Brad Budde dinner recap

Brad Budde spoke to the WeAreSC dinner in April to give his thoughts on the current Trojan team and some of his experiences at USC as they relate to being "a savage and a saint". Here are some of his comments from that night:

Brad Budde played offensive guard for the Trojans from 1976-79 and was a member of the 1978 national championship team. Budde was a four year starter, the first freshman to start a season opener at USC since World War II, and winner of the 1979 Lombardi Award. He was a first round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs, his father Ed was an All-Pro for the Chiefs, and after being selected in the draft Brad donated the cost of his scholarship back to USC. Budde was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 2001. He is now a physical therapist living in Orange County.

"It's good to be a Trojan again, we've been in the desert for a while and it's nice to be back. I compare Pete Carroll to a general running a war. He knows how to win, he understands the importance of assistants and he is relentless."

"He knows how to win. His adjustments during a game can turn things around quickly. The importance of assistants. His coaches not only have great expertise but they have passion and it's important to remember that football is a game of passion. He is relentless. Who Pete Carroll is as a person comes through in his defense, they are a swarming and attacking defense."

"It's good to be a Trojan again but it's also good to know why. It's important that the tradition is carried on. When you win you get talent."

"I grew up in Kansas City and something influenced me to come to USC. I was watching USC play UCLA and at halftime of the game I knew where I was going. The television cameras focused on a tan blonde woman. Now, I'm 17 years old at the time in the height of testosterone. As if that didn't seal the deal the next thing they showed was a girl in a string bikini and it was "Go west young man".

"The great thing about USC is that it connects with the heart. I believe you learn to be successful, I don't think you're born that way. It helped me to become a man. I think one of the most important things USC taught me was how to be a savage and how to be a saint."

"A savage is uncivilized and is not the norm. A savage fulfills promise, he gets the job done. To be a savage you need three things, you need to be a person of destiny, you need to be open to change and you need to produce. I learned these from Anthony Munoz, Marcus Allen and Frank Jordan."

"When I came to USC from Kansas City I hadn't seen many Mexican people yet alone three people rolled into one. When I opened my dorm room though I saw Anthony and he took up the whole room. In his first practice they put Anthony the freshman against the All-American defensive lineman Gary Jeter. John Robinson told Anthony "we wined and dined you but now Gary's gonna kick your ass". When the whistle blew Munoz drove him back 20 yards. Nobody knew what to do. Jeter just stuck out his hand and said "I think he's a man". That was one of his few highlights in college. Everybody thinks of Munoz and his Hall of Fame NFL career but in college he suffered through a lot of injuries. He got hurt at the beginning of his senior year and everybody told him to redshirt and come back the next year but Anthony had faith. He was a man of destiny and he wasn't going to be denied. Anthony worked hard all year to come back for the Rose Bowl and when they ran Charles White for a touchdown on the final drive they went right over his fanny."

"You need to be open to change. Most people remember Marcus Allen as a great tailback, and he was that, but he was a team player and when the team needed him at fullback he went to fullback. That's probably not something he wanted to do. I'm sure he saw himself as a tailback but he was willing to put the needs of the team first. I firmly believe that he understood blocking better as a tailback because of the time he spent at fullback."

"You need to produce. We hear smack talk all the time but who walks the talk. Frank Jordan did. I'm an offensive lineman so I always though kickers were Communist and needed to get their dresses on. We were playing Notre Dame in the national title year and we wanted revenge for what they had done to us the previous year. It was a beautiful prizefight. They scored with 1:50 left to go up 25-24 and their center comes running in front of our bench and he's yelling "you suck!" We get the ball and march down the field and with two seconds left out comes Frank Jordan to make the game winning field goal. He produced. With the game on the line, the national championship on the line, he produced."

"Being a saint has nothing to do with perfection. It's about devotion. It's about faith, hope and charity."

"There was one year we played Oregon State and I struggled. The guy I went up against was player of the week for the conference. When we got on the practice field the next week Marv Goux called me over and he put his index finger in my chest and said "you're an embarrassment". This was the guy who recruited me. This was my second dad talking. A person of faith doesn't give people what they want, he gives them what they need. It took strength for him to tell me that when I was hurting."

"The second virtue of a saint is hope. When I played in the NFL I had three different coaches in eight years. We played a game against the Rams when Goux was coaching them and after the game he called me over. He could see that I wasn't myself and that I had let outside forces affect me. Marv said "don't let the pretenders steal your thunder". He gave me hope and you empower people when you give them hope."

"Charity. Give yourself away. Marv Goux took the bullet, he was the mentor of what it meant to be a saint."

"SC taught me success but more important it taught me how to be significant. I'm not into success, I'm into significance. Success is anticlimactic, it's getting and having. Real success is helping."

"I work with senior citizens in their physical therapy. In my job I have the great honor to empower and give hope. We all need guidance, even if we come off as macho it doesn't mean we don't need it."

"I think there are three divisions in life. Below time is when you're a kid and you're just having fun. Once upon a time is when you suffer a major disappointment and you look back on simpler times. Beyond time is when something happens that you don't plan but it changes you."

"It's fun to win games but connecting here (pats heart) is what's important."

"I don't think Student Body could work as well today because overall the athletes are better. Back in our day we had so much better athletes than our opponent that we could impose our will like that but today the defenses are so quick. We played Alabama once and they stopped us running the ball so on Sunday the coaches had us come out and run Student Body 30 times in full pads. I got it down pretty good that day."

"One memory that stands out is my first game. I'm from Kansas City, I head out to USC and in my first game we lose to Missouri. That was humbling."

"I think of people and who they were. I think of Ricky Bell, always giving away things. The people are what I remember."


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