‘Hot Seat Helton’ And Chip Kelly Leads Waining Fan Interest In Trojans & Bruins
College football in Los Angeles is like the tide that rolls into the Santa Monica Pier. Interest in its flows in and out, depending on the status of its teams.
And with USC and UCLA both out to sea, that interest is at a low ebb. In fact, it may have never been this low.
USC’s struggles are somewhat understandable, considering the school has not been able to hire a capable athletic director, let alone a football coach, since Pete Carroll. Right now they have “Hot Seat” Clay Helton, which hardly stirs memories of John McKay.
UCLA’s troubles are a mystery to Bruins fans, who expected a lot of positive things to happen when the school finally made a “home run hire” and got Chip Kelly.What Bruins fans did not realize is that Chip Kelly is an overrated bloke who successfully rode what Rich Brooks and Nick Bellotti built at Oregon before him and turned it two NFL coaching jobs and $23 million out of UCLA.
As a result, the LA Coliseum is barely half full for games and the Rose Bowl about a third filled when the Trojans and Bruins play. When you start losing your fan base and revenue declines – this goes far beyond ticket sales and into sponsorships, donations and merchandise sales – then the coach might as well keep walking through the tunnel.
After losing to BYU, Helton is as good as gone. His last thread of support, Athletic Director Lynn Swann, abruptly “resigned” and a new AD is surely going to hire his own coach. UCLA is kind of stuck with Kelly, and it was even suggested in the LA Times that Kelly abandon this sinking ship and resign.
Maybe that would – finally – give the UCLA fans something to cheer about this year. USC fans, know that all their ills can be cured with a new coach and a couple of Rose Bowl appearance.
Until then, there’s apathy towards college football in L.A.