Pete's Arboblog debuts

All Hail, fellow Trojans and all others! Through acts of chance and fortune, generally, and for myriad reasons, the world has seen fit for me to join the technological age, and sitting not so much with pen and paper as with this thing called a "laptop", I have been called on to see you through the 2006 USC football season.

My hope is not to be a blunt reporter, trying like some others to uncover truths and half-truths in hopes of making a name for oneself. God knows (as do YOU) that I am an unabashed "homer", and will only write things that benefit my University and the team that we love so much.

I'd like to give you insights, never pretending for a moment that I know more than you. In fact, quite often, I learn things on this site before I hear them anywhere else. I am, in fact, OF you,…..but….my position lends itself to be able to at least tell stories of things I see that you may not; things that happen in the broadcast booth to be sure, but also plane rides, rallies, functions, meetings.

I will never bring dishonor to my University, as I have been ably cautioned against this by certain people in the athletic department who are charged with such tasks. I will NEVER spill team secrets, or in any way jeopardize the possibility of a winning effort on any given Saturday or Bowl day.

I WILL answer your questions when you send them in, best as I can. Mostly, though, I will give you straightforward, stream-of-consciousness, frame-of-reference types of entries.

Well, one of the things I truly HATE about the radio business these days (and I am sure to get deeply into that subject as I get limbered up) is the music stations that spend valuable minutes telling us, in montage form, exactly what they are all about, by playing snippets of something like a dozen songs they are "about to play"—followed of course by songs that were NOT in the snippet. Infuriating to the point that I make a big deal about changing the station and promising NOT to come back to it for several hours at best.

That being said, I see in my opening introduction that I am guilty of a similar offense, so let's get to it!

**

The last few years have been so wonderful, to find ourselves back on top of the college football world is a dream come true. I just got a hold of this year's media guide, which, along with the first CFB magazines that hit the racks about now (I have two so far) tells me that we have arrived (finally!).

Literally, I opened the front cover, sniffed the ink, and (perhaps) jokingly, to amuse my girlfriend Jennifer, rubbed in all over my face and upper body.

Then, as is custom, I slunk into a chair and went page-by-page, cover-to-cover. I stopped at certain parts that caught my eye: the schedule, coaching changes, some bios, the new Reggie Heisman page. The book is not as impressive as the hard bound, shiny silver coffee table edition of a year ago---THAT was awesome—but as always the Sports Information Office provides us with a great piece of work, WELL worth the few bucks to order one, and a great collector's item.

Few favorite things to do: see how the team has done in other years ending with the number 6 (not so well). How about the teams that we will honor at Salute to Troy in a couple of weeks from 1956 (Gifford, CR Roberts), and 1981 (Marcus Heisman, horrible loss at home to Arizona while #1, beat the Bruins, hammered by PSU in Tempe).

I like to start in 1962 and try and recall all the games I have seen or listened to with Tom Kelly or Mike Walden. By the way, the other day, us media types sat around a big table in Heritage and voted on the inductees for the 2007 USC Hall of Fame class. Mike Garrett, Tim Tessalone, John Hamilton (have you been to his free sports museum in Newport?), Steve Bisheff, Todd Harmonson, Gary Klein, Loel Schraeder. And I sat next to Walden and across from Kelly.

And if you don't think that STILL doesn't give me goose bumps, you're thinking of the wrong guy. To ME, THEY are the voices of the Trojans! Listening to them in person immediately takes me to those games I recall so easily, in person and on the radio and TV.

(Clarify) I'll go into more detail about each as days go by. Promise.

Can't tell you who we all voted for, of course, you'll find out at a football half time this fall. Ever been to the Hall ceremony? Really cool. I went to the first one, but it was a freebie, and I really can't afford to go, but if you can, you ought to make a point of it.

I love to read about past great finishes and moments, and remember my own special memories of those moments and games. What was I doing, where was I? Do you do this, too? Sure, you do!

Since the NCAA cut the size of these books to 208 pages for all schools, they have cut out the pictures and bios of our broadcast team. It was really nice to be recognized that way…wow, there's my picture in the USC football yearbook. I hope they put it back in someday, but I'm not holding my breath, even though the majority of other Pac-10 schools do so.

The "Reading of the Good Book" marks the official start of the season for me. I went to the first practice last week, but tend to avoid no pad practices. So I went yesterday for the first full pad day, took notes on who was playing where and who was backing up whom, and who (damn them) had changed numbers on me.

Shook hands and said hello to old friends on the team and fans and boosters. Like the first day of school, only waaaaaaaaaaaay better. And no shopping for new clothes, although I did have to go get new supplies, and I think my catalogue case on wheels has given up the ghost, so I need a new one (and they ain't cheap).

Practice isn't till 5 today, might go and then head to Dodger Stadium afterwards. Who are those guys wearing Dodger uniforms these days, huh?


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