Pete's Arboblog - Preparations continue

Preparation continues, and is picking up steam. You can feel the increase in intensity as the trip to the Ozarks nears. The Coliseum event was not as well attended as I thought it might be, but it sure looked like all who were there enjoyed themselves, and if like me, all who were there needed their fix of the Grand Old Lady and a sniff at what the Trojans have in store for us.

I was concerned, certainly, when Michael McDonald took the scout team from their own 25 to the first string defense's 9 yard line before stalling out. Granted, the Trojans have recruited exceptionally well, and these guys, as was ably pointed out by several players after the mock game, they are guys who are the top players who are now waiting their turn for greatness at SC, but still, they ARE NOT the first string.

And Mike M. at QB is really good. If we need to use him this year in real and important situations, we will be just fine.

I'm not sure we will know who will start at Tailback until the first snap. I'm sure a starter will be named, just to keep the media and fans calm, but it looks like a tailback by committee until someone takes over. If I were coach and had the say, if the game started right now, I think I would hope Chauncey is ready to go at full strength, as he likely is the best at picking up invading defensive players in the offensive backfield. And, if healthy, he is a fine runner.

Of the Four Freshmen, I change daily. Right now I think I like Moody the best, then CJ just barely behind him as the "fast back", and Bradford with Stafon as the "big back". And you can mix and match them along with Powdrell and Coleman any way you want. One thing that seems like it might be likely: This team might ultimately need all of the FF to contribute, but if that's not the case, two of them, one big and one fast probably will be redshirted. This is VERY interesting, and will only be more so at the next two week's worth of practice and on game day at Razorback Stadium.

**

I went into the press box and worked the first half alone in the booth, trying to get rid of any off season kinks and say football things, and try to focus and concentrate and maintain enthusiasm and accuracy. These things must be practiced and worked on. I felt pretty good about it, however, it was difficult to differentiate #25 and #26 from each other at that distance, never having seen them from there. I need to memorize their body structure and the way they stand, as their styles are similar. #21 is a bit bigger, and not as difficult. #37 and #27 were also a bit tough. It will take time to be sure to get ‘em right every single time. For whatever reason, one of the very hardest things for me to do is maintain focus and push away the tendency I can have to relax between plays when Paul speaks. I set the play, call the play, and sometimes I chill out for just a moment. I need to remember, and have been much better at this as my years have gone on, at seeing players come in and out of the game, and watching the huddle break so as to better identify players immediately. I don't always get it right, but that's the goal, and with the help of our spotter, generally Burt who does a marvelous job, between us we usually get it right.

Sure, sometimes I call one guy and he thinks it's another, but I usually go with my instinct first and if I am wrong, I will correct it after the play. It's better that way than second guessing yourself, then turning out to be right anyway.

One very interesting thing---since I am not working on the radio daily, and haven't been since April, I found out that announcer's voices need to stay in training. I was gassed by half time, my throat was raw and I was parched. Well, it's all about muscle usage, and I haven't been talking out loud very much, so it goes to reason I need to get in shape!!

I did the second half with a live audience of Jenny and her son Leo. Looked down and saw Hoppe, our stats man in the stands. Said hi to Manny, our USC sound man, several SC staffers and our venerable Public Address announcer Dennis Packer, a great guy. He and I always have fun when we talk. We both come fro the John Ramsey school of announcing in stadiums, which, as far as I am concerned, is the ONLY way to do it. Did you know Dennis and I shared duties as PA guy at the Rose Bowl for the 1994 World Cup soccer tournament? Very cool. DP is high up the sheriff's department, and has announced SC football since the 1980's. He gets to travel sometimes as the official voice of The Band. I almost always get chills when I hear him in that huge basso profundo, fairly shout" LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE SPIRIT OF TROY, THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TROJAN MARCHING BAND…….THE BAND IS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF DOCTOR ARTHUR C BARTNER, WITH DRUM MAJOR BLA BLA BLA

And now COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S MOST FAMOUS BATTLE CRY CONQUEST, WITH COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S MOST FAMOUS MASCOT, TRAVELER

‘TOUCHDOWN U-S-C" Sometimes I wait and leave a blank spot in my call for DP to announce it as fact first…and I almost never fail to mention him during our cast at some point. Dennis, you da man!

**

I went upstairs again today (Tuesday) to practice more yakkity-yakking. I see some of the guys have donned the black shirts of the scout team. Fight On, you scouts, your day will come, and you should be content for the time being in knowing you are the best scout team in America.

Thomas Williams turned an ankle. Drew Radovich barfed nearby. I left before this happened. Looks like McCoy is the #3 TE. 70 people were there, small crowd on a warm day. The Band was rehearsing a very nice Chicago (the group, not the musical) set for future play. I remember sneaking into the Greek Theatre twice in the summers of my youth, and not getting caught!!

I did an interview with a station in Oklahoma today, another harbinger that the season is upon us.

Gotta go work on those Arkansas spotter board bios.


USCFootball.com Top Stories