He's in there swinging again with Jim Mora

But this time, instead of a football news conference, it's at Mora's charity golf tournament, where a different side of the UCLA coach comes out.

  • Pin It

UCLA football Coach Jim Mora invited me to play in his golf tournament.

I suspect your reaction is about the same as the look on Dan Guerrero's face when I showed up Monday.

Funny thing too, I got a lot of strange, menacing stares as I walked through a Riviera Country Club ballroom packed with UCLA honks gathered for charity.

I just pulled my USC cap down a little tighter on my head and forged forward.

For the YouTube crowd, Mora and I last clashed after UCLA's first loss to Stanford. I raised the hope that Mora had thrown the game so folks might think there was still a chance of beating Stanford a week later.

Mora said he would never do such a thing.

But he certainly wasn't opposed to making sure my team in his tournament had no chance of winning.

He stuck me with four rummies, one guy who has to be getting ready to celebrate his 100th birthday and a caddie in Exael Catrejon who couldn't find my opening drive. And it went only 20 yards.

We were even assigned a volunteer scorekeeper, Vance Mills, who wouldn't cheat. Not your typical charity golf tournament, that's for sure.

But then I know what Mora is capable of doing. So I'm not surprised UCLA offensive whiz Noel Mazzone's group won the tournament — for the second consecutive year.

Whatever it takes, as I told him, including the promotion of Mazzone's son, Taylor, to keep the quarterback guru from leaving UCLA.

Mora laughed, and we have done that plenty together over the last 27 years.

"I think I won the Stanford press conference," Mora said, and now it was my turn to laugh. He never wins when we disagree.

"That's because you always get the last word in the paper," Mora said, and I never said he wasn't bright.

While most everyone had Mora and me pegged as enemies last season, it was just business as usual during a lifetime stretch of teasing and barking at each other.

I mentioned Mora's name to UCLA administrators every time they went looking for a new football coach, believing Mora was better suited to college athletics than the NFL.

Maybe it took the realization Guerrero would be the next one fired if he didn't get it right to finally hire Mora.

Guerrero will tell you he thought of it all by himself, but I just have to mention the hiring of Steve Alford to demonstrate what happens when Guerrero thinks for himself.

Anyone who attended Mora's fixed tournament for his "Count on Me Family Foundation," knows now he's nothing like the headstrong, one-note macho football drone during the season.

OK, so he's always headstrong.

  • Pin It