Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

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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It seems as if everyone has forgotten about what went down in Glendale at the Fiesta Bowl back in January. No one wants to remember that this TCU team, except for 1 guy, is the same team that was BEAT by Boise State last year in the Fiesta Bowl! This year’s Boise State team has 21 returning starters on its roster from last year; they are still better than TCU! You can throw strength of schedule out of the window because, granted, while Boise State’s schedule isn’t the strongest, they have clearly beat every team they’ve faced with serious style-points: they’ve blown everyone out!

So why is everyone choosing to jump on the TCU bandwagon when Boise State has consistently proven their self-worth year-in and year-out? This is the same Boise State team that beat the same TCU team in last year’s fiesta bowl, and they’ve also beat Oregon 2 out of the 2 times they have faced them! Why they’re not being given more respect is beyond me. But hey, don’t take my word for it. ESPN’s Jesse Palmer does a better job explaining it than I do.

Jesse Palmer Explains Why Boise State Gets No Respect.

DP’S WEEK 8 NFL POWER RANKINGS

Posted: October 26, 2010 by Rich Powers in AFC, Big Dick, NFC, NFL, Rants

NFL WEEK 8 NFL POWER RANKINGS

1  NEW YORK JETS

2 PITTSBURGH STEELERS

3 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

4 BALTIMORE RAVENS

5 NEW YORK GIANTS

6 ATLANTA FALCONS

7 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

8 TENNESSEE TITANS

9 HOUSTON TEXANS

10 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

11 WASHINGTON REDSKINS

12 GREEN BAY PACKERS

13 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

14 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

15 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

16 CHICAGO BEARS

17 MIAMI DOLPHINS

18 TAMPA BUCCANEERS

19 ARIZONA CARDINALS

20 ST LOUIS RAMS

21 MINNESOTA VIKINGS

22 OAKLAND RAIDERS

23 CINCINNATI BENGALS

24 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

25 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

26 DENVER BRONCOS

27 CLEVELAND BROWNS

28 DALLAS COWBOYS

29 DETROIT LIONS

30 CAROLINA PANTHERS

31 SAN FRANSISCO 49ERS

32 BUFFALO BILLS

Wide right. Say this to the right person and you will hear stories and celebration until your ears fall off. Say this to the wrong person and you may not hear anything after your ears were knocked off. The Florida St.-Miami rivalry may be the best in-state rivalry of the last 30 years. The young kids may not understand but the old guys like my good friend Pat know what it’s like to immerse yourself into a rivalry of epic proportions. Lately, this rivalry has resembled more of a pillow fight than the traditional Convicts vs. Criminoles of years past.

Florida State was a nationally irrelevant program until the mid 1970’s when Bobby Bowden was hired from West Virginia. Bowden had reached mild success with the Mountaineers winning the Peach Bowl in 1975 while compiling a record of 42-26. In his first 5 seasons at FSU, Bowden won 10 games or more 3 times while leading the Seminoles to 3 bowl games including 2 Orange Bowl appearances. The Seminoles were 4-29 the 3 years  previous to Bowden’s hiring.

Overall the ‘Noles became a program to reckon with and their “play anyone, anywhere, anytime” mentality swept the nation. Under Bowden, FSU won 2 national titles and hold a record with 14 consecutive Top 5 finishes in the AP poll. Bobby Bowden retired after the 2009 season with a career record of 377-129-4 finishing his career second all-time in wins to Joe Paterno, who still coaches at Penn State.

The Miami Hurricanes were the “bad boys” of college football in the 1980’s. Like Florida State, the ‘Canes were an afterthought in the mid-70’s with a record of 36-60 over a 9 year span under 5 coaches before Miami hired Howard Schnellenberger. After debuting at 5-6, under coach Howard the ‘Canes went 36-10 the next 4 years including 2 Bowl wins and the 1983 National Championship.

Schnellenberger left after 1983 and was replaced by Jimmy Johnson. Under Johnson, Miami continued to roll with another National Championship and a 52-9 record. Things were good in Miami although they still had a hard time selling out games. Johnson later went on to win 2 Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.

Following Johnson were Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, and Larry Coker. Miami won 3 more National titles and put more high round draft picks into the NFL from 1980 until the present than any other team.

Today, the ‘Canes and ‘Noles do not resemble the teams from the glory years. For me, thoughts of these teams evoke memories of Ray Lewis, Deion Sanders, Warrick Dunn, Vinny Testaverde, Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and Chris Weinke. There were ridiculously fast and elusive offensive playmakers and speedy, bone-crushing defenses. You were afraid of these teams. Convicts and Criminoles were funny names but you actually took it seriously. Wide right, missed field goals by FSU kickers, became stuff of legend.

So what happened? From my perspective, things began to change when Miami lost to Ohio State in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl game after an overtime phantom pass-interference call. When FSU lost a road game at Louisville in 2002, the ‘Noles seemed to lose their invincibility. It’s amazing how one game can change a program and push it into a different direction. That is what makes this sport so incredible. The minds of men age 18-24 is fragile and can be affected emotionally in so many ways. Programs are built and destroyed in the matter of weeks.

Today, both Miami and FSU appear on the cusp of greatness. Elite players appear on both sides of the ball. Years of training and hard work are beginning to pay off and both teams feel they are ready to take the next step. Coached by Randy Shannon and Jimbo Fisher, the ‘Canes and ‘Noles are set to square off this Saturday. The winner could propel themselves into the National Title discussion for the next 10 years. The loser will have to answer questions that will linger over a lifetime. With recent powerhouse Florida rebuilding, the state of Florida is ripe for the taking. “The speed state” can make or break a program and on Saturday, someone may take hold of it and run away. Or maybe not. Will we see another edition of wide right?

Our Week 4 Top 25

Posted: September 25, 2010 by The Sports Moronz in BCS, Big Dick, Ducky D, Football, Gutti, NCAA, Rants
So starting now until the end of the season, the Moronz and a few of our Moron-itez will be voting on a weekly BCS Top 25. If you like how we voted, we want hear from you! If you absolutely hate how we voted, we really want to hear from you! Post a comment below, send a tweet or post on Facebook . . . and let the arguing begin! Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter – @SportsMoronz
Rank Team [#1 Votes] Total Votes W – L Previous Rank This Week
1. Alabama [7] 223 4 – 0 1 Won @ Arkansas
2. Ohio State [2] 217 4 – 0 2 Beat Eastern Michigan
3. Boise State 197 3 – 0 3 Beat Oregon St.
4. Oregon 195 3 – 0 4 Won @ Arizona St.
5. Nebraska 186 4 – 0 7 Beat South Dakota St.
6. TCU 185 4 – 0 5 Won @ SMU
7. Texas 176 3 – 1 6 Lost to UCLA
8. Florida 152 4 – 0 8 Beat Kentucky
9. Oklahoma 149 4 – 0 9 Won @ Cincinnati
10. Stanford 128 4 – 0 18 Won @ Notre Dame
11. Utah 126 4 – 0 13 Beat San Jose St.
12. Wisconsin 122 4 – 0 12 Beat Austin Peay
13. Arkansas 113 3 – 1 17 Lost to Alabama
14. Arizona 105 3 – 0 T-20 Beat Cal
15. LSU 104 4 – 0 11 Beat West Virginia
16. South Carolina 96 3 – 1 15 Lost @ Auburn
17. Auburn 83 4 – 0 19 Beat South Carolina
18. Iowa 73 3 – 1 10 Beat Ball St.
19. USC 68 4 – 0 16 Won @ Washington St.
20. Miami (FL) 59 3 – 1 14 Won @ Pitt
21. West Virginia 49 3 – 1 25 Lost @ LSU
22. Michigan 30 4 – 0 T-20 Beat Bowling Green
23. Penn St. 26 3 – 1 24 Beat Temple
24. Michigan St. 19 4 – 0 Beat Northern Colorado
25. Nevada 17 3 – 0 Won @ BYU
Other Teams That Received Votes
Oregon St. 10
Florida St. 8
Georgia Tech 8
Air Force 5
Georgia 5
Fresno St. 2
Oklahoma St. 1
Texas A&M 1

Most Hated Athletes in Sports

Posted: September 17, 2010 by Rich Powers in Big Dick, Rants

Anyone catch that article a couple of days ago on the most hated athletes in sports? I actually looked down the list and thought it did justice. The list was conducted by Q Scores Inc.

Here’s some of the top hated athletes.

1. Michael Vick

2. Tiger Woods

3. Terrell Owens

4. Chad Ochocinco

5. Kobe Bryant

6. Lebron James

This is the actual order of the list that Q Scores Inc. put together.

The only thing I thought when examining this list is that Tiger Woods and Michael Vick could possibly be switched.

I know that Michael Vick had the whole spill with dog fighting (and did time in prison for it), but I felt that Tiger Woods would be the most hated because of all of his recent activity. Having such a high public status and cheating on his wife with all those different women would definitely cause him to public enemy #1.

Regardless, they both have done things that the public disapproves of and frowns upon.

Another one that I thought would be higher is LeBron James. It surprises me that Kobe is still above LeBron even though he’s been widely hated by many for years.

In a matter of seconds, LeBron James went from fan favorite to probably THE most hated player in the NBA, after he had his “decision” announcement on ESPN back in July. It also didn’t help that he went to Miami along with his buddies, the other top free agents this off season, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  People thought he could lead a team to a championship himself but yet he opted out to join other players and try to win.

I’d like to know what your guys list is. Here is my list consisting of picks off Q Scores Inc. These guys are, in my book (and many others I’m sure) the most hated.

Richie’s Most Hated List

1. Tiger Woods

2. LeBron James

3 Kobe Bryant

4 Terrell Owens

5 Chad Ocho Cinco

6. Michael Vick

I WANNA SEE YOUR GUYS LIST!!!!

Does Reggie Bush deserve to lose the Heisman?

Posted: September 8, 2010 by Rich Powers in Big Dick, Football, NCAA, Rants

The Good ‘Ole Days . . . No More
Remember that time period, from 2003-2005, when we saw USC’s dominance? Names like Leinart, Bush, White and Jarrett were heard every Saturday of every Fall?  The amazing highlight reels that ESPN would air were the norm every week? Seems like those days are far behind us.

Reggie Bush, perhaps the most widely-recognized of names from USC’s dominance during those years, has also been the center of such conflict and heartache for his alma mater that it is no surprise why many are looking to him as the scapegoat for everything that is going wrong for the Trojan football team.

After much speculation that Bush was taking money and other gifts during his time at the University of Southern California, the NCAA conducted an investigation and discovered that Bush was ineligible because of such actions. As a result, USC now has to serve the following sanctions: 4 years probation, vacating the 2004 national championship title as well as all wins from the 2005 season. In addition, the Trojans are now banned from bowl games for the next 2 years and will lose 30 scholarships over the next 3 years–pretty severe penalties for one guy who accepted gifts from one Lloyd Lake, sports agent.

Perhaps the harshest of decisions came from USC to Reggie Bush: the removal of his Heisman trophy from the campus and removing his name from all Trojan record books. The harshest of these decisions, I feel, are those that affect Bush’s former USC teammates (two of whom are personal friends of mine): removing the 2004 and 2005 teams from the Trojan football record books. New Athletic Director, Pat Haden, made it clear that he was trying to clean up the program and do “damage control” since the university had suffered quite a bit.

Then, on September 6, news broke that the Heisman Trust was prepared to take away Bush’s actual Heisman Trophy–the one that he owns. Being that the Heisman Trust and USC are two different entities, each have the right to decide what to do with objects they own and/or distribute. The Heisman Trust were balking at first to take the trophy away after USC decided to so, citing that it was USC’s right to do whatever they wanted to with the trophy, and it had nothing to do in deciding if the Trust was going to take Bush’s actual trophy away.

While there have been reports stating that Heisman Trust representatives deny ever saying they were going to take away the trophy, and that it was a false report, it is my opinion that they are simply stalling on having to decide the inevitable.

You want to know what I think?
I feel that he should lose the Heisman trophy. Most people, like myself, say that he was amazing on the field and does deserve it; but the simple fact is he cheated and broke the NCAA’s rules. Being an amateur athlete, one should know how strict the rules are with the NCAA as well as know the consequences that may come if they violate those rules. Granted, the NCAA is harsh with its rules most of the time, they still have their standard on what they feel a student athlete is…even though it may be outdated. The rules that are in place you have to follow. I am not going to be naive and say that other schools are perfect in following the rules, it’s just a matter of who gets caught. All sports fans out there (especially our fellow moronz) aren’t naive to the idea that some of these athletes are receiving money and gifts on the side.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he received gifts when he was recruited that continued on well into his stay at USC. If he in fact did, that’s another reason why he should return the trophy. It was these gifts that enticed him to go to USC (along with other great recruits) and be the top team in the country. It was also these gifts that brought him to play with the best athletes in the country which, therefore, allowed him the opportunity to accomplish all that he did on the field. I will admit, though, it was him out there making those exciting plays; he was pivotal to those teams and their success; and he probably was the most important offensive player they had at the time.

People can say that these kids wanted to go to beautiful Southern California, but I find it strange that one school was able to get so many 5-star recruits year-in and year-out, and do so at a fast pace.

Pete Carroll came under investigation but left to the NFL before the heat really got to him. Honestly, just do a Google search on USC recruiting violations or practices and you’ll definitely find a lot of stories.

People are probably thinking that I’m crazy for saying this but it’s my opinion and it’s looking like it’s going to happen anyways! Reggie Bush doesn’t deserve to keep his Heisman, especially when the entire 2004 and 2005 teams were punished. How is it fair that he gets to remain in the NCAA record books, yet all of teammates are removed because of a mistake that he made?

In the end, people who were alive during that time period will remember what USC did. That will never be forgotten regardless of what happens in the record books. Reggie Bush was one of the most electrifying players ever to play college football; he just messed up, and tarnished his legacy along with that of USC Trojan Football.

LOL…then again, I’m a hater, and don’t like USC. I’m glad they got everything that came in the end :-P!

WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?