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Play It Forward Sept. 25-Oct 1: Can USC avoid the Week 5 letdown in Pullman? |Sep 24, 2017

Ranking the top 10 sports events Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 you won’t want to miss: NO. 1: COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 5: USC at WASHINGTON STATE Details/TV: At Pullman, Wash., Friday, 7:30 p.

Whicker: Chargers’ defense plays well, until it has to |Sep 24, 2017

CARSON >> On the north sideline, Kansas City’s’ Marcus Peters looked at the ground and held up a fist, with teammate Roy Miller holding up Peters’ arm. On the south sideline, five Chargers sat on a metal bench when the anthem was played, and Casey Hayward also raised a fist.

Kevin Durant’s anti-social comments are a boon for NBA’s social media frenzy |Sep 19, 2017

Intriguing, suspenseful and Santa Claus-fat with jolly surprises. The NBA was all those things and more this summer. All those things and more, unfortunately, soon to be set aside, the league again insisting on dulling things down by playing actual basketball games.

Play It Forward Sept. 18-24: Could Lasorda’s 90th birthday mark the Dodgers’ latest NL West title celebration? |Sep 17, 2017

Ranking the top 10 sports events Sept. 18-24 you won’t want to miss: NO. 1: MLB: GIANTS AT DODGERS  Details/TV: At Dodger Stadium, Friday, 7:10 p.m., Saturday, 6:10 p.m., Sunday, 1:10 p.

Bonsignore: Rams send positive message, even after tough loss |Sep 17, 2017

The Rams locker room was barely open a minute or two Sunday after a gut wrenching 27-20 loss to Washington when Robert Woods motioned for reporters to come talk to him. If anyone had reason to hide from the media or brush them off or figure out a way to make himself invisible it was Woods, whose two careless penalties during a critical fourth-quarter drive likely cost the Rams a chance to score a touchdown and take the lead.

Alexander: Antonio Gates’ record a bit of normalcy in a strange day with Chargers |Sep 17, 2017

CARSON >> Antonio Gates had 111 touchdown catches as a San Diego Charger. He now has one as a Los Angeles Charger. And for all of the change and the newness of the Chargers’ future here, there had to be some melancholy involved when Gates hauled in a pass from Philip Rivers with 8:18 to play in the third quarter Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center, to break Tony Gonzalez’ record for career touchdown catches by a tight end.

Miller: Chargers kick off new L.A. era by missing wide right |Sep 17, 2017

CARSON >> The day ended with one of their defensive tackles attempting to play lead blocker for their kicker. Strange? This came only after their historic return to L.A. was soiled by a missed field goal punctuated by the booming sound of their triumphant sideline cannon, a celebration normally reserved for games the Chargers actually, you know, win.

Lessons unlearned and more regrets from the ESPN-Jemele Hill situation |Sep 16, 2017

There’s no simple way to exhume any sort of meaningful conclusion to the Jemele Hill-ESPN situation that came unglued this week and continues to collapse under its own weight. Multiple layers of semantics and protocol, accusations of preferential treatment and the simple defense of free speech complicate this journey in a disjointed digital democracy and a toxic political environment.

Golovkin’s draw with Canelo just raises the stakes |Sep 16, 2017

LAS VEGAS >> The two top gunslingers in the sport of boxing got together and finally said, “Draw.” Twelve rounds later, so did the judges. A fight conducted at the highest levels of the sport wound up dead even between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, which means Golovkin keeps his three middleweight belts until they meet again.

Miller: Sam Darnold, Trojans survive scare the size of Texas |Sep 16, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> Vince Young had an entire fourth to make his magic. Sam Darnold had 39 seconds … and no timeouts. USC’s sophomore quarterback led the Trojans back from the brink of disaster Saturday, engineering a tying drive in the closing minute of regulation, allowing his team to survive Texas in two overtimes, 27-24.

NASCAR, NHRA championship runs get underway this week |Sep 14, 2017

It’s just a coincidence both the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup and NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will start the championship portion of their respective schedules this week. NASCAR will be in Chicago for the beginning of its 10-race schedule that will finish Nov.

Kobe Bryant: the perfect player to have two numbers retired |Sep 13, 2017

The Lakers are going to honor the career of Kobe Bryant this coming season by retiring two jersey numbers. The decision is considered controversial by some people because such a move is believed to be without precedent.

The ‘Fight for L.A.’ between the Rams and Chargers begins ... now |Sep 9, 2017

My oh my, how the NFL landscape has seismically shifted in Los Angeles over the last 20 months. The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers? Yup, that really happened. And Year One of their co-existence begins Sunday.

Trojans refuse to repeat Cardinal sins |Sep 9, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Rasheem Green said it was a week of sacrifice. Maybe you don’t take that post-practice nap. Maybe you realize that the  XBox will still be there after Saturday. Maybe you go to the computer and cue up the tape and try to find the keys to the kingdom, try to learn why Stanford’s offense looks so old and yet works so new, sort of like USC Village.

Suddenly quiet Dodgers try silent approach |Sep 8, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> The Dodgers prepped in eerie and total silence Friday afternoon, their clubhouse so quiet you could hear a win drop. Maybe that was the idea, this team is that desperately desperate, so wanting to drop a win somewhere, anywhere, on or off the field.

Bonsignore: For Rams, figuring out what they have in Jared Goff is key |Sep 7, 2017

At some point Sunday night, after a full day of NFL games conclude and the leftover wings and brats are wrapped up tightly and tucked away in the refrigerator and the barbecue grills are scrubbed clean and neatly covered, a whole bunch of tired heads will hit a whole bunch of pillows across Los Angeles.

Let Rams, Chargers ‘Fight for L.A.,’ Raiders will win Super Bowl |Sep 6, 2017

The Fight for L.A. rages on, as the Rams and Chargers battle to win the collective hearts and souls and wallets of the 20 million or so people residing in Los Angeles and vicinity. But it’s just a local tangle.

Miller: Tom Brady and NFL kick off another season of dilemma |Sep 6, 2017

Like most of you, I’m going to watch, too. Watch 100 or so men gather tonight to play a game they presumably love for a paycheck they understandably covet for the sake of entertaining the rest of us who won’t die early because of football.

Whicker: ‘01 Mariners are a warning for the Dodgers that nothing is guaranteed |Sep 6, 2017

Sixteen years ago the Seattle Mariners were inevitable, too. They scored 300 more runs than their opponents. They had Ichiro Suzuki, the MVP and a Hall of Famer-to-be. They won 116 games, tying the record by the 1906 Chicago Cubs.

Texans’ J.J. Watt shows the real healing potential of sports |Sep 5, 2017

The notion, though long on good intentions, always has sounded short on common sense. Sure, games can distract, offer snippets of relief from a real world that can be unforgiving, brutal and catastrophic.

Sean McVay manages first crisis as Aaron Donald holdout continues |Sep 4, 2017

The Rams reported to work on Monday to officially begin preparations for their season opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Their best player was nowhere to be found. The contract holdout of Aaron Donald just moved to DEFCON 1, folks.

Play It Forward Sept. 4-10: No place for a weak stomach as Rams ramp up NFL Week 1 |Sep 3, 2017

Ranking the top 10 sports events Sept. 4-10 you won’t want to miss:</em> NO. 1: NFL WEEK 1: COLTS at RAMS Details/TV: At the Coliseum, Sunday at 1:05 p.m., Ch. 2 Two stories of note over the summer that have decided are somewhat Rams related and could be useful for future reference as the journey to a 6-10 season gets underway: • A study released by a San Diego-based safety video company shows that from 2012-2016, there was a 53 percent spike in drowsy-related collisions or near-accidents with sanitation drivers on the Monday and Tuesday mornings following Sunday or Monday night televised NFL games.

Whicker: Josh Rosen, UCLA Bruins pull an incredible 180 |Sep 3, 2017

PASADENA >> Tom Bradley, the defensive coordinator, didn’t even talk about desperation. Desperation implies that there’s a chance. UCLA was down 44-10 to Texas A&M. The only goal left was self-esteem.

Ronald Jones is strong enough to carry erratic Trojans |Sep 2, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> It was an excellent day to lose 10 pounds. It was almost an excellent day to lose a football season. Ronald Jones II. had pre-planned for this 98-degree brain bake at the Coliseum.

Brent Musburger — an odd fit in Vegas gambling media outfit or sure bet? |Sep 2, 2017

LAS VEGAS >> On the first major Saturday of the college football season, Brent Musburger was planted inside a 30-by-35 foot, floor-to-ceiling glass booth, in the middle of a hotel sports book with spotlights pointed at him.

Golovkin vs. Canelo feels like a can’t-miss classic |Sep 1, 2017

It’s a can’t-miss, isn’t it? The Sept. 16 middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and champion Gennady Golovkin would seem a lock for an old-fashioned ring war. Just thinking about what could happen in two weeks at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas evokes thoughts of yesteryear.

Whicker: A 2-year-old colt captures Kirk Herbstreit’s soul |Sep 1, 2017

He is cool like a front porch in the evening, unbothered by three producers in his ear and a fumble plus a penalty on the field below him. Kirk Herbstreit is the triumph of detachment. Well, at least when he’s doing football games.

Miller: Have championship rings lost their luster? |Sep 1, 2017

In the past few months, Steve Bartman was awarded a World Series ring and Donald Trump was given a Super Bowl ring, as was the mother of New England quarterback Tom Brady. Perhaps you think these gestures are examples of wholly over-the-top generosity.

Trevor Huddleston closing in on two driving titles |Aug 31, 2017

This will be an important month for 21-year-old Trevor Huddleston of Agoura Hills as he closes in on a pair of driving championships: one at his home track at Irwindale Speedway and the other a national crown on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Whicker: Songbird, ‘the total package,’ goes out on top |Aug 31, 2017

It wasn’t good news, not exactly. But Mike Smith wasn’t singing the blues. Songbird retired at age 4 on Thursday. Doctors found problems with her “hind suspensories,” and owner Rick Porter asked Dr.

Angels hope to quicken pace of race with Justin Upton, Brandon Phillips |Aug 31, 2017

Throughout their treadmill summer, the Angels couldn’t play themselves out of the math. They were always there but not there, maybe with an arm or an ear sticking into the picture. They were the team in the wings.

Songbird’s arrival was perfect timing for owner Rick Porter |Aug 31, 2017

Sometimes, through divine intervention, horses wind up with the right owners. Such was the case with Zenyatta and the brilliant filly Songbird, who was retired Thursday by owner Rick Porter after being diagnosed with damage to her hind suspensories and a severe bone chip.

Whicker: D.J. Peters could be key prospect for Dodgers |Aug 30, 2017

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Success, in the form of the California League MVP and Rookie of the Year awards, has a price. D.J. Peters can’t move pianos any more. “Actually I banned him a couple of years ago,” said his dad, Donnie.

Bonsignore: Aaron Donald, it’s time to get back to work |Aug 30, 2017

Aaron Donald deserves to be the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. So let’s just get that out of the way at the very top, lest anyone thinks sides are being taken in a contract holdout that has cost Donald all of training camp and preseason.

Labor Day weekend provides World Cup qualifying buffet for armchair soccer fans |Aug 30, 2017

An international football feast of around 100 World Cup qualifiers and friendlies awaits soccer fans this Labor Day with dozens of games available on television and online today through Tuesday to be squeezed in between end of summer barbecues.

Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen take USC-UCLA rivalry to new heights |Aug 30, 2017

If they weren’t already rivals by design and definition, they would be rivals by default. That’s just how it works with USC and UCLA, schools that share a city but fight over pretty much everything else.

Mark Shuken takes over Pac-12 Network as issues loom |Aug 29, 2017

In his new position as Pac-12 Network president, Mark Shuken can shake things up. Or, he could simply try to appease those getting a little stir-crazy.

Jahmai Jones, an actual Angels prospect, comes into view |Aug 29, 2017

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Todd Hogan scouts Atlanta, among other places, for the Angels. He had been sending the home office rave reviews on an outfielder named Jahmai Jones. Now Ric Wilson, the scouting director, showed up at Wesleyan High for two games, to take a look.

Whicker: Sideshow moves on and Golovkin finally has an occasion, plans to rise |Aug 28, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> Send out the clowns. Make way for the big cats. People liked Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. But people also like Weird Al Yankovic and Dippin’ Dots and formica. Saturday night was faux-play.

Rey Vargas gives Rios a rude introduction, holds onto 122-pound belt |Aug 27, 2017

CARSON >> Ronny Rios might have been the first American fighter, and  maybe the first American,  to learn just how good Rey Vargas is and will be. It is a discovery he could done without.

Bonsignore: What we observed from Rams’ loss to Chargers |Aug 27, 2017

Preseason NFL football game can often be a tricky thing. There’s not real game planning going on. The starting lineup is a mishmash of first stringers and backups that soon gives way exclusively to second, third and fringe players.

Whicker: Alana Beard leads a Sparkling defensive effort |Aug 27, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> Afterward, Coach Brian Agler said the Sparks can probably expect to see Minnesota again. Nothing else would make sense. The Sparks won the WNBA championship in the final minute of the fifth and final game, at Minnesota.

Play It Forward: Can’t run away from USC, UCLA football openers on a holiday weekend |Aug 27, 2017

Ranking the top 10 sports events Aug. 28 to Sept. 3 you won’t want to miss: NO. 1: COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON OPENERS USC vs. WESTERN MICHIGAN Details/TV: At the Coliseum, Saturday at 2:15 p.

Miller: Philip Rivers and Jared Goff display where they are in their careers |Aug 26, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> He is now our most dependable starter, this pinpointing right-hander stirring memories of the likes of in-their-primes Orel Hershiser and Jered Weaver. Sure, during their careers, those two pitchers were at times hit hard.

Joey Chestnut vs. Gyoza in L.A. — can you stomach this? |Aug 25, 2017

The question we’ve always wanted to ask Joey Chestnut: Why have you never won a chestnut eating contest? “No one has had one yet, but I’m sure all it would take is a sponsor …it could be easy to do,” said the 10-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating champion as he started to entertain the idea.

Ronny Rios faces tall order in champion Rey Vargas |Aug 25, 2017

CARSON — Rey Vargas is a human 2-iron. He is listed at 5-foot-9 in some places, 5-foot-7 ½ in others, but somehow makes the 122-pound super bantamweight limit. He also is known as the next man to take the baton at Nacho Beristain’s Gym Romanza in Mexico City, a place where 27 world champions have learned the boxing game.

What to look for in Rams last dress rehearsal |Aug 25, 2017

Take a good look at the Rams’ starters Saturday night when they host the Chargers at the Coliseum. Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Sammy Watkins and all the rest of the first-stringers will play into the third quarter, as is the norm for NFL teams in the third game of the preseason.

Angels don’t care if they’re chasing the AL mild card |Aug 25, 2017

ANAHEIM >> They’ve survived so much to get here – injuries, an underwhelming offense, an unyielding stretch of being just so-so – that the Angels aren’t going to be discouraged now by someone else’s discouragement.

California Lightning Sprints hit Perris with plenty on the line |Aug 24, 2017

California Lightning Sprints make their final appearance of the season Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway, with the points lead and championship still in contention. “We love going to Perris because it always has a big crowd and it is the premier dirt track in the country,” said Bobby Michnowicz, a four-time series champion and CLS president.

Songbird a 4-year-old filly with an agenda |Aug 24, 2017

Songbird, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, has won nine Grade I races at seven race tracks. She’s banked $4.5 million in earnings and found the winner’s circle in 13 of 14 lifetime starts.