Archive for September, 2009


Stafon Johnson Update: 10pm

September 28, 2009 is reporting that as of 9pm tonight USC RB Stafon Johnson is still in surgery for the neck/throat injury he sustained this morning during his weight training. Johnson was working at the bench press when the injury occurred.

ETA: @BrandonJHancock (10pm) Latest word… Stafon in Surgery to reconstruct vocal cords.

ETA 2: From the LA Times

USC running back Stafon Johnson is still in surgery at California Hospital Medical Center near downtown. His condition was “critical but stable” as of about 7:20 tonight, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Friends and family of Johnson have gathered at the hospital, waiting for him to return from surgery which began about five hours ago.

Johnson was injured this morning while lifting weights at the school.

The senior from Dorsey High was just starting a set of bench press lifts when he apparently lost control of the bar and it landed on his neck. He was reportedly spitting up blood and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where surgery began sometime around 2 p.m., according to family friend John Eatman, a former high school teammate.

Eatman was among about a dozen friends and family members gathered in hospital waiting room this evening. “Right now we don’t know anything,” Eatman said. “We’re just hoping he’s all right.”

Johnson’s mother, Kim Mallory, was at the hospital but declined comment through a family spokesperson.

ETA 3:  10:30pm RT @BrandonJHancock Stafon out of surgery now. My thoughts and prayers with #13 and Family.

ETA 4: 11:07pm According to ABC7: Stafon Johnson expected to make full recovery and though he will be out all of THIS season, his prognosis says Stafon should be back in the Cardinal & Gold #13 next season.

Please keep Stafon and his family in your prayers.



USC RB Stafon Johnson injured in weight lifting accident

September 28, 2009

469562Football Fiends –

I hate reporting this kind of stuff but a USC player needs your prayers. Standout RB Stafon Johnson suffered a serious injury today in the weight room. He needs your prayers. This isn’t about football. This is about the Trojan Family. This is about life. This is about a young man making a full recovery.

From ESPN:

Tailback Stafon Johnson was rushed to the hospital after dropping a weight on his throat in the weight room.The injury caused Johnson to start coughing up blood…He was subsequently rushed to the hospital.

That is all there is right now. When I hear more I will update this story.

Please send your thoughts and prayers his way!

UPDATE: This is from USCRipsIt.

Tailback Stafon Johnson suffered a throat injury while weightlifting Monday morning and is undergoing surgery this afternoon.

Johnson, a senior from Compton, was bench-pressing with a spotter in Heritage Hall’s weight room when the bar slipped out of his right hand and fell at an angle onto his throat. USC’s athletic trainers and emergency personnel rushed to the scene, and Johnson was taken to a local hospital, where he’s currently undergoing surgery on his throat.

“It was an unfortunate accident and Stafon is getting great care right now,” Coach Pete Carroll said. “We don’t have a lot of information at this point and we’ll keep everyone updated, but our thoughts and prayers are with Stafon.”

Head strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle, who was within 10 feet of the incident, said he was shocked something like this could happen.

“I’ve seen players have the bar slip and fall onto their chest, but never in my 25 years of coaching have I heard of someone dropping a bar on their throat,” Carlisle said. “We’re fortunate he was being spotted.”

The bench press is commonly regarded as one of the safest exercises in the weight room, especially with a spotter, Carlisle said. An assistant strength and conditioning coach was spotting Johnson this morning.

Johnson’s recovery time from surgery is unknown at this time.

UPDATE 2check out this post from an ENT Surgeon  (Ear Nose and Throat) from

I’m board certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and also in Facial Plastic Surgery. I’ve seen dozens of these type of injuries over the years. First of all, we should be grateful he is alive and that apparently there are no neurologic problems (stroke, spinal cord injury). He faces potentially a very long road ahead. Bleeding indicates a break in the laryngeal or tracheal mucosa, and generally this is due to fracture of the cartilages. In young people, the cartilage isn’t calcified and it gives quite alot. But it can break. Emergent surgery of this nature is usually due to one of two things- impending airway compromise (due to an expanding hematoma- collection of blood, collapse of airway, or even laryngeal nerve injury, or laryngeal-tracheal separation). In that case they will do a tracheostomy, probably with the patient 100% awake (these are not fun for the surgeon or the patient- I did three last month).

The other reason for surgery is to perform laryngofissure. The neck is opened up, and the broken laryngeal cartilage (if fractured) is repaired with sutures and titanium microplates. Rarely do you know the injury ahead of time, as these patients are in extremis, and a CT scan is risky (loosing an airway and trach’ing a patient in the CT scanner is extremely unpleasant).

Thanks to USCRipsIt, WeAreSC and The Conquest Chronicles


NFL Picks – Week 3: Not sure about that Indy-AZ game

September 24, 2009

Week 3 Final 10-6

Week 2 Final: 9-7

Week 1 Final: 12-4

Hey Football Fiends!

I am so not sure what to do about the Indianapolis-Arizona game. Not sure at all. As of the moment of writing this post, I’m going with AZ. However, I MAY change my mind before game time. It’s only fair to let you know. My Pick Em league lets me change my pick up to 5 minutes before the start of the game. If I do change my mind I will note it with an asterick.

TN over Jets – am not changing again. Decided no team of Jeff Fischer’s is going to lose 3 in a row.

Texas over Jax

Eagles over KC

Baltimore over Cleveland

NY Giants over Bucs

Redskins over Lions

Green Bay over Rams

Vikings over San Fransisco

New England over Atlanta

Chicago over Seattle

New Orleans over Buffalo

San Diego over Miami

Pittsburgh over Cincinatti

Oakland over Denver

Arizona over Indianapolis

Dallas over Carolina

-Your Gridiron Goddess



College Football Picks – Week 5: USC will win but take Wazzou and the points

September 24, 2009

Week 4 Final:11-5

Week 3 Final: 14-2

Week 2 Final: 11 – 4

Week 1 Final: 10 – 4

Hey Football Fiends-

It’s that time of the week again and this Trojan alum finds herself in a familiar place. Unsure of which USC football team is going to show up to play Saturday night in the Coliseum. USC is a 46.5 favorite over Washington State and as past years have shown – this isn’t a great place to be in. That said, Matt Barkely is starting and USC will win the game. I just don’t think our offense has gelled enough to beat that point spread.

USC over Washington State

Mizzou over Nevada

Ohio State over Illinois

Wisconsin over Michigan State

LSU over Mississippi State

Alabama over Arkansas

Florida over Kentucky

UGA over ASU  (I think the Sundevils have a real shot here and I hope they do win! I just, hmmm, am not sure.)

Cal over Oregon

Florida State over South Florida

GA Tech over UNC

U of Miami over VA Tech

Notre Dame over Purdue

Penn State over Iowa

Oregon State over Arizona

Utah over Louisville

-Your Gridiron Goddess



Football Picks coming—

September 24, 2009

Hey Football Fiends!

NFL and CFB picks will go up late Thursday night!

-Your Gridiron Goddess


Initial Thoughts on the USC Loss: Superstitions at work

September 19, 2009

Football Fiends-

I just don’t have it in me right now to do anything but spew unintelligible expletives towards Aaron Corp and Pete Carroll and question play calling and keep reasserting that this team needs Taylor Mays and Matt Barkley healthy and Joe McDroppersonKnight needs to stop coughing up the ball and really? Right now? We’re looking at two or three losses by the end of the season and our seven year reign at the top of the Pac-10 will come to an end. (Wow how’s that for a run-on sentence?)

See? No perspective, just emotion. I do have to say though, for the record, a loss is a lot easier to take when you’re dating a fellow Trojan. At least I know my guy is not going to be gloating.

So for now, let’s talk superstitions.

As you know I entered the Hershey’s Biggest Fan Contest and I am one of this week’s top 5 finalists. My video is called USC’s Lucky Charm. I look like total crap in it, but WHATEVER. I wanted to get it uploaded by the deadline, not spend time doing my hair. Please go vote for me as I could realllllly use the $1,000 prize.  As some of you know, I’ve been unemployed for 2 years. SO I REALLY NEED THE MONEY. Voting closes at 11:59pm Eastern time on Monday, September 21st.

In my video I talk about MY superstition. If I don’t watch USC in real time (no Tivo, no watching 5 or 10 or 30 minutes behind, no missing it) we lose.  I watched this one. In real time.

However, my superstitions must directly align with the successful execution of my friend Oakley’s USC football superstitions as well or all is null and void and USC loses. You can laugh as hard as you want, it IS funny. But its also a pattern that she and I have seen play out over YEARS of friendship. (What is it now Oakz? A DECADE?!)

So obviously I have to be watching the game.

But also I cannot watch it WITH OAKLEY. Not in the same room, not on the same couch not even in the same bar. Something about the combination of our combined crazy USC Loyalty sets things all wrong. Also, Oakz has found our team has more success if she is, well, let’s just say sans an undergarment.


(from Oakley’s blog)

AHHA Texas

And from Twitter earlier:

brandon UW


So yeah. Not only did USC’s offense look anemic and impotent and pathetic;  not only did the defense sorely miss Taylor Mays; but Oakley’s superstitions and my superstitions did not line up.

Oh and I just got off the phone with my boyfriend, who is in Chicago this weekend and missed the game. He takes responsibility for his part in our loss by not viewing the game as well.

So there you go football fiends. This is how we console ourselves. We look for any silly reason we can to explain why our supposedly elite team keeps losing these games in which they are highly favored.

Right now, well I think a good nap is in order. Maybe I can forget for an hour what just transpired in Seattle.

Also? Jake Locker is a hell of an impressive QB. One wonders what the Huskies’ 2008 season would have been if he had not gotten injured.

One more thing – Pete Carroll just lost to two of his former Assistant Coaches.  Steve Sarkisian is UW’s new head coach.  Nick Holt is UW’s Defensive Coordinator. It makes one think, doesn’t it?

Oh and BTW, my prediction for the rest of our season? USC will lose two of the following three games: Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame.

ETA: Oakley admits it (via Twitter)



Is it too late to call this year a rebuilding year?

-Your Gridiron Goddess



Please Vote For Me!

September 18, 2009

Hey Football Fiends I need your help!

I entered the Hershey’s Biggest Fan Contest and I am one of this week’s top 5 finalists. My video is called USC’s Lucky Charm. I look like total crap in it, but WHATEVER. I wanted to get it uploaded by the deadline, not spend time doing my hair. Please go vote for me as I could realllllly use the $1,000 prize.  As some of you know, I’ve been unemployed for 2 years. SO I REALLY NEED THE MONEY.

Here’s a direct link to me looking TERRIBLE in my self-shot video: USC’s Lucky Charm

And now, back to my DIET. LOL

Voting closes at 11:59pm Eastern time on Monday, September 21st.

-Your Gridiron Goddess



College Football Picks: Week 3

September 18, 2009

Week 3 Final: 14-2

Week 2 Final: 11 – 4

Week 1 Final: 10 – 4

Hey Football Fiends –

Here are my CFB picks for week 3.  I don’t expect USC to even miss a beat with Aaron Corp in at QB in place of the aaron-corp-pictures-2injured Matt Barkley. Corp is a mobile QB and it will be great to see how our offense operates with him under center.

I’d love to see Florida and Texas lose of course. Texas, especially. (old grudges die hard and all). I just don’t think it’s going to happen. The game I am least confident about is Oregon-Utah. Oregon barely squeaked out a win last week vs Purdue and, of course, lost to Boise State in the season opener. Utah, on the other hand needed until the 4th quarter to pull ahead of San Jose State and win.  I’m going with Oregon because all things considered, they’ve played better teams so far this season and will be more prepared for what Utah will bring than Utah’s competition thus far has prepared them for the Ducks at Autzen Stadium.

Boise State over Fresno State

Mississippi State over Vandy

Oregon over Utah

USC over Washington $^%^*$()*$^#%@%%@ Corp was AWFUL. The D needs Taylor Mays. More thoughts later, MAYBE. I need to go punch something first.

UCLA over Kansas State

VA Tech over Nebraska

Notre Dame over Michigan State

Florida over Tennessee

Cal over Minnesota

UCF over Buffalo

Oklahoma over Tulsa

Kentucky over Lousiville

BYU over FSU

Georgia over Arkansas

Texas over Texas Tech

Stanford over SJSU

-Your Gridiron Goddess



NFL Picks Week 2

September 18, 2009

Week 2 Final: 9-7

Week 1 Final: 12-4

Hey Football Fiends-

Here are my picks for NFL Week 2.  With McNabb and Urlacher and Polamalu out, to name a few–picking was tricky. Especially in the NO-Philly game. And as much as it pains me to pick against my Bears – there is no way Cutler & company can keep up with even a Polamalu-less Steelers D.

Oakland over KC

Tennessee over Houston

New England over Jets

Green Bay over Cincinnati

Minnesota over Detroit

New Orleans over Philly

Atlanta over Carolina

Redskins over Rams

Jax over Arizona

Seattle over SF

Buffalo over Tampa Bay

Denver over Cleveland

San Diego over Baltimore

Pittsburgh over Chicago

Giants over Dallas

Colts over Miami

-Your Gridiron Goddess



NFL Preview: 2009 San Diego Chargers

September 14, 2009


by Sidney McCoy

I think I’m missing something – it may be presumptuous to declare a team the Super Bowl champions before the first game of the season, but isn’t it an annual tradition now for all the commentators and analyst to rave about the San Diego Chargers’ embarrassment of overflowing talent? Could this really be the year the Chargers live up to their promise and dominate?

Let’s see, Philip Rivers is last season’s highest ranked passer and signs a huge contract ($92m over 6 years with $38m in guarantees); LaDanian Tomlinson is healthy and plays pre-season to establish rhythm, Shawne Merriman returns healthy (and DA has dropped the charges), talented running backs & receivers galore,  the defense & special teams are notable, there is depth at key positions (Darren Sproles, Billy Volek, etc.). . . . . Shouldn’t this season be something of a non-stop highlight reel?

Okay, maybe it’s all that stiff competition in the AFC West – the Oakland Raiders pin their hopes on quarterback JaMarcus Russel (no Jeff Garcia? But Bruce Gradkowski even changed his number twice for Jeff) and running back
Darren McFadden (and maybe Michael Bush / Justin Fargas). However, they’ll be overcoming history (Chargers have won the last 11 meetings) and glaring team weaknesses.

The Denver Broncos fire Mike Shanahan on New Year’s Eve and trade (?superstar?) Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton (huh?). Josh McDaniels (former Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach for New England for past eight seasons) suspends Brandon Marshall (Shanahan has said he wanted to trade/fire him).

Is the emerging star of the Kansas City Chiefs really Dustin Colquitt (the punter)? Rookie Coach Todd Haley (former AZ Cardinal Offensive Coordinator) fired the Chiefs’ Offensive Coordinator two weeks ago and assumed his own play calling–just as franchise-hopeful Matt Cassel sprains his left knee preseason against the Seahawks. With cornerback Brandon Flowers inactive, veteran Dolphin linebacker Zach Thomas cut, Giants veteran receiver Amani Toomer released, veteran safety Bernard Pollard released, and veteran defensive end Alfonso Boone released … it’s pretty safe to proclaim this the “Rebuilding Season” for the Chiefs.

Therefore, other than the obvious necessity of actually playing this season’s games, I’m officially starting to save my pennies for play off tickets … who’s with me?