Pete's Arboblog - It's Game Week!!!!

All right! It's game week! I love that countdown clock on various websites, ours, theirs, yours, all telling us how many minutes and seconds until kickoff time.

No practice tomorrow, then we all settle in to game week preparations. The Arkansas prep is about 75% completed now for me, a few more bios from their press guide for notes on the spotter board, a few more news paper articles from their home town papers as the week goes on. It's amazing how much more we, as media members, can get in the way of information in this day and age than my and our predecessors must have been able to get.

I finished watching the replay of last year's SC-Arkansas game, and for the first time saw that photo of Pete in those red and white checkerboard pants when he was a Grad Asst for HotAir Holtz. Brown hair, same smile, looked like an eager beaver. I wonder if anyone knew what the future would hold in store for that young man. I'll be sure to ask him about his Fayetteville days on the pre-game show Saturday evening.

By the way (and I am asked this ALL the time), here's the scoop on how to watch the game on TV and listen to our broadcast, if you want to do so:

Courtesy of Bob Arbogast, (dad) who lives in upper central California and practices this—Use your computer and you must have TiVo on your TV, go to www.usctrojans.com, and go to the live broadcast of the game. In past years, they have charged you for this service, but I understand from my good buddy Jose Eskanazi, the USC marketing Director for Athletics, that they did not want to keep people away from their product in that fashion, so I hear it's free this year.

Ok, turn on the game broadcast on TV, turn on the game broadcast on the Internet. When the kickoff happens, or when you hit a spot where you want to stop the game, hit your pause button for your TiVo, wait the amount of time needed for the radio broadcast to catch up (about 30 seconds I hear, but it might vary), then restart it when you want, and they ought to be more or less properly synched up.

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I really enjoyed reading today's Times piece about former Trojans and others locally trying to make it in the NFL. It shows how tough it is, how most guys should stay in school and get as good as they can before going out. That going early almost never makes you better or makes you more money. That the agents lie to the players. That friends pump up their buddies into thinking that the NFL guys think more of them than they do, and on and on go the arguments for staying until you HAVE to go, having fun in college, and THEN going off to do your life's work!!

Hail Matt Leinart for showing how fun college is, and for hanging around. I hope LJ and Sam Baker were playing close attention. I wonder what Matua and some others would tell the current guys now that they've seen it first hand?

Jenny's son Leo got his first taste of competition in scrimmages both Thursday night and Saturday afternoon at Gardena and Culver City. He's an OT/OG combo, got a bit of time at DT today. He does OK, as he's never played before and is just learning. Gets beat now and then by older, wiser and more experienced players, but is learning to take what they give him and how to combat it best he can. He might turn out to be ok at this by the time he gets to HS. And he likes his coaches and his teammates.

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I had a wonderful time, as always speaking before a packed house at the San Diego Trojan Club yesterday. The room was overflowing, which I think is more of a reflection on the interest in USC football, not specifically for me, but maybe there's a bit of the latter. I had to give a straight up, 15 minute speech about all manner of things in sports, USC history, football, and more, all in hopes of making a decent audition tape to give to a national speakers group in hopes of landing speaking jobs to various companies and corporations locally and beyond. I thought I delivered it pretty well, and it felt well received.

Afterwards, we had a lengthy Q and A session, told some stories, talked in great detail about this year's team, and I hung around to answer other questions for well wishers. I really enjoy seeing the guys down there, Dan Orr puts on a bang up lunch, it was great to see Don Clausen hanging in there. We spent the day at the pool afterwards, and hit the sack early so I could get to Oceanside for the World BodSurfing championships.

My heat started just 7 minutes late at 6:37, on a gray morning, not too chilly, water temps was 70 or better. Talked the guys in my heat for a few minutes prior to the competition. At least a couple of SC fans showed up to cheer me on and watched from the beach. Jenny too the video camera and taped my heat from the pier.

The waves were up a bit from the earlier week, due to a slow developing Pacific/Mexican storm. Peaks were 5-6 feet, lower waves 3-4, so I was maybe a tad intimidated, but nothing could keep me out of the water.

Oceanside features a long entry into the water, especially so at low tide, which was in effect. It takes a 2-3 of minutes of the 15 minutes just to get in, put the fins on, swim out to beyond the breakers and catch your breath.

So that leaves only 12 minutes for catching rides. Five other guys are in the heat. The defending World Champ Jeff Lashbrook, a guy from Peru (that's pretty cool, a local or two, and a first timer from Carlsbad. I don't know any of them, so I feel good about my chances to at least be competitive. Top three advance to the quarterfinals.

I caught 6 waves altogether of any consequence or meaning. Had two straight away takeoffs from the top of the waves where I stall out and then purposely drop all the way down, with both hands out, hit and bounce and ride short. I don't see a lot of others doing this one; I feel I am pretty good at it. Most others want to concentrate on going left or right with the curl like a surfer on a board.

I caught two really nice lefts and rode one out for a good long while, complete with a helicopter spin move. I caught a nice right, but it sectioned and wasn't a long ride, I finished with a smallish wave right at the horn which I rode nearly all the way to shore.

There was good chatter among the guys in the water with me during the heat, while we waited from the next waves. No one cut anyone off, although in a later heat someone was DQ'd for this action.

We all shook hands as we walked back to the judge's stand. Felt really good about my efforts, waaaay beater than last year.

I scored 32 for my top three waves, out of a possible 60. Lashbrook had a perfect score to advance first. 8 ½ points separated the other five. I finished fourth in my heat, missing the quarters by three points.

I finished 39th of 61 overall, with the 61 in our age group by far the most populated division. It was a blast. Glad to represent the Trojan Masters Body Surfing Club!

Next year, it's on the second round, baby!

Day off tomorrow, then see you at practice Monday afternoon.


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