Friday Supplement: The USC-Cal Rivalry Could Get Nasty

I forgot to tell the one story I wanted to in the notes column about USC-Cal.

In 1962, the USC Yell Leaders kidnapped Oski during the game at the Coliseum. The Yell King, Richard Hare, was kicked out of the game in the fourth quarter because of this and some vulgar stunts he directed toward the Cal student section. Hare and four other yell leaders were hauled before the school’s administration and censured. Plus given double-secret probation. Just kidding.

  • This is is what Oski looked like in 1961.
  • And I might as well run this photo of George Tirebiter being restrained from attacking Oski. He once bit Joe Bruin on the nose.
  • The 1991 USC-Cal game got ugly because Cal students pelted the USC band with oranges during their halftime show. It was also ugly on the field as USC lost, 52-30.

“When you’re in coaching, you’re going to have bad days,” USC coach Larry Smith said. “There’s no question, this is one of the bad days.”

USC safety Stephon Pace attempts to tackle Cal tailback Russell White, who rushed for 229 yards.

  • OK, might as well throw everything in here on the rivalry!

The Golden Bears were ranked No. 1 in the nation when they hosted No. 11-ranked USC in 1951 before 81,490 at Memorial Stadium. Imagine that.

The game was physically brutal, as games between these two schools tended to be in those days, and no one was tougher than USC linebacker/All-American Pat Cannamela, who knocked Cal star tailback Johnny Olszewski out of the game with a twisted knee. His USC teammates congratulated Cannamela after Olszewski left the game and Olszewski hinted he was hurt on purpose. Cannamela also had three “roughness penalties” according to Life magazine.

Although he was a fierce player, Cannamela was actually shy and quiet off the field. Opposing fans used to chant, “Back to the zoo with 42,” a cruel comment meant to make fun of his looks.

The Golden Bears led 14-0 at halftime but Frank Gifford had a 69-yard TD run and USC added two more touchdowns to pull off a 21-14 upset. The Trojans rose to No. 6 in the rankings and two weeks later, USC beat Army at Yankee Stadium, 28-6.

Photos/Life magazine
Pat Cannamela (left) celebrates victory over No. 1 Cal with Frank Gifford
Frank Gifford (16) goes on a 69-yard TD run to lead USC comeback over Cal
USC offensive guard Al Sanbrano is groggy on sideline after a pile up.
Cal star tailback Johnny Olszewski leaves game in 1951
  • As brutal as the 1951 game was, things got worse in 1959. Relations between USC and Cal got so bad for a few days, there were newspaper reports the Berkeley school might sever all ties with the Trojans. It started on October 31, when USC defeated Cal, 14-7, at Memorial Stadium.

USC All-American Mike McKeever controversially hit Cal’s Steve Bates and left the halfback with a “broken nose, multiple fractures of the bones that make up the right side of the face. The plate of bone that holds upper teeth was fractured. The right side of the face was distorted, flattened and twisted by the fractured parts that hold the face in contour,” according to a physician at Cowell Memorial Hospital.

Cal charged McKeever intentionally hit Bates late with his elbow.

“‘It was one of the most flagrant violations I have ever seen in football,” Cal coach Pete Elliott said.

USC coach Don Clark said, “A review of the films with university administrators indicates no misconduct on the part of Mike McKeever. He played one of the greatest offensive and defensive games of football that I personally have ever seen.”

“In my mind there’s no doubt that there was no malicious intent to hurt Bates or any Cal player,” McKeever said in a statement. “I have always tried to play hard, aggressive and clean football. It’s unfortunate that this accident happened.”

Cal president Clark Kerr said, “McKeever was ejected the week before from the Stanford game. Films of last year’s University of California game with the University of Southern California show McKeever undertaking the same tactics against Joe Kapp as were used against Steve Bates.”

  • Cal athletic director Greg Engelhard even flew to Los Angeles four days after the game to show game films to the media in a downtown hotel. The films were shown at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. for maximum exposure.

While tensions rose during the week, USC president Norman Topping issued an apology without consulting Clark.

“(USC) is truly sorry for this most regrettable incident,” Topping said. “This, as well as other incidents in the game, we feel, could have been avoided. To the extent we are responsible, we apologize.”

The apology infuriated Clark, according to a friend, who told me he always thought Topping’s statement played a part in Clark’s resignation after the season.

The day after Topping’s apology, Clark said, “I, personally, don’t feel I must apologize for our team in Berkeley.”

66 thoughts on “Friday Supplement: The USC-Cal Rivalry Could Get Nasty

    1. I thought Rodgers went to Butte Community College.

      At least that’s what he claims when he is introduced on NFL games.
      Never says he is from Cal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Always funny when an NFL player announces his high school instead of his college. Guess their coach didn’t support their decision to leave early or something similar.

        It’s rare, but it happens.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Should make for a knock down drag out cat fight.

      I foresee a lot of the Ladies of Troy suffering sprained toe nails in this one.

      What color fingernail polish are the Ladies of Troy wearing for the game, cardinal or gold?

      It’s pretty bad when the Trojan football players wear more fingernail polish than the Song Girls.

      Why don’t you trumplicans have a problem with that?


      1. This is one time I have to give Joe some credit. (1) For the energy and charisma he’s generating. It’s awesome! (2) For giving GM ample time to transition.


      2. MG……careful!!!!…..slo cal might get his panties tied in a knot because you complimented Biden…..He often fails to read between the lines…..

        But hey!!!!…..he’s your little buddy with the obligation to protect him


    3. This marks the first time Scott’s “Friday Supplement” outshined the “It’s Friday” column.


      1. I don’t recall which year it was. (About 20-25 years ago.)

        Cal fans were launching water bottles as far as they could from the top of the west end zone. LAPD would group in the tunnel, rush up and get the fan who was identified and rushed out with that one fan as quickly as they charged in!

        They did this 5-6 times until each fan who was spotted chucking bottles was removed. As usual with a Cal-USC game, that was as entertaining as what was going on on the field.


    1. That’s our society, in general, FUSC. Laugh at the failures of the current administration and it almost always makes someone cry.

      Look at Twitter’s employees, crying about being let go. That’s what happens when you don’t do your job. Deleting the posts of people just because you don’t agree with them?! Helping to rig a Presidential election?!

      Want to blame someone? Look in the mirror!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sounds to me like So Cal got banned from Twitter for spreading lies, misinformation, and baseless conspiracy theories. Boo hoo.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Check out the Twitter accounts of any & all your favorites today (sans Twitter’s Purge Team] —- predominately devoted to 2020 being stolen…. and Fauci being prosecuted next year….

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The myocarditis cases related to mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are real! It’s ridiculous the way they’ve covered it up.

        Treat people like adults. Let them have the information and do their own risk assessments. I went with the non-mRNA version and there are risks associated with that, as well. But I thought it was worth the risk.

        Doesn’t mean it’s worth it to everyone and it’s not my decision to make, nor should it be the government’s.


        Liked by 2 people

      4. Go soak your head, So Cal. 2 cases out of 100,000–and not directly attributed to the vaccine—and you cry foul. Have fun with your QAnon replacement theories.


      5. slo troll makes shit up just to sound relevant…….we all laugh at his obsession with Biden…….creepy


      6. Wow, mixing politics with football. You guys don’t even fill the stadiums to support the teams.
        Californicans are so lame.
        Fight On!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Listen up slo troll!!!!…….In the NFL the last player picked in the annual draft is labeled Mr. Irrelevant.

        With that said, the only replies you get from your posts are people mocking you. You definitely have earned the title of Mr Irrelevant within this blog…..Feel proud!



      8. Learn how to read, Oaktown. Didn’t cry about anything.

        Just don’t care for the government deleting anything with which they disagree. Let people decide for themselves, you Nazi.


      9. You fucking senile limp-dick troll….Twitter is not the government, dipshit

        Twitter is a private company, with the right to remove all inappropriate comments…….I’m sure they got fucking tired of your one and only talking point”you voted for dementia Joe”

        Let’s meet up…….you claim to still have some balls….prove it!


      10. Showing what a clueless fool he is.

        Zuckerberg & Dorsey were receiving directives from the gov’t and Zuckerberg recently admitted it. As Guarino suggested, he’s trying to get ahead of the game and cover his ass before the new regime begins their investigations.

        Go have another drink, Dumbass.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. What a fucking dip shit….. you are suffering from confirmation bias……..Typical MAGat, spreading disinformation to fuel the right-nut agenda.

        PS…… you’re the dumbass, everyone mocks you…….I went back 5 days to review your comments, outside of MG, the only people to respond to you were mocking you……embarrassing


      12. Let me debunk another lie of yours……..BAMMMMM CROTCH KICK…..(ouch!_

        “The FBI routinely notifies US private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats. The FBI has provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors. The FBI will continue to work closely with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to keep the public informed of potential threats, but the FBI cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action on information received,” the FBI said in a statement

        #BLOG DUNCE


      13. “Went back 5 days!!” LMAO!! Get a life, you loser.

        I see you conveniently left out the ones where a fake Gabby admitted to having gotten smacked around like the little bitch that you are.

        You also conveniently ignore several Likes I’ve gotten, even if they didn’t reply. I really care if anyone “Likes” my comments. Only mention because YOU brought it up.

        Since you obviously haven’t noticed. Virtually no one ever “Likes” your comments about anything other than football. Even Michael, being the pleasant person he is, has told you how full of shit you are in the gentlest way possible.

        I’m done with you. I need to follow Steve’s example with the way he ignores Tebow. 🙂


      14. WOW!!!!….. The senile troll admits no one comments on his posts…..But claims I get a lot of action with my football posts…..


      15. …….your retort is…..”likes” is all that matters, replies are meaningless

        Spinning it to feel better about yourself……Lame!


  1. I was just looking at comments and wondering who TebowObucket reminded me of. I don’t think his new name(s a few other posts are under the same avatar-see Trojan80) are much of a misdirection.
    His rants and hyperbole sound like a former troll.
    But the real clues are the terms he uses. “Ladies,” and inferences that the Trojans are less than physical are a trademark of an umpa lumpa owning troll.
    I could be wrong but has Charlie changed his name?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Stalking???? It’s called, calling out your political stupidity. If I have to explain it to you, then you probably wouldn’t understand.


      2. FYI……trump sent out a BOGO on Depends. They are his new industrial strength diaper, 3x the hold powering. In return, he asks that you double down on your weekly donations

        He said lawyers are expensive!


      1. Take Note: Total different vibe than during the Sark or Helton days—everybody seems happy & excited.


  2. I was on the freshman football team that year. We sat in the stands when the varsity played. McKeever played hard but not dirty. The Cal team easily beat our freshman team. When we played Cal the next year, almost none of the huge linemen were still on the team.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. McKeever Bros played complete football,and got hurt too,don’t recall any whining…I went to all the home games,incl frosh games in the 50’s…what a great time it was,win or lose.


  3. Wow. Another classic pac 12 reffing call. 3rd and 8 and Oregon st. runs in the A gap. The tailback blows through the hole, gets past the line backers and safty doesn’t have an angle. As he clears the backers, the whistle blows. Play is called back. Mothershed then explains that Oregon state actually didn’t call a time out. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT EXPLANATION?!? How does an official call a time out for a team without a signal enough that it wasn’t a time out. And screw that same team out of a touchdown . The first whistle wasn’t until Martinez cleared the backers. And just now OSU gets stuffed on 3rd and a half a yard at the line. Maybe picked up 6″s and then went for it. It was 4th and 2 and 1/2 yards. Momentum was stopped 6″s short on 3rd. Some how they lost 2yds on the spot and got stopped 1 yd short on 4th. Did the pac 12 clown car make a stop in Seattle and a bunch of black and white striped clowns get out on the field?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Nothin the refs can do about Oregon State’s Pick Six!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, to change the subject back to SC football, what a novel concept,
    the ‘future’ looks like a 8-Team Playoff at leagues-end with 5-or-4 league champions automatically ‘in’ with 3 other “at-large” teams considered

    Unfortunately, nothing in the 2022 extraordinary SC footballers and sucla’s seasons qualify them for the “Final-4”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The 12-team Playoff will be made up of the six conference champions ranked highest by the committee, with no minimum ranking requirement, and the six highest-ranked teams not among the conference champions. The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded Nos. 1 through 4 and will receive a first-round bye.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I certainly hope Gabby that a 12-team championship round does not rule out the alternative 8-Playoff solution. With 12 possible teams considered the college game will mimic the NFL where the regular season has little meaning, whereas the college game has historically been a league of ‘win this game boys or I will die’

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LJ……Where I see the incentive to win your conference outright, would be the chance at a first-round bye. The extra week would allow the walking wounded extra time to heal. Plus, there is no substitute for preparation, the few extra practices could be vital to a successful outcome.

        We can’t forget, the increase in TV and sponsor revenue is what ultimately is fueling an expansion. I have only heard about a 12-team format, not the 8-team mentioned by you. Anyway, an expansion is all overdue. Pete would have more than likely won a few more Natty’s with some type of expansion in place

        Liked by 1 person


    The UC Regents are going to charge a random fee to UCLA for leaving socialists in America hating Berkeley back in the Mountain West clone Pac 10. Some are hoping the Big 10 take Berkeley sorry asses in or the idiots from the Farm instead. Klivakoff hopes USC will not leave without UCLA!!! Cal hasn’t been relevant for years!!! Stanford has regressed spectacularly!!! I hope to God UCLA sues those fools for keeping them in the dark ages because the Pac 10 is sad and delusional.

    The vaccine isn’t a cure. Only a cure would keep you from getting the novel coronavirus or spreading it to others. Plus, the 15 cases worldwide where patients hearts suffered inflammation after getting a mRNA shot had medical preexisting conditions such as low immune system resistance or heart wall damage from previous illnesses. Fauci ain’t perfect but he’s not the demon that the ignorant partisans make him out to be. And to say that the election was affected by Twitter or Facebook sounds like the same claim Hillary Clinton supporters said after she lost in 2016. Bad logic, sir.


  6. TOPPING was an administrator that knew little about sports,he had a good athletic director in Jess Hill, who coached SC to the 1953 Rose Bowl win vs wisconsin. That win was the 1st time a PCC team beat a Big10 team in the RoseBowl…Jess Hill also coached that 1951 SC victory over Cal,also Frank Giffords last year. Those were great years for SC sports.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was at that Cal game in 1962 and a friend of Yell King Richard (Dick) Hare. Back then USC would not have

    Anyway, what Dick yelled during cheerleader swap, in a “thank you” to the females as cheerleaders. Too risqué!

    Anyway, after the cheer exchange and the Cal cheerleaders were safe back on their side of the field, Dick got the giant megaphone and yelled, “…thank you Cal beavers.”

    Dr. Topping did not think it was at all funny. We all did.

    Bill Robeson
    Class of 1963
    McKay’s 1st #1


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