Saturday, January 07, 2006

Still in Shock

I still have not gotten over the Rose Bowl. I am originally from Texas and have been a casual UT fan since I was a child but when I moved to California I became a full fledged USC fan. There are a number of reasons why but I have been bleeding Cardinal for many years now. I had season tickets to the Coliseum, attended Notre Dame games, away games, bowl games. I joined the Cardinal and Gold society. I love the Trojans, the tradition, the alumni, the colors, the stadium, campus, just everything about it. The 90s were a dismal time but I stuck by even when they lost at home to Washington State and Oregon State. I was there for the 8 losses in a row to UCLA. I was there for the Las Vegas bowl loss to Utah. I was also there for the end of a 12 year loss streak to Notre Dame, the breaking of the UCLA streak, the 1996 Rose Bowl and a host of other events. I have met more Trojan players than I can count. I met friends before the game at the Tommy Trojan statue and heard the band play before walking behind them through Exposition Park to the stadium. I never went to school there but I identify with the team and school.

Trojan fans save their venom for UCLA. No other team brings it on like them. Even Bowl opponents don't raise the amount of emotion that UCLA does and when USC plays in Bowl games it is always looked at as an opportunity for the fans of both teams to enjoy them selves.

After last years dismantling of Oklahoma I was happy that USC had won but did not rub it in on the OU fans. I knew what it was like to lose a big game. This year is way different. The UT fans are insufferable. Now keep in mind that I could only get two of them to lay any cash on the line but now they act like UT was mandated by God himself and that this squeaker of a victory is proof of their superiority over California in all facets.

Like last year we all got up at 03:00 and came to the conference room for the pre game. Kick off was at 04:00 on the 5th for us. Coffee and breakfast sandwiches are what we had for the game. Last year we had a evenly divided group of OU and USC fans. This year there were 4 USC fans and a bus load of UT rooters, most of whom I have never even spoken to before.

UT will wear this game like a crown until they get trounced by some one else. They will use this one game as their mantra of success against all things California for years to come. USC could not have lost to a worse winner. I know, I come from there. I am the target of a lot of UT fans right now and will be until next year for sure. I just hope that they will learn to be gracious winners at some point.

If I sound bitter it is because I am. The Trojans laid down when they should have stepped up. Reggie Bush played like he was in a sandlot game. Leinart started reading all his press and believing he was as good as they say he is. The defense thought they could walk over UT. UT did not win so much as USC lost. I hope Pete Carroll can fix what I saw because what I saw was a repeat of the Paul Hackett era where there was no on field discipline and no clock management.

Kudos to UT for being National Champs. After a 35 year drought they are giddy and should be but like I said before, I hope they learn to be good winners.


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