This week’s column includes some crazy historical items, including an NFL draft story and a picture you would never see at today’s NBA Finals.
- Whatever else I heard about Drake London, the things that stood out this year were two Pac-12 defensive coaches telling me they felt he was basically unstoppable and they had no doubts about his NFL potential.
- USC linebacker Drake Jackson did not get drafted Thursday but looks like he could go early in the second round. “Multiple teams” had him going in first round the day before the draft according to this tweet.
Each year, unexpected players sneak into round one. One possibility this year is USC pass rusher Drake Jackson, whose agent Drew Rosenhaus said that “multiple teams” predicted to him Wednesday that Jackson – who had 15 top 30 visits – “would be a surprise first-round pick.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 28, 2022
- Woe to the USC season-ticket holder in 2023, who gets San Jose State and Nevada as home non-conference games. Plus, the Notre Dame and Oregon games are away.
- This December, two unoccupied residence halls, Marks Hall and Trojan Residence Hall, are scheduled to be demolished. USC previously acknowledged it will demolish Fluor Tower after graduation in May.
- Rick Caruso has now spent more than $23 million on his mayoral campaign and $22.5 million has come from Caruso himself.
- Matt Reeves, writer-director of “The Batman,” will give the commencement address for the USC Cinema School on May 13 at the Shrine Auditorium. Reeves is a 1998 graduate of the Cinema School.
- I understand few care about USC women’s basketball but it’s almost astonishing that Lindsay Gottlieb has signed just one player to a letter of intent from the Class of 2022, especially considering the fanfare that accompanied her hiring nearly a year ago.
- USC women’s basketball did add Arizona forward Koi Love via the transfer portal this week. Previously, the Trojans’ best player, Jordyn Jenkins, transferred to Texas-San Antonio.
- Does Mike Bohn always look like he is yelling? Yes.
A gorgeous day for @USC_FB! Had a fantastic time watching the team scrimmage for the first time with @LincolnRiley at the helm. Loved seeing the energy of the students and the fans. Looking forward to the fall! #FightOn pic.twitter.com/GueG14aNNX— Carol Folt (@PresidentFolt) April 23, 2022
RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
Rao’s, 1006 Seward St., Hollywood (2013)
This is an offshoot of the exclusive red-sauce restaurant in New York that opened in 1896. Both were co-owned by Frank Pellegrino, who starred in the Sopranos and Goodfellas. An attraction of Rao’s is host Johnny Williams, who played Johnny Roastbeef in Goodfellas
- And now for some history:
- This is an illustration of Mickey Mantle hitting his legendary home run vs. USC at Bovard Field in 1951 from the book “MANTLE: THE BEST THERE EVER WAS.” Some said the ball traveled 650 feet. You can watch video of the game here.
- Georgia had five players selected in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday. USC won the national title when it had five first-round picks in the 1968 NFL Draft (Ron Yary, Mike Taylor, Tim Rossovich, Mike Hull and Earl McCullough).
Below, from left to right, Taylor, Yary, Rossovich, Hull and McCullough give best wishes to teammate, O.J. Simpson, who a year later would be the No. 1 pick in the 1969 NFL Draft.
- Speaking of the draft, here’s a story involving Drake London’s new team, the Atlanta Falcons.
In 1971, Falcons coach Norm Van Brocklin selected John Wayne of Apache U in the 17th and final round. The college was a play on Wayne’s 1948 movie, “Fort Apache.”
“Do we want the roughest, toughest S.O.B. in the draft?” Van Brocklin told his staff before making the pick.
Eventually, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle disallowed the pick and the Falcons selected someone else.
- I’m running this photo of John McKay simply for the jacket. It’s a contrast to that cardinal-and-grey/white pullover Lincoln Riley wore last Saturday at the scrimmage.
- As this 1953 USC-UCLA game program shows, the most important part of the game rosters was often the cigarette ad.
- Did the Sports Arena ever look better than in the early 1960’s when the Lakers played the Celtics in the NBA Finals? Here’s a photo from 1965 with the famous scoreboard when it was state of the art.
And in 1963.
- Now if you want to see some real craziness, this is Game 7 of the 1966 Lakers-Celtics game at the Boston Garden. There are less than 20 seconds left and the Lakers are down, 95-89. As Jerry West steals the ball and makes a shot, there are photographers all over the court trying to get a picture of Boston coach Red Auerbach. They didn’t even try to clear the court until the Celtics called timeout after the basket.
The Celtics won the game, 95-93. Imagine that happening today.
- Check out the Boston Garden scoreboard circa 1966. Talk about a lot of clocks.