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O/NSO: Mother’s Day edition

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC.com

The Obvious: Sunday marks a very important recognition day for mothers everywhere, as Mother’s Day is again upon us.

The Not So Obvious: First, the O/NSO wishes all those cardinal and gold mothers a very special recognition for being the rock in all of our lives. For USC football players, moms and even grandmothers have played a special role, especially when it comes to genealogy and/or academics.  

The Obvious: The starting quarterback for the 2017 USC Trojans will be Sam Darnold (photo above), the frontrunner for the coveted Heisman Trophy.

The Not So Obvious: Sam’s mom, Chris, played volleyball at Long Beach City College, his grandmother, Betty, played volleyball (including training with the U.S. National Team) and softball, and his great grandmother, Juanita, was a noted tennis player in Southern California.

The Obvious: Considered one of the top NFL prospects on the Trojans is starting linebacker is junior Porter Gustin.

The Not So Obvious: Porter’s mom, Scarlett, was the Gatorade Idaho Girls High School Basketball Player of the Year and played basketball at BYU.

The Obvious: Safety Matt Lopes is a valuable member of the Trojans defense for 2017.

The Not So Obvious: Matt’s mom, Helaine, was an assistant athletic trainer at USC in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Obvious: Sophomore corner/wide receiver Keyshawn “Pie” Young is considered one of the most intriguing young athletes in the Trojans program.

The Not So Obvious: Key’s nickname “Pie” was given to him by his late grandmother who wanted him to be “Perfect in Everything,” hence “Pie.”

The Obvious: C.J. Pollard is a Trojans redshirt freshman safety.

The Not So Obvious: C.J.’s mother, Pam, is a graduate of USC.

The Obvious: One of the great recruiting stories during the John McKay coaching era was when McKay’s son, wide receiver J.K. McKay, was completing his senior season at La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat.

The Not So Obvious: McKay’s son was the subject of an intense recruiting battle, but obviously J.K. wanted to become a Trojans. When asked about the recruitment of his son, Coach McKay replied, “I had an advantage. I slept with his mother.”

The Obvious: With Mother’s Day this Sunday, perhaps those that can’t afford Trojans season tickets in their entirety might to surprise your cardinal and gold sweetheart with one of the 2017 Trojans football mini-plans, which are now on sale.

The Not So Obvious: Fans can choose mini-plans in increments of two to seven games. Mini-plans allow fans to purchase only the games they want to attend, as well as save money off single game pricing and get seating preference over individual game ticket buyers. Mini-plans are also your only chance to guarantee tickets to the UCLA and Texas games outside of purchasing season tickets.

The Obvious: Speaking of seating, the good news for Trojans students in the football future is that the 2019 Coliseum seating plan reveals no change from the current seating location for watching the Men of Troy.

The Not So Obvious: BTW, if you’re a Trojans Marching Band member and don’t like your vantage point in the Sun Deck behind the peristyle end zone, we hate to break the news to you are you are still resigned to being in the Sun Deck for the 2019 season.

The Obvious: For the record, the Trojans are saying in print thatevery effort will be made to accommodate those who wish to continue to sit together” for the 2019 season.

The Not So Obvious: In the summer of 2018, remaining current season ticketholders will be contacted about their future seating options.

The Obvious: The one-time Coliseum restoration gift ranges from $100 to $6,000 per seat, while Trojan Athletic Fund memberships begin at $200 annually.  

The Not So Obvious: The O/NSO brings up the $200 TAF “annual” donation since a large number of Trojans season ticket holders sit behind the closed end zone of the Coliseum, which if you sit in the lower third of the Grand Old Lady means a TAF donation. The key here is an “annual” donation to the Trojans Athletic Fund. Actually, the $200 donation isn’t all that bad – if you can retain your same seats next to your next-door seating buddies.

The Obvious: And finally, the O/NSO lost our family’s mom, Anita, four years ago, and it still hurts and we miss her greatly.

The Not So Obvious: The O/NSO won’t forget those Mother’s Days when all the family would gather my USC mom and my late UCLA father, Howard, would have at it in a fun way. There was no “off season” for them when it came to the crosstown rivalry. Again, a Happy Mother’s Day to all in both person and in memory.

Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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