Jim Mora Jr. may have finally found his niche, as he has resurrected the UCLA football program and brought it back to prominence.
UCLA was blown out by Stanford Saturday in a game which prevented the Oregon Ducks from reaching the Pac 12 Championship game.
Stanford won 35-17 and one might suggest that UCLA took their foot off the gas after the first quarter.
Actually someone did suggest that according to Coaching Search.
Coachingsearch.com is reporting that prominent L.A. Times reporter T.J. Simers all but accused Jim Mora Jr. of throwing the football game.
Simers tried to insinuate that Mora Jr and the Bruins, gave up for their own benefit.
Mora responded calmly at first.
“No, because we’re competitors,” Mora said. “Those guys in there don’t spend all the time that they spend preparing for a game in the offseason, during the week, the sacrifices they make, to go out and not try to win every opportunity – that’s what they did. They tried their best win and we came up a little short.”
Mr. Simers ratcheted up the pressure, by asking Mora if he would prefer to face Stanford or Oregon in the Championship game.
“No. It didn’t matter,” Mora responded. “We wanted to win this game today. The objective was to win the game today, and we didn’t do it. We came up short. But to insinuate that our players didn’t give their best effort would be incorrect. … I’ve never in my life stepped on the field to compete and not give my best, nor will I ever.”
Simers then went on to accuse the Bruins of playing and treating the game like a NFL preseason game.
Mora again kept his cool.
“You’re making a statement,” Mora said. “I don’t know if there’s a question in there. … I’ll comment on a question.”
Mora took a few questions from some other reporters, and probably should have ended the presser.
He didn’t, and that allowed Simers one more shot at Mora Jr.
Simers then suggested to Mora Jr., that it is his job description to get UCLA to the Rose Bowl, and that Mora Jr. should admit that Stanford is the easier challenge.
Mora Jr. now irritated responded one more time.
“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.”
Well that was different. I seriously think Mr. Simers was in supreme troll mode at that point, and wanted to make himself the star of the show.
To insinuate that a team is scared of another team, and would rather play the team that went to the other teams home stadium and beat them is obnoxious.
In football terminology, why would UCLA be scared of Oregon and rather play Stanford, when Stanford showed the world they could handle Oregon and anyone else in the Pac 12.
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