When your coffee gets cold, your desk chair is uncomfortable, and over million people want to Fire-Lane you, it must be Hump Day. Surviving Hump Day is a fundamental part of the American Experience (there are no siestas in Kansas City). You hope to breeze right through like it was the weekend, but it can be a long, long week.
HEROES: UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins clobbered New Mexico State 59-13 on Saturday despite a bevy of penalties. And prior to next Thursday matchup with Utah, UCLA players and fans will breeze right through this Hump Day and the next with how awesome they are. But there’s a host of young UCLA players on the radar in the professional ranks. Former Number 1 overall pick in the MLB draft Gerrit Cole has really come into his own in his last few starts to cement the Pirates earning their first playoff birth in 20 years. He’s won his last 4 starts, only allowing 4 runs total, while striking out 9, 7, 12 (in 6 innings), and 6 in those games–which are far superior to his previous K totals.
UCLA announced plans for a new football practice facility they are raising funds for as of now.
The UCLA Bruins alumni YMCA team actually turned out to be the professional NBA franchise the Clippers. UCLA grads Ryan Hollins, Matt Barnes, and Darren Collison are all on surprisingly deep roster. They open camp at the end of the week at UCSD. And former point guard Larry Drew II just signed with the Champion Miami Heat.
In the NFL, former UCLA TE/WR and Detroit Lions rookie Joseph Fauria has caught touchdown passes in 2 of his first 3 NFL games. The 2 touchdowns are 1/16 of the total yards he’s gained (32), but he scored his first NFL scores. And he went absolutely nuts when he scored TD number 1, doing the following embarrassing/outrageous/too cool for my uncool school touchdown dance, and imitated N’Sync after his second TD.
Look at that face. He was pumped.
Jonathan Franklin also scored his first NFL touchdown on Sunday. Franklin was the 4th string running back to start the season, but got the ball and performed big. Rookie Eddy Lacy was out with a concussion and James Starks went down with a knee injury mid game. Franlin gained over 100 yards on 13 carries including his first career TD, and took a celebratory knee (ahem…pay attention Joseph Fauria)
Among many for the 1-2 Green Bay Packers, none other than Jonathan Franklin is a villain. Up 3 points on a 4th and 1 Franklin coughed up the ball that was picked up by the Bengals, stripped by the Packers, only to be picked up again by the Bengals and returned 70 yards for the game winning scoop and score. Despite the great game, better believe it is still a long week for the rookie.
We analyzed Shaqramento Super Villain Shaq yesterday HERE
And across town, despite his second win in as many games, every week is a long week for Lane Kiffin. His anemic offense, play calling, and quarterback controversies are reminiscent of Kiffin’s mentor’s struggles late in his tenure at Cal. The difference is expectations are much different at Cal, and Jeff Tedford doesn’t have a name that can be hilariously written on LA streets. ESPN radio’s John Ireland tweeted this picture following USC’s loss to Washington State 3 weeks earlier.
I have a feeling this won’t be the only time a fire lane is used this way at the Coliseum this year pic.twitter.com/p5rZNC4Qnw
— John Ireland (@LAIreland) September 8, 2013
Also in trouble as the season is ending is Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. He assembled some of the greatest talent in baseball, to possibly be a .500 team. And why Dipoto and not Manager Mike Scioscia? Because Scioscia has been winning the last month with a who on earth is that+Mike Trout formula on the field. Additionally he still has 5 years left on his contract. Watch out for signs of Jerry Dipoto’s firing the next time you watch Tom and Jerry on Saturday mornings.