Pete's Arboblog - Thoughts from the scrimmage

The biggest question at this time of year, as always, is: "Whaddya think? How we gonna look?" I think we gonna be fine. Judging by the level of play at yesterday's scrimmage, we are using the recent great recruiting classes to reload without missing many beats.

Obviously, we may NEVER replace a special players like Reggie. But you know they, and we, said the same thing when Arnett, Garrett, OJ, Charlie, and Marcus left. And we can't replace Matt. Like we could never replace Beathard, Haden, Paul, Rodney, or Carson. It's the same for any and every position. You name an All-American from then, and someone else has likely become, or someday will become an All-American at the same spot. It's what makes college sports (and high school) so great.

So, Chauncey is dinged up, Coleman is the starter right this minute, but Stafon looked good, CJ and Moody were slippery, Reed might even play. Booty and Sanchez are neck and neck…those passes being knocked down at the line are a real concern, and while it shows well for our DL, it's a problem. And who would we be if we didn't have something to worry about?!

So: How are we? Not as polished or as good by only about 10% as opposed to last year's offense at the same time last year, and very strong on defense, as good as then, maybe as good as a couple of years ago. We will be favored in every game we play.

I noticed that someone took my suggestion and put up a snack stand in front of Goux's gate. Now, what we need is a vendor cooking up some dogs. I still see the ice cream vendor with the push cart with the bells jingling. I bought one of those coconut bars yesterday. MMMMMMM!

**

The McDonald clan was well represented, Paul making his first visit of the summer. He's a hard working businessman in the OC, so it's a long trip. His gorgeous wife Allison was there. And son Andrew, who is about to outgrow the old man, and is a reserve varsity QB at Newport Harbor. Of course, Michael is #3 QB for our mighty Men of Troy, and you know what? He looked really good today, and I would not be afraid to see him play at any time.

Paul and I went with Alli and Jenny to the Jimmy Buffett concert this spring. We will discuss this further on the air and in this space.

Petros got us the tickets that night, and it was row 11, which is the closest to the stage I have ever been in a concert. And to see my mentor Jimmy…wow!

"P" was at practice for the first time. Since I got canned from 1540 in April, I had not seen Petros, only talked to him. He looks much better. Lost a ton. I hear he is trying Atkins---as he saw what it did for me…all meat, cheese and eggs at the start, then just low levels of carbs. Cut out the junk, it's a real lifestyle change. I have used it and running to lose 30 pounds since the Rose Bowl game. It agrees with me and apparently, it agrees with him. He was very sweet at always, gave me a big hug and we talked shop some. If he were on another station….well, let me put it this way, if he becomes available and you are a programmer and don't throw bags of money at the P-daddy, you will ultimately lose your job, because, in the right time slot he will have the number one "sports talk" show in So Cal…..and you won't.

His dad, John, who has a huge heart and is as loving a man as you will ever know (it must run in the family) was wearing a "Petros Papadakis Show" T-shirt. I want one. Badly.

John runs the taverna in San Pedro. Go there, but only if you want great food and drink and a really good time. If you're lucky, P will be waiting tables and will sit and drink some wine with you and your date. I am so overdue for a return trip, and Jenny has never been there.

**

I made the mistake of shaking hands with Don Ludwig. I shattered my right hand back in 1981, and while generally the only discomfort I get from it is during drops in barometric pressure, Ludwig has a crusher grip, and if I forget and try to grip with him, he always kills me. He used to usher Traveler around the Coliseum. Really nice guy who is involved, I think as Director of intramural sports. Or something. I suppose I could ask.

**

Stopped and talked with Sean Kennally, the mover and shaker for the San Gabriel Valley Trojan Club, where I will appear in late September with Tim Floyd and others. Without, I hope, getting too personal, he had the stomach surgery, and looks like a new man. Good for you, Sean.

**

I talked, friend-to-friend, with JDB after practice, about the amazing passage of time since he arrived, waiting one's turn, and his back. For the first time in a long time, he feels his age, and not mine. School is good, and he will be taking "Matt-type" classes next year, his last here if all goes well. He looks happy. Very well raised by his family, very polite and patient with everyone.

I am looking forward to calling his games here. How about a Booty-Moody-Havili backfield? I closed the day with dinner at the early evening madhouse that is the Galen Dining Hall. I don't do this but every so often, and I don't eat much (except maybe on prime rib night).

It's fun and interesting to see the footballers interact not only with each other off the field but still in a team setting, but how they do so with other athletes. They don't appear to act like any big deal, nor do the others idolize them, from what I could see. I sat mainly with the women's soccer team, and usually eat near or with coaches and trainers. Or just off by myself.

Dallas Sartz sat behind me. He is much bigger than you might think. Girls were swooning room-wide, pointing and giggling as he dined shirtless, with a huge ice pack strapped to that shoulder injury of a year ago. It must still be bothering him at least some. He said it is SO good to be playing again.

**

I then stopped by the equipment room on the way out, talked to Tino and Peter Dalis (used to be sportscaster on campus KSCR station, just like me) who now works with team in video department. Peter is likely to run the world some day. Pops and the Hammer showed me around a room none of us get to see very often. Hammer says he's happy the two basketball and volleyball teams will have their own equipment space at Galen soon, giving him some room to expand.

Saw Mike and Suzanne Garrett while walking to the car. They were coming from a booster function on Dedeaux Field after practice. Then ran into Lane and the beautiful Layla Kiffin and their young daughter. Brushes with greatness ought always to be reported, yes? ( I rode the Angel Stadium elevator with Pat Sajak a few nights ago, for instance)

**

Talked with my long time friend Gary Owens Thursday morning. He's going to help me find a commercial agent for voice over work. I used to have one, and went on many auditions, but never got work. My dad made a living at this for MANY years. Sent us through college with his work on Sesame Street and numerous commercials. Once, I went in and they asked for a guy who sounded like the PA announcer at Dodger Stadium (which I WAS at the time!!!) I did not get the job. It's a tough way to make a living.

Gary thinks I can get in, and when Gary says that, I listen.

While I have found only a few small gigs so far, so very many of you have been wonderful about your concern for me. I truly appreciate it, and "feel the love" Thanks.

Gotta go try and find work, and maybe a little bodysurfing before heading to BK/Ho-JO today.


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