An unbecoming, and unnecessary, smugness


I had to run a bunch of errands on Saturday morning, leaving me with the lesser of two evils — get updates on USC and UCLA games by KNX-AM (1070) radio, or listen to the actual home-team broadcasts.

Comparing Pete Arbogast head to head with Bob LaPeer … even a USC fan had to eventually settle for the later if he was to be honest.

In what was the most time spent this season listening to Arbogast call USC’s game at Washington State, I tried but could not come away other than having the feeling that he sounded so unjustifiably arrogant about the Trojans’ performance.

His touchdown calls were barely indistinguishable from his inane asides about the movie he saw on the plane or spotting John Jackson on the sidelines with a suit because he “was a TV guy” for this game.

Arbogast’s smugness in games like that is really unbecoming and insulting to any listener, perpetuating the cliche that all USC people are condesending to a fault. Or maybe, the more I think about it, that’s what his limited filter has decided is the audience who he’s talking to. He’s one of “them” — a USC die-hard whose birthright is a polarizing loutish behavior that just goes with the territory of having success.

I mean, it’s 21-0, USC leading in the first quarter, and Arbogast is already saying, “Bring on the Wildcats,” a reference to the Trojans’ opponent in a week.

If only Paul McDonald could save the broadcast once and awhile. Believe it or not, the former QB does offer more than a laugh track to the ridiculous Arbogast comments, but you really have to listen hard for the pertinent analysis.

This doesn’t even mention that on the post game show, Arbogast remarked, “Yeah, so it was another Trojan blowout,” and failed to give the score.

Sorry to bore you, but some of us would just like a few facts mixed in.

You’d think he’d have learned from his “performance” that caused USC to lose to Oregon State just a couple of weeks ago (linked here).

Add to that the first paragraph from his blog posting today on

Well, we came close to putting 70 up, but I imagine if SC had wanted to, it could have been 150. And, yes, that Washington State team would lose to some high school teams in Southern California. Never mind the size of the linemen; the skill guys would be the difference.

The bottom line: The guy has about as good a voice as you’d want for a football play-by-play man. But something is lost in his translation of his job description and his personal attitude. Things get so skewed up from a basic Broadcast 101 syllabus that it’s a wonder how he got past doing College of Sequoa games.

Other than that, great broadcast. How don’t you do.

Give me your thoughts.

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  • USC’89


    As you have pointed out time and time again on this blog, Pete Arbogast is….a loser. He is the Ted Baxter of local sports. Its that simple.

    Arblow is a never was that never will be. The USC Ath Dept owes us fans someone much better.


    Isaac Lowenkron should be the USC play by play voice. He is only about 30 but is nothing but class and would never cheerlead in the press box like Arbo.

    Hopefully those in the athletic department realize they have a second rate broadcast and remove the egomaniac Arbo next year.

  • Rah Rah’s Bite

    ArboGAS works cheap, and that counts for a lot around USC these days.

  • Chuchutra

    Isaac Lowenkron? You kidding me? The guy would have a heart attack just walking across the USC campus seeing all those co-eds. Remember Isaac wants nothing to do with females!!! He is the worst person they could hire!


    What does dealing with women have to do with calling a game on the radio? The guy is a classy guy who always is professional. He doesn’t have the voice of Arbo but he also doesn’t have the ego.

  • Gnossos

    Oh Mercy Nurse, and if you know who said that then you know a little about USC football. I would bet that most of the comments made before me are made by gentlemen that are under 40? But that’s ok and Pete’s ok, you’ve got to lighten up! I’ve been following USC since 1961, and the only Dodger’s announcer I’ve ever known is Vin and Chick was there for almost as long, so give Pete the benefit of the doubt, it’s only football and life is too short, so enjoy the trip. As Dan Jenkins said, It’s life it’s ownself.
    Peace and Love

    Class of ’74

  • Chuchutra

    funny how Tom thinks Pete is an egomaniac but he defends his buddy Joe McDonnell. Now that guy is an egomaniac! Anybody glad he is off LA Radio??


    That is a good point about Fat Joe. Egomaniac.

    Gnossos – How is comparing Chick and Vin to Arbo even relevant? You are talking about two icons and a nobody who has bounced around his entire career and is unemployable except at USC.