While watching USC football practice on Thursday, the Times’ Gary Klein gave me a heads-up. As he notes in today’s paper, a prank involving a stuntman falling from a platform and another running across the field on fire happened to provide what Trojans Coach Pete Carroll called “just a little Halloween spirit” during practice.
If Gary hadn’t told me beforehand, I may have reacted with the same terrified look as some other onlookers. They gasped when the stuntman fell from a mechanical lift outside a fence surrounding Howard Jones Field. The mood quickly changed, though, once actor Will Ferrell burst through the gate carrying the man and people realized he landed on a cushion out of view of the practice field. Ferrell, a USC alum, is no stranger to oddball antics, including taking part in Carroll’s various efforts to lighten the team mood. Such as this tribute to USC strength coach “Chuck Berry.”