Pete's Arboblog - Cal week preview

Exciting times on campus; exciting times to be a college football fan and a USC fan.

Thursday, November 16th

Just got back from the Marshall game, barristers win 42-14. Palisades was huge. And slow, other than the qb who ran for a 97 yard td, and the little rb they have is okay, but overall, marshals team speed and sound defense, to go along with qb Stephen Richart's 183 yards-2 TD's, three rushing TD's, and Moses Gilchrist's 7 catches, too much for the dolphins. Richart and Gilchrist the top passing combo in Marshall history single season or career.

The last time I went to Pali was the very first game I attended as a high schooler in 1969. We lost that one by a 35-0 count. Better this time.

Marshall plays at tough Huntington Park Wednesday night.

Had a great time. Hope to continue to do so this weekend.

Wednesday, November 15th

Nothing much to report, although I thought the team was somewhat distant in practice tonight. By that, I mean I think they are ready to go RIGHT NOW, and not wanting to wait until Saturday to play Cal. They want to go right now.

My pre-game piece with Pete was, even by my own account very good. Full of information and emotion and I think it's a piece you'll want to hear before the game Saturday. Pete and I chatted about the "this and that" of coaching theory and practice for a few minutes afterwards. I like someone who speaks the same language as I do when it comes to such things. So few understand what goes into coaching besides X's and O's.

I'm back on Atkins, and trying to run through my injury bug and general malaise about it.

Talked a great deal with several people tonight (including one of the scrimmage refs about the LA City playoffs which open tomorrow. I'll, of course, be at the Marshall at Pali game. There might even be a day game somewhere I can catch.

Cell phone broke, so got another one, had to buy a couple of new games and transfer my pictures from one to the other. Plus you lose your songs and ring tones, what a scam!

Bought a 2007 desk calendar at Staples. Circled Jan 1 and Jan 8.


Readying for the Marshall Alumni basketball game next Tuesday. Old guys vs. JV at 6, varsity and newer/fresher alums after that. We are inducting the 1985-86 LA City Championship team into the Marshall basketball hall of fame, along with Chito Reyes who played at Marshall in the late 60's, went to and starred at New Mexico State and then for the Mexican Olympic team in 1972, and I think 1976.

The others already inducted twenty years ago were City player of the year Hal Uplinger (the only Barrister who ever has played in the NBA), City MVP Bob Kloppenburg, Loren Bracci (the only other American Pro player—ABA), City scoring record setter for season, career and single game John Starkins, Jerry Simon who broke all of Starkins' record as a senior, and long time coach Lou Wheeler, for whom the school gym is named.

If you have never been to the Marshall gym, as a sports fan, you owe yourself a trip. It is the smallest gym of any major high school in a major city in the United States. School enrollment 4000+, gym capacity 175. Opponent fans not allowed in, only players and cheerleaders and an administrator. The walls are a foot or so from the baselines and sidelines. Until recently there were gymnastic ropes in one corner that could be lowered to stop a deep range corner shooter from the opposing school. There were also, in each corner old style radiators, which would be turned on high sometimes. The Walls would sweat. The people would scream, LOUDLY, it was and is a very difficult place for opposing teams to come and play. The court is too thin, and too short, and quick pressing Marshall teams make life hell for visitors.

Last year's team had most of its players declared ineligible for various reasons, and went 0-22 as the JV team played a varsity schedule.

This year's team is supposed to be pretty good, and has at least one honest to goodness DI caliber player. I haven't seen him, so we shall see.

The players on the 85-86 team and their coaches Sandy Greentree, Dan Leise and Martin Olivares will all be there. There is admission of all-comers as it the Ralph Yzyguerra scholarship fun game. Money goes to a player who might not be the best student, (by any means—in tradition of Ralph who did not attend many classes and died of cancer at a tragically young age…he played on my team that was ranked 10th in LA)

The women's game is Monday, benefiting Leigh Sutton, who was killed in a car crash in 1976. She was a Division one candidate to be sure. She was my girlfriend at the time. It was tough. My youngest daughter Veronica carries her name in the middle.

So many stories and memories of this wonderfully old smelly gym. I started going to games there when I was 6. Hoppe and I played there. His older brother Rich was a teammate of Bracci on a very good team. Trojans Steve Umemoto and John Ireland attended and played. Iron Eyes Cody's kid was a 7' center. I learned to shoot from Uplinger, my dad's best friend and my godfather. My son KC made his first basket every in the gym, and despite not being an alum, has been invited to play in the varsity game Tuesday. I coached a game there years ago against a team coached by another teammate of mine, Larry Hatfield. It is one of the highlights of my coaching career still. There was a move afoot recently to build a new gym. I hope it does not happen. I love Wheeler. It not only feels like home, it IS home.

Tuesday, November 14th

Exciting times on campus; exciting times to be a college football fan and a USC fan.

Yep, we're right back in it, and just as quickly can be out of it.

Matter of fact, it's not farfetched to think Rutgers could actually make it. Ohio State beats Michigan, SC loses to Cal, SC beats ND, and Florida loses to Arkansas in the SEC final, after LSU or Alabama beat Florida.

Or we could just win out and go ourselves. Yeah, let's do THAT instead.

Good PC lunch today, although Tedford was on early and some missed it if they forgot. Ahem. Anybody read Pearls Before Swine, the comic strip. The rat and pig are going to the top of the mountain to ask for the meaning of life, and the guru is named Tedford, and gives out mostly football advice during this time of year. Pretty funny. Someone asked the CAL COACH if he was following it, and he had no clue what was being talked about.

Ryan Killeen hanging around practice today with the kickers. They are, as are most kickers/snappers/holders, a spirited bunch.

Brandon Hancock says no, he does not think he will play in the national title game, but I still hold out hope.

I actually got asked for the very first time this year, to appear on the Gary and Demarco show, this was a request made last Tuesday. First time I've been asked to appear on any show on the USC flagship station. Then, the next day, Gary Miller was released/quit left to enjoy other endeavors in his career. So I have applied to become co-host of the show.

Since I am otherwise unemployed, and certainly qualified to do an all-purpose talk show, not to mention close sales, do updates, report from game sites and do commercials, it seems that I might be a reasonable fit. Farr says he would welcome the partnership. My fingers are crossed. Anyone else besides me would like to hear the Voice of the Trojans on full time on the Trojan station? Okay, then, it's almost unanimous.

Heck yeah I'm campaigning!

Great practice today, the guys are loose, yet working very hard, and full of cautious confidence. No full pads today for the first time on Tuesday that I can recall this year. Must be the stretch drive.

Tough run after practice on the track.

#1 water polo at home vs. #2 Cal Saturday at noon. Gotta be there for the regular season finale.

Speaking at Southern California Sports Broadcasters lunch tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:30 am at Lakeside CC in Toluca Lake, all comers are welcome, it costs to get in and eat, and you have to dress nice.

Marshall football playoff at Palisades Thursday at 7.

See you at practice Top Stories