Wanna Get Shot? Wear Fresno St. Gear In Fresno

Now I know why the LOS ANGELES TIMES didn’t lay off Diane Pucin. She has a terrific hustle piece today on one of the tragic offshoots of the success of the Fresno State football program. Although the team is wildly popular locally, if you’re under 18 and live in the Central Valley, you probably don’t own a thread of Bulldogs gear:

Fresno State Bulldogs Logo Used By Fresno Bulldog Gang

Membership in a large and notorious Central Valley gang called the Bulldogs. Beginning in the 1980s Fresno State’s fearsome mascot became a symbol of gang violence.  About two years ago, city officials and the police department began a public crackdown on the gang and even now grade school and high school students here can’t wear Fresno State gear to school.

Bulldogs Coach Pat Hill and Fresno Mayor Alan Autry obviously aren’t happy about the situation, but have deferred to local law enforcement in the matter. Autry, who was a teammate of Pete Carroll’s on the now-defunct University of Pacific football team, did though declare that the city and the university have “declared war to get that logo back.

Have you noticed how little coverage Manny Ramirez’s disparaging comments about the Red Sox have gotten?

The reason: Ramirez is despised personally by most baseball reporters, which is one of the reasons his comments have been generally ignored. It’s also why he has absolutely zero shot at winning the National League MVP - as voted on by those same blackballing writers.

Ramirez is the sole reason I’ll be attending a Dodger playoff game for the first time in 10 years in Los Angeles this weekend, thanks to discounted tickets (use the code SbB010) from My Boy Barry. So obviously the people who pay baseball’s light bill don’t give a damn in Manny is an ass off-the-field.

Jon Solomon of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS has an embarrassingly puffy piece on ESPN’s College GameDay that reads like it was written in 1999. Lede:

Unusual but true fact about ESPN College GameDay: Lee Corso gestures with a pencil on TV to promote Dixon Ticonderoga, which is best known for its yellow No. 2 pencil. Corso is the company’s director of business development.

Lee Corso's Tired Act

Hopefully the good folks residing in Estonia take Solomon’s B-News, since I’m guessing they’re the only respirating souls left in the solar system who haven’t already been leveled by Corso & Co.’s public relations pablum express.

Solomon does slip in an interesting tidbit from Kirk Herbstreit though, who still refuses to admit he was wrong in reporting the Les Miles-to-Michigan hire last season (thank goodness for that LSU media guide!).

Herbstreit said he is “cool” with Miles after speaking with him that night, but has no regrets and said his source was not wrong. Last year, Herbstreit told USA Today that when he made the report, it was accurate, but then LSU took the initiative and didn’t allow Miles to leave.

“I had a phone call from a coach who was actually going to be on that staff,” Herbstreit said Friday. “It wasn’t like I was trying to dig something up. The problem is I don’t look to break stories, but coaches call me. So when they call me, now I have information. I have so much respect for coaches and they have such an open-door policy with me.

Of course, Miles has denied denied denied that he ever was close to coaching the Wolves.

Someone is lying in this situation, and I don’t think it’s Kirk.

Ray Ratto does the impossible today: He makes the Raiders-Lane Kiffin debacle interesting.

Ratto lists the all-time worst coaches in history, by record, and notes that Kiffin (5-15 lifetime under Alzheimer Al) would be a noted keyholder in the illustrious club if he gets the pipe anytime soon. Irony alert: Ratto thinks Kiffin has a reasonable shot to finish out the season.

Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton (not his real name) would say this is “bleepin’ brilliant.”:

Al Groh Coachbook

That is, if he was doing a show that had more than single digits tuned in every quarter hour.