If It’s Friday, It’s TimeFor A USC Notes Column

USC baseball got rained out Thursday night in a key Pac-12 baseball game vs. Arizona in Tucson and will play a doubleheader today.

The Trojans could use a couple victories to enhance their bid for an NCAA Tournament bid.

  • The Pac-12 is trying to be ahead of the curve and will allow its football coaches to be interviewed during the games this season. The Big 12 has similar plans.

Other features include pre-game and halftime locker room camera access; coaches and players wired for sound on the field during warmups and cameras in the coaches’ booth (without sound).

  • Nebraska announced this that it sold 82,900 tickets for a regular-season women’s volleyball match against Omaha at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Memorial Stadium.

And now for some history:

Long Photography

  • This is a great photo of Ricky Bell vs. Cal in 1976. I rank Bell as one of the top five tailbacks in USC history alongside Charles White, O.J. Simpson, Marcus Allen and Reggie Bush.

The colors of the photo make it even better. Cal fans refer to these uniforms today as Joe Roth throwbacks, their great quarterback who died in 1977.

USC defeated Cal, 20-6, in 1976 and Bell gained 1,433 yards that season. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Tony Dorsett. He originally came to USC as a linebacker from Fremont High School in Los Angeles before getting switched to fullback during spring practice.

Ricky Bell playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The USC bonfire rally featuring the song girls in the 1970’s.
  • Quarterback Bill Nelsen, Coach John McKay and right tackle Mike Bundra prepare for spring practice on April 10, 1961.

Nelsen is one of the most underappreciated quarterbacks in USC history.

Nelsen led the Trojans in total offense in 1960-61 and helped lead an upset of UCLA in in McKay’s first season. He also played in 1962 when USC won a national title. But Nelsen often took a back seat to Pete Beathard.

Nelsen was just a 10th-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But his career took off in 1968, when he was traded to the Cleveland Browns. He went 9-2 in 1968 and led the Browns to the playoffs. Nelson made the Pro Bowl in 1969 and Cleveland went 10-3-1. Nelsen also led the Browns to the playoffs in 1971.

He finished his NFL career with 14,165 yards passing and 98 TDs. The Cleveland Plain Dealer named Nelsen one of the top 100 Browns of all-time in 2012 (No. 52).

But the story I remember most came when McKay fired him as offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after six seasons. The story goes that after a game, the team was flying back to Tampa and Nelsen, who had too much to drink, started to criticize McKay’s decisions. Nelsen was hardly a unique situation, given that McKay fired many assistants, including former USC tailback Willie Brown, because he didn’t like who Brown wanted to play at wide receiver.

Bill Nelsen
  • Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian sits dejected in the Coliseum locker room following the No. 1-ranked Irish’s 20-17 loss to USC in 1964 that cost them a national title. Notre Dame led 17-0 at the half and the halftime message on the blackboard read “Just 30 More Minutes.”

During his halftime talk, Parseghian warned of a letdown: “Thirty minutes stands between us and the greatest sports comeback in history. Thirty minutes! You gotta go out there and play this second half, boys — a 60-minute football team. This is the way we started this season, and this is the way we’re going to finish, you understand?”

Above, Parsheghian watches a USC pass fall incomplete from Notre Dame’s 15-yard line. But two plays later, on fourth-and-8, Rod Sherman (12) caught a 15-yard TD pass from Craig Fertig to win the game.

After the game, Parseghian told the team they would have to suffer the defeat like Notre Dame men, in silence. But in the locker room, for a few minutes, he told them to let it all out behind closed doors. Some sobbed hysterically while others simply moaned.

Below, Parseghian reacts to the winning TD with 1:33 left. Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte (7) prepares for a final possession.

FORGOTTEN TROJAN

  • Don Megowan was a character actor who showed up in a lot of Westerns in the 1950’s and has a face you might remember if not a name.

But who knew he received a football scholarship to go to USC? He was a mammoth lineman at the time (1939) because he was 6-foot-7.

But Megowan’s best sport was track and field. In 1939, Megowan was named to the All-Southern California High School team with the top mark among all prep athletes in the Southland in the discus while competing at Inglewood High School. In 1940, he threw the discus a college-best 136-feet, 11½-inches in a meet for USC.

It appears World War II may have ended his athletic career and he got his first acting role in 1951. A couple roles you won’t recognize him: He was the creature from the Black Lagoon in the third installment, “The Creature Walks Among Us” in 1956 and played the monster in the TV movie, “Tales of Frankenstein” in 1958.

He got top billing playing a sheriff (pictured below with Joyce Holden) in the 1958 movie, “The Werewolf.”

THE ORIGIN OF THE TROJANS

  • USC fans assume the nickname “Trojans” somehow started with football. But it was actually inspired by the USC track and field team.

Until 1912, USC students (especially athletes) were known as Fighting Methodists or Wesleyans, though neither name was approved by the university. During a fateful track and field meet with Stanford, USC trailed by a seemingly insurmountable margin.

But the team fought back, winning many of the later events, to lose only by a slight margin. After the meet, Los Angeles Times sportswriter Owen Bird reported that the USC athletes “fought on like Trojans”, and USC president George F. Bovard approved the name officially.

The picture above shows USC sprinter Howard Drew.

He was named the Fastest Man in the World in 1914, 1915 and 1916 while competing at USC. He also ran in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm and was the first Black man to write for USC’s student newspaper. Drew also became was the first Black judge in Connecticut. You can read more about his fascinating life here.

  • The Coliseum looks positively tranquil as fans arrive for the 1932 Olympics.

PICTURES OF THE WEEK

Look at this amazing Southern Pacific 4412 train on Exposition Blvd. right next to USC in 1937. People are waiting in line to visit the cab as Pacific Electric 916 street car passes by on the Santa Monica line (now Metro’s Expo Line).

Air Line Excursion Car 5028 heading east on Exposition Boulevard in front of USC in 1953. That’s Mudd Hall in the background, which was used in the filming of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939).

I’ve shown plenty of amazing photos of Marilyn Monroe taken by Milton Greene. So here is one featuring Greene himself with Monroe and Marlene Dietrich in 1955.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

What happens when you lay a track of Michael Stipe from R.E.M. and Natalie Merchant singing over scenes from the 1956 movie, “Rock Around the Clock” featuring Bill Haley and the Comets? If you’re confused, all you need to know is it works.

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72 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s TimeFor A USC Notes Column

    1. Omg Ed, you still sound like the ultimate FUCC-TARD!! I see my spelling lessons haven’t been effective, so I’m going to send over a Filipino interpreter, because she was a FUCC-TARD too, but has since reversed her intelligence. She has a peenus like MissusEdG, so you’ll have something to gnaw on during your lessons.. ok?

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    1. Well, it’s better than Costanza who thought telling a woman he was a sitcom writer would get him laid. She laughed hysterically that he actually thought it would work.

      Hang in there, George. Carlos Mencia joked that ugly guys never feared approaching really good looking women. They’ve been rejected so many times, another time or two wasn’t going to hurt their feelings!

      Another great Friday column, Scott! Thanks!!

      Like

      1. Well, it’s better than Costanza who thought telling a woman he was a sitcom writer would get him laid. She laughed hysterically that he actually thought it would work.

        Hang in there, George. Carlos Mencia joked that ugly guys never feared approaching really good looking women. They’ve been rejected so many times, another time or two wasn’t going to hurt their feelings!

        Another great Friday column, Scott! Thanks!!

        Like

  1. “American Graffiti,” I saw it 11-times, starts out with “Rock Around the Clock”

    1932 and everybody is wearing a hat; despite the Depression L.A. was peaceful

    Howard Drew doesn’t look black in that picture

    Marilyn wearing every girl’s favorite accessory, a push-up bra

    McKay firing assistants if they dare step on his typical short-man’s ego

    Ex-linebacker Ricky Bell is the Trojan I would not wish to try to bring down; O.J., Marcus, Reggie and Charlie would have been easier if you could catch them

    I have been to Nebraska where you choose between going to the girl’s volleyball tournament or eating watermelon on your front porch

    So we ae going to mike-up football coaches for halftime talks. How can they get by without throwing in a few F-Bombs and saying that team over there is full of SOBs?

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      1. “Cheating, Loser, Whinny Methodists” is even better, and it fits like bespoke shoes.

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      1. It’s no longer politically correct to say “his comets”. That would imply that they belong to Haley, i.e. slavery. Statues have come down, buildings names have been changed. Wokesters are re-writing history.

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    1. I love you Gabby —but I’m reminded of what Peter Falk said about critics of John Cassavetes: “He doesn’t owe us…we owe him.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love you Gabby, and wouldn’t mind slobbing your Nutts—but I’m reminded of what Peter Falk said about critics of John Cassavetes: “He doesn’t owe us…we owe him.”

      Like

  2. I like the picture of Ara holding his head like a little girl. Players really respect warrior/coaches who behave like that when their team falls behind. It brings out everyone’s masculinity.
    Back in the day when they allowed cameras in the locker room during halftime, ABC captured Ted Tolner doing his best to pump up the Trojan team. It was hilarious. [He even used the old classic, “They don’t respect your mothers”].
    Looking forward to lots of televised Chip Kelly halftime speeches.
    #btw,GreatFuckingColumn,Scott…
    #NiceToFinallySeeAMiltonGreenePhoto…….
    #…..ButItTookMe9MinsToNoticeHimStandingBesideMarilyn…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking of Marilyn, MG, few know that the sex symbol had personality too and was quite the quipster–
      “If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty”
      “It’s not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on”
      “Who said nights were for sleep?”

      And poignant–
      “All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren’t”
      “Most men didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t”

      And finally–
      “I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, John. Nice to remember she was so much more than the fantasy woman in “The 7 Year Itch”….
        #btw,That’sWhat’sSoBrilliantAboutMiltonGreenePhotos…
        #…HeCapturesThatHumanity&Vulnerability

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! John goes for “tender.” Hal presents the other side of things..
        #That’sOurHal…
        #[btw,LovedMyBBGun]

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My Daisy bb gun was a pistol. Looked like a 9mm Beretta.

        But when I got my Marlin 1894C, I was tempted to take it to bed and fall asleep with it the way Ralphie did. But I knew my sensible wife would have frowned upon it. (Still need to get a Henry for comparison purposes. Can’t decide between a beautiful wood stock or the bad ass looking synthetic Model X.)

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    2. Speaking of Marilyn and her juicy red nipples MG, few know that the sex symbol had personality too and was quite the quipster–
      “If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty”.. she gave the best blow jobs in town.
      “It’s not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on”
      “Who said nights were for sleep?”

      And poignant–
      “All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they looked like a Gorilla 🦍
      “Most men didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t”

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    3. Ara holding his head. Is that beer at his feet?

      Cal vs SC, 1975…on you tube National Game, #3vs#7. Great game.

      I’ll take the brunette on the left of the song girls. Wowser.

      Ricky Bell. Muncie. Joe Roth, RIP.

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      1. The ’75 game, ’75, and I kept saying does this guy ever miss, and he did in the Red Zone 4 straight times.

        Yes, I too want that brunette

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  3. The train is actually the streamlined Daylight, on public display before beginning service between San Francisco and Los Angeles in March 1937. The tracks were part of Pacific Electric’s Santa Monica Air Line. After PE was absorbed into Southern Pacific freight trains continued to use the line. I remember seeing the occasional freight rumble down Exposition when I was at SC in the late 1970s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joe the PE cars were the subject of the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and the GS 4 Daylight was repainted as the “Freedom Train” for the Bi-centennial. The LA County Fair has some steam equipment in the far corner. I was there Thursday night and one of the docents said they were trying to acquire a Daylight locomotive, which would be a nice addition to their collection.

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      1. Fences! [“Unstoppable” ain’t bad either].
        [btw, Loved the disgusted look on Denzel’s face when they gave HIS Academy Award for Fences to another guy]…..

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      2. American Gangster is pretty great too. [Everybody was rooting for Denzel to outsmart Russell Crowe]….
        #…Unfortunately,That’sNotTheWayItWentDownInRealLife…
        #…SoTheScreenwritersWereStuck

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Super call, Gabby! Don’t know how I forgot that one. I’m reading from the Blu-ray cover –“Magnificent –keeps you on the edge throughout.” For once the review isn’t pure bullshit.
        Denzel is the image of self-sacrificing heroism in that one. Poignant ending!

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      4. Ok!…. your comments got me fired up. I also have that disco as part of my collection. I just went and pulled it out and plan on watching it tonight. The movie is based on true events. Back in the day, my parents would take us to TJ, with no problems. Late teens, I would go down to Revolution Blvd. with a few buddies, with no problems. Today is a different story.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Love Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance in Magnificent Seven. He’s come a long way since Private Pyle. (I know we have Kubrick fans here.)

        I need to see the original “Man on Fire” with Scott Glenn, whose work I’ve always enjoyed, (Roger in Training Day). Though that is one of the instances where I don’t expect the original to be as good as the remake.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Unstoppable and Man on Fire both Tony Scott films, (Ridley Scott’s brother). Also Top Gun, True Romance and Days of Thunder.

        All that great work and still believed the answer was to take a dive off the Vincent Thomas Bridge. Very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Filet Mignon & mushrooms, mashed potatoes, a bottle of red wine and apple pie for two… $350 back in 1989….
      #…AndWorthIt….
      #[TheOneInSantaMonicaNeverHadQuiteTheSame”Feel”]…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Had it not been for the socialism you received that paid your way through law school you never would have been able to afford such a meal back then…LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tebowobama/Impostor is very gay. To paraphrase what it said last week, he pleasures himself to men in tights.

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    1. Is it true that Mick Cronin beg Martin Jarmond to ask LeBron to play one year for UCLA to help pay off the $10 million that the school owes Cal-Berkley?

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  4. …just heard that Jim Brown passed…
    #OneOfTheAllTimeGreats…
    #[…JustHeardHimDoingCommentaryW/DavidFrost…
    #….OfTheAli/ForemanFightTheOtherDay…..
    #…HeNotedThatAliWinkedAtHimAtEndOf5thRound]….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Portion of Resignation Letter:
      “I don’t think it’s right for Carol to invite her friends into the office when she makes me get on all fours and bark.”
      #ItShouldBeAPrivateThing

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      1. If it’s REALLY health-related I’d very much like to take back the dog bark remark….

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      2. Let’s hope the roaming gnome Carol Folt is next! Harassment of refs after the games!

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  5. Nebraska’s women’s volleyball pulling in 83K for a match.

    Take out the USC game (71K) and SUCLA averaged 38K for football last year. No wonder a couple of their “fans” hang out here.

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  6. Ara holding his head. Is that beer at his feet?

    Cal vs SC, 1975…on you tube National Game, #3vs#7. Great game.

    I’ll take the brunette on the left of the song girls. Wowser.

    Ricky Bell. Muncie. Joe Roth, RIP.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CalSeventyFive, that’s a dangerous assumption, how about you just shut the FUC up ? Do you know the Bohn family, probably not ? You’re just a clown blogger with nothing else to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep, Health over wealth any day. How about getting Jarmond from UCLA? He found a way to cover the overspending that UCLA has done, imagine what he could do with a fully functioning athletic department that isn’t locked into generational debt? Or Chip Kelly’s catering bill?

    Like

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