An expensive L.A. facelift 

The red seats at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum matched the red on USC’s uniforms on Saturday, which hasn’t been the case over the last several years. For years, the seats resembled a faded sunset orange-ish color, the result of baking in the California sun.

The new-look Coliseum looks like a million bucks, and then some.

Between January 2018 and August 2019, the Coliseum underwent a $315 million renovation. Crews shaved the capacity from 93,000 to 77,500 and added 650 television screens and new lighting, suites and loge boxes. The concourse is all-new, as is the press box.

The renovation was the first at the Coliseum since 1994. The stadium was initially built in 1923. Since then, it has hosted two Olympics, two Super Bowls and a World Series, and has served as the home of, at varying times, baseball’s Dodgers, college football’s UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans and the NFL’s Chargers (the first time), Raiders and Rams. USC and the Rams share the stadium now, which will be the case until the NFL team moves into its new digs in Inglewood.

Up next for the Coliseum? It will host events as part of the 2028 Summer Olympics.


The big number

Arizona offensive lineman Cody Creason (76) works on his technique about an hour before kickoff against Washington at Arizona Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

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Consecutive games started by Arizona offensive lineman Cody Creason before Saturday, when he sat out with a leg injury. Creason has appeared in 43 games and started in 25 of them.


Woman of Troy

Drum major India Anderson performs during college football game between Stanford and the USC on  Sept. 7.

Before every home game, USC’s drum major walks to midfield, kneels and — with a dramatic plunge — stabs the field with a trojan’s sword.

This year, for the first time in program history, the drum major is a woman. India Anderson, a junior at USC, was voted in by a panel of 300 people.


‘GMA’ host picks the Cats

“Good Morning America” host Lara Spencer was a special guest on ESPN’s “College GameDay” Saturday morning and, as is tradition, picked games alongside ESPN’s experts. Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit all predicted that USC would win; Spencer was the only one to pick the Wildcats.


Ex-Trojan Olson the most interesting man in the world

Kris O’Dowd, left, and Jake Olson, share a laugh as Olson speaks to students from the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind at Salpointe Catholic High School on Friday.

Remember the Dos Equis beer commercials featuring “the most interesting man in the world?” You know, the man who — according to legend — could slam a revolving door, has been photographed by Sasquatch, has inside jokes with complete strangers and can speak French in Russian?

Jake Olson’s got him beat.

The former USC long-snapper, who is blind, recently posted a video comparing himself to the Dos Equis dude.

“His blind spot is the entire car. Bats are as blind as him. Every time he looks, he turns a blind eye,” Olson narrates in the video. “Corey Hart’s hit single ‘Sunglasses at Night’ was inspired by a night out with him. He is the most interesting blind man in the world.”

It’s a light moment for Olson, who travels the country as a motivational speaker. And boy, does he have a story: Olson connected with USC’s football program as a boy, befriending Trojans center Kris O’Dowd, a Tucson native and former Salpointe Catholic star.

Olson joined USC’s football team, wearing No. 61 — O’Dowd’s old number. He then became the first blind player to appear in a Division I game. Olson battled retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina, since childhood. The disease took Olson’s left eye when he was 10 months; he would later lose his right eye at age 12.


Another big number

Arizona head coach Mike stoops, center, is congratulated by fans after his team defeated Southern California in their NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Arizona won 21-17.

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Years since Arizona last beat USC at the Coliseum. The Wildcats won 21-17 on Dec. 5, 2009. It marked Pete Carroll’s final regular-season game as USC’s coach; he took a job with the Seattle Seahawks following the Trojans’ Emerald Bowl win over Boston College.

— Justin Spears 

Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.