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

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.
  • 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.


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.
It’s USC safety Tim McDonald at the 1985 Rose Bowl.
  • 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 YaryMike TaylorTim RossovichMike 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.

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

    1. Fun to hear Carol talk about renewed “energy and excitement” over the change in leadership in the football program….now she needs to find out who was in charge when the old, sorry leadership was allowed to continue ad infinitum …

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Be careful, Wolfie! The Ministry of Truth (aka Disinformation Governance Board) is now watching all that we do on here!!

    81M idiots voted for these Nazis. Gonna do whatever they can to try and shut down opposing views.

    Get ready folks! It’s coming!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Federalist (right wing as they get) poll shows Trump losing to brain dead Joe in a re-match and getting beaten badly by brain- never -alive -to begin- with, Kamala Harris.


      1. Many of them are dumb enough to think everything that is going on, both here and abroad, would be going on even if Biden weren’t in office.

        They aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Eddy!
      [Ed reminds me of my best friend in high school —we got kicked out one week before graduating for laughing while a nun tried to tell us about “life after graduation”]…..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaah, the 1960s Boston Celtics ruling over the Lakers. It was about as bad a sports time for me as the 7-year curse of Ton-o-Hel.

    But I seldom look back for long, there is nothing quite like the present moment. And if there is a silver lining to the Clay Terror-Tenure it is this– without those miserable years SC would not have gotten Wiley.

    And the Yankees controlling the Dodgers for so many years was another dynasty I despised.

    Finally, the Big Ten demolished the Pac-8 for a decade in the 1950s Rose Bowl until a west coast giant emerged in the 1960s named USC. I finally had a sports winner to call my own.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great to my 1967 teammates honored.
    They were all big time players.
    We were National Champions after beating Indiana inthe 1968 Rose Bowl!
    My fellow Linebacker and Team Co Captain with Rossovich, Adrian Young, was also a first team All American and should have been drafted in the first round.
    He and Rossovich ended up playing for the Eagles..
    My years at USC were fantastic and we had such great talent ..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My fraternity played Rossovich’s fraternity, and the highlight for me was shoving Rossovich out of bounds on a running play as he gave me a straight-arm right to the face. The guy was a menace even in a flag-football game.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It happens at all the best parties —lighten up….
        [My favorite punch bowl story: An associate made the terrible mistake of confiding in me that she liked to say “yesssssssss!” at the penultimate moment with her dweeby little husband — at the next office party, Mister Dweeb asked if I wanted him to grab me a glass of punch when he got to front of the line — I said “yesssssssss!” ….and he looked real sad]…..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. –Just watched a few minutes of the Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans
    Pelicans’ final game of the series yesterday. Phoenix won, but the New Orleans fans gave a standing ovation to its spirited, but out-manned losing team.

    Now that is what sports should be all about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Independent of the remarks by Bad-Boy Ed, these columns WOULD make a fascinating book —- Didn’t somebody in San Francisco incorporate all his fun columns into a great book of inside stories & memories? Was his name Herb Caen?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Herb Caen was outstanding. Remember the other Chronicle columnist Charles McCabe? He turned drinking into an art form and a job. Very funny fellow. He used to refer to St. Patrick’s Day as “Amateur Hour”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love it. McCabe was special too. Both he and Herb [but mostly Herb] gave me many memorable morning reads…..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Not surprising Pac-12 coaches called London unstoppable. He was averaging something like 12 catches a game before he got hurt last season. That means pretty much every passing down is going to London, everybody knows it, and he still comes down with the ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. And –guess what? NFL teams with smaller sized d-backs are gonna get in the same battles with Drake UCLA found themselves in …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MG, On the one hand, we have Drake at 6’4″, maybe close to 6’5″, 215 – 220 lbs, his vertical is something like 35″. Guessing he runs 4.5-4.6.

        OTOH, there is Tyreek Hill, 5’8″, 170 lbs, but runs a 4.3. Obviously very different coverage issues for DBs. I like that Drake has been doubled to the point where he is always going up for the “rebound” with a lot of other guys around him – guys who are much shorter. A fella like Hill is catching the ball when he is open – or he doesn’t catch it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hear ya, 67! [Drake will be a tremendous asset to Atlanta —if they don’t over-use him the way Harrell did…..which was a crime]…..

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Pretty much every NFL defensive opponent will be will be as large as London and faster. London has zero upside as a blocker.

      Unstoppable in the Pac 12 isn’t unstoppable in the SEC or the NFL.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As large as London? No. I guess that is what you would call a “sucla fact”.

        Average NFL corner is 5’11”. London is between 6’4″ and 6’5″

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I accept your comments …and all the implicit criticism of UCLA built into them… I still say most d-backs in the NFL are gonna have trouble with Drake…. [but, you’re right, not all of them will —and, given his style of play, that worries me]…..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Mike Bohn responds to 67: “No! Not at all! There really isn’t that much difference between one size and another! It’s all the same!”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. this had to be one the dumbest comments of a long line of dumb comments from Jowns….the NFL is a freakin’ passing show, and you bring up blocking… Another anvil to head.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Scooter and anyone,

    Has anyone seen the show called, “Winning Time”? I know Just Rent hasn’t since he does not have cable in his two story cardboard box. It pisses me off how they just destroy Jerry West’s character in the show. They show him cursing, throwing things, and getting controlling. He was not like that. He is suing the show for defamation of character and I hope he wins. I loved the Lakers at that time. Now, as far as I am concerned, they can go and take a flying leap over the ugly wall with the ugly players until they get rid of Lebron, the general manager, and Jennie herself. She listens to Rambis’ wife for advice while she disowned one of the greatest players of all time, Mr. Clutch, Jerry West. Hate the Celtics with their cheap shot crap. That is why Rambis was there, to be the enforcer.


    1. Have zero desire to see it, but did hear about the lawsuit. Hope he wins.

      Did the show cover how Magic really contracted HIV, by going both ways? “Not that there’s anything wrong with it.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So Cal,

        They are on the 1979 season. Magic is a rookie and they are playing the 76er’s in the nba final. They did show the Lakers beating the Celtics in December back in that season. it showed the refs bias for the Celtics, which continues today. That is why i hate the nba, the refs are bias. How many titles did the Lakers lose out because of that? I say one is too many. They haven’t gotten to the HIV part.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Michael, did you hear how well POTUS can pronounce the word “kleptocracy”


        Liked by 1 person

      3. It wasn’t just the word “klepto -crazy”, 67 [or Joe going Biblical with talk about “begotten “this & “begotten” that]—our crazy prez was unaware of the fact he was ending due process of law by announcing he would begin seizing assets without hearing or notice. I’ve done asset forfeiture cases —they’re harder than shit cuz there’s a whole phase AFTER the criminal trial where you have to show a nexus between the crime and the assets. Joe is doing away with that —in fact, he’s doing away with the court system.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. They accused DT of acting like a dictator. But he didn’t come close to what this administration has done and is doing.

        People better wake up before it’s too late.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Tens of millions really like it, So Cal….of course they have no idea what the Constitution guarantees in terms of speech, assembly, religion, privacy, due process, etc., etc…..

        Liked by 1 person

      1. …please take it upon yourselves, individually & collectively, to add an “it” after “putting”…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Don’t worry about missing a word or two, MG, we fill in the blanks around here.

    650 foot homer, huh. I have heard of guys reaching the 500+ foot marker, but over 600 feet is right up there with the Paul Bunyan stories.


  8. Why hasn’t Trojan Nation made a celebratory connection of Atlanta Falcons GM Rich McKay selecting a USC Trojan with the team’s first pick in the draft? Rich learned football from his dad…and until dad moved to Tampa Bay, the young-man-turned-GM was weaned on Trojan football!


  9. Leave Riley’s shirt alone he hasn’t earned his stripes yet. They’ll be growing gradually as the season moves on.


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