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

The USC coaching staff is known for its Oklahoma ties. But it really has strong Washington State ties.

Alex Grinch was the Cougars’ defensive coordinator from 2015-17. USC assistant head coach Dennis Simmons was wide receivers coach at Washington State from 2012-14. Linebackers coach Roy Manning held the same position at Washington State from 2015-17. Inside linebackers coach Brian Odom was a quality control assistant from 2015-16. And USC graduate assistant Payton Pelluer played six years at Washington State (2013-18).

Pelluer played in more games (54) than any player in program history.

“That logo meant the world to me,” Grinch said. “They’re my family. It’s a great place.”

  • No one wants to talk about it now, but how many players packed it in last season at USC? No way should the Trojans have lost eight games.
  • The Raiders announced Thursday their former star tailback Clarence Davis from USC had passed away but then deleted the story.

“The Raiders received notice of Clarence Davis’ passing but have found that information to be false. The Raiders extend our deepest apologies to the Davis family and the Raider Nation for the erroneous announcement.”

In eight seasons for the Oakland Raiders, the former USC star rushed for 3,640 yards and 26 touchdowns in 89 games while also catching 99 passes for 865 yards and two touchdowns.

Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett really looks like his father, former USC coach Paul Hackett. Some would say like father, like son based on the way the Broncos’ offense has scored points the first few games too.

  • And now for some history:
  • Forget the Salute to Troy, in 1980, USC held its first kickoff picnic at the . . . Rose Bowl!

It started at 4 p.m. with fans having a picnic on the field or in the stands. At 4:45 p.m., the team showed up and fans were allowed to take pictures with players, coaches and staff. That’s more than what was allowed at the Salute to Troy in June.

At 5:30 p.m., the band and song girls showed up. At 6:15 p.m., John Robinson introduced the team. Athletic director Dick Perry and school president James Zumberge were in attendance.

At 7:30 p.m., the band played Conquest and fans were given one more opportunity to meet the team, visit the locker rooms and pressbox. That’s a lot more fan-player engagement than you get in 2022.

  • Here’s an Art Brewster illustration from 1980 that holds up well. It features Dennis Smith, Ronnie Lott and Jeff Fisher.
  • A fixture at USC during the era of the University Village mall was Perry’s Pizza, where you could get the Trojan Special. A slice of pizza, house salad and small drink for $1.60 (in 1980).
  • You know which USC football coach gets overlooked? Not Howard Jones.

But Elmer C. (Gloomy Gus) Henderson, who has the best winning percentage, 45-7 (.865), of any coach in USC’s history.

Henderson was the first USC coach to recruit hard and persuade local Southern California athletes to stay home instead of going to Cal and Stanford.

His spread formations were copied by coaches and some elements of his offense were for decades by college and NFL teams.

He acquired the moniker “Gloomy Gus” because it was a well-known cartoon character of the era. Los Angeles Times sportswriter Paul Lowry gave him the nickname because of the way Henderson poor-mouthed the Trojans’ prospects before a game

Henderson had a 9-2 record in his last season at USC in 1924, with intersectional victories over Syracuse and Missouri. But he was fired after the season. Some said it was because he was 0-5 against Cal.

Gloomy Gus Henderson
You can make a case Charles White is the greatest tailback in USC history.
  • It’s a shame USC offensive lineman Marvin Powell died before he could be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame. He is the only Trojan in the College Football Hall of Fame who isn’t in the USC Hall of Fame.

USC hasn’t even had a Hall of Fame class since 2018. It’s something that isn’t on Mike Bohn’s radar, apparently.

Powell knew he wanted to go to USC when he was 11 years old, watching the 1967 Rose Bowl at his home in Fayetteville, N.C.

Traveler ran onto the field and Powell’s heart raced.

”I was always a heavy child,” Powell told the New York Times in 1982. ”I was in the seventh grade, and I said, ‘I’m going to So. Cal.’ And my stepfather started laughing at me and I cried. By the time I was a high school senior I was the best offensive lineman in the country.”

Marvin Powell
  • This is the Coliseum on Oct. 6, 1959 for Game 5 of the 1959 World Series between the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. The crowd of 92,706 remains a World Series record. Sandy Koufax pitched but the Dodgers lost, 1-0. The Dodgers won the World Series in six games.
  • Actress Brigitte Helm is assisted by crew during filming of the 1927 classic film, “Metropolis.” This picture was taken circa 1925-26. Helm plays a robot who comes to life and impersonates a human.


  • Here’s a 1974 appearance by Italian singer Adriano Celentano performing his hit song “Prisencolinensinainciusol.” The song and title are gibberish but intended to sound like English. Some thought Celentano created a non-sensical song just to prove Italians loved any American-sounding music. But Celentano said he intended to explore communication barriers.

Joke or not, the song went No. 1 in Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.

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

  1. How was that a 1-0 game? The left field fence was 200 feet. Just get out there anywhere and it would be gone.


    1. So there’s talk that ‘Ol Mule Shoe could be headed to the Denver Bronco’s.

      You supposed insiders missed the boat on this one, but that’s the rumor.

      Hopefully USC’s next head coach will give a shit about the trenches and defense


      1. USC needs a coach that gives a shit about defense and linemen.

        I always knew that ‘Ol Mule Shoe was using this job as a stepping stone to the NFL, but thougt he would wait for the Dallas Cowboys job to open up.

        Whatever though, as long as USC hires a coach that is as focused on defense as the offense…Good Riddance To ‘Ol Mule Shoe


      2. BYU’s men’s a cappella group, Vocal Point, has a great rendition of Danny Boy that I also recommend.


      3. Leonard Cohen — the Great Poet of the 20th century:
        “And so the grand affair is over
        and whoever would’ve guessed
        it would leave us so empty
        and vaguely unimpressed
        I guess it’s like our trip to the moon
        or that other far off star
        I guess you’d go for nothing
        if you wanted to go that far”


  2. I’ll talk about it the players packing it in. They did. Some worse than others. The ones that did are for the most part all gone, a couple sitting on the bench, or reborn to the new culture of Lincoln Riley. I was never so pissed off when guys opted out of the last game, but I think the staff had opted out also knowing they were done and gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the single most obvious low point in the history of USC football —at least in the 51-0 loss to Notre Dame our outmatched team was still TRYING at the end [and we came back and kicked their asses at South Bend the following year with O. J.]…..
      P. S.
      -Marvin Powell’s stepdad sounds like a loser asshole.
      -There is no way on earth Lincoln Riley is gonna abandon Caleb while he’s QB at USC
      -Scott needs to publish more photos of Brigette Helm

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Grinch still loves Washington State’s logo?! Is Grinch gonna throw this game?
      P. S.
      Speaking of Nathaniel Hackett —I went to a USC/Cal game with him [all I remember is R. J. Soward was on the team at the time] and, while we were tossing the football around outside the stadium, Nathaniel unaccountable threw the ball into a crowd and hit one of USC’s recruits in the eye.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember Perry’s Pizza and University Mall very well. I ate the Trojan Special countless times. Also enjoyed Blimpy’s and the Burger King too. To paraphrase Will Rogers, I never met a menu that I didn’t like. I also vividly remember the 32nd Street Market. They had a display of “The Golden Shopping Cart” on the end of one of the aisles. It had a plaque that said it was awarded to them for buying – and losing – something like 10,000 shopping carts in 3 years.
    The 32nd Street Market also would advertise a head of lettuce for only .19 cents. We referred to it as “… the cheapest head in town…”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, Morrie’s 32 Market. Where you could cash a check for $25.25 on a Friday afternoon for your weekend spending money. Wasn’t there a list hanging up on the wall in the office of people NOT to accept checks from?

      Who else remembers Dr. Munchie’s Pizza?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Inner Tebowobama: Ah, yes. I will never get the time Ol Mule Shoe (Old Lukey) took me to Perry’s pizza. He tried to trade me to get extra cheese on his pizza…always with the jokes was Old Lukey. Then was the time he switched street signs on me, but I found my back…eventually…ooh the good times we used to have.


      2. On the money — what was the story with the globs of tomato sauce at Perry’s? Take it easy on the red stuff….


      3. Perry’s also figured prominently in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: it’s where Stacy and Linda worked. Believe that was the one at the Sherman Oaks Galleria.


      4. Maybe there is such a thing as too much tomato sauce. But a review of my favorite local Chicago style, deep dish pizza said they put too much cheese!! That’s like saying too much chocolate, or my drink was too strong or her boobs were too big.

        These things do not make sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It would mean the world is coming to an end if you see Dennis Smith involved with anything that has to do with USC. Hearing him talk about his disdain for USC is quite comedy. I believe Marvin Powell will get there soon into the Hall of Fame. Bohn will be forced into recognizing him.


    1. This World,

      Why is Dennis Smith pissed off at SC? They gave him a free four year ride. Is it because of pettiness? Thank you.


  5. I feel like this will be another though game for USC. WSU is similar to Oregon State but with a better defense. The Utah game will be a walk in Bryce Canyon…easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Scooter,

    If Grinch likes WSU’s logo, then after he beats nuture dumb and ugly, he will love the SC logo

    If Grinch likes the logo at WSU, he will love the logo at SC this year when hsi defense stomps on nutre dome and the ruins of satan, ugly. When he gets his recrutis in, eh could be up there as one of the top d cordinators at SC. He needs recruits and talent though

    Liked by 1 person

  7. FYI……Tonight #1 St John Bosco vs #2 Mater Dei. 7:00pm on The Bally Sports Network channel. I know Cox carries the channel.

    I read on Maxprep that 70 kids have at least one college offer between the two teams!


    1. The game is referred to as “The Collection of Future CFB Pineapple Pipeline Busts Bowl”…Sponsored by Charmin (toilet paper)



  8. 120-mph tennis ace by Rick


    1. Tucker Carlson….. 2022 CLOWN OF THE YEAR…….


      Kanye is just flat-out lost. The shit that he comes up with often leaves me scratching my head, then asking my self- what the fuck did he just say?…..let me rewind it!


  9. WSU should not be a problem for us, they don’t run the ball particular well. So that should be an advantage for us. We must show we can apply pressure to disrupt the Qb. I know we should come out with a lot of energy and play a complete game.


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