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Pete’s Arboblog: New Year’s Eve edition

from Pete Arbogast, the voice of the Trojans:

It was a lovely trip to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. The broadcast team went down the day before the game and found our quarters at the team hotel quite nice. It’d be an awesome place to stay for, say, a Dodgers-Padres three game series in the summer, with Petco basically across the street, the Gaslamp with it’s nightlife scene right there as well, and views of the bay and ocean right out every window.

Lots of Trojan fans on hand as we expected. In the hotel, on the streets, and generally having a well-behaved good time

I love that drive down; it reminds me of previous trips to see the Dodgers, or maybe on the way to Baja. My grandfather lived in San Clemente after he retired so I stayed there with many friends over the years. Good memories in almost all of those instances.

I felt going in that the game would be almost right on the numbers. SC favored by 7 with the over-under line at 62. I guessed the 35-28 USC win. It was pretty obvious early on the game would be more wide open than that.

The ball delivery by the Navy Seals air diving team was cool, the fly over from a WWII fighter plane, too.

We looked like normal to me most of the time: great on either side some drives, ordinary on other drives. Nebraska took advantage of our lulls on either side, but our superior speed took over and built the big lead.

Then the 2014 USC team did what it has done all year—had to hang on for dear life at the end.

The things I will always remember? A pre-game tailgate invitation from former special teamer and SC radio flagship intern Alex Bottom. A bunch of former players were there.

The incredible speed and moves shown by Adoree on his catch and race to the end zone. That was some kind of special!

McQuay saving the day with back-to-back defensive plays.

And knowing that Leonard Williams was probably playing for the last time in cardinal and gold. I hate when they leave early, always have always will. I hope he gets a high pick and tons of money and a long career. Buck is probably gone, and I hope Nelson thinks clearly and comes back.

During the final broadcast we say our thanks to everyone, from the staff and management of the USC radio network stations to the members of our families and everyone in between. Somewhere in there come our listeners and fans. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Sark was nothing short of perfect to work with from my vantage point. The other coaches and players were easy to talk to. The SC administration, and the Sports Information staff led by Tim T.

Personal thanks from me to Dan Shell who is one of the best bosses to work for and I look forward to many years more with, Ann Beebe who keeps everything moving along for about ten hours every game day, Mike Thomson and Dave Shore, Harvey Hyde, Steve Mason, Julio Moritaya, Steve Paylette (I think that might be spelled poorly), Garry Paskwietz, Pat Haden, JK McKay, Greg Allen, Manny Fernandez, Tino Dominguez, Tim Tessalone, Paul Goldberg, John Chinn, Glenn Cooper. The press box crew Stephanie and Jody and Kyle Lucas. Paul McDonald and Brian Kennedy and John Hamilton. Shaun Cody, Kelli Tennant. Stephanie Truitt. My kids—all five of them. Todd Erickson. And the love of my life Jenny. If your name is not here and it should be, my apologies and please know you are part of a great team.

My crew, along with Ann: engineers Rick Cutler, Frank Lafarelli and Calvin Richardson. Sideline guy Jordan Moore who keeps me on my toes by trying to find tidbits I might not know. He’s very good at being the sideline guy and in 16 years may very well take over from me in the booth. Scoreboard guy Mark Helmer who has beaten cancer for now. Spotter Burt Iwata who cares so passionately for SC football. And my stats guy and best friend Mark Hoppe. JJ, who is a great partner on and friend off the air.

It takes a huge group to make it all sound good. Every one is super valued. Like I mentioned before, and have said here before, I want to call games into the 2030 season, that’s 16 more. That’s at least two more national championships and four more Rose Bowls. Fight On!

**

Utah looked good in romp over Colorado State. Airzona State had the typical Pac-12 let down in El Paso OR Duke is much better than we think, but the Devils still won.

Stanford was waaaaaay too good for Maryland.

So as of this writing the Pac-12 is 4-0. Notre Dame beat LSU (Although how in the world did the replay guys blow that half time call) and that makes us look very good compared to the Tigers.

Even though tickets are easy to come by and not so expensive I think I’ll enjoy the Rose Bowl from home for a very rare time. The high school for which I briefly announced games on local cable TV during my short stay in Ohio in the late 90’s—Lakota West—has their marching band listed as the 24th entry in this years parade.

Traveler has a spot, too, riderless in tribute to Louis Zamperini. The movie Unbroken was quite intense, and very good. Despite the face it never mentions USC once. Considering USC was one of the things at the center of his life, I find that odd to say the least. And the skimming over of his life upon return from war, where he did his best work in terms of surviving alcoholism and he and his wife having a VERY long marriage with children and grandchildren. His finding faith through Bill Graham and in my estimation his best work of all, the founding and running of the Hollywood Boys Camp.

In other words, the book was better than the movie. And the movie is really good.

**

As we look forward to the start of the Pac-12 basketball season on Friday, take this to the bank: USC will beat some teams it should not. And lose to some teams they should beat. Next year will be better yet, and in 2016-017 we ought to be in business.

I’m hoping for an NIT berth leading to one in the big show next year.

The women will be competitive all league season long and into the NCAA tournament. Despite tonight’s brutal loss at home to Ucla. Ugh.

**

Almost forgot to mention I ran into both Rodney Peete and Mike Riley in the press box before the game. Scary to think what Riley can do with the support he has in Lincoln and without Phil Knight to worry about. Wish him all the best. Rodney was going to come on with us during the second half if the game got out of hand, but it never really did.

**

All right, take care of each other over the New Year’s holiday, please get a driver and get home safely. And in 2015, let’s have a great year by following the basic rules of every religion in the world: be good, do good, help others (and I like to add to that—Have Fun!)

Happy New Year everyone.



Garry Paskwietz
Author
Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.


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