Sunday, October 04, 2009

USC 30, Cal 3 – Mark Sanchez gets the last laugh on Zennie

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At the 2009 NFL Draft, after USC quarterback Mark Sanchez was selected 5th by the New York Jets (and finally had a terrible game against the New Orleans Saints today), I opened the media interview by cracking on USC:

Mark Sanchez just gave a chuckle when I said that the reason he left USC was because he knew Cal would beat the Trojans this year.

Well, forget that.

Cal, er, we, lost big time Saturday, 30 for them, to 3 for us, and frankly it wasn't that USC was that much better but that we just didn't execute well or call the right plays. Or as my Cal buddy Greg Heywood put it the following today, "When USC safety Taylor Mays catches Jahvid Best on a reverse, you know it's gonna be a long day." It sure was.

Mays is 6-3, 230 pounds of hitting machine. So why call a reverse and not a double reverse since USC's so fast?

Cal's best effort of the day was an opening drive that was the best I've seen all season thus far and because Cal Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig channeled Zennie Abraham (er, me) and had Kevin Riley throw short, timed passes from a three step drop.


We drove down to the eight yard line, then Riley decided that rather than operate within the play called, he was going to make something happen. He did: an interception.

Ludwig also used Cal's version of the Wildcat Formation, with Javid Best lining up at quarterback, with some success. I loved the change-up.

After that Cal's performance was an exercise in footballic suckatude. For the second straight week, Riley proved to President Obama that he could, if called on, overthrow Iran. Normally I get on the coaching staff, but this time, Kevin Riley was just plain awful – 15 of 40 for 199 yards. Receiver were open when Cal tried to return to its middle-range passing game, but Riley missed them.

That's why I want Riley to throw short – one and three step passes - almost exclusively. He's just plain missing receivers, most of the time on the deeper passes. There's no shame in dinking and dunking – the objective is to win.

But it doesn't leave the coaching staff untouched.

First, Ludwig, for some reason, got totally away from the masterful first set of passes Cal opened the game with. If Ludwig stuck with the short passing game, Riley's numbers would have been much better.

Second, what was it with lining up to kick a field goal with 12 seconds left? I don't get that. It's funny about a contest like Cal – USC: one can get so into it that they forecast events before they happen. That was true for the man I was sitting next to, who said "Oh, now they're going to line up and kick a field goal, and miss it." Cal did just that.

The Berkeley stadium crowd booed like nobody's business. Some Old Blues are starting to actually wish for Tom Holmoe!

I'm not one of them.

I continue to believe that Cal can salvage this season. It's possible to win all of our games from here on out, but the Golden Bears have to make some schematic changes as soon as possible. I have some suggestions:

1)Use the flea-flicker. If defenses are prepared for Jahvid Best to carry the ball, that's the perfect play to use. A simple version: one based on a dive play; the other on a sweep.
2)Go five-wide receivers early to spread the defense but throw three-step passes.
3)Use the no-huddle offense to open the game.
4)Install roll-out and sprint passes to move the "launch point" of the passes and keep Riley from being a sitting duck when throwing deep.
5)Install a throwback pass off the roll-out series.
6) Use "bubble passes" - but not screens because the defense follows the pulling offensive linemen right to the ball. USC killed us because of that when we called that form of pass.

Finally, GO BEARS. We still have a chance to make this a great season, but we can't have any more losses. Cal must run the table. First, we have to beat UCLA. If we need any incentive, Stanford did it, winning 24 to 16 last Saturday.

Stay tuned!

Erin Andrews | Michael David Barrett accused of making peephole video

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Well, the Erin Andrews peephole video wasn't an "inside job" after all. After an FBI invrestigation, Michael David Barrett was arrested for creating the now famous "peephole" video. Deadspin has posted the entire criminal complaint.

From my cursory read of the documents, the Barrett also goes by the name "Mark Barrett" and used the email adress "". The person who officially filed the complain on behalf of "E.A" or "Erin Andrews" was FBI Special Agent Tanith Rogers.

Rogers and case agent Justin Vallese basically caught Barrett trying to do the same thing this year that he did last year. That is checking into the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University and before that the Radisson Airport Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and staying in a room next to Erin Andrews, where he employed a specially created peephole for the purpose of making videos of Andrews and selling them online.

What Barrett did this time was - and keep in mind this is a year after all the media coverage of the first peephole scandal - check into the same hotel and specifically ask for a room next to that of Erin Andrews and try the same stunt again! So he unknowingly established a kind of track record that the FBI zeroed in on.

Talk about one big red flag! Geez!

Apparently Barrett had created a special peephole that could be used from the hotel hallway, possibly using a cell phone video camera.

Who's Michael David Barrett?

Well, according to the complaint, he lives at or near Westmony, Il, and is an AT&T customer. His possible places of employment at the time of his "acts" were listed as "Combined" which is listed in the report as the Combined Insurance Company.

A good read on Internet sleuthing

The complaint is a great read on how with the help of organizations like AT&T, Yahoo, and credit agencies, a stalker can be caught and charged with, well, stalking. Barrett's accused of a federal offense, violating 18 U.S.C. 2261A: Stalking

(1) travels in interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or enters or leaves Indian country, with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, and in the course of, or as a result of, such travel places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, or causes substantial emotional distress to that person, a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115) of that person, or the spouse or intimate partner of that person; or
(2) with the intent—
(A) to kill, injure, harass, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person in another State or tribal jurisdiction or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or
(B) to place a person in another State or tribal jurisdiction, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to—
(i) that person;
(ii) a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115 [1] of that person; or
(iii) a spouse or intimate partner of that person;
uses the mail, any interactive computer service, or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that causes substantial emotional distress to that person or places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, any of the persons described in clauses (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (B); [2]
shall be punished as provided in section 2261 (b) of this title.

I've got to get this out of the way; I really am sorry this happened to Erin Andrews. You know, we hear and read so much about sex tapes and celebrities and "revealing videos" that seem timed with the release of some book or magazine photo shoot that it's hard for us to consider that maybe some ass hole like a Michael David Barrett was actually stalking a celebrity like Erin Andrews, rather than someone at ESPN trying to up ratings.

I took that view after Andrews' GQ photo spread was revealed - I was livid because it seemed like there may have been a deliberate business connection between the mag and the video as now after the peephole video the spread was even more popular, but now I realize it was the accident of the timing of events.

I'm really sorry for jumping ship on Andrews at the time. But I stated then, and restate now, that I also feel Andrews should use her heightened platform to do more to advance the cause of women in broadcasting and sports. Erin should join WISE: Women in Sports and Events.

USA Today Columnist Christine Brennan really took a different and much harsher view of what happened to Erin, which seemed to imply that Andrews was asking for it on Twitter, tweeting:

#Erin Andrews incident is bad, but to add perspective: there are 100s of women sports journalists who have never had this happen to them.


Women sports journalists need to be smart and not play to the frat house. There are tons of nuts out there.

Christine was raked through the coals for that, but I don't think her complete view saw the media light of day. In an email to me dated September 1st, Brennan wrote:

Suffice it to say that the first words out of my mouth on the subject were that what happened to Erin was "gross" and "despicable," and I went on in that July radio interview to say several times she "didn't deserve" what happened to her. Some media and internet outlets cherry-picked and misconstrued my comments and generally misquoted them -- other than that... :)

The "trading off your looks" line actually was something I was saying in general about women in sports media, and about myself -- that I wanted to have a long career. interviewed me a month ago and went into more detail on that, if you wanted to look for that interview.

So the issue is quite complicated, but I have spent nearly three decades fighting for women in sports media, including Erin, and will continue to do so.

This is the full statement from that interview:

I also want to say, in case there is anyone out there who hasn't heard me say it, that what happened to Erin is terrible, and I support her completely. You wouldn't know it from some of the internet and TV coverage of my comments, but the first words out of my mouth on that radio show in North Carolina were that what happened to Erin was "gross" and "despicable." I'm not sure why news organizations and internet sites didn't report that.

Now, to your question. Since I'm not doing any hiring for any network, I have no idea why certain people might be hired, and for what reasons. But I do know this: Erin Andrews is smart and talented, and to me, that's why she should be on the air.

There is a very simple thing I fall back on, and it's advice I've probably given to thousands of women now, young women I've mentored, young men, too, for that matter, in speeches at colleges, in e-mails, things like that. The advice is to simply rely on your talent and your brains. I so believe in that. I would think that most parents would say that to their daughters or their sons, to focus on being smart and talented and good. If you happen to be good looking or not, who cares? Focus on being a person of substance. Whether you want to be a teacher, a doctor, a journalist, whatever -- be smart. Work hard. Those are some of the things that are just so ingrained in me.

I think Erin does a terrific job on air. As I said, she's smart, she's talented. That's what's important. I wish her the best because she's been through an awful experience.

I totally agree. That's a great place to end this post.