Thursday, July 22, 2010

Haden to the rescue, again
The hiring of Pat Haden to straighten up USC's athletic program in the aftermath of the severe penalties that were assessed the football team under Mike Garrett's watch reminds one of another rescue effort that the former USC and L.A. Rams quarterback performed in 1980.
It was back then at a black-tie gathering honoring L.A. Times sports columnist Jim Murray, a glitzy event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel sponsored by the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. The co-hosts of the dinner and show were Dinah Shore and Merv Griffin, two dear friends of Murray's. At the last minute, though, Griffin had to cancel, so the organizers went to Jim and asked if he could recommend a fill-in.
Two names popped into Murray's head--Pat Haden and Mark Harmon. Jim called Haden first and Pat was on stage that night with Dinah.


add Haden: Whenever Murray visited the Rams' training camp in Fullerton or Anaheim, he would always stop to see Haden. The two were always asking each other for favors, mostly for the other's time for an appearance or a donation for a charitable event, such as a golf tournament or guest-speaking at dinners.


add USC: Just wondering what the outcome would have been if Pete Carroll had stayed on with the Trojans and not taken the head coaching position with the Seattle Seahawks. Would Garrett have been fired if Carroll was still the USC coach? Would incoming USC president Max Nikias have fired both of them? It's obvious after reading Scott Wolf's column in the L.A. Daily News today that the relationship between Carroll and Garrett had deteriorated to the point where Carroll's taking the Seattle job was an easy decision.

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