Enter the Warzone, live from La La Land.
** After writing a week ago we didn’t think Fresno State would go undefeated, the common retort was, “OK, smartypants. Which team on this crummy schedule can beat them?”
Don’t think we’ll be hearing that again.
** Bulldogs coach Tim DeRuyter looked and sounded more subdued than usual at the start of Monday’s news conference.
And that was before anyone asked about the near debacle at Hawaii. Or those USC rumors.
** Here’s when the mantra of “1-0 each week” rings hollow:
When you win 42-37 after allowing 34 straight points in 1 1/2 quarters to a team that had yet to score more than 14 in a game.
** All the close early season victories show “resolve,” according to DeRuyter. Receiver Josh Harper said they’re a testament to the Bulldogs’ “closeness.”
There’s another explanation, too. Fresno State isn’t good enough to blow out anyone.
** DeRuyter said he must do a better job getting his players to stop looking at the scoreboard, because “the scoreboard’s a liar.”
No, the scoreboard tells the truth. It’s the little voice inside each helmet that lies.
** Boy there are a lot of people around here wearing Dodgers hats.
Of course, we’re writing this from a cafe in Echo Park. (While everyone else on a computer bangs out screenplays.)
** Just dropped off our résumé at USC Athletic Director Pat Haden’s office.
Haden said everyone’s a candidate, and we couldn’t do any worse than Lane Kiffin.
** DeRuyter might be a candidate, too, if you believe the rumor mill.
Except DeRuyter isn’t a sexy name, and no other place in the world loves sexy names more than Los Angeles.
** The other big sports issue down here is Matt Kemp, and why he’s not suiting up for the playoffs.
Patrolling center field on a bum ankle is one thing. Being a fearsome presence as a pinch-hitter is another.
** Even without Kemp (and Andre Ethier hobbled), the Dodgers will get past the Braves in the first round.
No team in the National League strikes out more than the Braves. Bad news when you’re facing Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
** The Giants signed Hunter Pence for five years and $90 million — a pretty good chunk of change for a guy who isn’t a real difference-maker.
** The Raiders unveiled a new, kid-friendly mascot.
In the old days, the Raider Rusher would’ve first been introduced to the Black Hole. Then Nickelodeon, provided the costume didn’t get torn to shreds.
** Eagles defenders tried to confuse Peyton Manning by shouting “Papa John’s! Papa John’s” at the line of scrimmage.
Of course, that was before they were toppled like Domino’s.
** Never really got the chance to meet Pete Mehas, which now becomes a major regret.
** For no particular reason: John Friesz
** Olympic sprinter has gained Lolo Jones 30 pounds in her bid to make the U.S. bobsledding team, feasting on double bacon cheeseburgers. Unfortunately, Jones can’t keep her mouth stuffed during interviews.
** Proof the world is upside down: Warriors and Clippers fans are more excited for the NBA season than Lakers fans.
Same ol’, same ol’ for the Sacramento Kings. Oops, Shaqramento Kings. Oops, Shamelessamento Kings.
The Warzone doesnt go for shameless attention ploys. Not even when gift-wrapped at (559) 441-6218, email@example.com or @MarekTheBee on Twitter.