Pete's Arboblog - Back at the Ravine

I had to hustle a little bit with all the day's activities on Tuesday. It began with the usual PC lunch and press conference. Pete said it was a great atmosphere inside the stadium, and briefly addressed the student ticketing issues.

He discussed how surprised he was at Nebraska's game plan. Today I watched Bill Callahan's 1-hour cable show and he said they had a plan and stuck to it perfectly, other than turning the ball over. They made it sound like they were in the game, and could have won if they had played better. Of course, that's always the case is sports, isn't it? The show really tried to turn a pig's ear into a silk purse. I also, with some glee, watched a similar show about Notre Dame's effort against Michigan, but Weis clearly understood that the better team won.

Pete was non committal about replacing Powdrell with anyone in particular, but then at practice, did what Paul and I had talked about together on the last segment of the post game show in an empty Coliseum: taking a big linebacker or tight end and moving him into the spot. Presto-chango—welcome Luther Brown, although I thought Thomas Williams was a good candidate too. One of the things I love about Pete was the insight he gave us all about what it is like being a coach, when one of your top guys gets really badly hurt. He has to tend to his player, tend to his remaining players psychologically, all while trying to manage play calling and game management. He cares deeply, feels deeply about his guys and his team, our team. He got emotional about his recounting of the moment in the game when it happened.

Emmanuel Moody, I mean I don't want to brag, but I think way back in early camp I said he was the best of the Baby Backs, and he is , at least so far, and he's going to be a stud. Chauncey is getting stronger too, so a good battle looms. CJ is good, too. It's a good problem to have.

CJ is going to take some kickoffs, Cary Harris, while quick, does not go very far after he gets hit. So far.

I went downstairs and worked on Arizona player bios for my spotter board, then started to work on Washington State, but did not get anything done on Washington except putting the blank sheets of paper on another board with scotch tape. Willie Brown and I talked for a while (whew! I was beginning to wonder if it was something I ate) and it was time to head on out to practice, show the board to Ed, hang with Gail and Lawrence, talk to GP and head to Dodger Stadium.

**

I missed by one game of doing the game of the year (century?) on the PA system there. Instead, I got a clunker. It was fun to go back and do a game there after 12 years away. I visited with Vinny, said hi to Rick, met Charlie for the first time, saw some old friends like Henry Glenn, my good buddy David Lander (Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley) who is quite the baseball fanatic (I think he's with SABR) and a Pirates nut.

Many years ago, I was commissioner of one of the first leagues that formed in Rotisserie baseball, the originators of fantasy sports as we know it today, in 1984. There were five leagues in all of California that year. We did all of our stats by hand. It's gotten bigger since then, eh?

Anyway, there were 10 of us, it grew to 12 with expansion later…. we met for the draft weekend, summer meetings, the post season banquet and winter meetings, most of which were nothing more than four day excuses to goof off more than we already did. I was the commish, so I got to choose the banquet location, and speaker, and we had Lander speak to us one year. No one knew who was coming, I kept it secret, and they all went wild when Squiggy walked into the room…and talked serious hard core baseball for two hours with ‘em.

I quit the league after 14 years…knife fights and soured friendships made it less than worthwhile. I have never played a fantasy sport since. Instead I root for real teams. Like the Dodgers, who, if they don't figure out how to pitch better right away will not be playing at home or anywhere else after October 1. I think the GSLORBC continues to this day (Golden State League of Rotisserie Baseball Clubs) with all new people, there may still be a guy or two who played in it while I was there.

I saw old broadcast partner Geoff Nathanson, who was in our fantasy league (the Nathansonians—I was the Arbohydrates, although Arbogasms was a pseudonym) He and I won an AP award for best play by play in CA for our broadcast of the Mater Dei vs. Crenshaw basketball game one year.

M friend, Nancy Bea (Hefley) the organist and I exchanged hugs. Love her; wish they'd let her work more. World's busiest and greatest photog Jon Soohoo (a Marshall guy) came and took my picture at work and one or two of Vinny and me.

They lost, to fall into second place. It's not my fault. Really.

And it took a few announcements to get used to the delay again. When you talk, your voice comes out of the center field speakers two seconds later (just due to time and space relationships) so then you have to ignore what you hear, and continue to read while you are hearing your own voice saying something else. Very odd sensation for one's brain to grasp.

Drive safely on your way home John Ramsey. Goodnight.

As my search for work goes on, I have begun the application process for becoming a high school and youth league basketball official. I have, over the years, coached a great number of games, and been a harsh critic of game officials who don't know what they are doing, phone it in, don't take care of their bodies, and generally show up for a paycheck. I am especially critical of those who are over officious, and those who are angry from the start of a game, or hold grudges from one game to the next. I vow to never be one of the above. Do your job well, no matter what it is, be fair, consistent, and friendly. Hustle. Be open to suggestion and change. Enjoy your work. Don't be critical of people who are trying their best to do their job. Be supportive and help them along, and they'll help you. Fact is, being supportive and complimentary to people will get you a lot further with them.

USC game management Director John Henderson is a quality game official at a high level. He is helping me get set up to go to classes, and learn what it takes, and then to get going, so I can get work and get paid.

Thanks, John.


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