs pulled, and they kick back as if anything short of getting fired might be considered too lenient.
It's a good thing this world is run by USC graduates."
Lastly, "Fortunately for all of us, this lack of perspective, show of anger and inability to be teased are confined to those folks who follow UCLA.
Just imagine what it would be like around here if the Clippers and Kings had fans. Or, if Lakers, Trojans and Dodgers fans carried on like Bruins fans.
I'd never be able to retire."
Like him or not, the man has a sense of humor unmatched in the LA-Metro news rags. I don't believe, for one minute, that he is a fan of USC whatsoever. His carrying-on of calling our ex-coach "Uncle Pete" was more of a sarcastic reference of reverence, rather than a term of endearment. His ability to shrink out-sized sports-celebrities to mere mortals is always a welcome respite to all the mainstream media's compulsion to build up/only to tear down the Goliaths of sport.
I love the man, and I cannot possibly speak higher of him, especially after reading this column of his.