A Disgruntled USC Trojans Fan Speaks

Posted: November 9, 2010 by Davey Jacobson in Ducky D, Football, NCAA, Rants

Lately, I’ve been coming to some realizations about things that matter to me: some are good, some are bad and some are, “What the hell was I thinking?” One of these realizations is about my being a fan of the University of Southern California Trojans. I hope, through this entry, you are able to see my perspective on why I’ve decided to do what I’ve decided to do. I’m not out to piss off or offend anyone. I’m simply stating the things that I have observed coupled with the experiences that have brought me to this conclusion. Whether or not you agree with my position, your thoughts are the reason why we made this blog. Watch it go!

GROWING UP IN THE CULTURE OF LOS ANGELES: 1983-2002
I was born in Los Angeles, CA, one of the most superficial places on the planet. Fashion, money, plastic surgery, the area code of your cell phone, the size of the house you live in, and the car you drive all collectively make up how others perceive your “status” to be. Status is everything when you live in a city saturated with celebrities, wannabe celebrities, porn stars (L.A. is the porn capital of America) and young actors and actresses who are praying that they get they’re big break and get noticed by some Hollywood “big wig” producer.
And growing up as a fat kid in L.A., and experiencing the turmoil of that (e.g. getting made fun of by other kids, getting picked on, etc.), I grew up never wanting to be those fake kids who care all about status, whose sole motivation in life is getting rich quick. I’m not out to get rich in this world as much as I am out to make difference for the better in the lives of others. Say what you will or whatever you want, bottom line: I know what I want to achieve in the world, and money has nothing to do with it! Rather than whore myself out for some company to make money off me, I’d rather go through life helping other people when they are in their greatest turmoil because I’ve been there…and believe me, you don’t want to even begin to know the s*** I’ve seen in my life. It’s a lot more than most people in their 20s think they can handle.
You’re probably wondering, “What the hell does this have to do with sports?” Well, my loyal reader, it has everything to do with why I am a disgruntled USC Trojans fan. Keep everything I just told you in mind as you read on.
THE BEGINNING OF MY LOVE FOR USC: 1995-2000
I’ve been a USC fan for as far back as I can remember. I started to get serious about being a fan of the Trojans when I was 12 years old: when Keyshawn Johnson wore #3 and the Trojans had a New Year’s Day date in Pasadena at the 1996 Rose Bowl; taking on the 10-1 Northwestern Wildcats. Northwestern opened their season edging out a #9 Notre Dame team, 17-15! This was the same Notre Dame who would go on to beat the Trojans that same year. Under coach John Robinson, USC had tied the Washington Huskies earlier that season in a game that would decide who played in the Rose Bowl. Lucky for them, Washington would lose to Oregon that season, and USC would go on to play in Pasadena.

Keyshawn Johnson lead the Trojans to 2 bowl victories including being named MVP for the 1995 Cotton Bowl and Player of the Game in the 1996 Rose Bowl

Brad Otton, USC QB ('94-'96). Broke the 13-year winless streak against Notre Dame.

Those were the days when USC football was true to the core of what it meant to wear cardinal and gold when you play on Saturdays. Players were there for an education, and for football. And while every college student enjoys a good party, the Trojan football players never let the partying go to their head or to their ego. They were grounded and focused on why they were at the University of Southern California. While not all of them were “angels,” a good majority of them didn’t let the glitz and glamor of Hollywood affect them as students nor as athletes.

Today, sadly, the legacy of such greats like Keyshawn Johnson, Brad Otton, Billy Miller, Mike Bastianelli, and Terry Barnum just to name a few, are being dragged through the mud by a bunch of Hollywood-living, wannabe superstar, pansy 20-year olds who are more focused on living it up in SoCal than playing with the heart of a Trojan on the gridiron.

THE REVIVAL & NEW ERA: 2000-2009

Flash forward to 2000: USC hires Pete Caroll, former head coach of the New England Patriots with 16 years of NFL experience as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator, to replace fired coach, Paul Hackett. Trojan fans everywhere were not happy about Carroll being hired as head coach: we were tired and frustrated at how badly the program had become, and with Carroll’s NFL record not being the best, could you blame us? Needless to say, when the Trojans started the 2001 season going 2-5, you can only imagine how pissed we were…and then the tides began to change. [Around this time, thanks largely to fellow Sports Moron, and one of my best friends, Gutti, I discovered the Florida Gators under quarterback Rex Grossman, and the Southeastern Conference. While my loyalties to USC were still just as strong as ever, I couldn’t help but stare in awe of the excitement that was SEC football–more on this later.]

The following year, the Trojans go 11-2 and win the Orange Bowl! The year after that, a young kid named Reggie Bush comes to USC from San Diego’s Helix High School (rather than waste my breath and my time writing about a guy whom everyone already knows, let’s move on). In 2004, the Trojans FINALLY win the National Championship and USC fans everywhere rejoiced in this amazing accomplishment; even though L.A. is without a professional football team, at least our college team was taking care of business where it counts! It was truly one of the happiest times ever! [And this, right here, is when my observations would lead to where I am today.]

USC Fever Engulfs So Cal…and Arizona? Vegas too???: 2004-2006
USC Goes Hollywood

This photo was found on a USC-affiliated website. Are you starting to see what I'm getting at?

The following year, after the Trojans had won the National Title, the region of Southern California experienced USC fever: everyone and their mother was wearing cardinal and gold! The most popular item: a USC Trojans football jersey with #5 on the front and back (and if it wasn’t a jersey, it was the same shirt for that matter). At first, I didn’t think much of it. I mean, hell, my Trojans had just won the National Title! It was about time that they got some attention! But it was where I started seeing the jerseys and who was wearing those jerseys that forced me to open my eyes up to what being a Trojans fan was becoming in Southern California: the trendy, cool thing to do. USC’s success had brought on a slew of bandwagon fans that were the very epitome of the kinds of people who disgust me! [Remember what I said at the very beginning of the post?]
At first, you would mostly see in #5 jerseys (or shirts) in the city, close to campus–normal, much like the guys to the left who are legitimate Trojan fans. But as things progressed, you started seeing people everywhere wearing the exact same jersey (or shirt): in the malls; at the bars; in the clubs; Lake Havasu, AZ on Spring Break; Vegas! And the worst part of all, the people who were wearing them had no f***ing clue about the history of USC Trojans football–they didn’t even know who Keyshawn Johnson was and the man was playing on the Dallas Cowboys!

Is that clear enough for you?!

Then you have Matt Leinart going on late night TV and becoming buddy-buddy with Nick Lachey–what the hell’s that about?! Simply put, if you go to a USC Trojans home game at the Coliseum, you’re likely to see the real-life version of the website HotChicksWithDouchebags.com coupled with a bunch of fake s***heads that resemble something close to the likes of these guys:

I am not making any of this up! It really is this bad!

THE BOILING POINTS & THE FINAL STRAW: 2006-2010
WHILE I DO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT NOT ALL USC TROJAN FANS ARE LIKE THE PREVIOUS EXAMPLES I LISTED ABOVE (AND I KNOW THAT MANY OF THE USC TROJAN FANS ARE GOOD-HEARTED PEOPLE), no one can deny the amount of cockiness, arrogance and superficiality that exists (and is exhibited) amongst the Trojan fans of today, largely thanks to the many different statuses of people in Southern California. We all know this is true! We’ve all seen it at one time or another!

What pushed me over the edge (the straw the truly broke the camel’s back) wasn’t Reggie Bush turning in his Heisman trophy; it wasn’t Pete Carroll leaving for Seattle; and it wasn’t even the 55-year old broad who had too much plastic surgery done to her face who insulted my girlfriend at the last game we attended! No…it was USC hiring Lane Kiffin after he screwed over Tennessee: walking out after 14 months of a 5-year contract! What the hell?!

We all know that Lane Kiffin was the man alongside Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinator; but as a head coach, his track record is pure crap. I didn’t want to believe what Al Davis said about Lane Kiffin (that he was a “liar”) but after watching how he screwed over Tennessee, it’s hard for me not to wonder how true that in fact really is? I have no respect for Lane Kiffin, and I absolutely refuse to associate myself with the so-called USC Trojan “fans” that exist today! Enter the man who goes by the name “bigVOLdaddy” to explain the many thoughts on Lane Kiffin:

LOOKING BACK AND THE BRUTAL TRUTH
Granted, while the Trojans were not as dominate of a team in the 90s as they have been in this last decade, at least their focus was purely football and becoming better athletes (unlike these kids who are getting paid under the table from agents, driving expensive cars, and living like they’re NFL pros when they haven’t even reached draft eligibility)!

I stake my life on this: at least 75% of today’s so-called Trojan “fans” became fans back between 2002 and 2004. Holy football, Batman! Why is that? I’ll tell you why! You ask that same 75% who their favorite player is, I guarantee you that almost all of them will give one of two names: Reggie Bush, or Matt Leinart. I’ll even go as far as saying that a lot these Bush/Leinart fans jumped ship from UCLA! I’m sure you all remember that during the late 90s, UCLA was one of the stronger Pac-10 teams, not to mention they slapped the Trojans around like rag dolls winning 8 of the 10 games they played each other from 1990-1999 (bet you didn’t know that, did you, Trojan “fans”?).

FINAL THOUGHTS AND LOOKING AHEAD: Present Day
Until the day comes when the Trojans return to playing football instead of being a bunch of Hollywood pansies, and when Lane Kiffin gets busted for doing something illegal (we all know it’s pretty likely to happen some day), I don’t know if I’ll ever bring myself to being a USC Trojans die-hard fan like I was growing up.

Personally, I was really hoping that USC would make Norm Chow an offer that he couldn’t refuse. Sadly, Norm Chow coming back to SC didn’t come to fruition.

Until then, I’ll focus my energy on the other teams (yes, I root for and follow multiple teams) that I’ve been following for most of this last decade: Florida Gators, Oregon Ducks, Michigan Wolverines, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Granted, while they have all had their off-field issues of misconduct, at least the majority of their players are focused on “doing work” on the gridiron!

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Comments
  1. brouhahasports says:

    Disgruntled? It’s not that bad in LA. Really. I live in Big Ten country, and we would kill to have a program as good as USC. No Rams? No Raiders? You could have the Lions.

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