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

Would you say USC looked well-coached in the final minutes vs. Washington on Thursday night?

Andy Enfield on USC’s season-high 23 turnovers: “If they want to advance any further, we have to do a better job at taking care of the basketball.”

Stat guru Ken Pomeroy gives USC a 27 percent chance of beating UCLA tonight.

  • I’ve heard strong praise for Lincoln Riley from Southern California high school coaches. Riley might seem a little, for lack of a better word, dull in media settings but coaches say in one-on-one settings he is quite good.
  • USC is hosting six recruits this weekend, including five-star cornerback Cormani McClain of Lakeland, Fla., five-star wide receiver Carnell Tate of Bradenton, Fla., and four-star cornerback Tony Mitchell of Alabaster, Ala.
  • I’d still like to see more offensive linemen lining up visits.
  • If we all had a dollar for every lazy media take on Riley’s new house that said something like “this vs. Norman, Okla.” How original!
  • Steve Sarkisian had his giant koi pond at his Palos Verdes estate. Riley has a dry sauna, steam room, tennis court and putting green (pictured).
  • There are at least nine former USC players still in the NCAA Transfer Portal. The fact is there are a glut of players in the portal and getting a college offer is no longer guaranteed. Safety Chase Williams actually started for USC last season and I know he’s been turned down by at least one Pac-12 school.
  • Who approved those awful cardinal uniforms worn by the Trojan Dance Force on Thursday night at the Pac-12 Tournament? The cheerleaders (not the song girls) wore some odd looking cardinal uniforms too.



And now for some history:

  • John Naber will be inducted today in the Pac-12 Hall of Honor. Naber and the 11 other inductees will be introduced at halftime of the Arizona-Colorado game tonight.

The most decorated swimmer in USC history, Naber won 10 individual NCAA titles during his collegiate career, the second-most in collegiate history, while also leading the Trojans to four-straight NCAA team titles. He won four gold medals and one silver at the 1976 Olympics.

  • USC and Hollywood in the 1920’s were an unstoppable force.
  • Here’s a 1928 photo of film star Anita Page getting ready for “talkies” (movies with sound) at her first speech class at USC. On the left is famed director George Stevens, who directed “Shane,” “A Place in the Sun” and “Giant” among a long list of distinguished films.

And on the right is now-controversial USC president Rufus von KleinSmid, who always seemed to get into photos.

  • You don’t believe me about von KleinSmid? Well, here he is with one of the biggest silent film stars in the world, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., at a USC Cinema class.

Fairbanks Sr. was a member of the USC Fencing Club and founding member of the Cinema School. George Lucas put a statue of him in the courtyard of his cinema buildings.

  • When I saw the clip below, my first thought was it might be a USC pole vaulter. And sure enough, Lee Barnes went to USC and was gold medalist at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. He performed this famous stunt for legendary comic Buster Keaton below.
  • We’re not done with restaurants.
  • Who remembers the Kettle in Anaheim? This was one of the restaurants that offered bus service to Rams games in the 1950’s.
  • How about the Jolly Jug in El Monte (hometown of Fred Lynn and open since 1946).
  • How about Chip’s restaurant in Hawthorne (open since 1955).
  • This picture from the 1930’s shows how close Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds were to each other.
  • In 1951, the Trojans played in the original Yankee Stadium against Army and won 28-6 as Frank Gifford rushed for 138 yards and passed for 50.

 Johnny Williams returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown and fullback Harold Han scored a touchdown.

The New York Times wrote, “Neither rain nor mud nor the scrappiness of a hopelessly outclassed cadet 11 could stay the amazingly gifted and elusive Frank Gifford and his Trojan teammates.

“It was one of the worst drubbings a West Point 11 has ever suffered. In this unveiling here, Gifford demonstrated he is every inch the great football player he has been labeled.”

A 16-piece USC band and group of fans greeted the Trojans at the airport when they returned from New York.

USC QB Dean Schneider attempts a pass against Army at Yankee Stadium.
  • Here’s a feat that will never be broken. Did you know a player kicked field goals for and against USC? And did it in high school?
  • On November 6, 1909, Courtney Decius kicked a 45-yard field goal for USC at Occidental. That set a USC field goal record for distance that lasted until Chris Limahelu’s 47-yard field goal against Ohio State in the 1974 Rose Bowl.

Decius also held, for many years, the record for most field goals in a single game AGAINST USC. Playing for Los Angeles High School, Decius, on October 10, 1908, kicked three field goals (then worth four points each) against USC, two from the 35-yard line near the sidelines, and one from the 27-yard line.

That record, tied several times, stood for 65 years, until Nov. 10, 1973, when Rod Garcia kicked four field goals for Stanford against the Trojans.

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

  1. About 6 years ago, the wife & I walked into the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop. It was like walking into a time machine and going back 50 years. Had hoped to visit it again, but less than a year after we visited it the owner died and the restaurant closed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey MG. Just wanna say I too am gonna miss you. Who else would put up with me ?? Don’t work too hard. There’s always tomorrow. (Scarlett in GONE WITH THE WIND. )

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great column today, Wolf. I dig the old history and that is entertaining.

    Side note: How long will it take Ken Hart to show up in this comments thread to bitch about your column today? He acts as if he is in a gulag and is forced to read your blog against his own will, it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Danny —
      You’re warm. Ken is actually imprisoned in China —where he’s forced to read Scott’s column against his will several times a day. This has been going on for years —and the United Nations hasn’t lifted a finger in spite of the pleas of Ken’s Mom & Dad…..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey Michael, I don’t understand the strange psychology of how the mind of a Rah-Rah (Ken, for instance) works and processes things. A Rah-Rah – usually wearing one of those hideous USC Bookstore cardinal-and-gold colored print faux Hawai’ian shirts and USC-emblazoned straw hat – is generally spotted eating seven-layer bean dip and drinking chardonnay at the tailgate, and hanging on every word spoken by Clay Helton (or before that, Sarkisian, Kiffin, Hackett etc.). The Rah-Rah bristles and gets agitated at ANY criticism of ANYTHING whatsoever leveled toward the W-2’ed head coach, the university and/or the football program. Any criticism is high treason of USC and is anathema and not allowed. If someone like Wolf (an alum, a former editor of the Daily Trojan and a huge SC fan in his own right) has the audacity to actually report anything true that shows USC in a critical light, he needs to be roundly hated and denounced. Even if Wolf (or anyone else) is criticizing something that they love (the football program) with the intent of bringing a problem to light to encourage the university, administrator or athletic department to make a change and do better. If given a giant turd that is spray-painted cardinal and gold with an imprint of an interlocking “SC” logo on it, a Rah-Rah will eat it up in seconds, lick his fingers and then ask for seconds, as long as it is spray-painted cardinal and gold and has “SC” on it. It doesn’t matter that the product is shit, of course, as long as it’s “SC”. That is the strange psychology of the Rah-Rah. Any criticism of USC is treason.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Funny but true. [And it’s actually a little worse than you describe it — if a down on his luck Trojan —maybe missing a button on his shirt — asked for a corn chip with a bit of that 7 layer dip on it, the Rah Rah would call Security]….


    2. Yeah, that bad old Kenny. How dare he comment like that on our esteemed leader, Scott. Stop picking on Scott, Kenny!


  3. ugh,the girl uniforms wuz all wrong and so bad,i get so angrey at theese things,no one lissens to me john,its like thay aint evr sean projecked runaway and dont now how to excessorize,i meen whose call-ling the shotts john,cuz thay aint lookking good and it up sets me to,know i gotta go bite my pilow,smdh

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Exactly. If a country can’t take Ukraine, then it is obvious they will be adept at fighting against everyone else. Apparently, the Saudis took Ed G.’s phone call, but not the call from John Biden.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Scott- excellent job…………….Here’s a couple of other restaurants that are/were LA Landmarks.

    1) Stearn’s BBQ- Venice BBQ- right down the street from Venice High School
    2) Woody’s- El Segundo, CA. Great burgers, and do it yourself ice cream sundaes.
    3) Tito’s Tacos

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Woody’s –Yes! Thanks for the reminder: Forgot all about Stearn’s Bar BQ beef sandwiches!
      Ship’s Restaurant too [open faced turkey sandwich w/mashed potatoes]!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember Carson Palmer saying that Pete Carroll convinced his teams that it was their destiny to win the National Championship. He said Pete made them “believe” in themselves. Andy’s teams don’t believe in their destiny or themselves….not 100% anyway. They certainly haven’t played like it for the last 3 games. To paraphrase Helton’s words, “They’re good, not great.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MG, I feel like they can turn this around. IMO they played really bad defense last Saturday against Westwood, and couldn’t hit their jump shots, and still came close. Time to exploit their size advantage against the little gutties…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Size is great………..but the other key ingredient is quickness which USC does not have at the guard positions which is a major problem especially against teams with good guards.. John Wooden, use to say quickness is the key ingredient. USC is also not very quick in the paint-Issiah Mobley is as slow as they come moving laterally, and not a great jumper. Former USC Centers Ron Riley, and Cliff Robinson were both tall, quick, and could really jump.

    Hard to say it…….but I think UCLA by 15 tonight especially now with all their players healthy. We have no one who can stop Jaime Jaquez.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A 15 point loss to end the Pac 12 season would be a disgrace…


      1. Lose to sucla by even one-point means SC would have to get by Kansas or Kentucky if Troy can win its first NCAA Tournament game, so it is imperative to beat sucla if SC wants a legit chance to getting into the Sweet-16.

        BTW, a shout-out to tommyd for bringing up the names of Ron Riley and especially Cliff Robinson, who I had forgotten, but recall him battling sucla at Pauley.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael, one final word about you taking the week off to write. If the creative juices are not flowing, do what Jack did to fill up 100s and 100s of pages:
    “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
    “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
    etc etc

    Of course, we are talking “The Shining”– and when Jack’s wife is rummaging through his 100s of pages filled with only that one line, Jack walks in and surprises her by asking plaintively, “How do you like it?”–

    One of the scariest scenes I ever saw in a movie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LJ Yeah you and me and everyone else here are all looking up to Michael. He even rows our boat ashore !!!!!!!—————-if you don’t get it it’s an old song—- that’s for you millennials on the thread.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. George –do you remember the scene when the decadent Tom Hanks escapes from his gambling debts In “Volunteers”? He jumps on a Peace Corps plane with two rows of idealistic college kids singing “Michael row the boat ashore” —and he slowly whispers, “So this is Hell…”


      2. That all may be true, but do not forget that Michael had help because “Sister helped to trim the sail.”


  7. HAHAHA TOM HANKS WAS EVER DECADENT. ????? PS Biden’s latest sanction—just announced today—- was to cancel Russian Roulette. !!!


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