If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

It’s been 33 years since Erik Affholter made one of the biggest catches in USC history and the Crosstown Rivalry.

And one question remains: Did he actually catch the controversial touchdown?

“I felt like I caught the ball but it bounced off (UCLA cornerback) Marcus Turner’s hands, off my shoulder pads and my face mask,” Affholter said.
“I secured it but I didn’t know where I was on the field. I didn’t know where back of the end zone was.”

Affholter’s watched replays of the catch and says he goes back-and-forth trying to decide if he caught the ball.

“Watching it is like an optical illusion,” he said.

Although he was known for The Catch, Affholter has a lot more to say and recently wrote a book, “America’s Miracle: College Football, Where Race, Creed and Color Vanishes and Love Reigns.”

“I just love college football,” Affholter said. “I’d really like to see people get along. I’m not for separation of people by color or religion or country of origin. College football is a moment where that all goes away.”

You can access the book at noon Saturday on the website, CollegeFootballPlayersUnion.com.

The book covers some crazy aspects of his student days. He got thrown out of the freshmen dorm (Flour Tower) for throwing furniture out of his 10th-story window. The window was closed.

He got his own apartment and quickly became involved in the drug world around the campus.

He said it eventually became part of the football program until disciplinarian Larry Smith was hired as USC football coach.

“Drug use really started to affect the team,” Affholter said. “Larry Smith really saved me. We’d have never beat UCLA if he hadn’t been the coach.”

Affholter told me some stories Thursday night that are not in the book:

  • Affholter said he used to go to the old 502 club, which was in the old University Village and drink beers with the USC coaching staff. Imagine that happening today with cell-phone cameras?
  • When USC went to Tokyo for the Mirage Bowl in 1985, Affholter visited the Hard Rock Cafe and met a Japanese girl. They left the Hard Rock and went back to the team hotel.

“We messed around and then I asked her to leave because my roommate wanted to come into the room,” Affholter said. “About an hour later we get a knock on the door. It was three giant Japanese guys with guns. She was a hooker and they wanted money. I had to go get the money.”

And now for some history:

  • Here is my own personal picture of “The Catch.”

It was on the wall of the Los Angeles Daily News office for years. When the Northridge Earthquake struck, it was among many damaged items thrown out so I rescued it. I had to cut off a torn part of the photo that included a recruit on the sideline named Todd Marinovich.

Here are some of the best-known pranks that used to happen between the schools.

  • In 1941, six USC students stole the Victory Bell, which was given to UCLA by its alumni assn. in 1939 and part of an actual Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive.

The bell was hidden for the next year at various locations and UCLA students would sometimes raid the USC campus and fraternities to search for the bell. Pranks began to get out of hand and USC president Rufus B. von KleinSmid threatened to cancel the USC-UCLA game if this vandalism did not stop.

When UCLA students made threats to kidnap USC student body president Bob McKay, a cease fire was declared and USC returned the bell on the condition it be awarded to the winner for a year.

  • In 1958, UCLA students rented a helicopter and tried to drop 500 pounds of manure on Tommy Trojan. Some say it missed the target. Others say some of the manure blew back towards the people in the helicopter.
  • In 1989, USC students released thousands of crickets in UCLA’s Powell Library. As recently as 2016, dead crickets were reportedly still found in older books in the library.
  • Last week, I mentioned quarterback Mike Rae played on the 1970 USC freshman basketball team. It turns out there were three football players who started on that team.

Tight end Charle Young, who is in the College Football Hall of Fame and played 13 seasons in the NFL, was a forward. So was defensive end Avery Clark. Tailback Rod McNeil came off the bench.

In their first game, they defeated Cal State Fullerton’s freshman team, 73-54, after leading 47-17 at halftime.

79 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. Scottie, you are the best. Thanks for the treasure trove. Charle Young may have been the most underrated player on those early 70s teams, despite being an All American. He was that good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, for all the haters, a lot of the energy around this year’s game is coming from this site. I’ve done the usual checking around and nobody puts this game in better perspective —or shows more love for this game (although Scott probably hates to see it put that way) —than Mister Wolf.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. mid-late 80s were a golden time to be at USC. If you wanted it you could slip into an almost adult Disneyland. Our first night in Birnkrant half our floor threw a table off the roof that we ripped out of the bolts that held it to the floor in the lobby. We got housing probation including a trip before the new “peer review” board. Validine accepted at Traditions. Pure mayhem.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Creepy vandalism? This coming from the ruin kids dumping manure from a rented helicopter? And having it blow back in on them! Ha! Good one, owns!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Worked about as well as the “WKRP” turkey drop… probably why owns has such a bitter taste about this rivalry…
        Haha

        “owns” aka Les nessman is an instant classic💋

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Les Nessman, and the turkey drop! “Oh the humanity!”

        Not to mention, when Les would give the traffic report and flap his arms to try to create an impression he was in the WKRP helicopter over Interstate 15…

        Liked by 2 people

      4. My parents once told me that the Tommy Trojan statue had been so damaged by bruin pranks that it had to be covered for a week or two before the game. But that is back when students at UCLA cared about their sports teams. I’m willing to bet if the students (ASB) were allowed to vote, they’d do away with sports funding and vote to invite communist speakers funding with the money. That’s why the school has been growing a new acronym: Uncouth Classless Loser Alumni.
        (expecting a retort filled with venomous epitaphs and vulgar language they find acceptable from English majors)

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Looking forward to hearing who we play by 10am Sunday……
      #AtTheLatest
      #[IJustWroteThat PresumptuousSentenceToPissOffMyFriend…
      #…Owns]……

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Dear Pisley, I don’t mind the Les Nessman comparison. Nessman, although naive and nerdy, was a kind and considerate human being; Jennifer thought he was cute.

      On the other hand Pisley, you remind me of Eddie Haskell, the “Leave it to Beaver” SUCC-Up, AH. In fact Pisley, now that I think about it, Haskell is the quintessential clone of 99% of the white bread, arrogant (w/o good reason) SUCC Male Student Body.

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      1. That sound you’re makin isn’t a helicopter no matter how bad you want it to be. And the same goes for your fantasy girl Jennifer, being kind to a stray mutt hardly means there’s anything more than pity…dream on and change the sheets occasionally.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I will buy 100 of Affholter’s book to give to our present football team to show them what they missed out by being born too late to really enjoy the true Trojan spirit.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “In 1989, USC students released thousands of crickets in UCLA’s Powell Library. As recently as 2016, dead crickets were reportedly still found in older books in the library.”

    This is part of what makes the rivalry great – or used to be great. Do the kids today even know there is a rivalry? That they are supposed to dream up stunts?

    BTW, those bruin students are really making use of the library, with books that weren’t touched for 27 years.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. MG, what were you doing in the UCLA Library? I’m thinking ref. books you needed to consult weren’t available in Clown U’s tiny, paltry library.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Felt sorry for the UCLA Library. Lent them some books to bring their total up 20. Alas, they only wanted Archie and Jughead comic books so turned down the gift. They thought the author of the Iliad was Homer,…Homer Simpson.

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      1. Is yuge bigger than huge?– No matter. I only care about Trojans while at SC. Very few footballers make it big in the NFL. It is a whole different game at that level.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. As opposed to any ruin qb THIS CENTURY? And Matt had the talent and education to fall back on at Fox.
        Should we list the ruin failures this century alone?

        Liked by 3 people

      3. owns, is on fire today with those jabs. This one is almost as good as talking about collegiate sports ethics, given ucla hoops was intimately involved with organized crime (Sam Gilber) for a decade or more, and Wooden pretended to have plausible deniability.

        “We should have been on NCAA probation for about 100 years and lost 8 natties.” – Bill Walton.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. An interesting stat for OWNS a bag of quarters on E street in San Bernardino (full name is kinda long)
        USC had 20 eventual NFL players on their 2004 roster. Ucla had 9. I’m not saying USC was any better, but the stats are. Leinart played on college team that cared about their team and wanted to win. Then he went to AZ in the NFL where the linemen stood around counting their money while their QB got sacked.
        (sorry about the number of words CAL75 I’m trying to find an inter active reader for you)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Matt’s teams were 3-0 vs. the bruins, combined score over those three games something like 142 – 65. Averages out to about 47-22. Not to mention that about half the bruin points came when the Trojan bench was cleared.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I remember his first TD pass was to Mike Williams against Auburn – 23-0. Auburn at that time was something like the number 5 ranked team.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Crap! I coulda won this contest if I didn’t get up so damn late today.
        Pudly — Actual prize contests have to be announced a day in advance —cuz Hawaiian Time.
        P. S.
        Thank goodness for Owns. He always does his part to help this week along. Seriously.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Michael, there are certain costs associated with being in the island time zone…you can’t have it all, my friend.

        Speaking of time zones, has Alv been back? My impression is that he was quite a distance from LA.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Yes, excellent point. “Take the bad with the good” (old bruin saying –but they put “bad” in caps).
        [As for Alv —we all miss that guy…wish he’d come back THIS week].
        #ThisIsTHEWeekForReturnees

        Liked by 3 people

      5. ’67 auld stick, Cade McNown was 4- 0 vs the bozos with their first team on the field.

        As to Walton oft mentioned quote, it just goes to show that Clown U “…has got to know it’s limitations.” As I write, Clown U is the second most NCAA sanctioned Div. 1 Athletic program. So much for 85th best private Methodist Univ. ethics.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s gonna come out soon that the sanctions were a result of Communist Chinese corruption within the NCAA…..
        #HadenWasInOnIt…
        #InFact,HeWasPresidentOfThe”ChineseCommunistClub”

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Worrying about a catch/no catch after a game is in the record book is about as effective as pouring gas in the car’s radiator. It inflames the losers and does nothing to the winners. There are plenty of “gosh darn moments” in USC football such as the time swivel hips Smith was the only player left standing in a kick return for a touchdown. But that’s How to play Football and pretty Goofy.
    “The fact is, that play was just one of the plays that day and they were all pretty darn good”- Clay Helton.
    The real fact is if they had had replay our PAC 10 official would have just stepped out to scare the horse by peeing on his trailer. At least the picture shows Ucla in their colors. They have gotten lost in heir lust to fit in, wearing all white or baby blue and white instead the colors that the state claims as our official state colors.
    Rules have changed over the years, or should I say have been reimagined. At one time there was an imaginary plane that went from the edge of the goal line to the edge of space and any time a ball crossed it during a legal possession it was considered a touchdown. The rule had some notable exceptions such as, Vince Young being on both knees before pitching a ball to a teammate for a touchdown. The current incarnation of the rule has the imaginary plane with limitations, such as an extended arm being across the line and touching the ground but fumbled upon touching the ground is no longer considered a touchdown. Or if a player catches a ball, but after three steps forward while planning a celebration, bobbles the ball, the catch isn’t a catch. And the replay person is still out of the room. (locked in a luxury box by the Stanford time keeper)
    So what comes of these walks down memory lane? First I love seeing the players wearing pads and hitting as if the pads really helped. Seeing a kicker wearing shoulder pads the size of an AMC Pacer backseat still brings a smile to my face. It has been said of many a kicker, that pads made the man. (Even if the man is a woman kicking a knuckleball kickoff)
    I also love seeing those clock cleaning hits that will now get the barbarian ejected. Targeting is a stupid rule. Heads are going to collide that’s the reason helmets are worn. Referees are not taking into account the act of physics like inertia when they call targeting. It has become a strategic call to hobble a team. A forceful hit in a contact sport should be expected. While ignoring physics the refs use psychics to determine the intent of the evil targeting offender. The intent of someone on defense should be to separate the ball from the person who has it, what’s to determine?
    Finally I tried to remove my account from this site but have been unsuccessful, so until I find the magic remove me button I guess you are stuck reading the first two sentences of my posts

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dear Pisley, Leinart is a hack, west coast region, Fox CFB pundit.

    On the other hand “Lead announcer and Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman return for their 18th season as the NFL’s longest-tenured duo.” Like “Nationwide.”

    You’re running, Dear Pisley, neck and neck with Pasadenabozo as the most ignorant f**k on Wolf’s blog.

    Like

    1. As usual, my pet, you’re mistaken as he and Reggie along with urban do the national network as well. But figures you’d be going back in history to relive your glory days…oh yeah he never beat us did he? Did he? And all those others who’ve passed they the hollow halls of F’ucla? Where are they? Especially that ever favorite of all sports fans, Josh “the nosen one” rosen? Wasn’t he the top recruit in the land? What was his Pac12 record? Oh yeah, first ever to pull a vaginal muscle in the history of the Pac12.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. BTW, as good as his stuff was on this site, his contributions on the ruin board were some of his very best, getting the idiots to respond multiple times before yanking the rug out from beneath them. Classic one I remember was that rosen and mora were involved intimately ..not that there’s anything wrong with it.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Close friends…very close friends. Now in no way am I intimating that it had anything to do with mora and hai wife separating.
        But I will say this, when performing the surrender cobra, there was a certain glint in jimmie’s eyes.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Dear Pisley, you SUCC horse’s ass, once again when you run out of reasonable argument you predictably resort to pejorative racist name calling. It’s true Rosen isn’t playing but that seems better than the Piglet’s 0 – 12 New York Jets record. Rosen isn’t taking big bucks under lousy QB pretense.

        The O/U # of weeks Dear Pisley will disappear down his gopher hole after a bozo FB loss: 4

        Like

      4. You complain about name calling? Funny that I call him nosen and you go straight to racist? Ha! Seriously stupid and disingenuous of ya. Eh rob? And you say the playing isn’t earning his money while the bum on the bench is? Only in your demented world. He’s gathered so many splinters in his butt he’s rumored to be opening a patio cover business down there in florida.

        Like

  7. Go fuck yourself MG! Your prayers were not answered you atheist fuck! Tell your boyfriend whitetrash22 he is still a vaginal discharge. BTW, How’s that Trump lawsuit coming?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that Charlie Bucket and his cast of disgusting sock puppets were outed!

      BWWWWWWWWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Trojandude207
      1d ago
      Well this IS interesting. I am not sure if this site is for me anymore. Each email address used generates a unique symbol that represents the email address. One person on this page has 10 such symbols generated for his username. That is some next level trolling. And none of messages upon this thread has anything to do with the the purpose of the thread. It has developed into a prepubescent name calling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey 22, this news courtesy of Mother Jones:

        “The Supreme Court on Friday threw out a Texas lawsuit that aimed to invalidate millions of ballots in four swing states. Had the suit been successful, it could have effectively handed the presidential victory to Donald Trump.”

        “The case—which was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and supported by the Republican AGs of numerous states—argued that Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania “unconstitutionally” changed their voting procedures in the run-up to the November election. The suit also asked the Supreme Court to delay the December 14 meeting of Electoral College electors.”

        So that’s now 57 or 58 losses out of 59 shots for Ratpublican, Adolph J., two-bit, frivolous lawsuits seeking to overturn Sleepy Joe’s landslide victory.

        #TheSnowflakesarevictoriousagain
        #1/20/2021solongAdolphJ.loser/succer

        Like

      2. For a month now, MG has been providing me with expert legal opinion and all but promising that DJT would easily prevail in overturning the results of the election and we would get four more years of his “leadership”.
        WTF now???!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be noteworthy Mr non alum Fucla troll had you attended UC Los Angeles.

        #MaskUpCerritosAutoSq

        Like

      1. A little Dr. Geo. Tyndall patient humor, eh Pisley.

        I’m surprised, because of all the sandbox bozo testosterone you excrete, I would have pegged you as a BiG Criadillas connoisseur. I guess there’s a reason you constantly hum “I want a Big one.”

        Like

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