Trojan rewind and the press conference and Gauntlet shows are good, but this show would be a killer!
As I have mentioned, I started practicing play by play when I was just a little kid. Really started to work at it while I was in high school and junior College at LACC.
I would sit in a corner of the Marshall High gym and announce games into a cassette recorder, and also sit up high at SC basketball games, Lakers games, Dodger games and practice there. It is there I met guys like Chris Roberts, Ken Levine and Paul Olden doing the same thing. I was, and still am the Public Address announcer for Marshall football, so I did not practice football play by play until I got to City College.
There, I learned the technical aspect of broadcasting, and some of what I still carry with me today in terms of practical experience. The Cubs team there in my second year, fall of 1973, won a share of the state JUCO championship with such players as Vince Evans and Rod Martin. The final at Bakersfield was a 10-10 tie, the game coming down to LACC trying a final play field goal. Due to the fog (the first time I was forced out of the press box by the stuff!) I called the game into he tape recorder while standing under the cross bar. The kick was good; it went right over the center, right over my head. One ref called it good, the other, apparently had glanced away and it took him by surprise, and by the time he looked up it was already gone, so he waved it off, and it ended a tie after a wild argument. We know he didn't see it, as we watched the film of him looking down while the play was unfolding! Nice clutch effort dude!
In my graduating class at City the next spring with AA's in radio broadcasting were Ted Sobel (KFWB), Paul Olden (Bruins, Yankees, Jets, Devil Rays, now part time KNX), Rudy Uribe (a long time sales manager at what was LA's #1 rated K-LOVE). A year ahead of us was Steve Thrapp (long time Lakers radio producer, now with Staples as their sound guy), Tom Nast (who ran radio and Records Magainze's east coast bureau, and Jim Sellers (a big shot entertainment guy)
I remember our long time instructor Don McCall, and Chuck Edwards and Bob Staley. There were survey classes where radio and TV guys would come and talk to us. Later Staley had me in to be one of the speakers. That was a career highlight, to be able to go back home like that.
Edwards was involved in the payola scandal of the 50's on rock radio. Good guy, sort of tough love sort of guy. He gathered us on the final day of school, the graduates, and told us one at a time if he thought we'd really MAKE it in the business. He was harshly critical of everyone, said virtually none of us would get to work in LA radio. He was wrong of course. I wonder if he was just being a challenging sort of guy or what.
When he came to me, he said "You'll probably get on somewhere cuz your dad was on here" I did get on, but my dad was not really in the same side of the business as I am, so it wasn't necessarily because of anything he did THAT way.
I bring this up because I'll be back at the mike on Friday afternoon as Marshall hosts Southeast High of Huntington Park at 3 p.m. It's one of my true pleasures in life. I am very much the authority on Marshall football history, having seen more games than anyone alive, and know the history of the team quite well.
Last week, they beat up South Gate, 35-0, and that bodes well usually for a good season. The team returns it's first ever 2-000 yard passer in Steven "Sunshine" Richart who attended Nike Camp this summer. WR/DB Moses Gillchrist is a division I prospect, the first really good one since Mike Haynes, although several others have played DI since, I think it was a bit surprising. When the team is on the road, I keep stats for them. When I am out of town, I get the film of the game from coach Andy Moran and cull the stats that way. Mark Helmer does the PA when I am gone. You might recall him as the guy whom many of you helped through your generosity a couple of years ago. It's been a long road back for him and he's not there yet, but getting closer. I hope.
On that subject, every year I do a dedication of my season's work for USC at the top of the first broadcast. I was very proud of this year's dedication, because it is to two very different groups of people.
I called on all of you to help, in personal ways, those who need help. So many of our brothers and sisters have fallen through the cracks of society in so many ways. Either a lack of work, bad luck, poor health (physical or mental) has shoved a good many to a bad place. Those of us who can, should try and make their lives better however we can.
So, I asked for each one of you to do one thing every week after a win to make someone else's life better. It will give you a good feeling, certainly help them, make our block, our neighborhood, our community and city a better place to live.
Be Good Humans. Let's Get To It! And for those of you who do these things (and I am NOT talking about monetary donations, but some one on one personal help of some sort where you have to go out of your comfort zone a little bit to do something really nice, no matter how big or small) and to all of those who cannot hear the games and need that help, I dedicate the season to you.
(Last night, we made an extra steak on the BBQ, and extra helping of food from the other courses and plates, took it down with a fork and knife and napkins in a nice plastic Tupperware thing, and gave it to one of the homeless guys down here at the Venice boardwalk. Walked up and handed it to the guy. He just smiled and nodded to us) It didn't take much.
MARSHALL BARRISTERS FOOTBALL
W H SOUTH GATE 35-0
9-8 H SOUTHEAST 3 PM
9-22 @ POLY 7 PM
9-29 H *FRANKLIN 3 PM
10-6 @ *EAGLE ROCK 3 PM
10-13 @ SANTEE 7 PM
10-20 N *BELMONT @ 7 PM at BIRMINGHAM (HALL OF FAME NIGHT INDUCTING THE 1982 CITY 2A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM)
10-27 @ *LINCOLN 6 PM
11-4 (SAT) H *WILSON 2:15
11-9 (THU) @ *LOS ANGELES 2:15
11-17 ? PLAYOFFS
11-22 ? QUARTER FINALS
12-1 ? SEMI FINALS
12-8 N FINALS AT COLISEUM
FROSH SOPH PLAYS THURSDAY AT SAME SITE IN CASES OF DAY GAMES, EXCEPT FOR 11-4, WHICH IS AT 10:30 AM. IN NIGHT GAMES, FROSH SOPH PLAY AT SAME SITE AT 4 PM. ADMISSION CHARGED AT GATE FOR ALL GAMES.
I loved my days at Marshall. I really started going there in 1960, when my dad took me to my first game when I was 5 years old. I grew up just down the street, and spent a lot of afternoon's there watching practices, and sitting on the bench. I always sat just under the scorers' table in the smallest gym in a major inner city school in the United States. The school has 4000 students, the gym seats 175 on one side, no visiting fans allowed. I used to shag fly balls with the teenagers who played baseball for the Blue, when I was just a kid and they looked like Gods.
My dad would come get me out of school early on Friday to travel to Marshall games at opposing schools. When we did current events in Franklin Elementary school I always did a report on the Marshall team, and of course included information about our own Franklin Vikings, scourge of the Hollywood YMCA Gra-Y league, Since he went there, and my older sister was a student there in the Mid-60's, I knew just about everyone, and by the time I got there in late '69, I knew my way around pretty well. Some teachers I had said they had watched me grow up on campus! Schoolwork was not all that interesting for me. I liked English mostly, sang deep bass (surprise) in the Madrigals for two years, played basketball (JV starter is a junior, bench warmer on #10 ranked team in LA as a senior—we all still keep in touch and many of us still play in the annual alumni game Thanksgiving Tuesday night at 6 pm), and tried my hand at pole vaulting. Never took up tennis, as had my father and younger brother Jerry, who is tennis coach and head of the PE department there today. My other brother John is track coach and history teacher.
It is a school built into a community, and is OF the community. People come back, and most are happy they went there. The Administration and faculty is peppered with former students. They support their sports teams now, which was not always the case for what was considered one of the better academic high schools in the LA City system. (Won the national Academic Decathlon a few years back) Its racial diversity was such that when bussing started, it was one of the very few schools that required no bussing in our out!! We were/are very proud of the fact that we were all inclusive when it came to race, color, religion, or any other possible divisive issue. We all hate Belmont, like the Dodgers hate the Giants, and Trojans hate Bruins. It's what's expected of us. Wd don't much like Wilson or Franklin either, but can tolerate Lincoln and Eagle Rock. Hollywood is harmless.
And then, there's the beauty factor. It's an old style gothic brick structure, which looks basically the same as the day it was built (in 1931…we celebrate our 75th this fall). It has been used in many commercials, TV shows and movies. The final carnival scene in Grease was filmed on our too-small track and football field (352 yards around, 5 laps to the mile!!) If you look closely, you'll see very few riders on the rides in the scenes, as they forgot to hire extras that day, and were on such a tight deadline, that they found a bunch of us playing basketball in the gym, and paid us some small money and fed us to get us to be the ride riders that day. I am on the Ferris wheel holding a large yellowish balloon. They said not to look out from behind it, so of course I did…every time we went around!!
The three years spent there went by way too fast. Until about ten years ago, I still dreamt I was going to school there! And in some ways I still do.