Pete's Arboblog - Strange Things Afoot at USC

It has come to my attention that things are not unfolding like a usual USC football week, at least not so far.

I am not just somewhat superstitious, but actually amongst the VERY superstitious, I just don't talk about them very much, cuz it brings bad luck (heh heh). Today, on preparation Tuesday, instead of talking with Willie Brown downstairs in HH, he was driving past in a golf cart as I was walking to HH for the PC press luncheon, and Willie picked me up and we chatted on the way over.

Next, a couple of weeks ago, I had run out of defensive spotter board printed sheets, which I use and tape to a piece of large mat board from an art store…so I had to hand draw a new one, rather hastily, and run copies of upstairs at HH.

I didn't like the way it came out, but I used one for the Washington State board. Later, after I had already done most of the early work for the game this week, I found the old (and good) sheets, so I threw away the new ones. But this week, I am using one of the new ones.

Of course, every week at Tuesday practice, I have a routine where Eddie gets to see it first, I have to seek him out, we shake hands just so, then I hand it to him just so…but seeing as it was a different kind, I handed it to him differently.

Later in practice, SC pass catchers were anything but that…they could not catch anything…about 15 straight without a catch. Then I took a lucky penny out of my pocket, threw it on the field, and the Trojans went right back to catching everything in sight.

You can imagine all the stuff I'm trying for the Dodgers. Of course, it's not just me, it's everyone! What are YOU doing to help your teams win? You know…it really matters!! Well, it might. Are you willing to take that chance?

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Spent some time with JJ this morning talking about the interviews we had with Deuce Lutui and Matt during the second quarter of the game in Tucson. They were quite long winded, and their answers in at least two occasions ran through a couple of plays. They were non descript plays, and had the game been a blowout in the 4th quarter, no one would care. But it was a 3-0 game in the second quarter (they had to do it then as they were taking off at half time) so I talked with JJ and told him in the future he should call the play himself (he is certainly qualified to do that as he does on the high school games each week) and then continue his interview…or if the play was a big one, I would just jump back in, and go back to him when I could. It's one of those things you never really think about till it happens. We didn't miss anything worth a damn, but still, it matters not to miss any action, so we've taken care of it.

JJ's a smart cookie of course, good businessman with an interest in the media, although he'd be better served to keep his day job in terms of stability these days in this business. Great WR and an Academic AA too, I'm surrounded by them, they're everywhere!!

And he dresses well, too.

**

I spoke last night to the San Gabriel Valley Trojan Club. Talked football, did a "where are they now" segment with Kevin Arbet and Lee Webb, both of whom are looking for honest work, although Lee still has designs on non-NFL football playing. Interviewed Bill Boyd from the great SC hoops squads coached by his dad, who is doing well. We talked a bit about the girl's hoops team, which will be very good, and then men's head coach Tim Floyd gave an overview of his team and answered questions. Everyone is very excited about the Galen Center opening, ostensibly next month.

At one point, I answered a question about instant replay in football, and marveled about how often they STILL get it wrong, and how Paul and I try to be very unbiased when reviewing in the booth, so that we can give you our opinion of how the play unfolded. And then we tell you how we would rule, and find out two of three times last week we were overruled!

Then, a discussion about the Oregon-Oklahoma game came up, and citing the Princeton team that found out it had won a game on a 5th down, called their opponent on Monday and deeded the game to the rightful winner, and I suggested any team that accepts a win while knowingly being the recipient of a bad call that clearly was the determining factor of the game, ought to be ashamed of itself, and that I would never support a team that did so.

Believe it or not, there were grumbles, particularly from what appeared to be an inebriated group of men, who said things like along the lines of "ethics are for losers", and that teams are in the business of winning and wining means money. I countered with the fact that blaming the officials and using them as an excuse for taking an ill-gotten win was for losers, and did not teach our children the proper behavior.

How can one look in the mirror or live with themselves if they make decisions that are dishonest and morally unsound based on greed? I don't get it, never want to get it, and feel terribly sorry for the sorry people who feel that way, and practice such things.

Oregon should forfeit the game. If it was USC, I would hope we would do the right thing in a similar instance.

By the way, it was not Princeton; it was Cornell vs. Dartmouth in 1940. Cornell players unanimously voted to forfeit the game.

In 1990, Colorado scored on a 5th down the officials even reviewed it and saw it was a 5tgh down, and STILL allowed the play to stand, and Colorado won, and claimed a piece of a National Championship they did not deserve, as it came on the game's last play, a game rightfully won by Missouri. Georgia Tech is clearly the 1990 National Champion in the minds of right thinking people and fans everywhere.

**

All in all though, a really nice night, great job by President Sean and the gang…thanks for having me over!

Back to the prep work.

**

Oh yeah, at dinner I talked with Thomas Williams about playing FB. He said no thanks. But what if one of our next two guys gets hurt, someone has got to step up. What about a guy like Byers? I guess we'll just go with what we have plus a bunch of tight end in motion as a lead blocker sort of thing.

Pete seem to know what he's gonna do, I trust him, so I'll just shut up now!

DJ no play today. Sed is riding a bike, I figure ASU still for him.

Powdrell was at practice in a cast, pain more or less gone. The Cougs OL is beat up, they are out two starters, have to move guys, which is not good for them, without the depth that we have, they can ill afford to be too dinged up this week of all weeks, especially in protecting Brink, their QB, who can fling it and test our DB's for the first time.


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