USC head coach Lane Kiffin talked today about the unusual circumstances surrounding his team’s trip to New York.
Former USC and All-Pro San Diego Chargers linebacker committed suicide in his Oceanside home Wednesday morning, as first reported by TMZ.
The North County Times is reporting that Seau was found dead by his housekeeper, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. A dispatcher told the San Diego Union-Tribune that a 911 call was placed from the house at 10 a.m. His death was confirmed by the San Diego Chargers. No other deaths or injuries have been reported.
Tiana Baul “Junior” Seau was 43 years old. Seau was a unanimous first-team All-America for the USC football team in 1989 before playing 20 seasons in the NFL.
In October 2010, Seau drove his SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad, just hours after being charged with domestic violence against his then-girlfriend. Seau told TMZ at the time that he had fallen asleep while driving, and was not trying to kill himself.
Reports of Seau’s death have raised questions about the connection between NFL head injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease that can degenerate brain tissue and cause symptoms like depression and aggression. A 2010 New York Times article found that the autopsies of 12 former NFL players showed signs of CTE.
“This is a sport in which you inflict pain on your opponents, but it is not in the game to hurt them and have a bounty over a player,” Seau recently told the North County Times. “Then you have pushed it too far because you should never place a bounty on another human being.”
In 1998, psychologist Alycia Chambers warned Penn State about Jerry Sandusky’s inappropriate behavior toward an 11-year-old boy. Sandusky had showered naked with him and bear-hugged him. Dr. Chambers explained to NBC, “This was behavior that is consistent with a male predator, a pedophile.”
“The little boy, now known as Victim No. 6, was Chambers’ client. She interviewed him the day after the alleged incident and then warned Penn State police that Sandusky’s behavior fit a likely pedophile’s pattern.
“‘I wish you could see the precious little face and the tiny little boy who appeared before me,’ Chambers said. She is speaking for the first time with the family’s permission.
“‘After they finished lifting weights and they were sitting, I was told that Mr. Sandusky kissed him on the head and said “I love you,”’ Chambers recalled.”
Chambers warned the university police that Sandusky’s actions fit a “likely pedophile’s pattern” and believed her report “was strong enough to suggest that this was somebody who should be watched.” After receiving Dr. Chambers’ report, the police hid and listened as the mother of Victim No. 6 “confronted Sandusky, asking him if he’d touched her son’s private parts. According to court documents, Sandusky said he didn’t think so, but wasn’t sure. She asked him if he’d done the same thing with other boys and Sandusky said, ‘Yes’ and that he wished he could get forgiveness,” according to NBC.
Dr. Chambers’ report was offered to the police four years before Mike McQueary reported seeing Sandusky in a shower with a young boy.
Upon hearing of the many accusations of child abuse implicating Sandusky, Chambers stated:
“I was horrified to know that there were so many other innocent boys who had their hearts and minds confused, their bodies violated…It’s unspeakable.”
Learning about the New Orleans Saints and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ bounty program over the past weekend was stunning to say the least. In this day and age, with all of the research done about concussions and making football a “safer” game, paying players to knockout their opponents is inexcusable.
And with former Saint Steve Gleason, who retired two years ago, suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), how could you possibly enact a program to allow hits that cause players like Gleason to have terrible post-football diseases. Saints players were offered several grand to knock out players, including $10,000 to anyone who could knock out Brett Favre before the 2010 NFC Championship game. What Williams did is despicable to say the least, but the fact that Saints head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis knew about this program should result in both of their dismissals.
Much like college football coaches who allow NCAA violations to go on unabated, Payton’s hiding the bounty program from commissioner Roger Goodell and not doing anything to stop it is shameful. According to the NFL press release, “[Payton] was aware of the allegations, did not make any detailed inquiry or otherwise seek to learn the facts, and failed to stop the bounty program. He never instructed his assistant coaches or players that a bounty program was improper and could not continue.” Payton knew, and yet he did not try and stop it.
Commissioner Goodell has made player safety his top priority, fining and even suspending players for big hits. With the way that Goodell has treated the players regarding these huge hits, it’s only fair that he treats coaches that encourage hard hits even tougher. I mean, these coaches are paying players to go against the commissioner’s goal of making the NFL a much safer league. In order to send a message to future bounty program coaches, Goodell should force the Saints to fire Payton.
What GM Mickey Loomis did was even worse. He not only knew about the bounties, he was told by Saints owner Tom Benson to ban Williams’ program. He ignored his own owner, and the Saints continued with the system. Just to reiterate, Loomis stood against his owner, the man who hired him and pays him, to allow this illegal program to partake. That should be reason enough for Loomis’ dismissal.
Commissioner Goodell is expected to levy the Saints with harsh punishments rather soon, and he is expected to hit them extremely hard with penalties like fines and lost draft picks (think similar to the Patriots’ punishment for spygate). However, I think the bounty program is more serious than Spygate and deserves a harsher punishment because this directly involves player safety and is the complete opposite of what Goodell is trying to achieve.
And if Payton and Loomis remain on the Saints staff, there will always be a dark cloud hanging over their heads because of this scandal, even though those two men led the Saints to their first ever Super Bowl just two short years ago. However, just like those college coaches, one scandal can blow up your career, and sometimes a team can just use a brand new start.
Meet the arrogant founder of Lost Angeles.
It was in January 2009 when Zack Jerome started Lost Angeles, but it took until that September before the blog went viral. One day, Jerome was presented with pictures of USC gear in UCLA colors on Nike’s website and made a post about it.
That’s when the blog caught fire.
“I was walking around my office [at Chiat Day, a large advertising agency] of about 800 people working in it,” Jerome said, “and people who didn’t even know who I was had my blog up on their screen.”
The comment thread of this particular post started what Jerome called a “culture war between USC and UCLA” and was awarded 2009’s “Best Comment Thread of the Year” award by LAWeekly.com. Jerome then figured he could do well in a job involving social media.
“All social media is trying to get people to have conversations and I got this idea that I was better at that than I was at producing,” Jerome said.
He took a job at Saatchi and Saatchi for a senior social media position without official social media experience in an office setting. Then, Chiat Day hired him back before he landed at THQ.
That USC/UCLA comment thread was the beginning of “Arrogant Nation,” which officially started following the NCAA sanctions and Lane Kiffin’s arrival as head coach.
“When [USC] got sanctioned, I started seeing this whole generation of kids coming into ‘SC that were getting down about the idea of USC football,” Jerome said. “Which to me was insane, because our team didn’t get bad, games weren’t just, hypothetically, able to lead to a bowl.”
He then made a post called “The Most Arrogant Shit Ever,” where he laid out his mission statement: to go undefeated and make a statement to the NCAA that the sanctions were ineffective. But he needed some help to make the arrogant tag stick.
“I had all these ideas in my head that like, ‘How am I going to spin it if this team doesn’t care, and we just get blown out in a game,’ and a couple times, it happened,” Jerome said. “But most of the time, how lucky was I that Lane Kiffin just goes for two his first season after every fucking touchdown?!
“Probably the luckiest thing ever when you just said that your whole blog would be about trying to be more arrogant than the other team,” he added.
When USC was levied with sanctions, many media outlets criticized the program, and Jerome was one of the few standing up for the current team that had committed no act to breach any NCAA violation. As attendance in the Coliseum declined, Jerome inspired students to still root for their school and their football team.
It sounds arrogant of him to say that he’s filling a necessary void to have someone speak on behalf of the program outside of bureaucratic limitations. But to his fans, it won’t seem that way.
And if it’s true, can it be arrogant?
Gisele Bündchen’s Super Bowl Outburst: The Aftermath
It was a phrase that launched 1,000 responses. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen caused a scandal for her post game outburst in which she blamed husband Tom Brady’s teammates for losing the Super Bowl.
After a fan taunted Bündchen by yelling, “Eli owns you husband!”, Bündchen was caught on video saying to a friend, “My husband cannot f—-ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”
Her comments ignited a national backlash. Critics called Bündchen out for throwing Brady’s teammates under the bus. During Tuesday’s MetLife Stadium rally celebrating the Giants’ Super Bowl win, Giant’s running back Brandon Jacobs told reporters, “She just needs to continue to be cute and shut up.” (He has since apologized for those comments, but still stands by his comments about her appearance.)
But even with the backlash, many people, including many Victoria Secret models, have come to her defense.
Adriana Lima put it bluntly and told reporters, “Leave her alone!”
The national reaction to Bündchen comments even inspired a satirical article criticizing the ridiculousness of the situation by ESPN reporter, Sarah Spain.
Neither Brady nor the New England Patriot’s representatives are commenting on her remarks. Should Bündchen apologize or not? That is a topic that is still up for debate