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

USC will send seven players to the NFL Combine but it’s almost easy to have forgotton one of them.

It’s been more than 14 months since any USC fan saw defensive tackle Jay Tufele play because he opted out of last season.

An NFL scout told me he detected bitterness in conversations with USC staff about Tufele’s decision to sit out last season. I always wondered how players who opted out would be treated by their colleges when NFL teams came calling.

I only heard good things about Tufele at USC and the truth is no one at USC now really coached him in 2019, so what could they say anyways?

  • Tight end Keyan Burnett of Servite High School, a Class of 2022 prospect, will announce his college choice today. USC, Arizona and Arizona State are the finalists.
  • USC and UCLA each have a chance to win the Pac-12 basketball title this weekend. But . . . the loser of Saturday’s game will drop to the No. 4 seed at the Pac-12 Tournament.
  • When USC plays BYU on Nov. 27, don’t expect the Cougars to be tired. BYU’s November schedule is Idaho State on Nov. 6, a bye, Georgia Southern on Nov. 20 and then USC.
  • Colorado, which plays USC on Oct. 2, is the opposite scenario. The Buffs play Texas A&M, Minnesota and Arizona State leading up to the USC game.
  • USC will actually have student managers this year. Managers were not allowed last year because of coronavirus restrictions.
  • USC has a big baseball game Sunday when the Trojans play at No. 9-ranked UCLA at 1 p.m.
  • The No. 3-ranked USC beach volleyball team defeated No. 4 UCLA, 5-0, on Thursday.
  • The city of Los Angeles will open a new vaccination site at USC on Tuesday.
  • And now for some history:

Can you name the USC tailback below? I’ll reveal his identity in today’s afternoon column supplement.

  • Let’s took a quick look at 1951.

Here’s a cartoon of USC linebacker Pat Cannamela, an All-American in 1951. He was shy and reserved despite his hard-hitting image. If you want more information on Cannamela, I wrote about him in this column.

  • It’s hard to say how big a deal the USC homecoming parades used to be down Wilshire Blvd., which drew as many as 100,000. Here’s the grand marshals of 1951, Leo Durocher and Laraine Day. Durocher had just led the New York Giants to the World Series and Day was an established movie star.
  • USC basketball player Ken Flower was selected in 1953 to play for the College All-Stars in a 19-game tour against the Harlem Globetrotters.

The tour started at Madison Square Garden and stopped at the Coliseum for one night. The next evening Flower was honored at the USC basketball banquet.

  • In 1951, Flower was offered $1,500 to fix a game by a stranger in a Los Angeles hotel where the Trojans stayed before playing UCLA. Flower immediately told USC assistant coach Al Conti and eventually the police were contacted. A sting was set up and ex-con Albert R. Scroggins was arrested at the hotel. Flower ended up playing that night.

USC basketball coach Forrest Twogood’s brother-in-law, Torrance W. Stockman, who contacted the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office for Twogood, had a heart attack after the game.

USC assistant coach Don Clark (left), head coach Jess Hill (center) and assistant coach Joseph Muha go over plays on Oct. 24, 1951. Muha was a two-time All-Pro pick with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was also an NFL official from 1956-71.
  • When USC defeated Arizona, 48-41 in 1982, it was a “wild and woolly” encounter according to legendary radio broadcaster Tom Kelly.

After the third quarter, Kelly said, “Don’t go away, a wild and woolly fourth quarter is coming up.”

During the fourth quarter, Kelly said of Arizona: “They’re a wild and woolly team, aren’t they?”

Later in the fourth quarter, Kelly said, “Were in the middle of a wild and woolly shootout.”

Kelly used the phrase “wild and woolly” six times during the radio broadcast.

  • Can you believe Chick Hearn and Kelly used to work together on USC broadcasts? They each had, shall we say, strong personalities, although Hearn was clearly the star when they were partners.
  • Hearn was not above scrutiny, however. In 1956 esteemed USC English professor Julia McCorkle weighed in on his broadcast.

From the Daily Trojan: “Here’s the result of the second round of the weekly “lie-lay” battle between English Professor Julia McCorkle and Football Announcer Chick Hearn:

“Dr. McCorkle said Chick used “lay’’ incorrectly at the beginning of the broadcast Saturday and thereafter refrained from using the word at all.

“Chick said using “lay” for “lie” is a common error that he often makes. To keep from making the error he said he tries to substitute the word “place” for “lie” but sometimes in the heat of things forgets.

“This is the exact observation Dr. McCorkle made before her English 300 class yesterdav.”

Imagine if Dr. McCorkle evaluated a Bill Walton telecast?

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

  1. Has UCLA ever beaten USC in basketball? Ding goes the Victory Bell! Owns enlighten me on your vast UCLA Basketball knowledge. I’ve heard Chip Kelly has eligibility and is going to open at power forward for USC game? #heisthatgood

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess these aren’t the best of days for a coach, politician or movie star who ever said “you look pretty” to a female staffer…..
      I’m kinda glad Errol Flynn, Frank Sinatra and John Kennedy aren’t around to see this decade through…..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean Les swung for the fences. Straight to the point.
        Taking a detour to his house real quick or asking to join him at his hotel room tonight. Haaahaaaa!
        He doesn’t get reporters in his face if he was slick and had a more innocent delivery. Maybe……”If you want to stay a little later that way we finish everything up and that way you’ll get some extra hours I can give you a ride home if you need one or i can make sure to have our Uber drop u off”
        She either says “ummmm no way!”
        Or “thanks coach!”
        He got himself into this mess with his Ted Bundy like routine.


  2. Scooter,

    I am laughing about Chick Hearn and the english teacher. Yes, the english teacher is correct, however, Chick Hearn is more famous, was an NBA refree, the greatest basketball announcer, and made decisions on choosing Magic. I can look past his use of the word lay instead of lie. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joe Biden: “I will NEVER get past Hearn’s misuse of the word ‘lay'”
      Joe: “Hearn is a Neanderthal”


      1. Easy, MG. We’re supposed to be the ones who don’t care about that kind of talk. Remember?


      1. Good call, 67 and Ken. Steve was #12.
        P. S.
        We OWE Scott for this column. Who else can take us down memory lane like this?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Let’s put it this way –IF it’s the 50’s, that ain’t OJ or Sogge…..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Steve Sogge was # 6. Toby Page handed off to O.J. on that great
        run against fucla which that is not a picture of in any case. My
        wild guess is C.R. Roberts!


    1. Ken,

      I don’t think it is the juice. The helmet has a stripe. I don’t think oj’s helmet had a stripe. Also, the plastic face guard doesn’t look like it was in the 60’s. The wooden benches in the background leads me to beliving that the photo was taken in the 50’s. I could be wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PT is correct, USC wore helmets with a gold stripe down the middle in the 50’s, one year they wore a gold helmet ( 1957 ), one year they had a gold diamond on them ( 1955 ), one year they had white numbers ( 1956 ), the first year they wore a hard shell helmet was 1950

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Its’ Friday- let predict the USC vs. UCLA game tomorrow. Football pictures of the past are not important. Let’s please give USC Basketball some attention.

    Tough game Trojans start slow in a very tough defensive battle. Final Score:

    USC 72
    UCLA 69 USC wins on a 3 point shot by Taj Eddy at the buzzer.
    However, Oregon beats Oregon State to win the conference.
    What your prediction????????????????????????????

    Perhaps, this blog will pay more attention to USC basketball in the future which is the big news store at the moment.


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