Enter the Warzone, lean and mean for 2015.
• For the umpteenth time, new plans have been unveiled to build an NFL-sized stadium in or around Los Angeles.
Never miss a local story.
Typical SoCal fan response: Yeah, sure. Call us when there’s a goalpost in the ground.
• The difference now is the group that unveiled the project Monday includes an actual NFL owner (the Rams’ Stan Kroenke) and controls enough land (300 acres at Hollywood Park) to handle an 80,000-seat stadium and parking.
So the Rams could be back in their rightful home by 2016. Or Kroenke could be using Los Angeles as leverage to get a better deal in St. Louis.
In other words, don’t break out those Vince Ferragamo jerseys just yet.
• In anextensive piece
by ESPN.com’s Jackie McMullen, Logan Mankins says he didn’t “feel sorry for myself” for being traded from the 12-4 Patriots to the 2-14 Buccaneers.
The former Fresno State great might be alone in that regard.
• Patriots honcho Bill Belichick wanted to trim Mankins’ $6.25 million salary. They couldn’t agree on how much, so Mankins got shipped out nine days before the season opener.
Because that’s how the NFL treats six-time Pro Bowlers.
• The 49ers reportedly interviewed Rex Ryan for their vacant head coaching position. Because no one embodies the phrase “winning with class” like him.
• Meanwhile, the Raiders reportedly interviewed Mike Shanahan. Yes, you read that right. Wonder if the subject of “back pay” came up.
• If Shanahan and the offspring of Al Davis can sit down for a friendly talk, surely there’s hope in the Middle East.
• According to NFL head of officials Dean Blandino, referees missed a holding call against the Lions during Sunday’s NFC wild card playoff on the same play that a pass interference call against the Cowboys was reversed.
In other words, there was no conspiracy. Merely incompetence.
• Fresno State’s upset of San Diego State cannot be viewed as the turning point of the season, or the program.
Not if the Bulldogs don’t back it up Wednesday against Utah State (2-0 in the Mountain West Conference) and then road games at Nevada and San Jose State (a combined 0-3).
• Still, it was a victory that Rodney Terry’s program desperately needed. Terry showed how much by using his bench for a grand total of 12 minutes.
• The San Diego State game was televised by ESPNU, but the play-by-play guy and analyst called the action from 3,000 miles away.
ESPN isn’t doing this for all 2,700 of its college basketball telecasts. Only 45 of them.
Doesn’t that make MW fans feel special?
introducing Jim Bartko to his biggest headache elicited a ton of emails, many of them expressing displeasure over the Save Mart Center.
The 11-year-old (!) arena will be the subject of a future column. Couldn’t saddle the new AD with everything all at once.
• The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl were touted as the most-viewed programs in cable TV history. Don’t go overboard with that.
Those games used to draw audiences that dwarfed 28 million. Back when you didn’t need a subscription to watch.
• Bad news for the rest of the MW: Boise State could return 89 players next season, including 17 starters.
Good news: One of them won’t be Jay Ajayi.
• For no particular reason: Ryan Wetnight
• American skier Mikaela Shiffrin won a World Cup slalom race by an aggregate 1.68 seconds.
Which is the alpine equivalent of a country mile.
• Turns out the town of Oregon, Ohio, will not change its name for next week’s national championship game between Oregon and Ohio State.
That would require too much Urban planning.