Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Voice of a Trojan

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Pete Arbogast, the radio play-by-play broadcaster for USC Trojan Football.

On select Saturdays in the fall, a small crowd gathers in front of the Coliseum in Los Angeles.  Proud fans dressed in cardinal attire enjoy a Little Debbie’s Brownie, as glasses of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider are served and toasted.  For fans of the University of Southern California football team, it represents a milestone of sorts.

When the Trojans win and the rival Notre Dame Fighting Irish and UCLA Bruins lose on the same day, it’s cause for celebration.  Because it has happened a mere 44 times since 1921, it’s special.  At USC, it’s called a “Perfect Day”.

The inventor of this day, a USC graduate and long-time fan of USC football, has served as the radio play-by-play announcer at USC for 16 years.  His name is Pete Arbogast.
“There aren’t too many of these days,” says Arbogast.  “So when they happen, you celebrate them.”

The son of legendary broadcast and television host Bob Arbogast, Pete first achieved his lifelong goal of being the voice of the Trojans in 1989.
For his work, Pete has been selected nine times as a finalist for the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association (SCSBA) play-by-play man of the year.

“To be nominated in the same breath as Bob Miller, Chick Hearn, and Vin Scully…let’s just say I have never prepared a speech,” remarks Arbogast.  “Maybe once Vin retires, I will have a shot.”
With or without an award, it’s clear that the lifelong Trojan relishes the opportunity to work for his alma mater.  While the USC program is under intense scrutiny from the NCAA following the Reggie Bush scandal, Pete hopes to remain as the voice of the Trojans until at least 2030. 

Though the program has hit hard times, to Pete, it’s just another perfect day.
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