TROY, TROY AGAIN
The actor and comedian, USC class of 1990, donned a Trojans warrior costume this month and led the marching band at a Cancer for College event. Two days later he announced the Dodgers' starting lineup in the NLCS.
DAN PATRICK:How was leading the marching band?
WILL FERRELL: That was an emotional experience. I'm the first nonstudent to ever lead the band.
DP:There was a gladiator feel to it.
WF: You're all dressed up. The band's playing. You have no underwear on.
DP:Do you get to keep the uniform?
WF: Every other weekend—like a child-custody thing.
DP:Serious question. What was your reaction to Lane Kiffin getting fired?
WF: A lot of people, at least in my circle, we felt bad for the guy. I saw that someone purchased billboard space celebrating the fact that he was fired. That being said, I hope [new coach] Ed Orgeron hangs around just so we can hear him in his postgame press conferences.
DP:What's he sound like?
WF: He's fantastic. [In a thick Cajun accent.] "We took the team to a movie. We took 'em to see Captain Phillips, even though it was written by a Bruin. We had a good time. We ate a lot of chocolate-covered almonds. We gonna change practice up. We gonna let the defensive linemen wrestle alligators. We gonna throw some voodoo magic in there, a lot of chicken blood and amulets." Things like that.
DP:Sounds a little like Bobby Boucher in The Waterboy.
WF: With a little Redd Foxx and a little Sling Blade.
DP:There were reports that a booster called Tony Dungy about the USC vacancy. Was that you?
WF: I did. Multiple times. [Athletic director] Pat Haden was not happy with me. But I said, "Listen, buddy, who's more famous, you or me?" And he had to give it up.
DP:Who do you think should be the next coach?
WF: A lot of names are being thrown out—[Washington's] Steve Sarkisian, Mike Riley at Oregon State, maybe Jon Gruden. The guy I like, and he's from the pro game, which you gotta have these days—Bernie Bickerstaff.
DP:He may be available.
WF: He was 4--0 before Mike D'Antoni took over the Lakers. He had 'em rolling.
DP:Your reaction to Dwight Howard leaving L.A.?
WF: It wasn't working. When he left, it was like, Let's just rip the Band-Aid off.
DP:Are the Lakers in trouble?
WF: I just feel like Kobe's kind of at the end here. We have to get ready for a couple of lean seasons.
DP:Can you jump ship to the Clippers?
WF: No way. Never.
DP:Does your wife ever say, Will, why do you always take your clothes off on film?
WF: My wife likes to buy new shoes. That's what Papa's gotta do.
DP:Have you thought about cutting back on nudity?
WF: I don't intend to. It just seems to happen during the course of filming.
Vikings QB Josh Freeman spoke about being cut by the Buccaneers. "It did seem personal from a number of different angles," Freeman said. "The only frustrating thing was having people I've known my whole life questioning me about things that they've heard." ... Fox's Tim McCarver couldn't believe there was speculation about Dodgers manager Don Mattingly before reports surfaced that he was returning: "In no other sport is a manager hung out to dry like baseball." ... Condoleezza Rice, recently named to the college football playoff selection committee, was having high-level meetings on the sport as Secretary of State. "President George W. Bush is a tremendous football fan," Rice told me. "In the Oval Office almost every Monday morning, [we'd] review the question of Texas versus almost anybody else."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
BRETT PADELFORD (FERRELL)
HEINZ KLUETMEIER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (FREEMAN)
BENNETT RAGLIN/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (MCCARVER)
KARWAI TANG/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (RICE)