Friday, December 3, 2010


Ahh, it feels good to come back here to this blog. OK, we all know that tomorrow's showdown at the Rose Bowl between these to longtime rivals will be for nothing but pride, with USC being ineligable for bowl play and UCLA having it's bowl hopes dashed with a 4-7 record heading into this game. For only the 3rd time in the last 30 years both school enter this game with no post-season implications on the line. That's not to say that there is no meaning to this game, as emotions shall continue to run high both on the sidelines and into the stands tomorrow evening . And as we all know, some of the best moments in this series have come when nothing but pride mattered. As a Bruin fan, watching UCLA football has been anything but rewarding this past decade. And before many of todays Trojan fans discovered how to hold two fingers up in the air ( Yes, this is a " somewhat biased " opinion here...), UCLA won 8 in a row in this series from '91-98, known to many as both, The JJ Stokes Years, and The McNown Years. Unfortunately for us Bruin fans, not much has happened since that incredible run , with of course, the improbable win of 2006, which looking back on it now, seems like a blip on SC's radar screen, for SC has won 10 of the last 11.

Of course when the week of SC/UCLA comes upon us, we all like to talk about our favorite games from the past, bringing back many happy, or heartbreaking, or perhaps both, moments in our lives surrounding this great rivalry. OK, here are my top 5 , all UCLA wins of course. Oh yeah, when I say my favorite games, I mean games I actually attended. OK, here goes....

5. 11/18/1995 UCLA 24 USC 20 USC came into this game with the Pac-10 title wrapped up and it's lone loss of the season coming into this game was to it's other rival Notre Dame. This would be Keyshawn Johnson's final home game at the Coliseum for USC and this would be the real coming out party for some UCLA frosh QB named Cade McNown. UCLA would jump out to a quick 21-0 lead , highlighted by a 35 yard TD pass from Jim McElroy to Kevin Jordan. SC would close the gap to 24-20, their final TD in the 4th quarter taking up over 9 minutes off the clock. The final outcome would be sealed when Cade McNown would scamper 21 yards on a 3rd and 13 with less than 2 minutes to go, giving The Sons of Westwood their 5th win in a row over the Men of Troy.

4. 11/20/1993 UCLA 27 USC 21 In the previous 10 games in which a Rose Bowl berth was on the line for both teams, the post game sounds we're filled with the SC Band blaring Conquest. ( Ugh...) This time, it would be the Bruins who would be smelling roses after this classic battle. UCLA would score the games first points, jumping out to a 17-0 halftime lead. The Trojans would cut the deficit to 17-14 in the 3rd quarter before UCLA QB and current radio sideline reporter Wayne Cook would hook up with SC nemesis JJ Stokes to widen their lead to 24-14. With less than 2 minutes left and the Bruins clinging to a 27-21 lead, the Trojans would drive to the UCLA 2 and on 3rd on goal, UCLA safety Marvin Goodwin would intercept Rob Johnson's pass in the end zone ( Oh yeah, I was on that end of the stadium ) to send the Bruins to their home turf on New Years Day. Oh yeah, speaking of J.J. Stokes....

3. 11/12/1992 UCLA 38 USC 37 SC came into this game ranked 15th in the nation and a heavy favorite over The Gutty Little Bruins. With the Bruins starting a 3rd string walk-on named John Barnes, not many gave UCLA a chance. But every now and then that little guy gets to wear the glass slipper. And on this night, that Gutty Little Bruin named Barnes would find JJ Stokes 6 times for 263 yards, 3 of those catches resulting in TD's, as UCLA would rally from a 2 TD deficit in the 4th quarter to stun USC 38-37. SC would actually have an opportunity to win though, after UCLA had taken a 38-31 lead on the memorable Barnes to Stokes 90 yard hookup, SC drove for a late TD capped by a Rob Johnson sneak. SC opted to go for 2 and the win ( Before 1995, there was no OT in college football ) but UCLA lineback Nkosi Littleton would knock down Johnson's pass, and the '92 showdown would forever be remembered for Barnes to Stokes. As a SF 49ERS fan too, yeah, it would've been great if JJ had given me some more memroable NFL moments too, but hey, watching Jason Sehorn and other SC defenders helplessly chasing after you was just as gratifying. Oh yeah, JJ would be on the first graduating UCLA class never to lose to USC.

2. 12/2/2006 UCLA 13 USC 9

After winning 8 consecutive in this series, UCLA was in danger of losing 8 in a row and adding insult to injury many of those 8 we'rent even close, including the previous years 66-19 shalacking at the Coliseum. And of course, no one gave UCLA a chance. But UCLA's defense would play an inspired game, and with less than 5 minutes to go and USC driving, on 3rd down inside the UCLA 30, Eric McNeal would etch his name into the hearts of many a Bruin fan with his game saving interception, helping to seal an improbable 13-9 victory over USC, snapping a 7 game losing streak in this series and denying SC a chance at a national title.


1. 11/23/1996 UCLA 48 USC 41 (2OT)

Did I forget to mention earlier that everyone has their favorite moment in this series ? Well, as for me, this game would really, to this day, have a special meaning for me and to this day, I never tire of talking 'bout this epic classic. Befor I go on, let me tell you where I sat, Section 9, Row E, Seat 12, the northeast corner of the endzone. That section too would have special meaning for me in many ways. OK as for the game, I had mentioned earlier that over the last 30 years only 3 of these games we're played only for pride. Well, this was one of those 3, but this one went beyond pride. SC came into the '96 campaign as defending Pac-10 and Rose Bowl champs but struggled in '96. SC had also lost it's previous 5 games against UCLA and there was talk that SC coach John Robinson, in his second go 'round at SC, would be fired had they lost. UCLA's expectations we'rent quite as high coming into the season and they would come into this game with a 4-6 record.

SC would jump out to an early 17-0 lead, highlighted by a 79 yard pick 6 by SC DB Sammy Knight. Oh yeah, as he crossed the goal line, I just happened to have a " great " view of him just stepps in front of me. Not helping my frame of mind was the SC section right next to us dancing in all it's glory. UCLA would close the deficit to 17-7 on a Cade McNown 1 yard TD but 3 plays later, RJ Soward would return the favor on an 80 yard TD reception, and again, I would have a " great " view, AGAIN, just stepps in front of me. ( This would be a recurring theme for me throughout the day folks.... ) So SC would go into the locker with a 24-7 halftime lead. And it seemed the 5 year winning streak would end.

UCLA would get the ball to start the 2nd half and on the 4th play Cade McNown would find Danny Farmer over the middle on a 51 yard TD to bring the Bruins back within 10. SC would answer back with a TD of it's own, bringing the deficit back to 17 and bringing them that much closer to claiming The Victory Bell for the first time in 5 years . ( To this day I still remember the UCLA cheerleaeders huddling around the Victory Bell ) But UCLA and McNown would answer back and bring the deficit back to 10 heading into the 4th quarter.

AGAIN, it seemed that SC had put the game away when RJ Soward hooked up with Brad Otten on ANOTHER long TD pass. And AGAIN, I would have a " great " view of RJ Soward who was, again, just stepps in front of me. And AGAIN, my frame of mind wasn't exactly helped by hearing the SC section next to us. And moments later, RJ was caught on camera declaring the 5 year streak was over...... But something about this particular UCLA team that wouldn't say die. With a little over 6 minutes left, Bjorn Merten would kick a 47 yard field goal to bring UCLA within 2 TD's. But before the rally would begin, I remember the USC band playing Tusk and of course the SC followers would yell during the final 4 notes U-C-L-A SUCKS !!! OK. Well, with just over 3 minutes to play, UCLA running back Keith Brown would close the deficit to a TD with a one yard TD run. SC would recover the ensuing onside kick, but 4 plays later while trying to run out the clock, SC running back Lavalle Woods would fumble the ball and UCLA's Kusanti Abdul-Salam would recover and there was hope for the Blue and Gold. On a crucial 3rd down play, McNown would find little used receiver Rodney Lee at the USC 11 with less than a minute to play. 2 plays later, Skip Hicks would bust up the middle to even the score at 38.

However, SC still had a chance to win in regulation, driving down to the UCLA 23 yard line, setting up a field goal try by Adam Abrahms. The kick wouldn't even go above his own offensive line, and OT here we come !!!!

On the first OT, both teams would exchange field goals and then, double OT, and the legend of Skip Hicks would be born. On the first play of OT number 2, Hicks would take the handoff from McNown, and after eluding several defenders, raced towards the corner of the endzone for the go-ahead TD, giving UCLA it's first lead of the game, 48-41. You may be asking how my view was from my seat. Yeah, Skip Hicks was stepps in front of me. OK, more than just stepps.....He would finish his run right there in my corner, and I would be the first to greet Skip amongst the many Bruin faithful and the players as well. Never mind that I would be crushed amongst the Blue and Gold faithful against that metal railing because I was so caught up in the moment that the noise of the crowd and everything else I was just numb to because, well, you'd have to have been there to really know how I felt. Words just dont describe it.

SC still had a chance to tie the game and on 3rd and 3 from the 18, RJ Soward, who had ran all over us that day, was all alone on the right sideline with nothing but grass ahead of him. As soon as Otten threw the ball to him and I saw him wide open, for a split moment, I yelled " FERTILIZER " ( OK, so I yelled something else ), but as if someone of a higher power was looking down on us, RJ dropped it !!! Oh yeah, where did the play happen, that's right, stepps in front of me !!! And then on 4th down, Anthony Cobbs picks off Otten's pass, and it was bedlam at Arroy Seco. UCLA 48 USC 41, the only game in the rivalry that was decided in OT !!!

By now, I'm sure you realize why the 1996 game was the my personal favorite in this rivalry. And to me, this is more real than any other reality show. Words just dont describe it. On the YouTube clip, at 9:02, look for a crazed Bruin fan in a white shirt and Blue hat greeting Hicks after his TD in double OT. Yup, that's your's truly.....GO BRUINS !!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Hey everyone, it's been a while since I've last posted here so here is something from another blog of mine @

BLOGGIN' IN L.A.Talkin' Dodger baseball , L.A. sports, and other stuff tooHEY EVERYONE, SOME THOUGHTS, AND HAPPY MOTHERS DAY
Well this certainly has been quite a week. After winning a record 13 consecutive home games to start the season, the Nats, of all teams, are the ones who break the streak, but of course that would all pale in comparison to the news we would hear earlier in the day about Manny. There were many things that went through my mind as I heard the news, the two being mainly shock and disappointment. And as of this writing, the Dodgers are 1-2 without his presence, in which he was dealt a 50 game suspension. Now of course we all could here the wolves howling out there when the Blue Crew lost their first 2 games without him, but relax, the 2 were within reach if not for a meltdown from our bullpen on Thursday night, or the fact that both the Dodgers home winning streak and Chad Billingsley was eventually going to lose his first game. But with an outstanding performance by Eric Stults today in pitching a complete game 4 hit shutout against the hated ones, perhaps hopefully most, if not all doubts, about how the Blue will perform without Manny will be put to rest.


To this point, there really has not been much flaws in our lineup all the way down to our #8 hitter, Casey Blake. Even Rusell Martin is starting to come around. And not enough can be said about contributions from our bench, especially Mark Loretta and Brad Ausmus, who have been more than what I could have bargained for to this point. Loretta has gotta be what, 7 for 12 off the bench, and Ausmus , well, he's been a steady backup for Russ.

The starting pitching has also been outstanding as well, save for a couple of rocky outings from Kershaw and McDonald. Even Eric Stults has been a pleasant surprise filling in quite nicely for Hiroki Kuroda and Jeff Weaver has filled an nicely as well. If Weav and Stults can continue their run and maybe give us more innings, with Billingsley and Wolf going as deep as they have been, we just may have one of the deepest rotations in the NL, something that was a concern coming into the season. Now all we need is for our bullpen to remain healthy. Our one guarantee from our bullpen of course, has been Johnathan Broxton. He seems to have that " swagger " this year, like nothing is gonna get in his way, he definately is our closer this year.


You all didn't really think that Manny was going to completely carry the team did you ? The Dodgers dont have the best record in baseball to this point solely because of Manny, and for them to continue their success, they are going to have to continue to receive key contributions all around, especially from our other bread and butter guys Ethier, Kemp, Martin, and Loney. And Juan Pierre hasn't exactly disappointed off the bench either. Even without Manny until July 3 at the earliest, I still see a fun summer ahead for the Blue and their faithful supporters.


Recently I went up north to SacTown to catch a couple of AAA games at Raley Field to see the Sacramento RiverCats ( A's AAA afilliate ) take on the Las Vegas 51's ( Former afilliate of the Dodgers and now the Blue Jays AAA afilliate ) and as for my first AAA experience, it was really more than I expected. I also went to the California Rail museum as well. Enjoy the pics everyone¤t=390deb77.pbw

Feel free to ask about my experience at Raley Field.



Posted on May 9, 2009 at 8:43 PMPermalinkComments (0)

Speaking of the pics, perhaps this might help...

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Hey all. Sorry I'm a week late , but here are my picks for the upcoming 2009 MLB season, from my blog @

Baseball 2009 is finally here !!!! And it couldnt come soon enough. I am so looking forward to Opening Day in San Diego tomorrow, and yes, I will be making the trek down south to see the Blue Crew do battle with the Friars. It will be the first time that I will be attending Opening Day in a stadium other than Dodger Stadium so of course I am really looking forward to it. Tomorrow is also a big day in that the Friars will be kicking off their 40th anniversary with some pre-game festivities. I don't expect it to be as elaborate as the Dodgers 50th last year, but it should still be fun to watch. I'm wandering if Steve Garvey will be honored tomorrow as well......Anyways, it's been an anxious 6 months of waiting for me, the last time I saw a game in a stadium was Game 5 of last years NLCS, where I was "privledged" to watch the eventual World Champion Phillies celebrate their trumph over us on our home field. Though last season ended on a bitter note, 2008 was still a fun season, highlighted of course by the acquisition of Manny Ramirez, who helped sparked a late season run by the Blue Crew and a triumphant first round sweep of the Cubs in the NLDS. As we all know by now, Manny is back, and much of the lineup from last years playoff team is intact, with really the only change being at 2nd base, where Orlando Hudson will be perhaps making the Furcal-Hudson tandem the best 1-2 punch in the league. One of the main concerns by many heading into this season will be pitching. Can Chad Billingsley assume the staff ace duties this year ? Will Randy Wolf be healthy throughout the '09 campaign ? Will this be Kershaw's breakout year or is he still a diamond in the rough ? Is J-Mac a legit 5th starter ? Can Guillermo Mota retain his form of '04 as the Dodgers middle reliever ? Will Broxton really step up in the closers role ? In spite of all these concerns, the Dodgers are still the favorites to win the NL West but it wont be easy. Here are D-Drei's picks for 2009







In the junior circuit, while many like the Evil Empire to win it all, I still feel Boston's pitching staff has a slight edge over NY"s







As for the WS , my heart says Dodgers over the Angels, but realisticaly, I think this could finally be the Cubs year to win it all. Their strong starting pitching remains intact, and the addition of a switch hitter in Milton Bradley (remember him Dodgers fans ? ) can only help a right-handed heavy lineup, provided he too can avoid any major injuries . CUBS over the RED SOX, and all talk of the curse are laid to rest ( perhaps....)

Posted on April 5, 2009 at 4:28 PMPermalinkComments (0)
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And on a final thought, my prayers go out to the family of Nick Adenhart, RIP Nick, you are now amongst other Angels.......

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Here's a link to my yelp rants of late night dining stories with my co-worker and buddy JJ, aka, the Jiangster. It's an ongoing thing where we take turns once a month choosing late night eats, usually Asian eats on Valley Blvd. in the 626, however, when you click on the link, you'll probably be sent to my other yelp reviews as well, which you can feel free to browse too. In fact, on the left of the page, you'll see another link to Dre and J's Late Night Dining Stories. The Jiangster and I , for the most part, have varying tastes, and these reviews are done in a somewhat satirical manner, perhaps also not being politically correct at times. I hope you enjoy these reviews

Oh yeah, sorry we dont have any profile pics for you, I thought I'd just give you a list of Linkin Park songs, since the Jiangster was once quoted to describe 'Dre, when he had his goatee, that he " reminded him of Mike Shinoda...", to which 'Dre responded back " NO WAY !!! Mike is not ugly and fat except in the wallet...If I remind you of Mike, than you're Joe Hahn !!! ". Come to think of it J, you could pass for Mr. Hahn .....

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It's been awhile since i've dropped by, so I wanted to see what's up with everyone. Baseball season is just around the corner, i'm really excited. Yeah, Manny Ramirez is out for at least a week, but I wont let that dampen my excitement towards the season. Now if only the Blue Crew can solidify their pitching rotation...... March Madness is here, now if only my Bruins can remember how to turn it up during Madness time, speaking of, how many of you out there are in any office pools ? I have North Carolina taking the whole thing. Well, to all of you playing in any pools, good luck, and let the Madness begin. I shall have my baseball predictions up soon. And now, I leave you with some music from D-Mode. Enjoy everyone

Friday, January 2, 2009


Happy New Year everyone !!! If many of you are like me, you certainly gave up on making new year's resolutions a long time ago. Now as for the New Year, I can only wish that all of us can make it through 2009 without any serious, or in many cases, any MORE serious economic windfalls. And we can only hope that CHANGE will happen starting the day after 1/19/2009. 2008 was for the most part pretty memorable for me in that I got to travel along the upper northwest part of the US and down the midwest toward Texas mostly by Amtrak. And as some of you may know, traveling and going to different ballparks or other sporting venues is what I really enjoy doing. Most of what I was able to accomplish was due largely in part to the travel certificates that many relatives gave me last Christmas. I really dont see myself doing any sort of long distance traveling this year, except perhaps staying local and maybe visiting some Minor League Parks this year. Heck, perhaps it would be a good change of pace as opposed to long distance cross country travel.

Oh yeah, 2009. Hey, so it's no secret we're in an economic recession . And yeah, many out there are probably beginning this first business day of the year searching for employment. And if that's the case, I wish you the best of luck. With the job market , or any market for that matter, being what it is at this moment, it's times like this that remind us that hey, our jobs , the ones we currently hold, are our main incentive to want to get up in the morning .

Now, changing gears to the outside world and one I never tire of, sports.... ( I'll admit it, I'm not always about reality, and its something that can heal the pain of reality if at least for 3 hours of my life a day, are you reading this Rich Rodriguez ? ) The NFL Wild Card Playoffs get under way this weekend, and there are some pretty intriguing games this weekend. Unfortunately for me, none of those games will involve my 49ERS for the 6th straight year. As crazy as it sounds, if only for a break here or a lucky bounce there, the Niners coulda been the ones hoisting the NFC West Crown, finishing only 2 games behind the Arizona Cardinals for the division. The Cardinals, a team that gave up over 30 points in a game 5 times this season. If the Niners dont blow a 9 point lead to the Eagles in October or have the right play call in the Monday night game at Arizona....If Shaun Hill would have been our starter from the beginning of the season... WHAT IF'S ..... And so, for the 6th straight year, the 49ERS are nowhere to be found in the month of January. I surely hope Jed York ( Officially the new GM) is right when he told his team after their season ending victory against the Redskins that this is the last time the 49ERS end their season in December because as a long time Niner fan knowing nothing but success from the 80s and 90s, I'm certainly getting tired of not watching my team in post-season play.

And now, my picks for this weekend...

Indy over SD, Atl over AZ, Bal over Mia, and Philly over Min. Wow, I'm picking the road teams to win it all this weekend. Oh yeah, they're all favored too. I guess there must be a lot of parity in the NFL this year.

Have a Great Weekend everyone, and a Safe, and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all !!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Hello everyone, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS. Below is a list of some holiday tunes I put together. I hope you enjoy them. I hope you're having a great holiday season. This year has been rough on many of us but we can only hope that CHANGE is ahead of us. And CHANGE will be good, right ? Speaking of the holidays, one thing that always comes to mind this time of year is when friends of family members are not seeing eye to eye with each other, whether it be an arguement or a misunderstanding, and many of us try to help patch things up between others and many of us have often said, " Come on, put aside you're differences, it Christmas ...." . Well, yes, Christmas can definately be the time of year to put aside our differences, but should we be putting aside our differences only during the holidays ? After all, we really should be nice to each other year round, right ? While it is true that it's only human to have our differences get in the way of things, ( I dont exclude myself either) our differences should also be something that should be embraced as well. As we all know, no one person was created the same, so why should our we let our differences be a hinderence in our everyday lives ? If you should take the time to use the holidays to put any differneces, or yet, conflicts aside, if you can, make the effort to keep it aside througout the upcoming year. And if you're not quite ready to tell that someone that " You're sorry.....", do it when your ready. Whether it be today, Christmas day, the 4th of July, whenever, again if you can, do make the effort. And should the holidays actually help you put aside any differences or conflicts you may be having with a friend, family member, or loved one, remember to carry it over with you year round. While Christmas shouldnt be an excuse to patch things up, it can certainly the time of year to start patching things up with those you care about. Well, enough from me. Enjoy the tunes everyone. Oh yeah, feel free to share a favorite holiday memory. HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!!!