Mid Valley News/Sports 101 Primer

"All want not something to do, but something to be..."--- The Mid Men

Since our hit totals have tripled from a year ago, it’s been suggested we bring people up to date on some of the stuff we do. Why certain things have nicknames, what certain phrases mean, plus the games and players we reference. Origins. The fear is, of course, sounding like you are full of yourself…but we also understand a lot of folks are new to us. So here are a 101 things about Mid Valley News/Sports that you should know since we are one month to the day away from the start of the 2010 season.

Some of these things we made up, some of them latched on to…101, in no particular order.

1.) “The Alhambra”: The Tales of the Alhambra was a Washington Irving book of short stories… Like; The Ohio State… “The Alhambra” is a different way of relating to the Moors.

2.) “His Arroyo Baldness: Referencing Arroyo football HC Jim Singiser. Based on long time southland columnist Doug Krikorian’s tagging of all time Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; ‘His Royal Baldness”.

3.) “The Blair Pair”: When a sportswriter is covering Blair in football, invariably he’ll mention the Blair Pair (James McCalister & Kermit Johnson)… Even though it is played out, Peterson often uses the reference.

4.) Smudge Pot: What San Dimas and Bonita play for each year. One of the best area rivarly games around.

5.) “Don Lou Farrar”: Charter Oak HC Lou Farrar has been called the Godfather of local coaches… There was Don Coreleone, Don Barzini, and so…Don Lou Farrar.

6.) “He’s a bad man, he’s a very bad man.”: Former Duarte HC Wardell Crutchfield Jr.’s classic quote on former Falcon tailback Chris Harris’ ability on the football field.

7.) “The Golic Curse”: In 2004, El Monte is 4-0 when KABC sends Bob Golic out to present Lion HC Joel Sanchez with the “Coach of the Week” award. The most promising El Monte start in a decade comes crashing down with six consecutive losses.

8.) “You haven’t been hit till you’ve been hit by The Ranch”: This was the closing tag of a popular poster on the old CalHiSports message boards. It lives to this day.

9.) Tongva Nation: This was ascribed to the Gabrielino football program which had a mercuial start and a fast fade. When a team is nicknamed, Eagles, a writer needs other tags to call on.

10.) “Hoover drives the boat chief!”: In the movie Jaws, Quint says to Chief Brody; ‘Hooper drives the boat chief”…So when Hoover comes into discussion we repeat this line with the small variation.

11.) La Canada Sideline: Brought this up with Spartan HC Dan Yoder, but for years there was a real Grumpy Gus manning the LC sideline during the games who wouldn’t let the writers inside the 30’s…I haven’t worked a Spartan sideline since 2000.

12.) Matt Koffer was at La Puente: People tend to forget, and we often bring up, that ‘The Prodigal’ spent a season (2003) at LP before coming home.

13.) La Serna, Lozano, Ouch!: Joe Torosian was covering a La Serna game late in 2008 when Lancer linebacker Louie Lozano came off the field with his index finger popped sideways. A quick pull, some athletic tape, and he was back on the field.

14.) Monrovia (M-Town) 0-9: Several times between now and December it will be referenced that the Wildcats are 0-9 in championship games.

15.) Bill Zernickow; “Okay”: San Dimas HC Bill Zernickow gained a brief reputation for not offering much more than “Okay” during an interview. Much more talkative now, a ring will do that for you.

16.) “The Suave One”: Former Temple City/Current San Gabriel assistant Matt Lopez has amassed unbelievable popularity within a five mile radius.

17.) Darkside of the Moon: A quote from San Marino HC Mike Mooney.

18.) “Swallowing the jalapeno”: You can’t always say; ‘they choked’… Tag first used in the build up to the 2003 semifinal game between Santa Fe and San Gabriel. Line went: “Santa Fe has a history of swallowing the jalapeno”

19.) “The Swamp”: The home field of the South El Monte Eagles.

20.) “The Southmen”: Because there are so many Eagles, we developed another tag. ‘The Southmen’ works.

21.) “Home of the Camellias”: The motto for the city of Temple City.

22.) “The Piper”: Rosemead athletic director Marc Harisay once described Matt Koffler as the ‘Pied Piper’ because he attracts young people. So he’s “The Piper”…

23.) “Bad News Barker”: When Mid Valley staffer Duane Barker was younger, playing volleyball at a collegiate level, he had serious hops. It’s a play off of Marvin ‘Bad News’ Barnes. Barker is a Schurr alum.

24.) “Kansas”: Another tag ascribed to Tim Peterson…you need to be on staff to get the whole story.

25.) Villathedevil: Term used to describe Andy Villanueva after he pulled a scum of the earth trick on Joe Torosian.

26.) Natalie “Crazy Train” Cruz: We’ve had three female sportswriters at The Mid. Former staffer Sonia Sandoval (now a teacher) did a little, SEM’s Claudia Preciado (now a college student) did a lot, but Natalie “Crazy Train” Cruz (Arroyo) was the first. She’s now married and living in the Inland Empire.

27.) Magellan: We usually don’t reference this writer by name, but it’s true we did have a staff writer sent out to cover Wilson and ended up out at L.A. Wilson. “It’s really dark out here guys, I don’t think there’s a game.”

28.) “The Wolfman”: Staffer Juan Carlos Salas. Bell-Jeff alum.

29.) “Omelette”: Staffer Josh Ouellette. Temple City alum.

30.) “Sunshine Saile”: Staffer Saile Ramirez. San Gabriel alum.

31.) “Big Tony”: Staffer Tony Solorzano (just give him space in the buffet line). Garfield alum.

32.) “Big George”: Staffer George Hernandez (creator of ‘Inside the Fight Game’). Mt. View alum.

33.) Citizen Keenan: Mid Valley Editor in Chief, Connie Keenan. A recent beauty queen, Rosemead alum, and the heart of The Mid. Didn’t think Joe T. would last two weeks.

34.) “Not Too Good Chief”: We still say this one often, but it was used regularly in the old  “Around the MVL & Other Places” column. The line is from Jaws, and basically shares that things aren’t so good for player, program, or school.

35.) “Thank You Sir May I Have Another”: A line from Animal House, often used in “Around the MVL & Other Places”, to describe an ongoing mismatch…e.g.: Mt. View has not beaten Arroyo since 1981, and Duarte has never beaten Temple City… Still used on the show…

36.) “Jack Barton Field”: The Mid’s unofficial name for El Monte’s home field…we were told in ‘official terms’ six years ago not to use it because the naming of the stadium was pending…Please….

37.) “All I want to do is have some fun”: We hear Sheryl Crow whenever we’re around South Hills HC Steve Bogan, because he always seems like he’s having fun.

38.) The Kitchen Table: Essentially the whole Mid Valley Sports deal began around Joe Torosian’s kitchen table with four writers, two lap tops, zero cell phones, dial-up internet, and a lot of call ins back in 2000.

39.) “Oquendo’d”: Former Arroyo linebacker Efrain Oquendo put some hits on local runners, including Deon Sumler (11/14/2003 @ Rosemead), that are still being felt by those who saw them to this day. So if a runner took a hard blast you would say; “He got Oquendo’d!”

40.) “Please to meet you hope you guess my name”: We felt this described former Arroyo HC D.J. MacKinnon best when you remember that he was around for a long long time, and area teams screamed in pain...

41.) Rosemead 30 SEM 21 -11/4/2005: Greatest MVL game ever played…at “The Swamp”.

42.) “The Mud Bowl” -10/21/2004: Arroyo beats Gabrielino 28-6 at Keppel, while knee deep in grime. The Knights finish the season 12-1, its essentially the Eagles last hurrah, and the contest produces the most popular pic in Mid Valley history…the Arroyo linemen.

43.) “Division VII Got Run Over By San Gabriel”: SG improbable finals run in 2003 is captured in song to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”:

“Division VII got run over by San Gabriel, playing this post-season under autumn leaves.

You may say no way, not the Matadors, but as for Ernie Cooper and La Serna they believe.”

44.) Jesus Christ: We often hear the name of the Lord & Savior called out from the sidelines at a game, but we can never find him or his number on any roster. Odd.

45.) “Bad Dudes”: A phrase to describe the guys who mix it up for little or no ink.

46.) Trenchman: A linemen who plays on both sides of the ball.

47.) “Now you’re messing with a…”: The first month of the 2004 season we were singing this Nazareth song around the office about El Monte. The Lions were 4-0 and looking like they were ready to shake off mediocrity…No longer were teams messing with a patsie…”now they were messing with a; son of a…” We usually left it off right there, but since then it has become our anthem for programs that turn or are about to turn the corner…

48.) “Brother Garrison”: If you ever interviewed former Monrovia HC Steve Garrison then you know what we are talking about. We had a cartoon drawn called: “Brother Garrison Preaching the Gospel of Monrovia Football.”

At then end of a spring practice in 2004 Garrison had his troops take a knee and began to exhort them on the price they had to pay…and after the price was paid then and only then would they get the rewards of it all. “That’s when you’ll win a trophy, that’s when you’ll get the ring, and that’s when…” He smiles at staffer Joe Torosian… “You’ll get the attention of the Star-News!”

After being reminded that Torosian worked for The Mid, Brother Garrison shook his head and smiled; “Oh yeah, that’s right.”

49.) “Bubbas”: If a player is above 250-pounds he qualifies as a ‘Bubba’…but mainly a reference for an offensive lineman.

50.) Ruedaflores: Gil Ruedaflores is retired, true, but his quotes live on: “You gotta make plays!”, “The Almont is a tough Mexican League”, “Come on Murrieta you gotta work off the wuevos rancheros”, and Peterson’s personal favorite; “I’ll give you a jingle…”

51.) Lamp Post Pizza: Every good staffer at The Mid knows, when short on material go to Lamppost…besides good food you’re bound to find a local player or coach.

52.) Desmond Reed: The greatest football player in Temple City history, the best player at the prep level seen by The Mid in the course of 13 seasons.

53.) The Bakalava Bowl: The year end match up between Glendale and Hoover.

54.) The Griffin Bowl: The name now given to the annual El Monte-South El Monte match.

55.) Gabby: Nickname used for Gabrielino. Again, you can only use Eagles so often and G-High never quite took off. Have heard the Tongva Nation doesn’t appreciate the term “Gabby” much, so we don’t use it as often as we used to.

56.) G-Stone: Nick name used for Gladstone. Also called Happy Rock.

57.) The Mead: The way the Panthers play defense…Rose is too delicate a sound. Mead is harsher…

58.) History of the Game: Often we will cover the entire history between two schools. Case in point Joe T.’s work on Arroyo-Temple City, and previously on Temple City-Monrovia.

59.) Fate of the World: Originally used as a label for the Arroyo Lady Knights and Rosemead Lady Panthers games…but crossed over for all important matches where playoffs, league titles, championship, and of course ‘the fate of the world” was on the line.

60.) The Mid Valley Classic: Tag given last year by Anthony White and Zeke Prado for the annual Arroyo-Temple City clash.

61.) The Crosstown Showdown: The annual battle between Rosemead and Arroyo.

62.) Forfeits: We don’t believe in forfeits at The Mid… If it turns out the tailback who gained five hundred yards for Rosemead is really Clinton Portis then we’ll recognize the forfeit. Mostly these games are taken from teams for minor, often clerical, oversights.

63.) Mid Valley Karma: We do not hold any trust, creedence, or faith in a spiritual karma…But a sports karma we do believe in…The Mid Valley Karma is the strongest of all and easily acquired by the giving of gear from local programs or food…Coupons are nice…

64.) The Brawl for the Mall: Peterson coined this for the Arcadia-Temple City game early in the last decade.

65.) “Junkyard James”: This was an early nickname for Mt. View HC James Wilson…It was part of his email, we believe the Junkyard has been dropped in recent years.

66.) “Swarm”: What the Arroyo defense calls itself.

67.) “Darkside”: When Wilson HC Brian Zavala’s teams break a defensive huddle they call out; “Darkside”… Pretty cool, especially at Northview circa 2008.

68.) Temple City 41 Monrovia 24 -11/03/2006: Played at Monrovia in front of plus-capacity crowd. An epic.

69.) Monrovia 45 Temple City 35 -11/15/2002: Played at Monrovia the Wildcats pry the Rio Hondo League title from the Rams cold dead hands. In a losing cause Desmond Reed causes fans on both sides to forget to breath for ten minutes.

70.) End of the Santa Fe Trail: “Coming to you from beautiful downtown El Monte, which happens to be the end of the Santa Fe Trail.”

71.) “What’s Up With?”: A short breakdown of numbers, stats, and history for a game, coach, or moment. We haven’t done one of these for a while.

72.) Little League: Proud to say some of the hardest work we did in the early years at The Mid was cover seven different Little Leagues. Impossible to keep up, we had to let it go a few years ago, but it gave us great inroads to our immediate community.

73.) Michael Howe: You can’t talk Arcadia football without talking about tailback Michael Howe’s mad 85-yard dash on the final play against Beverly Hills in the first round of the playoffs —11/22/2002— to give the Apaches a 26-23 victory.

74.) Randy Tresvant: A truly great player out of Bassett, who needs to be remembered.

75.) Corey Fluker: Only because it still comes up. Corey Fluker was a talented receiver/stud for Duarte in 2005. But in a playoff game at Temple City Fluker, with his team trailing, attempted to make a big play. Receiving a punt at about his own 40, he turned one way, then the other, then the other, before being brought down 39-yards later at his own one —11/18/2005. The Rams win the game 47-35.

76.) “Warm smell of colitas rising up in the air”: The fellas outside the fence at a Muir-Arcadia game —10/14/2005— were getting high and listening to the fiddlers as the breeze blew the warm smell of colitas across the field. Joe T. stopped off for a couple of cheeseburgers before getting to the office that night.

77.) Music from the Elder: In honor of former Muir quarterback Forrest Elder, who seemed to make music with his exciting play.

78.) The Age of Audarrius: From 2002 through 2005 Arcadia running back Audarrius Bailey was dominant.

79.) Pasadena 45 Burbank 41 -11/5/2009: Pasadena quarterback Aaron Simpson and wide receiver Andrew Wells hook up from 45-yards out in the final seconds to give the Bulldogs an improbably victory at Burbank’s Memorial Field.

80.) “We hate Tim Peterson”: The first words Schurr HC Elvin Dick said to staffer Jonathan Saller after the Spartans defeated Santa Fe in the CIF Finals —12/8/2006.

Peterson picked against Schurr in all three previous playoff games (South El Monte, Westminster, La Habra).

81.) Chicken & Waffles: What former Mid Valley staffer Ernesto Marinez Jr. said he was getting when he would show up late to the office on game night…smeared with lipstick, hair dishelved, smelling of perfume.

82.) “Think Again Longshanks”: An old tag from “Around the MVL & Other Places” essentially pegging something as not so much of a done deal as one might think.

83.) “Should have learned to play the guitar…”: What we all think as a staff when we see an extremely talented player do his thing.

84.) “No one notices, I think I’ll dye my hair blue..”: Identifying great players who fly under the radar.

85.) “Last Add:…”: Joe T. has used this a lot in Fanview over the years, but it is really homage to the late great Jim Healy.

86.) Aram of the Trib: Tribune sportswriter Aram Tolegian.

87.) Robledo: Tribune sportswriter Fred Robledo. (Whittier Daily sportswriter Andrew Campa, we call Campa…but Star-News scribe Miguel Melendez…we call Miguel.)

88.) “Sweet Home South El Monte”: Words about the SEM football team sung to “Sweet Home Alabama”…Never published…didn’t get a league title in 2008…

89.) “One night in Rosemead”: Words about the Panthers sung to “One Night in Bangkok”…Never published…didn’t beat Paraclete…

90.) “Blair’s on a Run”: Song about the 2007 Blair Vikings sung to “Band on the Run”…problem is the Vikes got derailed in by Valley Christian 34-24 —11/23/07 at VC. Second round loss was also Tip Sanders last game as HC.

91.) We were on audio: For two years we did “The Mid Valley Sports Show” on audio only at the Digital Business and Design College… We moved on, but they were great to us.

92.) “Saturday Morning Aftermath”: Yes, back in 2000 while working for the SGV Weekly we used to write a Saturday Morning Aftermath column…what a stupid name…that was Joe T.’s idea…and it also led to the ancient friction between us and Gabrielino.

93.) Being Big Timed: A local cable company came out to film the Monrovia-Temple City game at North Field. The Rams won 28-17 —10/17/2003— in the process of being interviewed by Joe T., TC HC Mike Mooney gets a tap on the shoulder…They want him on camera…and he immediately lights out on Torosian. Being big timed

94.) Dana Baskin: The late publisher of the SGV Weekly, was one smart dude. He opened the door, in concept, for what the sports staff has done at The Mid.

95.) Old School: With expansion we knew we didn’t want to abandon the original 12 schools we covered exclusively…So we created a special slot for Arroyo, El Monte, South El Monte, Rosemead, Gabrielino, Mt. View, Temple City, Monrovia, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Arcadia, and Duarte…The Old School Mid Valley.

96.) The Mooney Curse: No team coached or assisted by Mike Mooney since 1997 has advanced beyond the second round of the CIF playoffs.

97.) Headlines: A strict policy is enforced at The Mid about any headline including a phrase such as: “Eagles Grounded by Knights” or “Eagles and Falcons Lock Talons”…Gross.

98.) Paydirt: After an unfair grilling as a young sportswriter, Joe T. gives bonus points to any writer who includes the term “Paydirt” in a game story.

99.) CornerBlacks: In 2005 San Gabriel corner tandem Marques Dixon and Charles Hallinan dubbed themselves “The CornerBlacks”… Peterson picked up on it and mentioned it in a column…and pyschopaths then part of the SG administration went on a rampage. The kids like the name, the parents had no problem with it, and The Mid went with it…Still we were asked never to use it again…

Note: That same season Temple City running backs Tsun Tsai and Sammy Yu wanted us to call their backfield “The Orient Express”… In the interest of sparing academia another self-righteous coronary we didn’t go with the tag.

Final Note: Tsai, did go by the nickname “Sushi” while leading the Rams with back to back thousand yard seasons in 2004-2005.

100.) Zion Babb: Former Alhambra standout was the first player we ever saw hurdle a defender (Fernando Toy, Montebello). Plus it may be the greatest name in local football history.

101.) Best for The Mid: Our attempt to convince coaches in the Southeast and Mid Valley divisions to set up their non-league schedules through us…and to consider what is best for The Mid.

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