Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Behind the Scenes: 2005 Awards Banquet

Photo courtesy of Gridskipper

"The last couple weeks I've been to about 12 banquets," said Reggie Bush, "and this is by far the best one."

The Heisman Trophy winner was talking about the annual USC football awards banquet, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on Tuesday night.

Marcus Allen, the last USC running back to win the Heisman prior to Bush, served as master of ceremonies for the event.

Allen told the audience that he called to leave a congratulatory voice mail on Bush's cell phone during his Heisman acceptance speech, but when Bush started to break down, Allen had to stop talking for a moment because he started to do the same. "I didn't want one Heisman winner to hear another Heisman winner [cry]," he said.

After Allen's introduction, coach Pete Carroll strode up to the podium. "Why would we not want to have a great time tonight?" he asked the crowd.

"It has been a most dramatic season. Our team has really been put to the test," said Carroll. "There has to be some magic somewhere to [go undefeated]." He mentioned the last play of the Notre Dame game, where Bush pushed Leinart into the end zone. "Great ad lib, Reg," he said. "Way to go. Beautiful thing."

Carroll also spent much of the evening needling Matt Leinart, complaining that he was throwing the ball "all over the world" against UCLA, and that his star quarterback was "hard to take care of. Very needy. Very needy." Then the coach grinned. "You know I love you, Matt."

Carroll, who has been on the road recruiting nearly non-stop since the UCLA game, laughed at the idea that he and his staff deserved a break. ""Hell no, we ain't gonna take a break. There's too many good football players out there that need our attention so we can recruit 'em."

Later in the evening, Carroll's attention turned to the upcoming Rose Bowl matchup with Texas. "We've got a little bit more business left," he said. As for the Longhorns recent comments in the media about the Trojans? "They talk like they ain't been here before," he said.

Allen was confident enough in his alma mater to predict a USC win. "I have no doubt that when the sun sets on the Rose Bowl on January 4th, the Trojans will be victorious."

At the end of the night, Leinart presented Bush with the team's most valuable player award, as voted on by the players. "I think you're the MVP," he told Bush. "I voted for you. I think you're the greatest player I've ever played with."

Bush thanked Leinart and revealed something everyone in attendance already knew.

"It's been an amazing last week."


Post a Comment

<< Home