Manager's Blog: Post Cal Report

USC Football's Quarterback Manager Matthew Burkhard brings an inside view on the road trip against the California Golden Bears. The game at Memorial Stadium was riddled with challenges.

Saturday's Cal game was anything but a piece of cake for everyone involved, including USC's Student Managers. Facing cold temperatures and constant rainfall, the traveling managers had to work even harder to make sure the operation ran smoothly for the team.

New challenges ranged from the need of countless towels for coaches and players during the game, to the labor of covering up all on-field equipment before, during, and after the game.

The major setbacks included the malfunction of the wireless headsets during the game, and the requirement of keeping all the game balls dry and ready for play. Rain poses more of a problem than you'd think.

All of the managers agreed that the conditions in Berkley last weekend were about the worst they could imagine. Special Teams Manager Adam Kossof said, "Although the weather posed a challenge for not only the players but also the managers, it sure made the game that much more memorable. Football isn't always played in 'Southern California' conditions... Needless to say, I was happy to return to LA and sunny weather after the win."

The managers that made it possible were Randall Green, David Toper, Brandon Buehler, Nick Waggoner, Andy Benitez, Drew Ness, Eloy Ledesma, Jared Jegarag, and Adam Kossoff. Without them, the win for the Trojans would have been much more difficult to achieve. Thanks to them for their hard work and dedication to the Trojans.

To add to all the madness, the return from the game presented the equipment staff and managers with even more problems - load after load of laundry have been in and out of the equipment room since the truck arrived late Sunday night. The equipment needed to be unpacked, washed, and dried to remove all of the damp odor left over from Saturday's game.

Even worse, each and every one of the equipment manager's most precious assets - the footballs - were ruined by rain in Berkley. Since then, managers have put in hours of time breaking out (and breaking-in) brand new footballs for practice. Needless to say, none of these new balls are even close to being up to "peach" standard. Much more scrubbing and breaking-in will be required of the managers before next week's game at Arizona State.

On a different note, the USC managers have just begun practicing some plays of their own after normal practices. Each year, just prior to the USC vs. UCLA football game, the student managers from each team meet up for their own football game. The defending champs - USC managers - will be meeting UCLA's managers on our home turf (Howard Jones Field) a few days before the final game of the regular season. More on that to come.

After this long week, we will enjoy a few days off before preparing again for the last away game of the year - and after last Saturday's haunting experience, the "last away game" is something we are longing for. Top Stories