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

The fun part when a new coach gets hired is you get to see how to put together a football program.

Lincoln Riley is overhauling the roster and getting ready to use the transfer portal, which is good.

But I’m not a sycophant like many in the media, so let’s be clear that this opening-day comment at the press conference: “We are going to be committed No. 1 to bringing the best staff” in the nation is not true.

Frankly, I’ve been a little disappointed. I wanted to see some superstars. The coaching staff right now looks like a mix of Oklahoma guys and recruiters.

  • Here’s a valuable thing I learned this week from insiders. Riley pretty much runs the offense and defensive coordinator Alex Grinch does everything with the defense.

So in their minds, it’s not hugely important to go hire some big shots. That’s how you end up with guys Riley likes (outside wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons, inside receivers coach Dave Nichol) or guys the first thing I hear about is their recruiting ability (running backs coach Tashard Choice).

It won’t be the best staff in the nation so if things go wrong, you can blame Riley or Grinch.

  • By the way, what exactly is Donte Williams’ role at USC?

If Roy Manning coaches the cornerbacks and Grinch coaches the safeties, what’s left for Williams? Maybe they will just pay him $900,000 to recruit?

  • Five-star cornerback Domani Jackson will announce today if he recommits to USC. Four-star defensive end Cyrus Moss will also announce his decision with USC, Miami and Oregon the top choices.
  • If Moss comes to USC, we will see how many “Can you dig it?” references I make in the next few years.



And now for some history:

  • I talked last week about bringing back the classic USC Sparty logo.

I’m also in favor of bringing back this UCLA logo.

UCLA Bruin | Ucla bruins logo, Vintage logo, College logo

Or this one:

UCLA University California Bruins 1950's Vintage Looking Sticker College  Decal | eBay

Here is a picture of the USC Commons back when it was the only place to eat on campus. Does this image bring back memories?

It’s probably impossible to explain to a USC student today the important role Tam’s held for decades. New books, used books, lecture notes . . . and 13 cashiers!

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

  1. If they can get Domani Jackson, Cyrus Ross and C.J. Williams on friday, I would think that that was a pretty good start considering that they haven’t had much time and have had a lot of things to do. If Jackson goes to Bama, I probably am going to be mad. I’m tired of Bama coming into SoCal and taking some of our best football players.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. turning this ship around in mid ocean aka abandoned and adrift will be monumental, and if accomplished as you ‘like’ maybe even bigger…ever see how many miles are needed to turn an aircraft carrier? btw BAMA will recruit as BAMA does…just beat the others and SC will be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SC should have an advantage over Bama in SoCal. Most kids want to stay home near their parents and friends and family


    2. Guy with good USC sources says Ross not coming, Gomer & Co didn’t recruit him hard, too much ground to make up, we’ll see if his source is right.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back Scott
    Good luck with your recovery.

    Everyone needs to be patient with the new regime.

    These kids and their parents still are reeling from the Helton effect which sullied their opinion of USC football.

    If we get two of those kids today, then we should be very happy.

    Lastly, how about the basketball team? 11 and 0!
    Thanks Enfield!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Accurate analysis, though with Riley you’re getting HC, OC, and QBC. Grinch improved OU’s defense … maybe USC could’ve made a stronger hire. I like that they’re young, aggressive recruiters. Riley and this staff will change the soft culture within the program.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What a pleasure to see this column —Scott delivers the goods come rain or shine (and there’s always sunshine after the rain). And a big thank you to the Wolfman for saying out loud what everybody has been thinking: (1) Coach Riley has a very steep uphill climb in front of him (thanks to Helton and Bohn), and (2) it turns out Riley didn’t actually mean he was gonna pick the BEST staff in the country, he meant he was gonna pick the staff he felt most comfortable working with (a mixed blessing).
    Yes, that photo of the Commons does bring back memories—- talking to Philosophy T. A. Pamela Panasatti about Aristotle’s Super Eminent Being while eating probably the worst cheeseburgers and fries in the Universe that Being set in motion.
    Thanks, Scott!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. back in very early 50’s our dad always walked us around campus of home games,incl his dental school(which he actually taught after retirement), and bookstore and cafeteria to eat hrs before game times and the museums and rose garden…I think he liked them better than the games…often there was also a swim meet too,I remember SC all american Murray Rose win several times,and the swim teams were ncaa champs too…the glory days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From 1951 onward…. same game day routine around campus and the Rose Garden with Pop, but always had time for Chad’s Nighthawk Cafe on Vermont or my cousin’s diner (breakfast or lunch) on the NE corner of Menlo at Santa Barbara (both long gone). This means that I’ve had seventy years of SC at the Coliseum, long enough to take things in stride while enjoying the experience

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great memories, Jim. I’ll probably never visit the rose garden again …but what a great place to study and chat with friends….while looking across the street at Mudd Hall…or across the lawn to the doors of the Museum of Natural History [inside of which many years later my 5 year old son would spill a bottle of Orange Crush beside the mummy’s tomb]….


  5. While it is true that this is not the all star coaching staff, it is people that Lincoln Riley can work with well. That is important too.

    The problems with Helton were epic and GH and TO didnt even respect the guy, so things imploded. GH offense was a joke.

    Riley wont be a joke. But he does have a really big challenge ahead of him. But USC schedule next year is pretty easy until the very end of the season, so they should have a nice path to wins early.

    I do finally think USC is going to see real roster management now. Riley is doing the right thing by only taking top high school talent and then using transfers who have only one or two years of eligibility to supplement the team for next year. Helton would take lots of lower level players that really only wanted the degree, and they took up scholarships and never played. I think Riley could have 5 five star commits in the 2023 class within a few months. That would be a statement.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I’m not qualified to rate a college football coaching staff before their first season together, and it’s probably not fair to do it. But I remember Steve Sarkisian said he was going to assemble the best staff in college football when USC hired him, but the only offensive line coach he could come up with was Bob Connolly, who was almost fresh out of high school. Is a matter of fact, after he was fired two years later, he ended up at Long Beach Poly High School.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes — it was necessary to oust the awful Bob Connolly in order to bring in the spectacular Neil Callaway….. and the burned out Tim Drevno…
      wtf is going on at USC when it comes to o-line coaches? We couldn’t do worse if we tried.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. …and then, in turn, we’d attract great o-line players… you might be on to something, Oaktown….


      2. not sure Drevno was/is a burnout. and I don’t think hellton ever approved of any real coach that could actually teach/develop with actual real practices…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Maybe Drevno wasn’t burned out exactly ….maybe it was more like fed up… he sure looked like he was just going through the motions in those videos where he’s banging the cowbell and screaming “Trojan, Baby!”


  7. Yesterday I posted some stuff from a guy on another board about Gomer.

    Here is part of an article that ran in The Athletic that kinda backs up what was posted yesterday. This article as written after Gomer was fired.

    ” At the end of a USC recruiting camp in June 2019, head coach Clay Helton spoke to the camp’s participants and told them USC’s assistant coaches would hang around on the field for 30 minutes afterward so the prospects could talk to them.

    Within five minutes of Helton’s message to the recruits, his defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast walked off and headed back toward the John McKay Center.

    It was only June and this was only a recruiting camp, but the problems that eventually led to Helton’s firing two years later don’t get much clearer than that. Helton’s dismissal, which athletic director Mike Bohn made official on Monday, can be attributed to several things, but at the heart of all of them is the lack of accountability and the numerous ways in which it allowed the Trojans to stray from their standard.

    “When a team is really good, they’re accountable to one another,” said one person who worked close to the program during the early portion of Helton’s tenure as full-time head coach. “The players don’t do it by themselves. Accountability is something that’s learned around the building. The coaches hold the players accountable and Clay, to be honest with you, I don’t want to say bad things about the guy but look, the staff has to be held accountable just like the players. I don’t know your boss, but if you weren’t coming to work or weren’t doing your job, I imagine somebody would call your ass in. That’s the accountability I’m talking about.”

    The sentiment has essentially reached cliché status at this point, but here it goes: Helton is a genuinely nice person. Parents of recruits liked him, players adored him and assistant coaches liked working for him.

    It’s his biggest strength. Unfortunately for Helton, it also fed into what became the fatal flaw within his program.

    “Everyone knows him as a nice guy, and what happens with nice guys sometimes is they can get tricked,” one former USC staffer said. “He does everything the right way, and if you tell him to do something and tell him to be there at 8:30, he will be there at 8:30. Unfortunately, players and adults, sometimes they might not be there at 8:30, and there’s no accountability to that. It was just kind of disappointing. There were never any actual repercussions.

    “Yes, he is a nice guy and you can peg him as an amazing person, but at the end of the day, the staff members and the players could get away with a lot. And a lot of leeway because they knew how nice he was. To a fault.”

    After speaking to people who have been around the program during Helton’s tenure, the sense is this: USC’s players really liked Helton, but there was never that healthy sense of fear that comes with making mistakes. That’s why the same errors were made over and over again with no real consequences.

    This can show up in a variety of ways. For example, USC’s defense failed to keep contain on the edge against reverses and end-arounds in almost laughably consistent fashion during the 2019 season. Fresno State exploited it in Week 1, and opponents kept coming back to it all the way through the blowout Holiday Bowl loss to Iowa, when Ihmir Smith-Marsette scored the first of his three touchdowns on an end-around. It was the same players, same mistakes, same lack of adjustments by coaches, every game.

    The most obvious way this showed up during the latter part of Helton’s tenure was through mind-numbing penalties at the worst possible times. On the opening kickoff of the 2019 season, USC was penalized for having two players wearing No. 7 on the field at the same time, which wiped out a long kick return. There was Talanoa Hufanga’s egregious roughing the punter penalty during the fourth quarter of last year’s Pac-12 title game, which extended an Oregon drive and eventually led to a field goal. And on Saturday, Joshua Jackson Jr. lined up offsides on Stanford’s field goal attempt from the 7-yard line. The Cardinal recognized the gift they had been given and elected to take points off the board when the ball moved to the 3, scoring a touchdown with their second fourth-down chance.

    But this wasn’t just limited to players. It reached the staff, too. Pendergast and former secondary coach Ronnie Bradford weren’t particularly interested in recruiting and were essentially permitted to be total non-factors on the recruiting trail. That type of effort has lingering consequences for the program. There are concerning holes in several spots on USC’s 2021 defense.

    “The former coaches on this staff who had a lot of control, they took advantage of it,” one member of the program said. “They got really lazy, and recruiting tanked. Clay went to back-to-back New Year’s Six bowls. He won a Rose Bowl, but he had much better players there who could overshadow some of his weaknesses. But when you stop recruiting … and get your ass beat by Stanford, then you really see the warts.”

    Helton’s tenure shockingly disproved the idea that “USC recruits itself.” The Trojans’ 2020 recruiting class finished No. 64 in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite, an embarrassingly low ranking that remains a blemish on a program that treated top-10 recruiting classes like a birthright.

    The uncertainty that surrounded Helton’s job status following the 2018 season played a central role in that performance. All offseason and into the 2019 season, there was constant chatter about Helton’s job status and how many more losses he could take.

    “It was just too much,” said the parent of a 2020 blue-chip recruit from Southern California who left the region to play college football. “I never felt comfortable that Clay would be there because it always felt like it was a two-game losing streak away from him getting fired. I never felt like he had galvanized support from the fan base. It always felt unsettled.”

    That parent’s son was one of the top 25 players in California that cycle, 24 of whom signed somewhere other than USC. The Trojans’ influence on the elite talent in their backyard, after years of pressure from out-of-state powers, had never looked more vulnerable.

    But the flaws in the Trojans’ recruiting operation appeared well before 2019. Pendergast didn’t enjoy recruiting. Bradford, who was fired after the 2018 season, didn’t do a good job of recruiting defensive backs. And the offensive line recruiting started to slip under Neil Callaway, a longtime friend who coached with Helton’s father Kim at Houston. The Trojans didn’t make a hard push for Penei Sewell and Wyatt Davis, who turned into eventual All-America offensive linemen at Oregon and Ohio State, respectively.

    “He hired his friends,” a former recruiting staffer said. “And that gets you fired.”

    During Helton’s tenure, USC had a perception problem as well. In the 247Sports team talent composite, which is based off recruiting rankings, the Trojans have ranked 10th the past two years. They have not looked like a top-10 program at any point during that span. Why? Say those players were overrated as prospects; that means USC didn’t evaluate properly. If they were properly ranked, it means the staff didn’t develop them.

    Either way, it’s not good.

    A lot of the problems Helton had during his tenure were of his own making. But USC’s prior athletic administration didn’t do him many favors, especially when it came to meeting the standards of what a modern football program looks like.

    “I just don’t think he truly grasped how a big-time program is run from top to bottom,” said the former recruiting staffer. “Lot of that had to do with the setup at USC. No nutrition program. Not a great weight room setup. No player development program. Any type of creatives, (graphics), videos were 10 years behind the rest of the country. Had a tiny support staff. I mean, on and on.”

    Helton spent a total of 12 years at USC. College football changed quite a bit from 2010, his first year on staff, to 2015, when he was named head coach. As the sport evolved and support staffs exploded, USC’s athletic department stood pat and did not devote a ton of resources to keeping up. And that’s all Helton had been really exposed to in the new era.

    “He had no idea what all these other programs built support structure-wise,” a member of the program said. “He just didn’t know what he didn’t know, so he thought it was awesome here.”

    USC skimped on its recruiting structure, and the athletic department decided to pinch pennies. That’s how it ended up with such a small recruiting staff in comparison to your peers. That’s also how Helton ended up flying on Allegiant Airlines when he went to Ohio to recruit five-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman during the 2018 recruiting cycle.

    “(That administration was like) ‘We want you to do this,’ and Clay could do it for them and execute,” the former staffer said. “He was the perfect person to get all that stuff done under their budget and their agenda. To get anything he wanted, he had to beg and truly fight for it. He knew how much leverage he had, and he didn’t have a lot. That’s why he was their guy.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. …a nice summary of the ignominy that was USC football for 12 years.

      The Helton’s (including Tyson) have found their place and I wish them all well. Won’t be following them. I’m moving on.

      To those here dealing with the post-trauma, I respect your need to replay the drama. I’m moving on.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh… so you’re one of those guys who likes to live in the present?! #YaKnow,TheMoreIThinkAboutItThatMightNotBeABadWayToGo..

        Liked by 2 people

    2. “Nice guys finish last?”– I don’t believe that is true in real life (if you can even find a nice guy these days), but sports is/are different.

      It is a culture unto itself, and to discipline teenagers is an art form– cannot be too soft because kids will take advantage, and yet not too hard where they hate you and tune you out.

      It is a job made for a better man than I, so good luck Riles.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. God, reading that Athletic article again is forcing me to say the Serenity Prayer about 10X…F’n Helton and crew!! Agree Bourbon, I have to move on too or I’m gonna get sick to my stomach.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. sorry to disagree…hellton was ‘the’ LIAR…he lied after bowl games about sorry for no prep and it would happen again and again…he even cancelled practices which were totally soft for his ‘fresh legs’ idea, etc…the sc admin cooked this dynasty by enabling this all time ‘whore’ of a coach…nice people do not lie every time their mouth opens, he was pathological…in season and out.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice to see Scott back in rhythm again. Keep it up, boy, you are our last hope for a viable SC blog.

    Too early to analyze the 2022 SC football schedule?- Naaah.

    Rice– SC last had some in 1971; this should be a go for Troy
    at Stanford– Helton killer
    Fresno St– ?
    at Oregon St– walloped last year
    ASU– walloped
    Wash St– lucky to have won
    at Utah– thrashed
    BYE– SC should be good this week
    at Ariz– SC has this one
    Cal- thrashed
    Colo (Friday) Might have this one
    at sucla- thrashed
    ND- beaten

    And so this is “Life with Riley,’ the 2022 version,
    and we all of course wish him well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After reading & thinking about John’s post may I be the first to label 2022 as “Pay Back Season” …?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. More of the article, and why hiring someone with no previous AD experience was a total disaster

    Helton has been playing catchup with the fan base ever since Nov. 30, 2015, the day he was officially introduced as USC’s full-time head coach. Helton wasn’t expected to get the head coaching job. His resume didn’t suggest he was qualified. And Trojan fans never truly embraced him.

    It didn’t help matters that he lost his first three games after being named head coach: the 2015 Pac-12 title game, the 2015 Holiday Bowl and the 2016 season opener against Alabama. The loss to the Crimson Tide was particularly embarrassing, a 52-6 humbling on a national stage.

    USC started 1-3 that season and went onto win nine consecutive games to end the year, including a thrilling Rose Bowl triumph over Penn State, but Helton was still criticized for not turning to Sam Darnold at quarterback sooner.

    Helton might have built some goodwill with the fans to end the 2016 season, but that slowly faded after USC was blown out by Notre Dame and Ohio State in the 2017 season, even though the Trojans won the Pac-12 title in between those losses. When some fans financed a banner that read “Lynn Swann – Please Fire Clay Helton” to be flown over the Coliseum for the season finale against Notre Dame in 2018, USC was in the midst of just its fourth losing season since 1962.

    The next morning, Swann announced Helton would return in 2019. Helton might have won Swann’s confidence, but he had lost the fan base, which always made his future such an uphill climb.

    In a statement Monday, Helton described coaching the Trojans as “the opportunity of a lifetime.” Helton was a career assistant with average to below-average stints as offensive coordinator at Memphis and USC before former AD Pat Haden removed his interim tag in late 2015 after Sarkisian’s early-season exit. The expectations are high at USC and the patience is thin; it’s not exactly a place where a coach should be learning on the job. But months removed from a 5-7 season in 2018, athletic director Lynn Swann (who replaced Haden the offseason after Helton was elevated to head coach) suggested that’s what Helton was doing.

    “(It’s) Clay’s first job as a head coach,” Swann told The Athletic in April 2019. “It’s a big program. It’s a big process. I think Clay is growing into that role and growing productively into that role. He’s changed. He is changing. He has a clearer understanding of what he wants to have in a football team and how he needs to progress. So this has been a process, also for him.”

    Swann once sat in his second-story office recounting one of the first times he noticed the couch in Helton’s office. Helton slept in his office several nights each week, so Swann assumed the coach’s couch had the ability to turn into a bed. Except it didn’t.

    So Swann bought Helton a new couch for his office that also had a pull-out bed. Swann gave Helton a more generous gift in February 2018: A contract extension through the 2023 season.

    The Trojans legend was not the AD who hired Helton, but the extension he gave him in the wake of Helton’s lone Pac-12 championship essentially tied the two at the hip. It came off as odd, as USC was not really negotiating against another school in pursuit of Helton. If Swann had fired Helton after the ensuing 5-7 2018 season, it would have been an admission of error — and it would have been extremely expensive.

    But Helton lost that support when Swann, who had several athletic department scandals under his watch, resigned two years ago. Bohn was hired two months later, and his arrival immediately put Helton’s future in question.

    Time had run out on Helton, and on an era of conflicting emotions among those who care about USC football.

    “We love Clay,” the parent of the 2020 blue-chip prospect said. “I felt very, very sad for him because I know how much he loves that job but also, I felt a sense of relief for this program. This wasn’t healthy for anyone. I think finally both people can turn the page and start fresh. … It can’t be every one or two losses, it’s time for him to go.

    “Also, this is a business. When half the fan base doesn’t believe in the coach, how can you be a championship-level team? I think sometimes because you’re a nice person doesn’t mean you’re entitled to the job.”


  10. Since Wolf has said he doesn’t read the comments here, “cough”, here’s his e-mail if you want to drop him a get well or whatever.

    And since he’s recovering from some sort of surgical procedure, again, please don’t be a dick with him, have some class.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not set up to communicate with the email address you provided karma —but let me say here and now what Scott has meant to me and the rest of the regulars here: Everyone one of us, whether or not we’ve said it in so many words, appreciates the eccentric heroism of a guy who keeps on telling it the way he sees it without regard for consequences …and we all hope that like that other grand iconoclast, Cyrano, he grants us the right to say a prayer for him. [For my part, I haven’t waited for his permission].

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Michael, I think Scott also has a little bit of this in his personality– ”Whatever the crowd is saying, I will take the opposite position.’

        But it works for him and his blog.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Mostly…. but I’m pretty confident if someone said “Helton, Haden and Swann sucked” Scott would say “roger that!”


  11. Coaches go talk to other coaches who are really good at what they do to learn, or the smart ones do, Gomer never did this. I would have talked with Saben, Jimmy Johnson, Belichick, Carroll, just guys who have won to get an idea of what worked for them , what mistakes they made, etc.

    I remember seeing the segment of A Football Life on John Madden. He was just getting into coaching and went to a Lombardi coaching clinic. He sat down and Lombardi talked about the Packer Sweep, FOR EIGHT HOURS, ONE PLAY. Madden said he knew right there that he didn’t know anything about coaching.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, one problem with your reference , karma —John Madden loved being a football coach. He wanted to absorb as much as he could and apply it. Why? Because he loved winning….but even more than that because he loved FOOTBALL.
      Helton only loved the idea of hanging on. He’d flatter, kiss up and praise God —all just to hang on. He wasn’t a coach —only a bad actor playing the part of a coach for a Netflix mini series….

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tom Flores would FREQUENTLY come over to Jones field and chat with JR. Wish we could have listened in, BUT WE WERE GETTING OUR ASSES KICKED IN PRACTICE. Two winners in LA sharing Football knowledge.


  12. I trust Riley to build a staff he trusts, who relate to the young student-athletes, who recruit, who are “accountable”, and who can develop players (ie, “coach-up”). A staff full of superstar position coaches sound like a Quentin Tarantino movie set. I like this coach and I’ve like Grinch since he built good D’s at Wazzu, tOSU, and a better D at Okie.
    I’m not certain we need a QB coach or even an OC, though “Riles” knows better. Need a great WR coach to recruit the SoCal talent and coach ’em up.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. …So the NFL has their “throwback uniforms”.
    I guess USC and UCLA can have some throwback swag with the old decals, but please no “throwback unis.” For us old boomers, it would be awesome to have a product line of USC stuff with the 1960’s/70’s/80’s decals and schemes. I’ll buy some.

    The photos of the Commons and Tams brought back a certain “nausea” and sense of dread for me. The food at the Commons was a blend of elementary school sloppy and lower-level fried fast food (think DQ and not Micky D’s). The Coffee was brown water without much caffeine.
    But thanks for the memories.

    In 2007 I went back to campus for the first time since leaving LA in 88, and I was quite pleased to see a food court with a sushi bar, Wolfgang Pucks, Starbucks (or similar) and a drop-dead gorgeous book store.
    The era 1920/30’s science building where I took biology and chemistry labs (along with some lectures) was still there. Beautiful old building.

    Thanks, Scott.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice, Bourbon. I went and walked around campus to visit with all my old friends (unfortunately in ghost form) before I left for Hawaii. When I went into one of the campus eateries I was asked whether I was a student and I said “well, yeah…. a long time ago”…and the very nice kid at the counter said “So let’s give you the discount…for old time’s sake.”
      Pretty cool way of saying goodbye to a beloved campus.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. …and a final “Bourbon confession,” my friends.

    I’d go to Tams, find the cleanest, prettiest used text book at the beginning of the semester and keep it absolutely pristine. Oh, and I read it. The used books were 55% the cost of a new text.

    I’d peel off the used sticker and then return the book at end of semester
    as if it had been a new book and get the 55% rebate of a new book when I sold the text back.

    I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, but I am contrite. Well sort of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forget the name of the guy who was omnipresent & ran Tam’s back in the day …but I know he was on the advisory board my Dad assembled when he was Executive Director of Urban Redevelopment for Los Angeles and initiating the Hoover Project. Anyway, this guy saw me struggling to come up with the cash to buy all my textbooks on my first day at USC …and gave me the 5 bucks I needed to pay for everything I needed. Hell of a nice guy! [I think Pappy paid him back for me].

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I could never get away with that move, Bourbon. I have a habit to this day of marking up the pages of a book, or any other reading material, whenever I see something I would like to re-read. That way I don’t have to re-read the entire book, just the passages I liked.

      And I never returned my books. The book store would not take back my books anyway after I had finished carving my fingerprints all over them.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Nice summary on the Clay Helton era, but we no longer need to look backwards. My goodness you might have just given Clay Helton an idea to write a book on his experiences at USC, and call it “The Downfall of Troy” by Clay Helton.

    We all know “Nice guys finish last”- that sums up the career of Clay Helton at USC. We as fans all suffered while the rest of the country, and the entire college football community laughed at USC, Clay Helton, and of course Mike Bohn and Carol Folt.

    Troy, will be rebuilt but we must all be patient. We must all realize we were not defeated by an outside force, and that the greatest enemy we had was sadly all of us inside the walls of our university. Let’s forget the Clay Helton era it’s over we lost the war. It’s time to move forward I think we now have the right man in Lincoln Riley to drive the ship forward in the right direction although it may take two years to get things going at full speed. “You Gotta Believe” -by the late famous NY Met Pitcher Tug McGraw is the theme we should also follow.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Sorry to hear the Famous Pantry restaurant is now struggling. Hard to believe also that former Mayor Riordan the owner is now 91 years old.

    One of my favorite places to eat back in the day. Great cole slaw, steaks, chops, and also wonderful for breakfast. I remember the waiters were always quite professional and friendly especially Mario who worked there for a long time.

    I hope the Pantry survives—-It’s a LA landmark.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The pantry: Buckwheat pancakes and eggs to start the day.
      [As long as we’re saluting old friends —a special thanks to Terri at Philippe’s back in the day –what a doll]!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. my grand father ,on my moms side, always took us there,the french dip and saw dust on the floor,it was near union station and we would then ride the santa fe out to grandmas house in san bernardino…my gramps was the engineer on the super chief,it was a fun time as a youngster…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. …back in the day, taking the Santa Fe was about the most exotic thing a kid could do…. remember riding it with my aunt and cousins…everything about Union Station seemed cool and all the engineers were my heroes….


  17. Wow everybody’s been busy this morning. I have the next three weeks off and might come back if I can avoid Covid testing on a weekly basis as the FUSD school board voted to implement. Now, in order to be allowed to work I must appear before a temperature check daily which say’s I’m normal (something I don’t hear often). Soon it’s going to be a Q-tip up the nose once a week (in a nose that is already abused by a mask). I can’t think of anything I’d rather not do. I came up with an acronym for COVID. C.O.V.I.D stands for Controlling Our Valued Individuality Daily.
    I’m a glass half full guy with Riley. I don’t know his staff or their actual abilities, but I do like the picture of him in his previous coaching stint. He’s standing there with a linked OU on his shirt and I can only see that OU is 2/3s of IOU. He still owes them a national championship. Maybe he’ll give it to them by taking USC to play them in the future.
    But at least he’s not Clueless Clay or any iteration of the clueless coaches club from the Helton Era.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I like how L. A. Unified has all staff getting tested by people in hazmat suits…and then lets them all go out & interact with untested parents all day & a couple hours after school…


    1. It wasn’t all bad back then, F.U., the Sexy Sixties, because we had real Trojan football, Viet Nam was not yet in the news, and girls look good in any era.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why didn’t my mom tell me to get into coaching where the big money is?– At least I took her advice and did not become a doctor because she noticed I hated the sight of blood, especially my own

        Liked by 2 people

      2. No doctor could get away with providing the kind of services we got from Sark or Helton….


  18. Domani signed with USC. I gotta say LR & Co. are doing the best they can with the time they were given signing some quality commits but I’ll be more optimistic when we start getting the same caliber of big uglies. And an O-Line coach to improve them.

    Liked by 2 people

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