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

Some people don’t believe me when I say USC is a circus.

I got a call last night from a USC campus security source telling me what happened at Thursday’s spring football practice at Howard Jones Field. And you will find it hard to believe.

A guy showed up off the street who wanted to be a walk-on and found his way inside the McKay Center. He got ahold of a helmet and jersey, etc., and went out to football practice.

He was actually catching punts when someone finally wondered who this guy was. Some USC staff detained him and then called campus security, which came and picked him up.

It’s not too hard to believe he blended in for awhile because USC has so many players wearing the same numbers, it’s not easy to remember who is who.

Maybe he thought if USC has an imposter at coach, it can have one at practice.

Another “only at USC” story.

  • If you were Isaiah Mobley, would you turn pro? Is being a second-round pick enough to declare?
  • Bert Smith, the game official who collapsed at the USC-Gonzaga game, was released from the hospital and driven home Thursday, where he will recuperate.
  • When Smith collapsed, a friend texted me, “Where’s Tom Kelly to tell the doctors to get him off the court?”

Kelly, the boom-voiced USC radio announcer, was doing a USC-UCLA game in 1982 (for ON-TV!!!) when Bruins forward Kenny Fields was injured and laying on the court.

Kelly, never known for his patience, said, “Why don’t they get that guy off the court and finish this game.”

Twenty-five years later, Kelly denied saying to get Fields off the floor.

But in 1983, a year after the Fields incident, when UCLA forward Darren Daye went down with a sprained ankle, a Bruin fan yelled, “Hey Tom, why don’t you get that guy off the court.”

  • It’s hard to imagine Kelly and Chick Hearn squeezing their egos into a radio booth for USC games in the early 1960’s. I know someone who worked with the duo, who said they rarely spoke to each other, but one reason things worked was because Hearn was the star and Kelly was still establishing himself.
  • Did you see this poll? USC ranked No. 9? Not for me, thanks. I see too many holes to fill at the moment. and a coaching issue.
  • Do you think Clay Helton would embrace high expectations for 2021?

When USC started spring practice in 1974, John McKay was asked about many experts picking the Trojans to be the No. 1 team in the nation.

“The No. 1 college football team in the nation? I wouldn’t say they’re wrong,” McKay said. “We’ve got as good a chance as anybody.”

Do you think Helton would embrace expectations like that?

  • Whatever happened to the good, old days when you could walk into a fraternity and watch arm wrestling like in 1981?

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

  1. Mobley…….its not a hard decision.
    USC at 9……..ok boys……lets all just wander around until someone ends up at LT, RT, LG and RG…….center is set. Yep that sounds like a team ready to take on Alabama…..much less Oregon.


    1. First the NCAA dissed Oregon St. by making them pack their bags and leave the tournament in the middle of the night after their Elite 8 loss and now the #CorruptNCAA disrespects the Arizona women’s basketball team…


      Is there a university in the PAC 12 that has the balls to stand up and call out the NCAA assholes?

      I think not

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember when a guy snuck into spring training, got thrown out in his bed, and then ran the 60 in his pajamas. He was fast enough that some guy who used to sell white walls said “get him a uniform”. So this stuff does happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well Owns is usually right about one thing. USC is actually a clown college 🤡
    Even though that thorn hurts when it’s thrust into our flesh, we’ve gotten used to it. There are even a couple of administrators who embrace the name. Bohn loves being the ring master and I assume Folt is not afraid of elephants in the room. Why we even have a peanut vendor on the board and tent barker for a football coach. “Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up and see receivers juggling an oblong ball, and tree sloths running. It’s a thrill a minute folks, watch as ten ordinary men take on eleven as the kicker makes a bank shot of a lifetime. “
    Come to think of it, if the interloper has any talent he should get a scholarship. He showed up early for practice, volunteered to work, his father won’t bitch to the coach and it’s a strong probability he might not enter the transfer portal midseason over being butt-hurt.
    Was his name Rudy?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scintillating lead story Snarky Boy, wow — multiple paragraphs re: “someone sneaks into practice and fields punts who is not on the team, PROVING USC is a circus.” Did you employer give you a bonus for that scoop?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Yes, Mobley should go. He is 6’10”, he hit 3s in the tourney, and had an overall strong tournament, he can also go inside. Having Evan on the team opened up a lot for Isiah, so it is far from obvious if next year he will be more impressive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They had a little dust up at the 18:03 mark of the first half. If you have the tape, you will see it just before commercial break.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d like to see Mobley return. I think the learning for him will simply be playing without his brother, but I’d like him back as well. I think they represented well.


      2. Enfield took steps out onto the court at the whistle, and he wasn’t whispering, neither was Isaiah. The huddle broke it up, dad standing right there. So, maybe Scott could ask?


      3. Immediately following the Peterson turnover, Suggs for Gonzaga gets a fast beak layup contested at the other end by Isaiah Mobley. Suggs makes the layup, timeout, then the exchange.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I think that they (IM, EM) should both declare and see where their draft status evolves. EM has some elegant moves on the court and will only hone them vs real Centers. Both need to build some brawn. Dad is buffed, so it stands to reason that with time they will both build some brawn. I am uncertain if they would develop much more quickly with another year in the PAC-12, though they both will spend most of their days riding the pine in the NBA.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Turning the corner in basketball at USC being a goal, the university sure could use further help from the Mobleys.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Both Kelly and Hern had egos as big as the sky. I would take Kelly over Hern for USC football. He loved SC. To Hern, it was just a paycheck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. so true.
      Back in the go-go 60’s and 70’s when USC was only on National TV 3-4 times a year, I set aside Sunday afternoons to watch the USC FB replay with the voice of Tom Kelly announcing. Great times.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Scooter, you are wrong. It is a three ring circus. You have not continuity, no cohesiveness, no structure, and as far as I am concerned, have Orlando be the head coach. He just might know as much about football as Helton, but he wants to go full force and with authority. Helton wants the ice crewam to be just right. He can pick up another offensive cordinator that will mix the run with the pass and not make the run game as an excuse.


  8. This is so fucked up. We had to play Gonzaga first. Now the UCLA players have a goal —just lose by 15…..

    Liked by 2 people

  9. After all, it IS the “way to early” top 25…

    I’ve already said it.
    Given this cakewalk schedule, returning talent, and personnel changes at several of our competitors, an 11-1 finish before the Pac12 champ game (which also must be a Win) is the only acceptable result for our FB team.

    Would Bohn fire the HC after a 10-2 result? 9-3?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bohn made a secret deal with Helton when he kept him on for 2021 —if he’s at 9-2 prior to playing UCLA, Helton has to throw the game to give Bohn cover for firing him….

      Liked by 2 people

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