Pete's Arboblog - Rose Bowl practice week

Happy holidays my friends, and what better way to start the post-Christmas Bowl season than with a Bruin loss in the Emerald Nuts Bowl in front of a whopping 40-000 (an ENB record, no less).

Sure I know it makes us look worse, and the Pac-10 is winless (and might stay that way until January 1—and so might the Big-10), but it sure made me feel better. It just goes further to prove the point that the Bruins played the greatest defensive game of their lives and SC laid an egg all at the same time—the imperfect storm-- leading to the biggest upset in UCLA history. It was just one of those days.

If PC would let me, I would be very much already looking forward to a certain game next November in the Coliseum.

Jeez, Booker looked good didn't he?

The Trojans meanwhile, were very hard workers today, and it appeared to me that the defense was having its way with the offense. The offense has not looked all that much better since Black Saturday earlier this month. Dropped passes, mis-fires. They are having trouble getting going….of course most teams do have that trouble against SC's defense.

Still, there's plenty to worry about. And worry is not a proper form of preparation. So I am trying to think of the game, and only the game, focus in on biographical notes, and body-types, and tendencies and just prepare best I can to call a great game.

It rained today at practice. I can't recall the last time. I spent the afternoon on the roof at Dedeaux with Paskwietz and Brian Kennedy among others. Beek wrote another check and they have the great dining room at Galen named for he and his super wife Susan. It's good to be the king. Wonder if he needs anyone to help sell billboards or file papers?

I picked up my press credential and parking pass at the Beverly Hilton today. I think they charge 6$ just to drive by the hotel. Never mind parking. Saw my good buddy Jim Muldoon of the Pac-10 offices. He says tickets are not quite in as much demand as they were this time last year!! Imagine that. Got a press pin, a bunch of press guides and a cool Rose Bowl thermos.

A girl I used to coach at Our Mother of Good Counsel school in Los Feliz is now a teacher in Ann Arbor and wants me to send her whatever I can get my hands on so she can show it to her class. Aida Medina. Great athlete in just about everything, and were it not for Mary Ragland would have certainly been school female athlete of the year for the Crusaders (now called, politically the correctly the Dolphins-yuck) I coached there from 74-78. We had great lunch leagues where kids from 3rd grade on up to 8th grade played on teams coached by the older kids. The after school sports program which had been in disarray prior to my arrival for a few years was in perfect shape when I left to go into radio. We had an outstanding basketball team for both genders, and great softball for the girls. Not so good in football. Many of the kids went on to very good careers in high school at Marshall, Loyola, Murphy and Immaculate Heart and Holy Family among other stops. A few played some college ball. Most became good citizens and parents. I remember virtually every kid and team I ever coached, and most games, too.

Any way, Aida had just moved to LF from Mexico and was shy but sports really brought her out. She found me on classmates just a few weeks ago. As any coach or teacher will tell you, when one of them finds you and tells you nice things about what you did in their lives, it makes it all worthwhile. I just hope they know how important they all were in MY life.

***

I did not go to Disneyland with the team, but there's on event I try not to miss. I mean when you can go and eat for free with an invitation to the world's greatest prime rib place, Lawry's on restaurant row on La Cienega, how can you resist.

It's the annual beef bowl. Michigan went tonight, SC tomorrow after practice. Used to be the two teams would eat until they could not eat any more, then they'd divide the pounds of meat by the number of eaters, and you'd get a trophy.

Now, everyone gets the same one or two portions, and there is no real competition any more. I think there was someone who kept track of which team won the beef bowl and which team then won the game. I wonder if the list exists somewhere.

The SC men's basketball team opens play tomorrow night at Galen against Washington. Maybe not the most talent, and coach Floyd is doing a little Bibby impersonating with all of the tough running practices before game day and suspensions and the like, but they DO play hard, and next year if they have a bit more talent and also play hard, look out!

Jenny and I are trying to figure out what to do New Year's Eve that includes: fun, cheap, includes maybe music, no drinking and getting home at about 1 am. We live in Venice. Anybody?


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