Pete's Arboblog

Right off the top, let me congratulate my broadcast partner, Paul McDonald for doing something that's never been done in the 16 year history of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association awards show—he has won the top radio analyst award for the third consecutive year, thus making himself ineligible to win it next year.

I have worked with nearly 50 analysts in my nearly 30 years of professional announcing, and at the risk of sounding demeaning towards others, Paul is the very best I have ever had the chance to work with.

His insights are second to none, his intellect the same. His personality and mine seem to fit together perfectly. We enjoy showing up and working with each other, and, unlike so many in our business, are friends and actually socialize away from the stadium with his wife and my fiancée.

There have been many other good ones that I have been fortunate to call "partner": Fred Gallagher, in another era of USC football, was terrific. A guy who is now a news anchor for CBS in Portland, Wayne Garcia, was really fun. Mark Helmer and I did a super job together in Riverside. One of my favorites was working the L.A. City high school finals double header at the Coliseum on the old KDAY with my father. I just got to work with good friend Jim Hefner a couple of weeks ago and thought we had a good bond, and sound. It was fun to work with JJ and Rodney Peete, for whom I had called games earlier in their careers.

Some have been just raw beginners I had to carry through the broadcast; others have been so consumed with themselves that they were impossible to work with. I currently work with Denise Woods on USC women's basketball games, who rather fit the former category when she started three years ago. She has become not only credible, but also confident on the job, and we also enjoy each other's company on the air.

It's important to be able to call the game well, but it's also important, as any play-by-play guy will tell you, that you have a good partner with which to do it. Every PBP guy has horror stories of bad partners and share them with each other only.

Paul deserves all the accolades he gets, he works hard at being good at it, from coming to practice to watching film, even though he probably understands the game better than some coaches!

I would not trade my team of Paul, JJ, Hop, Burt, Mark, Rick, Bill and Ann for anything. Anyone who says anything else is simply not paying attention or doesn't know what the job entails.

**

Oh, yeah…..Vin Scully won the play-by-play award for radio, and also a separate award for TV. He was most gracious in his acceptance speeches for each. I did not prepare any acceptance notes, and I'll bet Rory didn't either! Vinny is, quite easily, Best Ever.

What a great sweep of the Oregon schools for Tim's Trojans! I turned and, with a bit of a lump in my throat, told Jenny how wonderful it is that there is such "atmosphere" for USC basketball at Galen. Having grown up with nothing but the Sports Arena, I saw it full a few times and heard the noise, but usually it was not unlike a study hall during games.

And so we're back in the top 25, at #19, somehow ahead of Stanford, which beat SC, UCLA and Cal in order then lost to Gonzaga and got dropped.

At UCLA might be tough, eh? But, can I actually dream of winning at Arizona for the first time since 1985. Just for the memory of Phil Glenn's three pointer at the buzzer that went down and in and somehow popped back out of the starched nets in, what, '92? 91? 93?

Getting ONE win of these three is important and good, getting two would be SUPER. Three?.......Can't happen, can it?

The women got the split they needed in Oregon, and now come home for the first ever women's basketball sellout at Galen against sister Bruin on Saturday morning at 11. Be there!

Men's volleyball swept UCLA at Pauley? Wow! What's the world coming to? My son KC played with Tony and Kevin Ker and Teddy Goetz of the Bruin team while in High school for the CIF-SS champ Valencia Vikings. He sat with a friend of his, Justin Shults, another Trojan, in the midst of the Bruins student section for the match, and cheered when their friends did well, but celebrated quietly when SC won!

Baseball opens with losing two of three tough ones to the Dirtbags. Women's water polo lost the Stanford tourney final to UCLA. UGH!

But, hey, how about men's tennis whippin' Stanford. What's the world coming to, part two?

The Super Bowl was the biggest butt-kicking-game-that was-still-close since Ohio State beat Michigan last season. The bad guys win every so often, I guess. I won a prop bet on the color of the gatorade that was dumped on the winning coach after the game.

**

I sat up and took notice when John Morton took over as receivers' coach for SC. Then I found out it wasn't Johnnie Hero. Well, a new coach to get to know.

**

I have been trying to prepare a story for the WeAreSC mag re: recruiting, and have talked to several people, including Tim Floyd who actually answered his phone directly and talked with me easily. But I have left messages with Rocky and Sam and baseball skipper Chad Kreuter and they have not called me back. In the case of the first two, I hope they are way too busy for me out there recruiting some kid who helps us win, and I'll catch up with ‘em at Thursday's dinner. Kreuter should call though, or will get the curse of Jovan Vavic upon him.

When Vavic called us on the old USC Insider radio show they would win the conference or national title, when he stiffed us, they would finish less than first. Take heed Chad! It's out of my hands now, may Jovan have mercy on you. But there's still time, deadline for the story isn't for two weeks!

**

Losing weight has allowed me to begin running at a faster clip, which is nice in terms of training for races. Next up, an 8k (4.96miles) in Brea on Feb. 24. Faster is a relative term of course, but I am now hovering around a ten minute per mile pace for training, maybe a bit more, which is down about a minute from a year ago.

**

As for recruiting, I, like you, am rubbing my Cardinal and Gold beads for McKnight and even holding out hope, albeit slight, for Austin. TV shows tomorrow, web site tonight, and dinner Thursday! It's Christmas boys and girls! Let's see what's in our stockings!

Fight On!


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