Isn’t it telling that the while the Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook and the Dodgers are close to acquiring Max Scherzer, USC is still putzing around with Clay Helton.
USC cannot trade for a tailback. But it can hire a big-time coach who can make the Trojans the stars of Los Angeles. Instead, it’s full-speed ahead with Helton while the L.A. glamour teams add more stars.
A fumbling fool as the face of the program in 2021? Really?
- With UCLA selling beer and wine at the Rose Bowl, it will be interesting to see how USC holds long out. You can buy liquor in suites and private boxes at the Coliseum but it’s not for sale to the general public.
It was banned in 2005 in an attempt to make things more fan friendly. That argument is not even being vetted these days by UCLA or other schools. One would think UCLA would at least have considered that issue more. It didn’t because all that matters is money. Alcohol is being brought back to make more money following the COVID-19 financial losses. That’s why I expect USC to bring it back too: Money.
LSU is expected to bring 15,000 fans to the Rose Bowl on Sept. 4. And if they buy 4-5 beers each, UCLA will be happy.
- Former USC wide receiver Trevon Sidney is now at San Jose State. So he can face USC on Sept. 4 at the Coliseum.
- Guard Ryan Grande of Sierra Canyon has committed to Cal Lutheran. His father, Rich Grande, was a guard at USC in the mid-1980’s.
- I like to wait a couple days after Pac-12 media day to hear if there were any good coaches’ stories.
So I called a Pac-12 assistant coach and asked him if he heard anything?
“Our coach had one story.
“During a meeting with all the Pac-12 coaches in Hollywood, Clay Helton made a dull comment and two coaches were sitting next each other and one said, “This guy is going to outlast all of us.’ “
- Whatever you think about Washington State coach Nick Rolovich, these comments from athletic director Pat Chun are extremely lukewarm:
“Nick made a decision, we’re going to manage it, we’re going to go forward. . . . This is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s made a decision and we’ll manage. We have way too much talent on this football team this upcoming year to sacrifice anything.”
And this from former Washington State QB Ryan Leaf to radio station KJR is worse: “It doesn’t seem like it’s something I would jeopardize my career on after I got a $3 million a year job coming from Hawaii to coach in the Pac-12. This is a strange hill to die on when the science points to exactly what it points to.”
Frankly, Rolovich lost me last season when he thought Jayden de Laura was the Cougars’ best QB.
- And now for some history:
I heard a great story this week regarding Stubby Shaw, the owner of Stubby’s Trojan Barrel, which later became Julie’s Trojan Barrel.
In the early 1960’s, an underage USC student walked in Stubby’s.
“Whaddya drinking?” Stubby growled.
“I’ll . . . have . . . a . . . water,” the terrified student said.
“Water?” Stubby said incredulously. “If you want water, go to the Union 76 across the street. We drink beer in here.”
- I’ve written about Wrigley Field in Los Angeles the past couple weeks. In 1947, USC and Cal tied for the CIBA championship with 11-4 records. The teams then played a tiebreaker at Wrigley Field. Cal won, 5-2.
- On March 15, 1964, USC’s Dennis Ralston faced UCLA’s Arthur Ashe in the finals of the Southern California Intercollegiate Tournament in Pasadena. Ashe won, 5-7, 6-4, 8-6.
- Ralston broke his racquet in the 13th game of the final set. He broke two strings in his only other racquet earlier in the match and had to use it the rest of the way. Earlier, Ralston and Bill Bond defeated Ashe and Charles Pasarell, 6-4, 6-4, to win the doubles title.
- How many times has the USC-UCLA football game come down to a difference of opinion?
- Everyone remembers in 1977 that USC kicker Frank Jordan kicked a 38-yard FG in the final two seconds to beat UCLA, 29-27.
Less remembered is a controversial pass interference penalty that kept the winning drive alive. On third-and-10 at midfield with a minute left, USC QB Rob Hertel threw a pass to WR Kevin Williams.
UCLA safety Johnny Lynn touched the ball but head linesman F.E. Conley ruled Lynn interfered with Williams.
“I was coming across the field and a guy was holding the back of the pads,” Williams said. “I didn’t think the referee saw it but fortunately he did. It was definitely pass interference.”
Lynn disagreed: “I didn’t think I touched him. I drove out in front of the ball and my right hand hit it. Then I hit the ground.”
- And here is USC-UCLA in 1978 in basketball. The Trojans’ cardinal uniforms just stood out during this era and it’s too bad USC has gone away from this shade of cardinal.
That’s Purvis Miller, Cliff Robinson and Barry Brooks playing defense around the basket.
- In the fall of 1963, Mike Garrett led the Trojans in rushing with 833 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and rushed the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity.
- In 1960, John McKay lost his debut as USC coach to Oregon State, 14-0. The Trojans fumbled five times.
What did McKay do? He made five lineup changes the following week, replacing players who were projected All-West Coast caliber but played poorly against the Beavers. Among those benched was tackle Dan Ficca, a UPI second-team All-American. Can you imagine Clay Helton doing that?
RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK, NO. 2
RESTAURANT NO. 3 WAS ALWAYS A GOOD CHOICE.