The first group came through early in the week was mostly little kids, ages third grade through junior high. Having fun learning about football through camp put on by the coaching staff, and run by just-older-than-them camp counselors. Meals provided, films watched, exercise regimens followed and touch football games played round the clock. Very cool camp T-shirts and water bottles and tons of other swag.
Later in the week, it got way more serious as the high schoolers came in for what appeared to be a more serious version of the same, complete with running, jumping and agility drills, things you might expect older and more seasoned players to be capable of.
Through it all there was one shining face, and his fingerprints were all over everything—I mean that I a good way—as coaches ran this camp just like they run USC football practices—with high energy and enthusiasm, so campers feel like they are getting the "real deal"
Pete Carroll is there, hands on every step of the way every day. He seems to revel in it, taking time to visit with each and every kid it seems, each group, tossing the ball, laughing, and coaching. Running and jumping. Almost camper-like himself.
I didn't know one kid from the next, of course. For that sort of information you can read the columns and look the pictures on the site. I DO know it looked like a blast, just like the fantasy camp for guys like us a week earlier.
It's that energy and enthusiasm, none of it false, that fuels this program, our program now, and what makes it tick and what makes it work and what makes it win. We all believe!!
I got my desk on Wednesday, and my office space, and have been working ahead in anticipation of our equipment arriving so I can really get down to it…but until then I am just going top make myself busy taking VHS tapes from my personal file of past SC games and dubbing them over to DVD so as to save them for a longer period of time, as some of the older tapes might begin to show their age before too long.
I have a box of old reel-to-reel videotape and a tape player of the kind on which they were recorded, and am trying to get the guys upstairs to figure out if it can work well enough to be able to dub THAT stuff down to modern format. I have at least some old SC football footage, not to mention Hank Aaron's 715th off of TV and some Nixon resignation stuff from TV as it happened. I think we've got some high school basketball and tennis stuff from when my brothers and I played back in the early 70's, so to see this and be able to preserve it would be very cool.
Speaking of the 715th, and the 755th of Hammerin' Hank—is there going to be any more inconsequential record breaking moment in sports history than when and if The Giant Gerk "passes" Aaron?
They ought to have separate categories for pre-medicinal age and post-
I will not cheer, I will not clip out the newspaper accounts, and mostly I just don't care and won't pay attention. It's a sham. And a shame.
And when the players union allows blood testing in the name of fair competition, then we might find out what's really been happening. As if we don't know.
And when these cheaters start to die at unusually young ages we'll know then, too.
The guys who are really upset and ought to be, are those who play the old way, play within the rules. Everyone else disgraces the sport in which they participate and those who came before them and the fans who follow their exploits.
I've signed up for three body surfing competitions for the summer. San Clemente on July 22, Manhattan on August 4 and Oceanside on August 25. The wedding is August 11, but because of work, I can't take any time off for that before or after. I got paid a real check for doing real work! We have weathered the storm, and are up to date with bills and all of that. It was a long haul to get here, but things are looking good again. Fight On!