Truly, Some New Hate Mail

I admit, I thought I’d get more after my Coach O post, but for the most part people complained off my channels. It was meant to be brutal and that’s what I’ve always done here, with satire or with a harsh opinion. Either way, there was enough ad traffic in the first couple hours to buy me pretty much any bottle of bourbon I feel like drinking this weekend in Los Angeles, so thanks regardless of how you felt.

But I got a comment from someone who isn’t used to how it works around here, so let’s have a little fun.

This comes from someone who’s email mentions Arizona two times, in case people forgot he was repping AZ midway through addressing and email to him.

As always, here’s the comment:

Dear author:

Do you always use this many words to say so little? I’m very sorry I stumbled across this blog… the viewpoint isn’t wrong, it’s just completely uninformative/juvenile. Truly, my 8-year old could have written with more insight.

Thankfully, Alexa rankings suggest that not too many people are wasting there time here…that’s a relief.

Sorry I stumbled across this site…won’t return. Meanwhile, can I please have the last 5 minutes of my life back?

And then here’s the same comment with my annotations in bold:

Dear author:  This isn’t a book. It’s a blog post. I figured you’d get that when you used a device you plug into an electrical socket to find this post. Assuming you don’t plug your books into the wall. I’m a blogger. If I was an author, I’d be poor.

Do you always use this many words to say so little?  No.  I’m very sorry I stumbled across this blog… Me too, buddy.  Me too.  the viewpoint isn’t wrong, it’s just completely uninformative/juvenile. If it is uninformative, how can you know if it’s right or wrong? Also, in 2nd grade we covered that opinions could not be right or wrong. They are opinions. Juvenile would be bringing up that a child could write with more insight.  Truly, my 8-year old could have written with more insight. Truly, that was juvenile. Also, starting a sentence with ‘truly’ is a dumb way to try to sound smart. Readers at home, put ‘truly’ in front of you next ten sentences and see if you are starting to hate yourself. Truly, I believe you will.

Thankfully, Alexa rankings suggest that not too many people are wasting there time here…that’s a relief. Truly, without explaining to you that Alexa data comes from traffic patterns of the 15-20 million people that have downloaded and installed the Alexa toolbar to their browser (a large percentage of said downloads have since become inactive) and is about as accurate as pissing off a moving speedboat, I’m fine with you feeling relieved about the views you think I am not getting. What would I know? I’m just an interactive strategist. 

Sorry I stumbled across this site… Truly, I am sorry as well. won’t return. Truly, I hope you mean it. Meanwhile, can I please have the last 5 minutes of my life back? Truly, you know that time travel doesn’t exist, so no, you may not have your five minutes back. Truly, you must have realized that taking the time to comment added at least a minute of time to the time you stole from your own life, you thief! Truly, I hope you find those six minutes. Truly, I hope when you do, you are happy. Truly.

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The Brutal Truth About Coach O

This is getting ridiculous.

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I haven’t felt a need to directly address (a portion of) our fanbase since the sanctions came down and students were literally flooding social media with depressing messages about “there’s always the Lakers” and other related sanctions-depression minutia.

I haven’t felt the need because since we formalized Arrogant Nation, we started embracing a culture of taking hits and laughing at them. Tyler Durden taking a beating in Fight Club and spitting blood on his assailant to make his point. That’s been us since sanctions. That’s why we embraced Kiffin (and we were right to do so). That’s why we punk GameDay whenever it’s in town. That’s why we are at our best when we are defying the odds. It’s this behavior that separates us from all of the Pac 12. The way we go about it is what separates us from the SEC, where old men who couldn’t even get into Auburn (as unbelievable as that sounds) will spend the rest of their lives caring less about their grandchildren being born than that one magical day they won the Iron Bowl on a missed FG and ended up… In the Sugar Bowl? Losing to Missouri the next week? Who cares.

We branded our arrogance in a really, really fun way that is organic to us. Win or lose, beer pong strokes, the best looking cheerleaders in the world, playing in an Olympic stadium. This is a proud tradition. This is a psychosis, but one we’re medicated for. It’s a focused freak out. Ask anyone who spotted me on Trousdale and poured bourbon.

People are starting campaigns on twitter to send Coach O thank you cards. Seriously a hashtag (#cardsforcoachO) that sounds more like a charity event than sending a former coach a card. All the talk of players crying about him leaving. And all of our fans actually retweeting things like this so the whole world can see.

Let’s separate the business from the pleasure here, folks. Every player on this team, every single one since Paul Dee pointed his fat, now-dead finger at us deserves thank you cards. They could have left, they could have phoned it in. Cody Kessler deserves your love, but I remember when he was being turned on in a rotation with turning on Wittek in the beginning of the season.

The players deserve unconditional love because they are playing for the glory of the school. Coaches are a different story and if you don’t get that, I am sorry to tell you it was your parents that put a dollar under your pillow when you lost a tooth.

Who is Coach O?

Coach O is a great line coach, recruiter and motivator. He is an iconic presence at USC for his roles in two periods of USC football history. He speaks like a chubby, drunk James Carville and that is endearing. He is a player’s coach that players love. He is someone I will always remember fondly.

He is also 16-30 as a head coach including this year. Any other human being with that record would be laughed out of the building as a HC candidate at USC. He lost to both of our rivals. He was a 4th and holy-shit-he-caught-it from a 5-3 record and there being zero conversation about his coaching potential at all.

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Coach O left his highly paid assistant role less than a decade ago when a personal business decision lead him to take over at Ole Miss, where he failed. If Kiffin failed, Coach O wasn’t even on the sidelines. Yeah, Coach O has the love, yells “fight on” in interviews and isn’t a total dickhead like Kiffin. But Kiffin has a winning record as a college coach. He was 7-6 in his first year at Tennessee.

So anyone thinking Coach O was a reasonable choice, he wasn’t. Anyone who thinks he learned enough to be a “USC caliber” hire didn’t want the second half against UCLA where Mora kept doing the same thing because we made zero adjustments. The “motivation” factor didn’t matter much in that game, did it? I mean, this is a lot of positive sentiment around a Coach leading a team capable of beating Stanford, but allowing UCLA to flat out beat us up in an anomaly of football history.

And about Stanford. Stanford and USC decided they were going to stand in the middle of the ring and punch each other. There’s no creativity to their offense and I’ll take our horses over theirs any day. That was a great win, I’ll remember Coach O fondly for it, but Stanford does one thing and does it well. The rest of the Pac 12 powers and big teams nationally do more. UCLA did more all over the field at the Coliseum.

Check yourself, guys. Coach O is the best assistant coach, recruiter, spit-when-you-talker ever and I really was hoping he honored his word about staying on (and being made the highest paid assistant in CFB) if the right coach was hired. But he didn’t.

And Sark was the right hire.

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We need to get 4 recruits in by 12/15. Sark is already recruiting them and the only quality candidate that could get this job done in this amount of time, because USC fans do not tolerate losing seasons. This was the right hire. It wasn’t sexy. But it was right. And if it doesn’t work, it can be corrected and if it does, I can’t wait to see everyone pretending they said I told you so.

We need a “THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING” moment here. Sark is the new caesar. Form a phalanx, Praetorians.

I want to address everything so bear with me.

Many have said that the players crying when Coach O left means we owe him something. He was a player’s coach. Of course they are sad. They just went through a traumatic time. But did any of you see Speed with 17 time Academy Award winner Keanu Reeves? Relationships built under pressure situations don’t work. Kiffin. And eventually, O. They were crying because they’ve been through a lot, not because they made half time adjustments and beat UCLA.

Coach O himself said he knew he lost the job when he lost to UCLA. He is leaving because he wants to be a head coach. He currently doesn’t have a job. Anyone feel like the best way to interview for an HC job would have been to tell the players I’m gonna stick around and coach you in the bowl and show the nation I can keep them motivated? I mean, I get the sense there are some colleges that might respect that. Especially the ones that would hire Coach O, ones that aren’t our rivals. Or in our class.

Instead, he peaced out and is going to spend that time interviewing in the board room, not on the field. Neuheisel coached out UCLA while Mora hit the recruiting trail. O could have done the same while Sark locked up the mid year recruits.

But he didn’t, because this is a business and he knows it. I want Trojan fans to know that too. This is the second time he’s left USC to pursue an HC job. I believe he loves USC. But stop kidding yourself that he loved us so much he’d do anything. He didn’t. Money wasn’t enough.  He wanted to be the man. I respect that. But other than “thanks for helping salvage a season”, we’re good.

We’re not here to reward people for salvaging seasons. We need to prepare to be off sanctions and compete at the highest level with the best possible staff and a full deck of players. Sark is ready to do this and while he isn’t sexy as a pick, I really do think it was a wise one. And as Coach O showed, nothing is forever. We can course correct again, but we were inches away from Coach O being a lame duck. I think he is leaving because he has delusions of grandeur and I think some (getting quieter daily) of Trojan Nation have the same affectation via their affection for Coach O.

I just want to make sure Arrogant Nation isn’t in that group. It’s the Sark era now. I’m going to be on board from day one because come September, he’ll be on the field with the headset.

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He was pretty much Carroll’s heir apparent until everyone’s favorite Mike Garrett told him no. He was offered the job before Kiffin. He had the smarts not to take the Raider’s HC job. He’s developed some of SC’s best quarterbacks, in fact, most of them. You don’t have to be thrilled yet, he has to prove himself. But you should be intrigued. Don’t let anyone tell you he had the weapons at UW that he will have here.

Pay your fond farewells to Coach O. Now let’s get back to business. This is football and it’s a business for everyone but the players. And if it’s the players you love, do them a solid and get behind their new head coach. We don’t need to be fighting our fans and the NCAA at the same time. The two front war doesn’t work.

Ask Germany.

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Sark Makes USC Look Like Vols Post Kiffin

Guys, I don’t expect you to like this because it’s a super emo time for everyone with our interim coach not getting the chance to follow in a long line of interim coaches that failed as head coaches.

But it’s my job to play devil’s advocate, even against my own fans and fanbase.  This may not apply to you all, but read it anyway.

Today, USC hired Sark away from Washington to replace Coach O who was replacing Coach Kiffin.  This was the USC reaction on Twitter:

Relax, Trojans. This is making you look like SEC fans. I get that this rock was painted for different reasons, but people who flip out about reasonable coaching hires usually think the Gulf of Mexico is the ocean.

Sark is not the big, sexy hire everyone wanted. Short of Pete Round Two or Harbaugh coming to Troy, who was that hire? There wasn’t one.

Which brings us to the second reason everyone is flipping out. People wanted to give Coach O the job. This is because after Kiffin’s 3-2 start had everyone acting like SEC fans (myself a little too), Coach O brought the fan base back, he inspired the players and made USC football feel good again.

That’s cool.

But let’s break this down a little. Sark has taken an 0-12 program to a respectable one in a part of the world (one I live in now) where you don’t get players from LA, Texas or Florida without paying for them (COUGH COUGH CHIP KELLY). Sark had to recruit mid stadium renovations and his best connections are in Southern California.

USC is one of the few schools out there that can get big AND fast players. Oregon has fast players and you see what happens when they play NFL size/speed lines like Stanford.

Sark’s head coaching record is slightly above .500, pretty much what Pete was coming into the USC job (albeit from the NFL). No one dug him either as a hire and all of those people probably named their kids after him.

Coach O was a monster failure at Ole Miss, who won plenty when they had Eli Manning. He had some recruiting, but if Kiffin’s 7-5 and 11-2 wasn’t good enough, Coach O’s previous legacy should scare us more than Sark’s.

When Coach O was at USC, he was a fourth and nine “holy shit” pass to the best receiver USC may have ever put on the field from being 5-3 with losses to both rivals and a team that had been owning us of late. No one is clamoring for a 5-3 interim coach to take over.

I love Coach O. He’s a staple of our family and we should give him so much money to talk him out of having another bad head coaching run somewhere else. We should give him a harrier jet filled with naked girls and stacks of 100s. He’s a Barkley-like figure and I will ALWAYS appreciate what he did for the positivity of the program.

But Sark is a better Xs and Os coach and he’s going to recruit well. It’s already starting.

Sark will run a pro set here because he won’t need gimmicks because USC will remain fast and big.

Another thing is that it’s a little ridiculous to kill Pat Haden over this hire when you don’t know the interview process. Armchair QBing is fine, hell, I have over a million readers a year that like seeing me be one, but keep it real. Sumlin has probably never been to Dorsey high school. Franklin doesn’t know the home address of the Mater Dei booster club heads. Pederson’s Boise State charm already missed it’s window of relevance to recruits he can’t get a phone call with already.

Sark knows all of these people and when he was recruiting for USC, they said yes. When he was recruiting for Washington, they said no. To assume Sark can’t get it done at USC is to assume USC itself cannot be a kingmaker.  King Carroll disagrees.

Am I saying Sark is going to win Rose Bowls and National Championships like crazy? No. Definitely not right away with year 238 of sanctions.

Do I think he could? Sure.

What I am certain of as the Bearfighter, a person that only has a following because I told everyone to stop overreacting when the sanctions first happened, is to stop overreacting now.

Outside of Nick Saban, rarely do coaches do the same thing two jobs in a row. It’s an unpredictable world.

I do know Sark was there, just like Kiffin, just like Coach O, during our greatest tenure in decades and he deserves some respect just like Coach O does.

This is a Trojan who left, took a lot of our staff and frankly would have been a much better hire than Kiffin, but he was probably smart enough to stay away then. Whatever he told Haden, it had to be enough.

Let’s just wait and see. We’ll never know if Coach O would have won next year and if you really loved him, wish him well at the bowl game and be glad you won’t have to find out. He’ll go out a hero.

Please. Enjoy the holidays. Root responsibly. We’ll know a lot more in September after the Dodgers win the NL West.

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Stanford’s Deranged Tree Finally Falls.

The day started out the way I wrote it up.  Arrogant Nation showed up and made not only a great collection of my signs for College GameDay, but a great collection in general.

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But let’s just set the stage.

The sanctions cup has boiled over. After the Miami non-ruling, after the lack of responses from the NCAA on how Paul Dee was allowed to oversee our committee on infractions and after our team has been playing with basically half a deck for this injured season, even the most Trojan faithful had to be wondering when we’d stop being the punching bag for a broken system.

I mean, the Paterno family threatens to sue the NCAA and despite all the, you know, child rape,  they get their penalty reduced. Because The U has a former Clinton staffer for a president who called the NCAA out for botching their investigation and threatening suit, the NCAA tried to convince us that their “self sanctioning” made it work.  It’s been bullshit case after bullshit case and because we didn’t kiss the ring, the one thing the army we were named after refused to do, we got called “arrogant” and pushed without the evidence to support anything more than the wristslap failure to monitor that Oregon got.  But we got the hammer.

And here we were coming into this game on a 4-1 run after our coach gets fired on the freaking tarmac at LAX after a road loss. Here we are with ESPN coming to the Coliseum like they do every year no matter what, hosting a Stanford team that despite the “what’s your deal” game, has been beating us in CLOSE, CLOSE games to the point that you wondered if it was a curse.

I gave an interview to the Stanford Daily about all of this. There’s this illusion that there is parity in the Pac 12 right now because USC is not winning the conference every year. There’s parity because the “1” in the Pac 1 is literally playing with half a team. And for all of that, no losing seasons. What is Cal’s excuse? What will UCLA’s excuse be when their brand positioning as a basketball school comes back and they fade into mid-conference mediocrity. Not this year, but deep in Bruin hearts they kind of know it’s coming. Even when they deny it.

I work in strategy. Positioning. In the country’s mind, USC is the only west coast football power and right now, they are clawing their way out of a dungeon.

Positioning. USC has a lifetime over .700 winning percentage.  32-16 record in bowls.  It hit me that in the decade INCLUDING OUR BOWL BAN we went to 7 BCS bowls, won 6 of them and 2 national titles.

The issue with there being a second power in the Pac 1 is that no one else has broken the glass ceiling.  Stanford has won a couple BCS games.  Oregon has won a couple, but lost the big one that would have made a point.  They are schools with losing bowl records.  It’s easy to see them falling into the middle again.  Or maybe not. There’s been nothing to prove either way.

Look.  It was really contested with Cal for a while and then it turned into 9 years or whatever of us beating them.  Stanford had us for a little bit.  So did WSU for a while.  They won this year.  Anyone think that’s going to be sustainable?

It’s always only ever been us and unlike every team in the conference who has made a run, or had a great era or even couple years of being the bad boys, we’ve done it in every decade to every team.  If any of these teams made a run against us, they have to go undefeated for a long, long time to even the gap.

Here’s our record against the rest of the Pac 1.

59-29-3 against Stanford.
38-19-2 against Oregon.
46-29-7 against UCLA.
66-30-5 against Cal.
51-28-4 against Washington.
57-8-4 against WSU.
59-11-4 against OSU.
29-8 against Arizona.
19-11 against ASU.

Hell, ASU is actually the closest thing to an on-field rival we have.  They could win 9 in a row and tie the series. That’s crazy.

And since there are likely USC haters reading this who will point out eras they perceived we were awful in, let me bring up one stat I’d love for you to compare to your own school:  USC has won a Rose Bowl in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.  We just recently became eligible to play for them again, but it’s worth mentioning we would have played Oregon in the 2011 Pac 12 Championship for a spot in a year where we had already beaten them on the road.

The point is, you wouldn’t bet your pink slip or even 100 dollars that USC is done winning Rose Bowls, National Titles, putting more players in the NFL than anyone else.  You wouldn’t just like I wouldn’t bet 100 dollars USC is making the Final Four any time soon (as much fun as that’d be with Dunk City).

Oregon has won 2 Rose Bowls.  We have won 4 in the last 10 years and we were banned from playing in them two of those years.  USC has had several 5-7 year runs across the history of the sport in which they have equalled the entire trophy cases of many of their “rivals.”

We’re the Yankees, coming with all that victory, baggage and hatred from the rest of the world and in this case, the NCAA itself.

And that brings us to Saturday.

Underdogs, a rare thing in a conference game, even during sanctions.  Playing shorthanded.  Getting calls like THIS made against you:

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Literally, referees unable to read the chains.

And they take their punches in front of a full house of recruits and beat back another Pac 12 team’s chance at a National Title. There is really only one team in this conference that has consistently been able to win the big one and they came into the game unranked.

It made me think of how often USC gets called out for losing the big game. The OSU games. The awful Booty UCLA loss. It happens a lot because we are constantly in the big game. The gravity of USC potentially winning 11 games this season, with this few scholarship players, is so insane they should cue up the 30 for 30 crew. Alabama didn’t survive these sanctions. They had to rebuild.

No losing seasons.

We were named for an army that fought to the death and died. The idea of this school was remaining dangerous even when being beheaded. That’s what Saturday was. It was a reminder that even starved, caged and beaten to death, we can still land a kill shot.

I am so against us rushed the field. I shook my head as we did, but I was smiling because if there was ever a time to do it, it was then. Not because we beat Stanford. It wasn’t because of that. It wasn’t because we beat a highly ranked team.

It was a celebration because it guaranteed that we beat the NCAA. Make no mistake about it. They tried to kill us. Nothing would shown we were hurting like inviting ESPN to the game and having our asses handed to us by a deeper, bigger team that is laying claim to a conference they have no claim on. Wouldn’t have mattered that we never had a losing record during sanctions (what was WSU’s excuse?).  All that would have mattered was a triumphant 66-7 Stanford drubbing in front of the whole country.

But it was Hector’s day. Not Achilles. It was a hero maker day, not because beating Stanford meant so much, but because we told the country “wait til we’re at full strength.”

Everyone knows it now. It was a psychological victory for us, which is rare because we’re always psychologically winning. Hell, we’re myopic fundamentalists about winning. You can never shut a Trojan up with a loss because the Trojan mind (and history) will tell you your win, your five wins, were anomalies. We will win the lifetime series. When future generations get interested in football and Google the Pac 12, they will realize it’s the Pac 1 until someone strings together a couple epic decades and says otherwise.

I am against rushing the field, but to scream FUCK YOU to the NCAA on national television, the Bearfighter will allow it.

a-toast

Here’s to a monday that feels the way it should.

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Seven Signs You Need for USC GameDay

As the Bearfighter has mentioned for years now, College GameDay would come to USC once a year if we were 0-12. We’re the story when we’re good. We’re the story when we’re bad. We’re the story when we’re in trouble. We’re the story when we are compliant (see Teague Egan’s Johnny Drama go-kart). We’re the story when we’re not the story.

And because mighty Stanford is playing lil ole USC this weekend, even though we are not the story, we’re the story again. And that means Arrogant Nation and the rest of all you Trojan fans new to this game have an amazing platform to let America and the NCAA know how you feel. We’ve done it before and it helped me immensely:

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This year, they know that they can’t sanction the endzone. Not even switching coaches midseason and having a team that’s half injured (thxNCAA!) and half walk-ons (thxNCAA!) could stop us from getting into a bowl. We don’t have losing seasons, even if you drop a nuke on us and lightly urinate on the feet of worse offenders and then pretend it was for more than just curing their athletes’ foot.

Well, now you are setting up your TV show in our hometown, on our wet campus where I once flipped a triple burner BBQ I was trying to ride like a long board from 28th Street to campus. Sorry for anyone I inconveniced when trying to lift it back up totally sober at the intersection of Jefferson and Hoover. It was worth it. Sparks flew.

So, my goal for all of you is to ditch the traditional Stanford sucks signs and definitely ignore anything Nerd related because they are owning it:

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Don’t give them the pleasure of acting like they matter. They AGAIN rushed the field at home for beating Oregon, even though they are both top ten teams. Stanford, to their credit, does not give two shits about how bad they are as fans, in fact, they may even embrace it and since most of us use electronics, pharmaceuticals or legal counsel that came from the minds at this school, why don’t we do what Arrogant Nation would do and make this day about us, our problems and our message.

Basically, let’s be that annoying girl who calls her friend to a hungover brunch to talk for the 20th time about a relationship that’s never going to work. Let’s be that girl. Only better looking.

So, here are seven signs I want to see this weekend at the Coliseum:

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO READ FULL MESSAGE

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And if all else fails, just print this QR code (so 2008 of me) and send them right to me. I’ll let them know.

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I want you to SEND ME EVERY SIGN YOU MAKE and I’ll put them up after the game. Regardless of the sanctions, which we’ve already basically endured, there’s on thing I want and I am dedicating the rest of the season to getting it.

I want the NCAA to finally give us a statement as to how Paul Dee leading our investigation was in any way ethical.

That’s it. I just want to hear the scumbags say it. Or not say it. I just want an answer and I will take it from there.

You job as Arrogant Nation is two-fold. The first is our original goal, which is to use the platform to say the things that USC won’t say. It’s clear by now that Pat Haden thinks it’s best to keep politely asking instead of suing. Fine, but you don’t have to act that way. You can demand some answers. I don’t even want the scholarships back. I just want an answer. Clearly, the sanctions most pundits and reasonable fans know were totally inflated to the point of a Ponzi are bullshit haven’t even given us a losing season. They are just delaying another Rose Bowl or fake-ass NCAA “natty.”

So what. Let them know this weekend.

The other job you all have? HAVE SOME FUCKING FUN AND BRING HOME A WIN.

Your Bearfighter continues to train on the wild bears of the great Pacific Northwest. You’re welcome for the OSU win. I won’t explain.

Share this post with everyone you know at USC and let’s have some fun with the platform. College sports are supposed to be fun. Coach O knows that. We should remember that to. Even it it’s at the NCAA’s expense.

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Sack Up Cards Fans, Boston Just Owned You.

You are going to call this sour grapes because I am about as hardcore of a Dodger fan as there is.  Sour grapes because the Dodgers lost to the Cards so naturally I must be grasping for straws.  I’m not.  I’m sad we lost, but I am quite content with the rapid stocking of our farm system, the signing of Alex Guerrero and the possibility of pairing Tanaka with Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu for years to come. I fully accept the Cards winning, they deserved it and while I am upset about it, I am trying hard to make you understand that what I am about to write is for your own good.

Boston fans are myopic and assume the world cares about Boston sport more than the world does. St. Louis fans feel like they are the gatekeepers of some ancient form of old timey baseball code, the knights templar of the only reasonable activity in St. Louis beyond getting drunk and eating toasted ravioli until you pass out.

So when these two fan bases got together for a wildly entertaining, poorly played at times, roller coaster of a series that got pretty good ratings, you knew there’d be some love fest about, well, the old timey nature of this series.

And then the Red Sox put out this ad in a St. Louis newspaper:

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I’ve seen this popping up via social from Cards fans predictably calling this a classy move. I need to educate you that this is in no way a classy move. This is a giant FUCK YOU, SCOREBOARD disguised in very east coast faux-humble hat tip that the Red Sox organization is correctly betting the St. Louis Knights Templar of Old Timey Conduct will let sail over their head.

The big wigs even signed it.

This is a man sleeping with your wife and then telling you “don’t worry, she told me she appreciates the sex you guys used to have.”

This is referring to your “midwestern” hospitality the way racist ass explorers used to chronicle friendly, inferior civilizations they ran across.

St. Louis, they are drinking your milkshake and you and thanking them.

I get it if a Red Sox fan has this conversation at a bar with a Cardinals fan and there’s an exchange of handshakes and a round of bourbon. I get how that is old timey. I’m not saying as fans you need to be dicks and shove olive branches back up the offerers ass (but we’d do that in Los Angeles).  I’m saying you should take a note from the outfield bleacher fans at Wrigley and throw this gentle FUCK YOU ad back into the outfield grass.

Like I said, I fully appreciate the Cards and their NLCS win. I was impressed with Wacha to no end. We definitely lost and there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.  Sure, I’m consoling myself with our 6 billion (it looks better like this: 6,000,000,000) TV deal, league leading home and road attendance and already-established pre-season odds to win the World Series (bound to happen sometime). I’m doing what I can to get ready for next year.

What I am not doing is letting the Cards put a full-page ad in the LA Times that psychologically states “we had fun playing with you before we ate you.”

In fact, there’s a lesson to be learned from the Dodgers about old timey baseball, frankly the current Dodgers could learn from this to. When the Dodgers lost, it was ten seconds before our drunk ass bum mascot was in an ad saying WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR.

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And 1952 wasn’t our year either.  Old Timey is never saying die and it’s definitely saying that after the handshakes are done, we go back to our training camps and get ready to win it next year.

Really, St. Louis? You like this giant FUCK YOU in your newspaper from 3 rich guys that just took the thing you wanted most? Really? How much InBevweiser are you drinking?

Cards fans, I respect that you know the game. A part of me dies when our crowd does the wave at Chavez Ravine. I hate when people cheer at fly balls without looking to see the outfielder’s clear reaction that this is a routine pop up. I hate the DH. Look, I totally appreciate what the Cardinal Way is.

There was a Dodger Way too and Kasten is trying to get back there, home grown talent, best scouting in the league. Hell, you got a Dodger’s number retired in your stadium and that happened because we integrated baseball. We invented the box score. We invented night games. We invented most of the international scouting practices that exist (Dominican and Japan). We altered our uniforms (the red numbers) for visibility on black and white television.

We know  thing or two about Old Timey, but we know a thing or two about adapting to the future.  At no time is this Red Sox humble brag acceptable.  Your grandpa, who was old timey as fuck, would never have stood for this and he probably killed Nazis.

I don’t have a dog in the fight. My dog is cashing checks and buying more talent for the farm and for the field and we’ll line ‘em back up and see who falls next season.

But humble advice from a fan of a team with it’s own legacy of WS titles, ROYs, Cy Youngs and pennants… The first step towards “wait til next year” is calling Boston’s bluff. If this was reversed, they’d have burnt every copy of the paper in Boston and possibly tore down the arch.

Don’t let the sugar coating fool your tastebuds. This was tasteless.

And since they rubbed your nose in it, how did it smell?

St. Louis fans that agree with me (and I know you are out there), let me know in the comments so I can stand proud with my national league brothers, even if I will spend the next five months dreaming of beating you.

Don’t let Boston win off the field too. They called you quaint. They hid it behind a picture of kids. They pointed out the Midwest (and news flash, when people from the East do that, it’s like calling you “salt of the earth”). They put Stan the Man in the same sentence as Dustin fucking Pedroia. They thanked you for helping them win. They said they hope to see you in October again and that’s because lately, they beat you in October. They love you because you got picked off at first base and because like Kershaw, Wacha became human.

Politely, fuck those guys. You’re better than that. And I hate saying that to you because I hate you, but I hate you for being good which is why I am never going to thank you, but I am never going to argue your greatness. Except when you let Boston take a dump on your fans. Just because they dressed this turd up for Halloween, doesn’t change what it was.

Up to you guys. Have a short winter. See you on the diamond.

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Miami Ruling Ended My Love Affair With College Football.

I have to say I’ve seen this coming. I’ve seen it coming, but it’s just hard to believe it could actually happen. It’s like the feeling you get growing up and moving into the “adult world” and realizing there’s no set of oracles to consult. Adults, companies, doctors and lawyers make idiotic decisions, just like they did when they were still kids.

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I was the loudest voice when USC was sanctioned by the NCAA. It was too harsh, but at the time, public sentiment was in favor of it because, frankly, most people hate USC. I get why. We historically win a lot of bowls and we do it with a lot of bravado. We have beautiful Song Girls and they look a lot like the rest of the beautiful girls on campus. We’re by the mountains, we’re by the beach and as students, when people claim it’s in the hood, you laugh. You can spend $3000 buying a bottle at Hakkasan in Las Vegas and you won’t meet a better looking girl than you will on 2-for-1 night at the 9-0. To make it worse, we ended up becoming a top 25 school, which really pissed off every Big Ten and SEC school that hated us because with the exception of Michigan and Notre Dame, it’s hard to get consistently good football at a top tier school.

Basically, I get the schadenfreude that went on when we got pinched. Fuck that guy in the Beemer with a hot girl in the front seat eating Wagyu Ribeye with his steak and eggs. Fuck that guy because most of us won’t be that guy. I’m that guy. You are that guy. But most aren’t.

And I blame no one for that.

I blame the NCAA for pinning a baseless case on USC that’s lead to everything from injuries to coaching changes, just not to a losing record. We took our lumps and then we waited.

The more the NCAA was questioned for having less policy than a middle school slumber party attended by girls that hate each other, for having less ethics than, say, Nevin Shapiro and his billion dollar Ponzi scheme and the only less impartial stance than your own mother, the more I realized that until they are eradicated as an organization, there is zero hope for College Football.

Zero.

We watched them get bought, extorted, strong-armed by every school that got caught for something, anything. Nothing would happen.

Cam Newton shopping his services? Play in that bowl. Students can’t be blamed for their parents unless they are Reggie Bush’s parents.

Buckeyes selling team memorabilia? Play in that bowl. It’d totally ruin our ratings to neuter a team of that stature so close to a game. Suspend them early next year when they play cash cow games at home against Ohio and Youngstown State. When you do give them scholarship reductions, make it a player a year. Let Urban Meyer talk about how hard it is.

When Oregon pays a recruiting service that’s only service is influence over athletes from a small area of Texas and then cannot provide any of the recruiting documents that never existed in the first place, the NCAA tells them the Ducks’ proposed self-sanctions aren’t enough. Then they wait a year and slap their wrists barely.

The NCAA decided to harshly penalize Penn State for covering up a decades long sex scandal performed by one of their coaches in their own player locker rooms because it was covered up to protect football. Once the school started to fight back, the NCAA caved. Rape is better than a player’s parents taking money from an agent unrelated to USC operating out of a city some 120 miles south of campus.

All of this, and I still waited for Miami.

For those living under a rock, Miami had dozens and dozens of documented counts of improper benefits coming from Nevin Shapiro, a man now in jail for running a billion dollar ponzi scheme. These benefits weren’t the famous Ohio State hundred dollar handshakes. He was taking players out on yachts, feeding them booze and cocaine, buying them prostitutes and if necessary, paying for their abortions. How close was this man’s booster ties to the school? Well, not many of us get to do this:

I mean, I do, but I never paid players. I was a booster by actually BOOSTING MORALE.

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This case took four years to investigate. It took for years to investigate this man’s connection to the program and the events in question. It took me 30 seconds to Google Image search:

It goes on forever.  And what did Shapiro say when he laid this case on a table for the NCAA?

“I became a booster in late 2001, and by early 2002, I was giving kids gifts. From the start, I wasn’t really challenged. And once I got going, it just got bigger and bigger. I just did what I wanted and didn’t pay much mind toward the potential repercussions.”

…and later…

“I did it because I could,” he said. “And because nobody stepped in to stop me.”

That is lack of institutional control. Yet, it was the Athletic Director who oversaw Miami during the Nevin Shapiro years who was chosen to literally lead the committee on infractions against USC. Through a vendetta of USC becoming the premier power in college football, he dropped the hammer without concrete evidence. A lack of evidence that has Todd McNair’s suit against the NCAA looking like a slam dunk, currently in appeal in an effort to delay the inevitable unsealing of emails that state clearly the NCAA had “malicious intent” to pin something on USC. That already happened, the cadence just isn’t working out fast enough to protect our players who have to play with a team half the size as their opponents because the NCAA doesn’t have the guts to admit they overstepped. Overleaped. They killed a fly with a flamethrower, only the fly didn’t die. It hasn’t had a losing record yet.

Miami got off with no bowl ban, some random probations and the loss of 9 total scholarships over three years because of their “unprecedented” self sanctioning.

So there’s your answer, America. No matter how badly you fuck up, no matter how much an agent of the football team provides sex, drugs and diamonds to players, as long as you admit you were wrong and sit out a bowl game or two, you are good.

USC’s crime was telling the NCAA to fuck off. Now their crime is not suing.

The NCAA has never offered a statement on how Paul Dee, may he fester in peace, was allowed to influence, lead and ultimately coordinate the assault on USC as head of a committee the NCAA put together. There’s never been an inquiry into it. There’s been no look at their decision because the case is closed.

We can’t play with a full team. We have no built in process to force them to answer questions about Paul Dee and about how now a decade later, USC’s case is the extreme outlier thanks to the NCAA’s tail-between-the-legs approach to peeling back their sanctions on Penn State.

The NCAA is on the run. They can’t sell their “student athletes” jerseys on their site anymore. They aren’t licensing their name out. They are boarding up the doors, but for me it might be too late. Until they are gone, I can’t go beyond hoping my college beats the other college on a particular Saturday (or Thursday or Friday so they can make more money in media sales).

I can’t tell anyone in good faith that being an NCAA champion means a damn thing. Not at all. That’s because it doesn’t. It’s like being employee of the month at a bank that played the sub-prime mortgage game and almost tanked our economic system. It’s like being executive chef at a D rated restaurant.

I love USC far, far too much to root for that. So let me be clear. I’m done with college football, but not with watching USC play it. I’ll get excited to see them play their opponent and hope they win, so our team beats their team. That’s pure. Even purer when we actually can field a full team.

But I am done even caring about Rose Bowls. If we play in a Rose Bowl, great. I’ll be excited about playing whoever they trot out against us. But until the NCAA apologizes, gives a real answer about Paul Dee or is nailed for everything they are, I just don’t care what awards we win.

Not a huge deviation from what I’ve always said, but I am furious. It’s confirmation of your worst fears. There’s no one running the ship. And we need to sue for something. I don’t even know what, but if you can sue someone for handing you hot coffee and you spill it on yourself, we can sue the NCAA for what they’ve spilled on us without a hint of wanting to toss us a towel to dry off. O’Bannon is going to win and be the coolest Bruin ever, what Prefontaine is to Oregon, and we’ll get a victory. Somehow. But I want a fucking answer from them about Paul Dee. I want an answer about their process. And since I likely won’t get it, I’m watching the bare minimum of football on television. My Trojans.  Stop telling me this is an amateur sport. The only amateurs are the NCAA.

I am interested in football.

I am interested in USC football.

I am not interested in NCAA football.

And that’s because if there was ever a chance for them to make sense, it was with Miami. Game, set, don’t-give-a-fuck.

Fight on.

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ASU HATE LETTER IS ON YAHOO SPORTS TODAY INSTEAD

First of all, happy birthday to Keith, who my readers got to the Super Bowl last year.  That’s important as hell.  Click that first and learn about Keith then read more below.

Second, this week I let Yahoo Sports have my post because I can think of nothing more arrogant than letting the people who prosecuted Reggie solicit me for content.  Also, it’s fucking ASU and their audience deserves to hear my jokes about pictures like the above picture, which is easier to find via Google images than pics of the Grand Canyon.  ASU is famous for blacked out girls taking football drunk to World War Z levels.  They are the undead partiers of the desert.

I am pitted against the ASU student press and while it had it’s moments, my thesis is that ASU football doesn’t matter and this game is irrelevant regardless of outcome.  I would just be mildly amused if we won in a funny way.

First CLICK HERE and read their attempt.

Then CLICK HERE and maybe drop some comments letting the world know where you stand.

For those of you that didn’t see, it was a good week for the Bearfighter, who got a drink named for him at Ground Zero where I once saw Zion I rap and make everyone take their shoes off because it was the Temple of Hip Hop.  I later played shows there with my band back in the day.  And now, I am a strawberry cream soda drink.

Big win like the one we’re getting tomorrow.  Enjoy the Yahoo post and see you for some LIVE TWEETING during the game, the best part of the season.  Follow me at the links below and join in.

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PENN STATE SANCTION REDUCTIONS AND WHY THEY ARE ACTUALLY GOOD FOR THE WORLD.

The NCAA is a house of cards.  If you ever, ever questioned that, stop doing so and stop doing so yesterday. We’re finding out the NCAA is going to start returning scholarships back to Penn State, the school that covered up mass child raping that went on in their own locker rooms.

There’s been plenty of discussion of whether this should have been a sanctionable offense and if all the bourbon left me some memory cells, I recall my opinion is that when the severe “crimes” cited by the NCAA in most sanctions-worthy cases are “failure to monitor” and “lack of institutional control”, they apply in some way to Penn State.

I mean, they failed to monitor a horrific amount of child rape going on in their own locker room by their own coaches and pretty much covered it up for the sake of playing football, which for me, is lack of institutional control.

Since this case, and more appropriately the swinging death axe that is the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit (Go Bruins! just this once) and with the APU (all players unite) movement starting, the NCAA has largely been a paper tiger.  The Johnny Manziel suspension of “one-half” was ridiculous, both in that a player can’t sell his own autograph, but also in that it totally violates the NCAA’s bullshit rules, yet it barely was prosecuted.

How did the Cam Newton case go away in the time it took to prep for the bowl game. Same with the Terrelle Pryor situation.  Wrapped up fast, just in time for everyone to cash in on the bowl.

The NCAA is the dude from Office Space who gets fired and makes a Jump to Conclusions mat.  They are claiming they are “a people person” protecting amateurs, but in reality they only protect themselves.

With the noose tightening, with EA going at their college football game alone now, free to make deals with each school, you have to wonder about the NCAA and how fucking terrified they are.

They’ve pulled out of their big video game.  They’ve stopped selling players’ jerseys on their website (which is amazing that an organization built in the support of amateurism sells amateurs memorabilia while making it illegal for amateurs to sell their own memorabilia).  Basically, these guys are pulling out of ANYTHING that makes them look like what they are:  people persons that are hated by most people.

I don’t care if USC gets any scholarships back.  Really, at this point, we’re the heroes.  When you look at this, when you look at how it is shaking out, you realize that whenever it is we win our next national title, the stories will be ready.  “USC, who got the worst deal, the deal that first called into question at a massive level if the NCAA had any due process of sanctioning schools, has won a national title despite the best efforts of their governing body to murder them”.

Fuck their charity, refuse their shitty offer assuming one ever came, which it won’t.

To admit the obvious, that USC’s potential wrist slap ended up being a drone strike while we were asleep, would be to admit that the NCAA acted out of malice.  It would be to admit they put the now-deceased Paul Dee in charge of our witch hunt even though he was the AD of a Miami school that is still waiting for rulings on a decade’s worth of cocaine yachts, booster sponsored abortions and gifts, all caught on photo and sponsored by a man who got to run out of the tunnel with the team.

It’s about money, guys.  Shame on you reporters who claim the USC sanctions and Penn State sanctions are apples and oranges.  They are rotten fruit distributed by the same supermarket.

USC “should have known” that Reggie Bush was taking money from someone not based in Los Angeles or affiliated with USC in any way and despite total lack of evidence (see the Todd McNair anti-defamation lawsuit that he won in appellate court and now the NCAA has appealed to delay the inevitable).  The judge found the pursuit of McNair to be “malicious” and basically confirm why the process took so long to sanction us.  They had nothing, they acted maliciously to create proof they did and then when they felt like they’d get away with it, they punished us for being arrogant about calling their bluff.

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We got the worst sanctions of the era and I made money creating Arrogant Nation.  Thanks for my BMW, NCAA!

Meanwhile, Oregon pays for a “recruiting service” that has no service beyond influence with Texas players like Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James.  The NCAA rejects Oregon’s “settlement” basically saying you did way worse than what you are proposing self-sanctions for…  Then…  A year later…

A wrist slap and a “failure to monitor” charge, even though it seems impossible to fail to monitor someone you actively pay to help with recruiting.  Failure to monitor sounds like what USC should have gotten. We failed to monitor the actions between an ex-con in San Diego with no USC ties and a player’s family.  Fine.

You can’t go apples to apples on any of this because it’s all rotten fruit and the NCAA couldn’t define what an apple was if you dropped it in Washington State with a map and a drawing of a Red Delicious.

They are trying to take the heat off and I am certainly not trying to turn the heat up.  I think they are a braindead ponzi scheme and they are incapable of saving themselves.  All we have to do is wait.  It was unfortunate that our success as a football program delayed the time it took for the world to embrace the reality that we were over-penalized.  I live in fucking Oregon.  Most of the fans I meet here agree.  They now know that USC got a raw deal, even if they were glad we did.

The NCAA lost the war, but there are still battles going on and hypocrite zombies to behead.  Instead of the Bearfighter suggesting outrage over Penn State getting reduced sanctions, I humbly suggest you enjoy the show.

What you are seeing is an organization so afraid of another lawsuit that they are reducing their penalties on a school that literally harbored a decade of child rape by a coach and then former coach in their own player locker room, in the showers the team still showers in.

When you apologize to a school that got in trouble for that, you get a clear picture of where the NCAA is at.  They can’t be sued again and it’s not just about the money.  It’s about unsealing documents.  It’s about the world pulling back the curtain and seeing that these people have no process.  They have no continuity.  There aren’t standards despite what they may tell you.

I am happy for Penn State today because they have joined the battle with USC.  Any time the NCAA overextends itself, it leaves itself exposed and they are not smart enough or just enough to protect themselves from a vicious counter.

Light a cigar, pour a bourbon and revel in the sounds of the breaking wood as the tree begins to fall.

If you agree, share this post.  I don’t care what they do.  I’m just enjoying watching them struggle and expose themselves further.  They spilled the gasoline on themselves trying to protect their assets.  They are about to light their asses on fire.

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RANTING ON USC, NCAA, KIFFIN, THIS SEASON AND THE FUTURE OF THE UNIVERSE.

As you can see, this year I am bucking my normal format and spending more time live tweeting during games, the response has been insane.  Those of you that are tweeting with me, it’s been a blast.

For those asking why the new format?  Mainly, I feel like I’ve said as much as I want to say about Tempe, Arizona and Seattle after all the years covering the game.

Now, I am more interested in what is going on with the team, where is the program going and any games that are coming up where we have something to say.

Truthfully, the strangest part of this season is figuring out what goal we’re looking to achieve.  We’re the Kings of the Sanction Era officially.  The NCAA is bracing for the O’Bannon floodgate to open and has decided that all penalties will be wristslaps.  The NFL just quietly handed out 3/4 of a BILLION dollars to about 4500 former players and future law suits so they wouldn’t put the concussion issue on display any more.  EA is not doing NCAA Football anymore.  Well, they are.  But they won’t use the NCAA name.  And the SEC is out too.

Why?  Well, because they are guilty.  Anything they put their name on is just creating more people that are going to sue.  I kind of have a hard time celebrating the game in general.  I am still happy to see USC play.

Fact is, I think we fought the battle and we’ve launched the final missile.  We’re just waiting for it to explode.

We’re the martyr.  Congrats, America.  With two free hands, USC is the best boxer in the land.  With one free hand, we’re still managed to have a winning record.  Every other school has pretty much, at worse, gotten a couple fingers taped together.

I’ve had a hard time with the media story about Texas and USC falling so far.  Texas aside, because, well, let’s not talk about barbecue land because they haven’t been sanctioned.

They listed our post 2006 falling off.  A falling off that includes 3 Rose Bowl wins…  Let me stop you there.  Every school in the Pac 12 except maybe Oregon would have killed to have 3 Rose Bowl wins since 2006.

Then they go into post 2009, but no mention of the most unjust, crippling sanctions of all time.  And I know it’s all about fuck Kiffin right now, but even during these sanctioned seasons, we still won the Pac 12 South once, beat Oregon that year and probably were going to a 4th post 2006 Rose Bowl.  WSU would chop down their apple trees for that resume.  Oregon State would skin all their beavers for that resume.  Arizona State would give up all the breast implants in Tempe for that.

I’m sorry, America, but USC won the National Title for not going down after getting shot in the stomach with a howitzer.  There’s been no losing seasons.  Just disappointment at sanctions, at not being excellent every time.

I’ve taken a step back and I’m saying that even though Kiffin is probably not the guy to take us forward, he deserves a lot of love for taking a job none of our more illustrious NFL alumni would take because of sanctions (Fisher, Del Rio) and he’s kept us from falling that far, gave us some great years with Matt Barkley and Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, and basically taught the world how to dress in all white after Labor Day.

Sorry if the medicine tastes bad, but when Kiffin leaves, and likely soon, you should tip your hat.  Our team dropped off for OUR standard, not college football in general’s.  You’ve seen all the sanctions and no one, not anyone, has had anything near us despite the fact it’s hard to discern how Oregon’s “crime” was less severe than ours.  They’d agree, the rational ones that I live amongst in Oregon.  Once they realize that I wasn’t rooting for their sanctions, they realize that it’s all absurd.  All of it.

All that said, Kiffin is on the thinnest of ice with the Bearfighter.  It comes down to one thing.  It comes down to not picking a quarterback.  Kessler will probably be fine now that he’s the quarterback.  You need the growing pains.  Leinart looked like garbage in his first game, we were just so damn good we beat Auburn on the road.  His numbers were fine, but it’s easy to forget when he grew into a legend that he wasn’t 4th and 9 at Notre Dame from day one.

Not picking a quarterback is losing control of your offense.  I don’t want Jack Del Rio.  I don’t want to pretend Chris Peterson is coming.  Fuck all that noise.  The Bearfighter endorses Clancy Pendergast and his defense which will win us some big games.  This is the steely glance of you’re not ever getting in my fucking endzone.

It worked with Pete.  Defense first and then bring in some offensive coordinator who can manage to draw up valuable plays that lead to touchdowns with superior talent.  We won a lot of Rose Bowls under a lot of OCs. The reason we scored so much back then was we ALWAYS HAD THE BALL.

So chill out Arrogant Nation.  Let’s win as much as we can and stay behind the team.  It’s fun to commiserate on Twitter when our offensive game plan is bubble screening like this girl:

That said, it’s more fun to enjoy the ride because we’re going to win more Rose Bowls.  That’s a fact.  It’s history.  It’s future and not one team on earth would question it and if they did, they wouldn’t bet pink slips on it.  And they shouldn’t.  We haven’t fallen, we’ve slipped and landed on a hot girl and now we’re going to grab drinks.

Who is Utah State?  I DON’T KNOW AND I DON’T CARE.  I just want to see how our defense plays against their offense and I want Clancy to prove he’s as good as I know he is.  You can’t sanction the endzone, but we can sanction yours again.

I’ll see you on twitter RIGHT HERE tomorrow and we’ll get down.  Embrace the new format.  Embrace our new defensive set up.  Embrace Kessler and enjoy the fucking ride Trojans.  Don’t trip out.  That’s what they’d want you to do, whoever they are.  I don’t know, I don’t pay attention.

Our greatest strength is always that rooting for an 0-12 USC team is better than rooting for anyone else ever under any circumstances.  I feel like a winner every time I hear the fight song and that goes with me to work everyday.

FOR MY ON CAMPUS READERS:  My best friends, the dudes that were in my band when I was at USC are blowing up right now and they are playing at Tommy’s Place on Tuesday.  See them now before they are charging you 80 dollars to see them open for Mumford.    Here’s a video:

Here’s the details:

Relevant Details:
Date: Tuesday, 9/24
At: Tommy’s Place
Cost: FREE
Time: Show starts at 8pm – we’re on around 10pm.
Other Stuff: ALL AGES, OPEN TO PUBLIC
Address for student who are too drunk to remember where Traddy’s is: USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Pkwy, TCC 330, Los Angeles, CA, 90089-3102
Just go to the thing, I may delay my return travel to Portland to come that’s how much I enjoy it.  So go, tweet/instagram me that you did.  I’ll post it here next time I decide to tear the system an new one and celebrate Clancy.

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