Pete's Arboblog - The Empty Coliseum

The Coliseum can be a very strange place to be at night with a football game going on and about 100 people in attendance in a 90-000 seat stadium.

And, despite it still being the middle of summer, it was sort of chilly, some dew formed easily on the seats, and what's that smell…yeah, it DID smell like football in the air!

It was a good night for a full-blown scrimmage, even IF no one was there to see it. The same problem arose as always: who to root for?!

The defense was flying around, and general consensus is it will be good and deep, and (let's hope healthy). The offense is behind the defense as we figured it might be, if not just slightly. The passing game sputters, but who else will defend it like our own secondary? The biggest concern/point of interest is who will run the ball.

Reed is cleared to hit, but has on the black shirt so no one can hit him. Chauncey may scrimmage Sunday. Maybe. Coleman is slower and bigger than I remember him in his brief stints last year. Who amongst us wouldn't be after hip surgery! Who will be the first of the "Three Amigos" to start at tailback (or is it four?) Moody and Gable are shifty, Stafon is hard to stop, and Bradford looks like a decent goal line big back.

I have a gentleman's wager on which one will be the first starter of the bunch. I also have a wager on whether or not Brad Walker will catch a pass this year. I can't tell you which way I bet, or it might spoil the outcome. There are still a lot of questions to be answered less than two weeks from a plane ride east.

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Hung around Mike MacGillivray and David Newbury last night, Newbury is a regular now at practice. Darrell Rideaux has been around a lot too, as they prepare for their weekly show on radio. I spoke at some length about how Darrell would try and guard a guy like DJ. He had some thoughts about when to charge and when to bump and when to lay off, but admitted that a little guy playing corner is a luxury that few teams can afford any longer. And he made a hell of a point when he said young and tall guys who wanted to be receivers are now switching over to become tall CB's to attract more professional attention, as pro scouts are dying to find big corners to combat big wideouts!

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Some of us had an idea about sports agents hanging around college campuses, and the discussion started when we were talking about Brandon Hancock and how well suited he might be for such a career. How about starting a group up of former USC athletes-turned-agents, who would then serve the best interests of Trojan athletes when it came time to negotiate their professional contracts. The Former Trojans would be well versed on the rules of etiquette, could present their business spiel in a classroom like setting to all players, who could then make their own choices when it came time, legal, to do so. None of the former players would want to break the rules and put the University in jeopardy, the current players would know who they are dealing with and likely trust them, everything (in a prefect world) would be on the up and up.

I'm sure I have my head in the sand on this, but hey, it's not the first time!

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Sunny Byrd was there last night. Looks like he could gain three yards in his street clothes. But not four! We laughed about that long drive where he carried the ball 48 times or something…and it looked like he could barely walk at the end of the thing. Gritty player, big heart, fun to watch.

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Brad Walker, Thomas Herring, and Greg Woidneck to the spotters' board today.

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My youngest daughter, Veronica, entered high school yesterday. She's at Valencia, but doesn't like it there; most of her friends are at another school as redistricting took place in the Santa Clarita Valley. Plus she did not care much for the girl's basketball coach. So she's transferring to where she should have gone all along, the new school at Golden Valley. At least that's as of today.

While on familial matters, happy birthday to my sister Paula. Big Trojan, somehow gave birth to a bruin years ago. So much for the theory of heredity. Must've been some Bruins blood in there somewhere.

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No, the first SC sports event is not in 15 days! It's sooner than that! Women's soccer tomorrow at San Diego State, then home next Friday at 3 against UCSB.

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See many of you at Salute tonight. I wish the great Arnett was going to be there to represent the '56 squad.

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Jenny and I are running a ten miler tomorrow morning at 7 along Huntington Beach. Despite that, I also hope to see you at the Coliseum Sunday night.


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