Attention book publishers and book buyers

By T.J. Simers

I wrote a book, beginning with one of my lawyers who made poisoned hamburgers to silence a watch dog so her husband could take some guy out to the desert, cut his manhood off and pour bleach on him.

It was pretty funny when one of the Times’ lawyers tried to bully her.

One of my other lawyers was like the best attorney on the planet, and I know that because that’s what he said about himself in his bio. He had 11 kids, so there were some who believed whatever he said

One of my appeals judges was identified by Erika Jayne from Real Housewives as her husband, Tom Girardi’s mistress. Erika Jayne said Girardi gave my judge $300,000 in misused funds for a beach condo. And my appels judge voted to give me nothing.

The reason I mention all this, I was wondering if any of you could suggest a book publisher. Maybe you have a friend, a former college roommate or some kind of contact in that world. I tried one here in the L.A. area and he said he wasn’t interested in the legal stuff in the book. He wanted a book just on the sports folks I got to know on Page 2.

They are all in the book, of course, a book about Kobe, Phil Jackson, Pete Carroll, John Elway, Junior Seau and Plaschke. I even mentioned F.P. Santangelo, although he hardly figures as a sports figure.

I also wrote about my love affair with the Los Aneles Times, telling a judge, jury and lawyers, “I love the LA Times. Still do.” And while it isn’t much now, it’s still the Los Angeles Times.

But I sued the L.A. Times because the Times hired a managing editor and editor who tried to get rid of me. I won in court three times, and I wrote about that as well as testimony from Tom Lasorda, Joe Torre and Garret Anderson. I had Kobe’s name on a list to testify and our judge said he wasn’t interested in hearing from people who were going to just gush about me. Kobe would have laughed at that.

My judge wasn’t the best, and I write about that. He seemed to have no faith in juries, and how is that for a selling point to get people to serve?

A book agent said he detected no interest in the East Coast about a book featuring notables from the West Coast and a newspaper writer they never read. Ouch! I’d like to see them get close enough to Salma Hayek to be kissed.

My East Coast book agent disappeared faster than Gary Matthews Jr.

Some folks have suggested I go the vanity press route, and I got a feeling that’s a commentary on my ego and coming from my children.

I’m told if a book publisher takes on the book, I would get about 10-14% of what the book costs in royalties, while keeping in mind only 1% to 2% of all the manuscripts submitted to publishers result in a book.

If I self-publish, supposedly I could get 70% of what I sell, but then it would be up to me to find folks to buy the book. If only I had the names of alumni who have cheated when it comes to USC sports, I could print them in the book and it would become a best seller.

They say the average book these days sells only 350 copies; I don’t have that many family members. Probably never had that many readers. Maybe I should just blog the book.

I guess I could start a list of who wants to buy a book, assuring someone like Rob Pelinka anonymity, and convince a publisher there is an audience. But I don’t know how much more disappointment I could take. One more day of reading about the Angels might end me over the edge,

If I were Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of the Times, I would buy 350 copies and then burn them.

Maybe I should rewrite the book. and make it more flashy. I don’t know if I could get anyone to read about the lawyer the Times hired who wore a little bell around her ankle so whenever she had to go to the bathroom we would hear her tinkle.

But it’s a thought.

Who Goofed? The Chargers of course

By T.J. Simers

Thank God Alex Spanos is dead.

Or, last night’s game would have just killed him and we would have had to pause for a second to mourn him today.

The Spanos Goofs legacy is alive and well, everything the father and son touching turning to defeat, including their nonsensical move to Los Angeles to become second-class citizens.

How do you lose a playoff game when you have been gifted with a 27-0 lead and on the road and with only a little more than a half to play? Every team’s dream.

But the Goofs have a history of disappointing — my daughter saying in a phone call last night when the score was 27-7 in favor of the Chargers they would lose. She was raised right, learning the truisms in sports like Bill Belichick will respond to a long-winded question with a one-word answer.

Do we blame the coach for this embarrassing loss? Yes. He took the Chargers’ job.

He calls the defensive plays, and he calls the offensive plays, which makes him more in control than most head coaches, so who else is there to blame? Someone is going to take the blame because blowing a 27-0 lead is epic. And entertaining, (I wouldn’t fire him for that reason alone.)

But how about the saps who live in San Diego, so sad today? The former sports editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune sent out a tweet of shock when the referee tossed a flag on a mouthy Charger last night. Still rooting for a team that has only disappointed the San Diego faithful.

Alex Spanos, who remained living in Stockton when he was owner of the Chargers, used to call Chargers’ fans, “my fans.” At the risk of speaking for all fans in San Diego they were not fans of the Goofs who would ultimately take away the hometown team.

I don’t know what karma is but I think the Chargers have it bad.

But there is something to be said about the buffoons, ala the Washington Generals, who now call Los Angeles home. They can be counted on to play the role of stooges.

You want them back now? Well, they’ve got nothing to do over the next few months.

Good news: Most morons live in Indy

By T.J. Simers

I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better knowing 65,576 morons have surfaced in one place.

And it’s a place where I most likely will not be visiting, so there’s very little chance of crossing paths with the morons. I have enough problems knowing some USC fans.

Is life so miserable, so absent of anything to do in Indianapolis that 65,576 people would show up for a Colts game the day after Christmas? Here were all these losers standing and waving little blue flags for an NFL team already eliminated from the playoffs and still trying to compete without the assistance of a quarterback.

They were cheering for a third-string quarterback for a team directed by a clueless coach who will never coach again after the next few weeks. Yeah, they were waving their little blue flags on national TV identifying themselves as the morons who paid money to be there, park there and take out a second mortgage on their homes to buy a beer.

The NFL has always tried to rip off the paying customers, making season ticket holders purchase preseason tickets for games that don’t matter. But now as a Christmas gift to the nation, the NFL should be commended for putting a face to the morons waving their little blue flags.

There must be nothing to do in Indy.

The coach who doesn’t know nothing started Nick Foles at quarterback while putting Matt Ryan in street clothes and making Sam Ehlinger the backup not deemed worthy enough to replace Foles who kept throwing the ball to the other team. You don’t have to take head coaching classes to know Foles has had it.

How bad must Ehlinger be? Heck, hire Hackett; he’s available.

The coach who don’t know nothing has already told Foles he will be starting the next game. How much is the owner of the Colts paying the coach who don’t know nothing to throw the Colts’ remaining games? You don’t play Foles again unless you are trying to lose, or you don’t know nothing.

I still don’t understand why the 65,576 morons, who call Indy home, didn’t boo until they went hoarse. They should have made their disgust known to a national TV audience so that they might secure a hint of redemption with those who think only morons live in Indy.

Were they content to sit there and hope Foles saved their day?

The game should have been played with no one in attendance, and how proud would we be of the citizens in Indy to know they were not going to be duped into cheering for a team with no chance to win.

What does it say about the Chargers that they were only 3 1/2 point favorites over a team that had absolutely no chance to win?

What does it say about me that I know this much about a Chargers-Colts game?

Phone call from Clark Judge: Oh No!

By T.J. Simers

I noticed on my cell phone Clark Judge was calling. I’ve always thought this is how I will learn I have died.

Judge only calls when someone has passed.

We used to be competitors on the Chargers’ beat, as fine a football writing opponent as there was in the business. Now he is the host of “Talk of Fame Network,” knowing everything there is to know about those worthy for the NFL Hall of Fame.

He was in San Diego recently and didn’t call. I was relieved, knowing his pals at the San Diego Union-Tribune must still be with us. And a lot of them are pretty old.

I remember him calling to tell me Craig Stanke had died in his sleep in Florida. It was shocking, Stanke a sportswriter and as good a guy as I have known. And you probably have never heard of him.

I hate that. I spent many of my working years fawning over athletes because they were born blessed, and many of them would have been no match for Stanke as a great guy.

This time Judge was alerting me that Ernie Zampese had died, and again I was reminded how many great people have faded in my rearview window only to die before I showed more interest, more thoughtfulness and more initiative to check on them again.

I should have learned after former Rams’ coach Chuck Knox passed. Gosh, I loved that old warhorse. He was one of my favorite people and I treated him like a shirt once loved now lost in the back of my closet. I tried looking him up once or twice in the Plam Springs area, but my efforts were only half-hearted and then he was gone.

I learned. I heard my favorite coach of all time, Denver-NewYork-Atlanta’s Dan Reeves was in poor health and I sent him an email. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy story, but I got a message in return, and it meant so much even if his wife probably wrote it. And then Dan died.

I could call Vin Scully any time I wanted, but I didn’t even do that after his wife passed. You know, life so busy with an episode of Gunsmoke to watch. Nope, no excuse for letting life get away, but that’s what seems to happen.

Keeping in touch should be a way of life, but then life gets in the way. I have met so many giants who I came to know as just regular-old human beings, but then lost touch. Jeff Kent was really a human being, and fortunately he’s still with us, probably on a motorcyle somewhere.

I could blame it on Los Angeles Superior Court and sitting in there the past decade, but what a cop out. I called Peter O’Malley and asked him to testify on my behalf and before I finished the question he agreed. But what a schmuck I am, never calling Peter just to ask how he is doing and the last time we talked as columnist-baseball guy I was making fun of him for trying to buy the Dodgers again.

It’s easy for me to say he is right up there with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in super humans that I have met, so why aren’t I picking up the telephone to tell him?

Can’t do that anymore with Ernie Zampese. I never met anyone who didn’t like the “Stamper.” He was the Stamper because he would pound a pack of new cigarettes on the back of his hand before opening it.

I wonder what that’s like to be so loved by everyone. Never tried smoking, was that the problem?

Ernie was an assistant football coach, primarily in the NFL, most of his life. He was judged a genius by some of the best players to ever play the game. Dan Fouts adored the guy, and I adored Dan Fouts the competitor.

Ernie had many chances to become a head coach, but he chose the background. I don’t get that, but he had such an impactful career, meaning so much to so many, I just hope he knew that. I can say I didn’t know him well enough as some who really knew him to get off the hook of letting him know what an admirer I was, but what a wasted rationalization.

Ernie seemed to be attached at the hip to Don Coryell, the Chargers’ former head coach, and I spent so many wonderful workdays laughing and carrying on with Coryell. He was so intense, once asked where the Chargers might practice only to learn the Padres were in the World Series and Qualcomm Stadium not available.

“Good for them, good for them,” gushed Coryell and he had no idea.

I loved trying to break through that intensity, and I think he got a kick out of the game we played. We had a dinner a number of years after he left the Chargers, Coryell yelling, “Hell yes, I was fired,” when I asked him if Chargers’ owner Alex Spanos had dismissed him.

Spanos let everyone think Coryell had lost the ability to fire up his players and had just wandered off during the middle of the season. He certainly fired up everyone in the restaurant.

I remember Coryell with such fondness, and I had to look up on Google when he passed. Or maybe Judge called me. Too much of that has happened.

In my own way that’s why I make mention of Ernie Zampese today, maybe the best I can do is draw some attention to the wonderful mark some folks made who others might never have known. It’s only a blog, probably more people sitting in the theater down the blog than readers, but something.

Yeah, I wish you all could have known Chuck Knox like I knew Chuck Knox, the jokester and wonderfully philosophical man who could say things like, “Football players play football” with a straight face.

A man deemed so stoic and cold and boring by much of the media and those sitting in the stands, who pulled me to the side and said, “Don’t you miss any of your daughter’s basketball games as I did; go and I will call you if anything happens.”

And he did, and it has nothing to do with his standing as a football coach, but more as a father.

Nope, I don’t want to be blindsided by Clark Judge again. But I worry, for example, if I call former Times Sports Editor Bill Dwyre to tell him what an amazing life he has had as a father, husband and journalist—he’ll think I’m preparing his eulogy.

Well, he will be 78.

Spanos Goofs

By T.J. Simers

Just when you think there is nothing to write about except some golf spat between millionaires, the Spanos Goofs are back at it.

Alex is gone, and the world poorer for the comedy he provided, but Dean, the present-day owner of the Chargers, is getting blistered for his “misogynistic behavior.” By his own sister.

Dea Spanos contends in her lawsuit that her brothers, Dean and Michael, believe “men are in charge and women should shut up.”

There was a time in my life where the next sentence I wrote would have raised the hackles of so many, but I have a wife, two daughters and four granddaughters and they have straightened me out.

Now I would just love the opportunity to watch Billie Jean King read that in her morning newspaper, but then she probably no longer takes the Times. So, I would like to have seen her reaction reading what Dea had to say online.

She also suggests her brother has led the Chargers into financial ruin, which will probably result in the team being sold.

I began covering the Chargers and the Goofs’ clueless ownership in 1984 after Alex Spanos struck a deal to ruin the team. He initially grabbed a piece of the Chargers in 1981 from Baron Hilton between the eighth and ninth holes at the Bel-Air Country Club. If I was a Chargers’ fan, I might never stay in a Hilton.

Alex was the quintessential blowhard, the Stockton-based businessman always talking about “his fans” like he was more famous than Dan Fouts.

Every preseason we would meet, and he would ask my opinion how the Chargers would fare. I would say, “they’re gonna suck,” and he would start swearing and flapping his arms.

One year he pulled the Good n Plenty from a glass jar he kept on his desk and began throwing them at me. They hurt.

Eventually, when he failed as owner, he turned the team over to Dean and Dean continued to ruin their stay in San Diego.

The Spanos family never bonded with San Diego, taking advantage of a ticket guarantee ripping off taxpayers. The city agreed to buy all unsold tickets when the Chargers failed to draw 60,000 fans.

The city ended up paying the Spanos family $36 million in unsold tickets at a time when the Mission Bay Shrimp aka Doug Flutie was playing quarterback. Flutie makes great commercials, but apparently he wasn’t on Nugenix as of yet.

The Chargers were unwatchable much of the time, and yet the city of San Diego would have gone gaga over the team if they had been successful. But the Spanos clan always seemed to be chasing the buck, prompting the fan-base chatter to move elsewhere.

When they finally left, they chose to play the role of the Clippers to the Rams, Dean once again getting it all wrong.

Now I’ve known Dean since he was a kid, and while I have no idea if his sister has it right, it all sounds believable.

But I know this, four fighting kids is not how Alex and Faye Spanos probably wanted everything to play out. Daughter has sued her brothers, and how many times did I hear Alex Spanos talk about his wonderful family?

Alex liked to say, “the buck stops here,” before firing his head coach, but his children apparently took it as a mandate to make sure every last buck stopped with them.

Isn’t it the worst kind of slap in the face to a mom and dad when they have finished their tour of duty only to leave behind greedy, angry, squabbling kiddos?

The obvious answer is, “they are dead, so they’ll never know.”

But if so, why is legacy so important to people?

The Spanos squabblers are carrying on the Spanos name, and I can’t imagine anything meaning more. Wasn’t it the kids’ obligation to let their old man rest in peace?

I don’t remember Alex Spanos having too many redeeming qualities, but he deserved better from his children than making greed the family crest.

I take it the kids never read the old man’s book: “Sharing the Wealth.”


A shout out to Steve Newton, the first one to subscribe to

How he explains that to his friends, I don’t know.