The Not So Obvious – So with that in mind, it's time for Quote Edition No. 3 of the O/NSO as we remind Trojan fans of those wordsmiths that have made their mark in recent comments pertaining to the Men of Troy.
The Obvious – "Don't believe a word this man says. He's plotting, believe me, plotting the downfall of Troy. Trust me, he has been thinking about this the whole evening." – Former Trojan linebacker John Papadakis, master of ceremonies at Thursday night's Shrine Football Game banquet at the Shrine Auditorium, following the evening's keynote address by UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero.
The Not So Obvious – Papadakis, who was wearing a cardinal and gold tie, was kidding with Guerrero, who was a South Bay buddy of Big John. The owner of the popular Papadakis Taverna in San Pedro was a very animated host as he reminded everybody in attendance that he and his son, Taso, are the only father-son captains in Shrine Game history. He also said that the players in this game would find a lifelong friend from this experience, as he did when he roomed with future Trojan teammate John Vella of Van Nuys Notre Dame, an offensive tackle who also played some defense for Coach McKay. Papadakis also cautioned, "The memory of this game will always be with you, so damn it, play well!"
The Obvious – "My first day at USC I was hit so hard I said, ‘What am I doing here!'" – Former Trojan All-America linebacker Adrian Young during his Shrine Game Hall of Fame induction speech.
The Not So Obvious – Presented by an emotional John Papadakis, who called linebacker Young his idol growing up, Young, who captained the Trojans 1967 National Championship team, spoke on his vision on being successful to the 100-plus players in attendance. Both Young, who went to Bishop Amat, and Papadakis, who attended Rolling Hills High, are former Trojan Most Inspirational Player award winners. After retiring from the NFL, Young eventually formed his own company in 1985 for real estate investments.
The Obvious – "USC has refused to grant quarterback Rocky Hinds a release to transfer to UNLV or any Pacific-10 Conference school." – The Daily News on June 22 and written by current USC beat writer and Trojan alum Scott Wolf.
The Not So Obvious – "USC redshirt freshman quarterback Rocky Hinds was granted his release from the two-time national champions Tuesday afternoon, opening the way for a potential transfer to UNLV." - Las Vegas Sun on June 8 and written by former Trojan beat writer for the Press-Telegram and USC alum Steve Guiremand. Around, around, Tommy Trojan we go, where Rocky Hinds lands nobody knows. To add some flavor to this conundrum, a reminder that UNLV's head coach is Mike Sanford, a former Trojan assistant and quarterback.
The Obvious – " Anyone who looks at the world of sports today and laments that things just aren't the way they used to be should turn their weary head to the Pac-10 Conference. There, they will find things almost exactly as they were a generation or two ago, when it almost always a given that USC would win the conference and the only question revolved around who would finish second. USC is at least as dominant now as it was then – maybe more so." - Lindy's 2005 Pac-10 Football Magazine.
The Not So Obvious – One of the main reasons the Trojans have returned to the elite of college football is recruiting. This Saturday night presents another edition of the Shrine Football All-Star Classic at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut and the Inland Empire Football All-Star Classic at Colton High School. Kickoffs for both games (7 p.m. for the Shrine and 6 p.m. for the Inland) feature one future Trojan star in prep All-America defensive back Will Harris (6-2, 200) from Covina Charter Oak High playing in the Shrine Classic and prep All-America defensive lineman Averell Spicer (6-2, 265) of Rancho Cucamonga High participating in the Inland Classic.
The Obvious – "This is really the first time we've started to hear of looking to us as a group that can be counted on to lead the team. I think after what we did to Oklahoma people started to look at us as a solid group." – Trojan center Ryan Kalil in the 47-page summer edition of the WeAreSC magazine.
The Not So Obvious – During the McKay and first Robinson era, the Trojans' offensive lines of the 1970's were so filled with talent and performance, they were simply referred to as the "Trojans offensive line." It was only during the decline of the Trojan offensive lines as a unit did the spotlight turn to certain individuals such as Tony Boselli, David Cadigan, Pat Harlow, and John Michels.
The Obvious – "Ever since he played the school fight song solo on his trombone in the fourth grade at Tahoe Valley, going to USC has been his passion." - Melinda Garratt.
The Not So Obvious – The mother of future Trojan walk-on, Nick Garratt , who was relentless in his effort to traverse South Lake Tahoe High to the hallowed ground of Howard Jones Field at USC to be part of Pete Carroll's program..
The Obvious – " I really enjoyed the conversation I had with Michael Goodson before my last update on him. He's a very class, humble guy. Looks great on tape too. I think SC will sign him, barring unforeseen events." – Allen Wallace, Scout. com's recruiting guru, on Klein Collins running back Michael Goodson.
The Not So Obvious – Well, proving nothing is over till it's over, we learn that after visiting Oklahoma, Goodson and his father may take a trip to Oklahoma St. There has been heavy speculation that Goodson is a big Trojan lean who would announce after his Oklahoma visit. The kid may indeed sign with the Trojans, but we are always reminded it ain't over to the fat pen signs in February.
The Obvious – " I cringe just thinking about all that's in there. It's pretty personal stuff. And we cut a lot out." – Coach Pete Carroll
The Not So Obvious – If you have watched "Undisputed," the Trojans' seasonal highlights, you'll understand why Carroll may have allowed too much locker room footage and certainly more than most coaches would allow. If have ever been in a locker room in high school, Undisputed probably got your juices flowing, but if you're not familiar with the inside world of jockstrapery, it may have been a bucket of cold water in one's face. Then again, the Teflon of Pete Carroll is such that very few will feel violated.
The Obvious - "There is nothing on the schedule to suggest that USC has red lights on its way up the road to Pasadena for the national championship game. Can the Trojans win it for an unprecedented third straight time? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yesssssss." – Lindy's 2005 National College Football Yearbook.
The Not So Obvious - There have been many folks that have tried to give clever mottoes to this year's historic season. We see this year as "The ‘AT' Season." If the Trojans can win at Oregon , at ASU, at Notre Dame, and at Cal, then it should all take care of itself. Contrary to most, we believe this is a very difficult schedule based on road games against contending and rivalry teams. The Trojans will have earned their immortality should they accomplish road wins in Eugene, Tempe, South Bend, and Berkeley. Even Phil Steele's respected preseason magazine says the Trojans have the ninth toughest schedule in the country.
The Obvious – "We've grown comfortable in this environment. We're going to get the attention and focus. We went through the whole season as the No. 1 team in the nation and I would expect we would be ranked highly this season. That's part of it and we deal with it as we normally do." – Pete Carroll in a Scripps Howard News Service article on being on top.
The Not So Obvious – Carroll has talked with UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who says it's harder to get on top than stay on top. One of Carroll's strategies this year is to tell his team that they have "already done the No. 1 thing." In other words, been there and done that. It's a clever way of saying we already know what it's like to be on top. Wooden's teams were almost unbeatable because being No. 1 was a way of life from freshmen to seniors. Very few teams ever get into this type of sports zone, and Carroll's psychology may help define all future college football dynasties. The fact that Carroll would consult Wooden lets you know where the Trojan coach thinks his program may be headed.
The Obvious – "It's on the fireplace at my parents' house, Chillin.'" – Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart.
The Not So Obvious – So this is where the 2004 Heisman Trophy resides in the Leinart household. Now if he becomes the first two-time winner since Ohio State tailback Archie Griffin, discussions and negotiations will begin again on where Chillin' No. 2" will have its place of residence in the Leinart abode.
The Obvious – " I don't think losing Norm Chow is going to hurt them much. He's a great coach, but the guys underneath him are good coaches, too. (New offensive coordinator) Lane Kiffin has grown up a lot. He's a smart coach, and they're so talented they can help make up for coaching mistakes." - An unidentified Pac-10 coach in the 2005 Sporting News College Yearbook.
The Not So Obvious – Since this comment was made by an unidentified Pac-10 coach adds some credence to Pete Carroll's belief that the Trojan offense will be in fine shape with the offensive hierarchy. It would be ridiculous to think that Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin and Pete Carroll aren't going to make mistakes this coming season because Norm Chow would admit he didn't call perfect games either. What fans generally don't have privy to are game films that many times indicate the right play was called but executed poorly.
The Obvious – "Stay inside. Stay inside my house and don't go anywhere. Or wear a hat really low and a hood and just hope the people don't look at me. I mean, it's not that bad. It's gotten to the point where there are a lot of stares. It's good. It just kind of makes me feel uncomfortable. It's like, come on. But I don't even do much anymore." - Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart when asked in a recent OC Register Q&A about his face recognition in SoCal,
The Not So Obvious – So Matt Leinart isn't a robot. How could anybody, outside of a Hollywood starlet, handle what this kid has gone through and will go through? Perhaps only two-time Heisman Trophy winning tailback Archie Griffin of Ohio State can relate having returned as the previous year's winner. However, Griffin never had to deal with what Leinart is about to encounter. All that is being asked is a third consecutive national title, a second Heisman, and story after story about his destiny as perhaps the greatest college quarterback ever. Add to the fact that Lefty does it all in Los Angeles, among the stars and media, and accomplishing this year's goals is almost Herculean. With the help of Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian, if anybody can do it, certainly No. 11 has the tools.
The Obvious – "Lofa has a wonderful appreciation for his father's legacy. All these years, it's been ‘This is Mosi' son. Lofa' Now the script is flipping and it's ‘That's Lofa's dad, Mosi' His father was not only a good football player but is a great man, kind and considerate. " – Linnea, mother of "former" Trojan linebacker Lofa Tatupu.
The Not So Obvious – Yep, a touching Father's Day tribute to Mosi (Trojan All-America fullback) and Lofa, who needs no introduction. All of which brings to mind the recent Father's Day when the son of the O./NSO took dad to Dodger Stadium for a father-son outfield game of catch on Sunday morning. Score one for the beleaguered Frank McCourt, head man of the Blue Crew. It got us thinking that the Trojans could do the same with some imagination in the Coliseum. Perhaps toss a football sponsored by Nike. Macy's sponsored the Dodger event and provided a "soft" baseball for catch. I told my son that he will always remember this moment when he see the movie "Field of Dreams," which in the end Kevin Costner has one last game of catch with his ghostly father. Tears me up every time I watch that darn ending.
The Obvious – "Hawaii is known for its endless beaches, shaded palm trees, tropical sunshine and balmy nights. Can you think of a better place to ease into the fall football season, while catching up on a little post-summer rest and relaxation? Septempber 3, 2005, your USC Trojans will take on the University of Hawaii in a classic gridiron match-up, Hawaiian-style." – A recent VictorEmail sent to Trojans fans from the USC athletic department.
The Not So Obvious – Yes, there might not be a better place to begin what could be an historic season, and the VictorEmail was to promote an assortment of Pleasant Holiday travel and hotel options. However, to call the Hawaii game " a classic gridiron match-up" is a little like calling a McDonald's Happy Meal a Lawrys prime rib dinner. If the game were played in the Coliseum, would it still be "a classic gridiron match-up?" It's amazing what Waikiki can do to add some hyperbole to a college football game.
The Obvious - "So many players to choose from,….A sign of USC's newfound stature was the ability to snatch the Nashville, Tenn.., native from in-state juggernaut Tennessee." – Lindy's Pac-10 evaluation of the Trojans top newcomer Patrick Turner.
The Not So Obvious – And wouldn't you know it. Official word is out that the kid has been assigned No. 1 as his jersey number for this season. Hmmmm, Mike Williams déjà vu????? There is just something about that No. 1 across the board that seems to stick to the Trojans like a pass into the hands of tight end Dominique Byrd.
The Obvious – "This issue marks the end of our second year publishing the WeAreSC magazine. Our next issue, the 2005 Pre-Season Yearbook, will be our biggest issue yet with 96 pages of coverage including position previews, opponent previews, player and coach features, and a look at the All-Time USC Trojan football team as selected by our panel. See you in August for Fall Camp." – WeAreSC publisher Garry Paskwietz on Pg 47 of the current WeAreSC magazine.
The Not So Obvious – Are you scratching your head over the term "Yearbook?" Well, if the staff from WeAreSC can break clean from our journalistic huddle, meaning our discussions, meetings, conference calls, and idea gathering, we think that fans of Trojan football are going to be in for a real treat. We hope that's what subscribers are about to enjoy and that the yearbook be used not only as an in depth preview of the 2005, but a reference guide in which to enjoy the entire season. We are as excited as we hope you will be in August.