L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers has made a history of becoming the story rather than reporting the story. Moments after UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora congratulated Stanford on the 35-17 victory, Simers launched his crusade for a column:
"So I figure after the first quarter, you're thinking that's time to pack it in and play it like a preseason game when you realized you couldn't beat them," Simers said.
Mora, possibly a bit shocked, or maybe used to it by now, responded by saying he missed the first part of the question.
"First quarter, 7-7, and you go in your NFL mode and play a preseason game, figuring you'll get them next week."
"No? Why not though?"
"Because we're competitors, T.J. Those guys in there don't spend all the time they spend preparing for a game in the offseason, during the week, the sacrifices they make to go out and not try their best to win ... So that's what they did, and they came up a little short. To insinuate that our players didn't give their best effort -- "
"I'm insinuating that you could arrange the way the game was played. That's what I'm insinuating."
Mora, at that point, a bit incredulous, starts looking around the room, possibly searching for UCLA's PR representatives or pleading with the working media members in the room, can't you guys do anything to shut this guy up?
"Don't look around for help. I'm over here," Simers calls out at him.
It only gets better from there, leading Mora to demonstrate press conference etiquette: "Is this a press conference? We ask questions. If you want to come up here and take the mike and make all your statements ... I'd love to have you up here with me."
This is not Simers' first run-in with Mora, but for whatever reason UCLA's media relations department still allows him to get in the way of the real reporters just trying to get their jobs done.
UCLA and Stanford will meet again next week in the Pac-12 championship game.
You can watch it all for yourself: