Pete's Arboblog

The week started in great fashion, with letters-of-intent pouring in from five-star high school football players wishing to continue their greatness by challenging themselves with a spot on the USC roster.

I followed the action as closely as I could during the day, and celebrated each bit of good news with each of you, much of the time spent at Heritage Hall watching it happen in first-hand fashion.

The Trojan Radio Network team had a noon lunch meeting to shore up our plans for 2007 and beyond, with Director Anne, Jose Eskenazi of the SC Athletic Department, Paul, JJ and I all chiming in on ways to make our programming and broadcast content even better than it has been. We've got some new things planned this season, and it looks like the team, which includes stats man Hoppe, Spotter Burt, Engineers Rick and Bill and scoreboard keeper Helmer all set to return.

After the meeting, I got to spend some time upstairs in the football "war room" with the coaches and various other well-wishers, watching the whirring fax machine, along with film of various players, and the TV sports shows that were covering the events of the day wall-to-wall.

All of the coaches had big smiles, and tired eyes. You could tell if you were there, that's it's going to be great to be a Trojan for a long, long time to come!

In preparation for an article I am writing for WeAreSC magazine, I spent a good portion of time seeking out and talking to various coaches in all sports about their recruiting experiences and challenges, and spoke this day for about 15 minutes with Rocky Seto in his office. His insight was among the most valuable I could have hoped for in putting together notes for the article.

It's good to be actual friends with some of these guys, instead of just having a working relationship with them. We can talk easily together, they know I won't cast them in any sort of negative light (I try hard to never speak ill of anyone at all, as I find being critical of someone is not the way to be a good human), and we talk of things other than football: like family and movies, friends, and memories.

Day done at HH, I went home and avoided watching or listening to the SC-UCLA game. I taped it on TiVo, found out the final when it was over, deleted it, and it was gone, almost like it never happened. Maybe we'll get ‘em the third time around at Staples. Wouldn't that be great?!

The football recruiting dinner was Thursday night, with dinner and drinks on the floor of Galen. I think tickets went for $700 a plate. Might have been less. Whatever it was, Brian Kennedy, being my friend and benefactor, invited me on his dime. Being out of work has been frustrating and relaxing all at the same time. But it doesn't pay very well, and I am looking forward to getting back to it. It doesn't look like it will be in traditional radio—I have been forced out by a series of unfortunate circumstances:

The station that USED to carry SC football lost the rights, and didn't need me. The new station picked up the rights, and wouldn't use me. EXCEPT they use my voice on their promos for SC football, so other stations all across Southern California THINK I work there. When I tell them I don't, they say that since my voice is so closely associated with the new station, they can't use me on their station. KNX, KFWB, KLOS, KLAC and maybe five others for this reason turned me down. Only two stations and their management have talked to me and say they won't hold that against me or them, and I am still in negotiations with each in hopes of landing at least a part-time spot. Frustrating, indeed! Yet, I want to thank the hundreds of you who have come up to say you are rooting for me to land on my feet, in our out of the business, and the dozens who have offered help in getting started in rather lucrative business opportunities in other fields. None have panned out yet, but they will.

In the mean time, I believe that this opportunity (or lack of same) has come to me not by chance but for a good reason, and I am taking advantage of my "down time" to enjoy myself the very best I can.

Again, thanks, you have been great in your support for me.

**

At the dinner I sat with Don Winston, WGFR, (World's greatest fund raiser), Beek, and a bunch of great guys. I spent some quality time chatting with Julie and Nick Holt, Pete and Glenna Carroll, Sam Anno, and Rocky. Mike Salmon and Craig Gibson walked out with me. A new friend who shall remain nameless for now spoke with me at great length about adventure racing and running (which, if I can get into that kind of shape I would love to try) and also about doing some Voice over work for him.

I yakked for a bit with Joe Boskovich (recent long snapping stalwart) and Alex Bottom (a ninth string tight end, by his own admission). Joe and I found out we BOTH had been in the World Body Surfing championships, (different age categories, same results, out in the first round!) and vowed to compete in the three main So Cal events together next year. He is better than I am, having grown up at the beach, and I am still learning the helicopter move. But having been only 6 points from advancing to the quarters last year gives me great hope, and having lost 30 pounds since then adds to the excitement level.

**

Hey how ‘bout a round of applause for outgoing USC video guy Joe Schrimpl. Of course he has a staff working with him, but you know all of those video compilations you see at SC events. He is in charge of those. Or was. He's heading off into private practice. Well, done Joe, Fight On! And any guy with an SC in his name is good by all of us!

**

I've called my old friend and super broadcaster Petros just to say Hi a few times, a few other times to ask a favor. He never calls back. Maybe his phone is lost. So in hopes that he reads this blog: "Hey P! What's happening in your life? How the heck ARE you? I miss working with you and the gang. Give me a call once in a while, just to keep in touch." If any of you see him let him know I want to talk with him. And not just about weaseling tickets to a concert out of him.

**

Finally, congratulations to the USC Ice Hockey team. I think it's the oldest club sport in continuous operation on campus, dating back to the 1920's. They are generally the best in the area, and have won another Pac-8 championship this week, now advancing to the western regional playoffs. The team is ranked #7 in the Western U.S.

When I was the sports director for a couple of years at KSCR on campus, we used to take a tape recorded to Pickwick Ice Arena in Burbank in the middle of the night and tape games and play them back on the air (such as it was) the next day, or even later that night.

There's nothing like college hockey at 2 a.m. with nothing but crazy fans and their dates. SC vs. UCLA in hockey, if you've never been, is a VERY physical sport. Fight On, Hockey Boys---I love those sweaters.

Hey, I'm getting married to Jenny, as you probably know, by the fact that I often mention my fiancée in this space. We have scoped out a spot and prospective summer dates July or August on a Saturday, and other than that we have decided that no one should brings gifts if invited, but when the time comes anyone who wishes to can make a donation to a charitable cause (no, not me!) and we'll be sure to get the money to the right place. We do know that the dress will be beach usual, Hawaiian shirts only for the guys, and shoes optional!

Life is great….

Fight On!


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