Guest Post: Trojan Coaches x Godfather Characters

My old, good friend Monish Tyagi is done being president of the student body at USC, but he’s not done being clever. He’s been a real favorite of the blog for years now, a part of the original sanctions bearfighting crew.

He sent me this comparison of USC coaches to Godfather characters earlier today and it’s pretty funny regardless of how much or little you agree. We both went to USC film school and I am sure they are thrilled to see what we’ve done with that education…

Follow him on Twitter HERE and direct your thoughts to him.

Again, this is a GUEST POST and a fun one at that.  TAKE IT AWAY, MONISH!


The Corleone Family (USC Football Coaches) 
By Monish Tyagi
Pete Carroll: Vito Corleone, The Godfather – At the height of his run, Vito, like Pete, was untouchable and arguably the most powerful Don (Coach) of the five families (NCAA). People loved the man as much as they feared his team. He was very close with his three sons (assistant coaches) whom he relied on and groomed to run the family business (football team). He was frequently warned of the threat of Virgil Solozzo (Paul Dee) and drugs (sanctions) but ignored them. Until one day he was visiting a fruit stand and was met with an assassination attempt (sanctioned) forcing him to retire to a long rest (go to the Seahawks) and see which one of his sons would ascend to the throne.
Lane Kiffin: Sonny Corleone – Sonny, the boldest of Vito’s three children assumed control of the family when his father (Pete) was no longer Don. Arrogant, brash, and with a violent temper, he often made miscalculated errors when he let his anger/cockiness get the best of him. Whether it was an untimely killing of one of the Tattalgia sons (switching jerseys), ordering a hit on a police officer (deflating footballs) or something as reckless as beating up his brother in law in public (banning reporters from practice, walking out in the middle of an interview, too many bubble screens etc) Sonny (Lane) showed a blatant disregard for the old rules and a tendency to pick battles that led to nothing (7-6, Sun Bowl loss). In the end, his arrogance led to his demise as he was caught off-guard and shot (fired) at a toll booth (airport)
Steve Sarkisian: Michael Corleone – The youngest sibling (last to join Pete’s staff), Michael always seemed to have the confidence of his father to both operate within the family business (run the offense) and one day become Don (succeed Pete as Head Coach as Pete has supposedly confirmed) However, Michael had other ambitions and didn’t think the family business was for him. He was always more calculated than Sonny (better people skills than Lane) and more intelligent than Fredo (better football IQ than Coach O) and although he tried to separate himself and go into hiding in Italy (Washington), eventually Sonny’s death (Kiffin’s firing) brought him back to assume his rightful place as head of the Corleone family (Head coach at USC). This decision wasn’t unanimously popular as many people thought he was too young, too disconnected and too unproven to lead the family during such a difficult time. But Michael had his father’s confidence and orchestrated a miraculous return to glory for the Corleone Family (time will tell for Sark I guess)
Ed Orgeron: Fredo Corleone – (While his appearance would suggest more of a Luca Brasi, Fredo is a better fit for our story). Fredo is the older brother who never got a shot. While loved by his father (Pete) and the rest of the family (USC), he was never one who was seen as fit to eventually become Don (permanent head coach). He seemingly lacked both the intelligence and leadership abilities of his brothers Sonny and Michael. He conceded that Sonny (Lane) should get the first shot as Don (Head Coach) and agreed to stay on board under him by running the family’s operations in Las Vegas (becoming Assistant Head Coach/recruiting coordinator). After Sonny’s death, however, Fredo is upset when he is passed over and the Don position is assumed by Michael (Sark). Although encouraged to stay in a high position under him, Fredo’s pride gets the better of him as he tries to make moves to kill Michael (stay as Head Coach). This move backfires, however, and he is denounced by Michael (resigns) for his betrayal (not staying to coach bowl game).
Other Supporting Characters
Pat Haden: Tom Hagen – A highly skilled lawyer (JD, Rhodes Scholar), Hagen is the one who earns the trust of the family (USC) to make decisions on its behalf, even if his decisions are largely criticized by others.
Paul Dee: Virgil Solozzo – Tries to encourage the Corleone family to enter the drug business (tries to sanction USC).  Vito (Pete) does not budge. Sonny (Lane) falls prey to his traps and suffers the consequences (has to coach under sanctions). Michael (Sark) comes in, cleans up, and takes care of business (hopefully puts USC back on track). Solozzo (Dee) dies (dies).
Chip Kelly: Phillip Tattaglia – Although Solozzo (Dee) was the one leading the drug charge (NCAA sanctions), Vito Corleone (Pete) always knew there was someone behind it. All signs led to Phillip Tattaglia (Kelly) whose family (Oregon) was generally regarded as inferior for focusing their business on prostitution (new jersey’s all the time; running weird spread offenses) and was looking for a leg up on the dominant Corleone Family (USC). But as Vito Corleone pointed out when identifying the mastermind behind the whole thing “Tattaglia’s a pimp” (Kelly pimped himself to the NFL and went to the Eagles) and “I didn’t know until this day that it was Barzini all along.”
Nick Saban: Don Barzini – Powerful, suave, and never with a smile on his face. It hasn’t been revealed yet because he plays his cards close to the vest, but sooner or letter it emerges that Barzini (Saban) was the one behind the plot to sabotage the Corleone Family (sanction USC Football)
*It may not be perfect and we still have to see how Michael/Sark does with the head job, but hey, that’s what the Godfather Part II is for*


Filed under USC Football

10 Responses to Guest Post: Trojan Coaches x Godfather Characters

  1. Travis

    Wow this comparison is way too spot on….

  2. Nerses Aposhian

    Monish– this is AMAZING!

  3. TheHercFundraiser (Jim)

    Hilarious. Reminds me of these awesome emails I used to get at my old job…

  4. Albert Lopez

    Barzini, one day, will sleep with the fish. And as for Tattaglia…once a pimp, always a pimp. Solozzo is worm food.

  5. JT

    Love the concept, but Ed O is no Fredo. More like Clemenza who wanted to be a Boss of the Corleone family, never really got there and subsequently was given a smaller “family” to run.

    Reggie Bush could be Fredo for taking sides against the family and subsequently killed (disassociated).

    You could make a case for Mike Garrett as Sonny as his short temper and brashness dealing with enemies.

    Either way very cool post.

  6. Pingback: Guest Post: Trojan Coaches x Godfather Characters | Lost Angeles | Life...Camera...ACTION!!!

  7. chris b

    Wow. This was a awesome read. I found your blog last year and have been hiding but this and the last three posts. Have made me a true fan of yours.

    This one bravo. Spot on as well.

  8. Peachtree Trojan

    Pat Haden , like Tom Hagen, clearly was not a war time consigliere for not sticking it to the NCAA.

  9. Great analogy.

    I would add the corrupt New York Police Captain McCluskey is Mark Emmert President of the NCAA. He let all the other crooks offs ( Miami, Auburn, Oregon).
    In the movie McCluskey breaks Michael Corleone jaw outside the hospital. Later Michael goes to the bathroom restaurant and comes out with a gun and gets appropriate justice.



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