Pete's Arboblog

Okay, I feel like I am back and ready to fight on! It takes some time for fans, broadcasters and players to recover from the trauma of a rare loss, but the past is now the past, we have learned from it, and will forge ahead to do our best work.

Funny, I sort of felt out of sorts during the first half last Saturday, and into the third quarter before I sort of awakened. Hmmmmm—sort of like the team, huh? And then AI felt like Paul and JJ and I did some of our best work of the year, if not ever. We were really humming and you cold feel the energy at work. That the game result came up short was unusual.

So after a weary Sunday and Monday, where it was hard to get back to it and "hit the books" in anticipation of mighty Stanford, I felt a lot better once we got into the regular routine of Press Day Tuesday.

Talked to TJ Simers who is celebrating the start of his new show with good friend Fred. He says both of them will have to figure out how the reorganize their lives what with the early morning starts. I have done that shift. It's no fun, and it never even comes close to BEING fun. And the money wasn't that good in the bargain. And it's tough to get out to ballgames, because, as Randy Kerdoon of KNX pointed out, your find yourself doing things you haven't done since nursery school, like taking naps all the time, and going to bed when the sun goes down.

I wish them luck. I won't listen much. Not because I don't like them, just cuz it's too darn early. Unless I get a job one of these days and need to be up to go to work or some other sort of miracle.

Pete was dreading this press conference no doubt. When you lose, everyone wants to know what's wrong, how are you feeling, will you survive. When I called the games for the woeful Bengals those years in Cincy, I didn't want to take the garbage out for fear of being pestered with pity if not outright grousing—like I had something to do with the Bengals being crappy all the time. Even when they are reportedly good, like now, they aren't all THAT!

So you know he knew he was going to have to put on the brave face and tell us all it was okay, the team was handling it well, it was behind them, and everyone was moving forward. It probably takes longer than that…say beating Stanford, or maybe even beating a team like Oregon before it really is behind us all. But there were good things—like the comeback, and the way the team played late. The fact that OSU had an element of good fortune in their win. But you need that in any upset, and the Beavers took advantage of enough opportunities to win, so don't fault them. But you can fault SC, for if it played its best game and OSU played its, you know who wins.

Are the Trojans still in the national championship picture? Not realistically. Ohio State vs. Michigan winner is IN. West Va and Louisville and Rutgers are all unbeaten in the Big East. If one comes out unscathed, they have a shot, otherwise all three are out.

Florida and Auburn…one will lose at least one as they could meet in the SEC final, but guys, Auburn isn't even in first place in its division of the league, and might not even make the final! Texas might have its hands full of a rematch with Nebraska in the Big 12 final. Too many variables, but we've seen odd things happen before. Problem is also that SC has to run the table. MOST signs, AND MOST comparative scores say Cal blows SC's doors off. Just like the scores said that about the SC-UCLA game last year.

But never say never. Not yet.

Tuesday practice looked good and solid and players were in a workmanlike mood. I went and got my haircut, as Mark Sanchez and I had a deal that we would let our hair grow till SC lost. I feel better about my hair, not the loss. As of Wednesday night, Sanchez still had curly locks going, but said he was going to get a touch up, a trim. Hamm, not exactly a man of his word, now. But he's a QB and had this excuse: "I had the best practice of the year today, so I don't want to jinx it" I told him he has until the Oregon game to get his hair cut at least some all the way around!

I told all the regulars that the loss was all my fault due to the pre game show snafu, the fact that I talked football and actually for the first time ever watched game film in prep with Paul last week for the first time ever, and the botched Hawaiian shirt switcheroo. I got three more shirts in the mail today. I think I'm good now for a while at least.

As penance, I ran five miles after practice. Was so tired I missed "rewind" tonight. Went to SC alum Steph Truitt's fantastic Halloween party. Handed out candy to the kids. Her next extravaganza is Christmas Caroling. Old fashioned walk through the neighborhood on Saturday December 16 at about 6 pm-10 pm..Bring the family and sing. I do. So does the family. It's on Russell between Hillhurst and Commonwealth in Lower Los Feliz.

All are welcome in this and any season by the Truitt's warm home. Bring a tithing of food or drink if you must, but bring good cheer and any old kind of voice. Dress warmly. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday I took Leo to practice and we both did our homework on Prior plaza. It was downright chilly. Team looks good again, pep in their step. I love Thomas Williams at fullback. Making plans to see SC water polo at Stanford Saturday at 1:30, you should too. Not going into SF for the rally though. Will hang at hotel, do some geocaching and some more on campus Saturday. Join me if you wish.

Jenny and I have decided to bake many pies and give them out for free on the Venice boardwalk to the needy and the hungry and just any old folk who happen by on Thanksgiving afternoon. 19th street and the boardwalk. Bring some pies and help out if you feel the urge and the spirit.

Going to Pac Ten basketball media day Thursday, then out to see son KC play a fall league hoops title tilt before Survivor. Then back for the flight on Friday.

Still some prep work to do, too

And for you football heads, Marshall hosts Wilson on homecoming Saturday at 2 this week. Hey it's two hours before SC kickoff. And if you park on St. George you can watch through the fence from your car on "cheapskate hill" SC Alum Mark Helmer calls the action over the PA in my stead.

It's late, and I cant; think of anything else going on. Oh wait, my brother Jerry's girls tennis team at Marshall is ranked 4th in the city, the highest ever for a Marshall girls tennis team. They got a bye on the first round and host Granada Hills next Wednesday at the Griffith park tennis courts on Riverside at 1 pm. Even though he's a Bruin, he's a fine coach, a good little brother (he's still my little brother even if he's 46) and it would be a hoot if a bunch of Trojans turned out for it.

Well, can't wait to kick the heck out of poor little Stanford. They are so banged up and young, it's a horrible season for the Trees. Can you even feel sorry for them? Not so much! But it will be great to get through this one unscathed and get to the real work ahead.

By the way, when the school changed from Indians, the student body there voted for "trees" as the official mascot. The administration in a strong dictatorial move, revoked the vote, and named the team the Cardinal. Way to let the students run their own university. And that is why to this day the students refer to their team as the Trees, and have a Tree as a mascot in the student run band. A great way to thumb their noses, for many years now, back at the administration.

Can't wait to see what the Incomparables have in store for us Saturday, not to mention collecting a new stadium, I wonder if it will be full, or if there will be more SC fans than Tree fans there?

Fight ON…


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