As a Los Angeleno, I grew up reading T.J. Simers in the Los Angeles Times and hoped one day I could get under the skin of people through the power of the pen and speaking the truth.
All these years later, Simers is still finding ways to piss people off in this town, simply by saying what’s on his mind.
His latest victim was UCLA head coach Jim Mora Jr. following the Bruins rolling over to Stanford on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
A win over Stanford would have meant a Pac-12 title game rematch from last year involving UCLA and Oregon. The loss sets up another UCLA-Stanford battle on Friday in rainy Palo Alto — a much better scenario than traveling to Eugene and one of the rare times where it actually pays to tank.
“You’re making a statement,” Mora said. “I don’t know if there’s a question in there. … I’ll comment on a question.”
After a few questions from other reporters, Simers came back by saying it is Mora’s job to get to a Rose Bowl, and that Stanford was the easier road.
“Is that a question or a statement?” Mora said. “If you’re asking me a question, I’ll be happy to answer it. If you’re going to make statements, then make them. … I hadn’t thought about (the Pac-12 championship). What I thought about was Stanford; playing and beating Stanford. That’s all we thought about. That was it. That was the end of world for us. The universe dropped off after the Stanford game. That’s all we wanted to do. … “Once again, is there a question?
“This is a press conference where you ask questions. If you want to come up, take the mic and make all your statements. There’s a seat here and seat here. It’d be great. I’d love to have you up here. You don’t scare me.”
T.J., 1. Jim, 0.