by Pete Arbogast, the voice of the Trojans
Last Saturday was an odd day from start to finish. But when the dust settled, a good one.
As the game started late in the afternoon, I was able to open the day full of kids youth basketball games at the Santa Monica YMCA, arriving at 9:30 am to set up the gym for the opening game an hour later. I stayed for the first two games, then left it in the capable hands of the coaches and refs, but the scoreboard and scorekeeping duties to a couple of kids who had expressed interest.
I was worried that something would go wrong when I left of course, and it did (also of course). The gym had a power outage abut a half-hour after I took off for the Coliseum, pushing the schedule back for 30 minutes for the rest of the day, as it takes that long for the lights to cool off before they can come back on.
Other than that, though, I got word that night and the following day that everything ran really well, and the kids did a great job.
So much so that I’m thinking of having some upper level kids in our program join an intern program to learn scorekeeping, keeping stats, running the scoreboard and officiating rookie league games…basically a game management club, so that when they hit high school and are no longer eligible for play in the league, they can do those jobs for money!
I hustled home and dressed quickly and left for the game, but instead of arriving in the booth at 1:30, three hours ahead of time, which is normal for me, it was more like 2 pm. I got in and set my stuff up and went down to the Fox Sports Properties party to say hi to a few people and grab a quick bite, but by the time I got back p the booth it was already 3:30. I just felt hurried and behind all day long. Ugh.
Something that rarely happens opened our broadcast: I had been talking with my counterpart with Utah and others, and then our engineer Rick taped me on the shoulder and told me we were in the game open on the air, and I had one minute to air time.
I had not yet written up my opening “statement”, so had to wing the entire thing, then slide into the beginning of the broadcast, which I do on my own at home games since J has to hustle up from the stage to the booth for segment two.
It was different, and it went just fine. And we were off and running for the beginning of what turned out to be a really good game and a really good broadcast.
The game? Oh yeah, the game. The four biggest takeaways for me are these: Cameron Smith-National Defensive player or the week. Best game for picks for SC since Jason Oliver had three in 1991. I called the game but don’t remember the feat. This one I think I might. Freshman. Pick Six, against #3. I love our baby backers!
The adjustments made by the coaching staff when it became apparent that our line could not protect Kessler. Short passes, sure….but for the second straight game we ran the ball more than we passed it, and we all REALLY like that.
Khaliel Rodgers play as third string center. Well done young man, now do it again. And again, cuz you’re the center now for the rest of the season.
A win over #3? Yah! Upset? No. And as a result no one rushed the field, even though the goal posts got protection.
And now we look forward and hope someone else can knock off the Utes. Looking at the schedule, other than Ucla, that doesn’t seem likely. And that means we may be rooting for Ucla one week before playing them…..maybe for the Pac-12 South title.
Lots to do before then, and Cal will be ready this Saturday.
By the way, see you at the water polo game at 9:30 down the hill from the stadium.