Thursday, September 25, 2008

Game Day: Oregon State 2008

Wait a minute … it’s game day today? With all the stupid stuff going on, not to mention the fools continuing to make fools of themselves, it's easy to lose track.

I forgot it was a short week, until Beano sent me a little reminder. It was a handwritten letter – Beano doesn’t type – which made it a little hard to read. But apparently he is very excited that USC will again be featured on national prime time television for a game that promises to require many shots of the sideline in order to keep viewers entertained during the second half.

Here’s what I could decipher from Beano's note:
Dear Mr. Displaced Trojan,

May I remind you that your Trojans of USC are scheduled to play a football game against the Oregon State Beavers on ESPN tomorrow night? As tomorrow is Thursday, I am very excited to know that the Song Girls will be in attendance. I’m hoping for a blowout, which would ensure maximum sideline coverage. You know, I live for this stuff, so I’m hoping you will post some good stuff, if you understand my meaning.


Your Friend Beano
So, there you have it. Thursday night. USC Football with all the trimmings. Have fun with it, Beano.

Fight On! Beat the Beavers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Game Week: Reality Update

I know we're back in game week mode, but I can't help but be entertained by the "nation" and its musings about reality. Reality this ... Reality that ... Reality there, there and there … the "nation" is indeed attempting to soothe its wound – this open, bleeding, puss-filled gash – that is ucla’s 2008 football season. And as a Trojan enjoying yet another year of football greatness, Slick Rick’s “believers” are an amusing sideshow.

I know, I know. There is plenty of other stupid stuff to entertain Trojan fans.

But there’s something about the "nation" falling all over itself in an attempt to validate Slick Rick in the face of 59-0 that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING. The way they squirm while trying to protect what they think is a football heritage – with a twisted “I told you so” delusional validation – is incredibly funny. For example, we get this from Nestor:
… the “optimistic” projection for our first three games was a record of 1-2 while 0-3 was the “conservative” one. […] I think it is becoming clear to everyone at this point that the appropriate measuring stick to judge whether this season is a successful one is not going to be based on W-L record.
LOL. Success “not … based on win-loss record”? What’s so funny is this comes from someone who claims to “deplore moral victories.” Of course, anyone who isn’t biting reality – that is, anyone not part of the “nation” – recognizes this for what it is. Just like our old friend Tydides:
If you believe that what happened today [59-0] is a result of something that we did or did not do, then yes, these are excuses. If you believe that what happened is a result of what BYU did and didn’t do, then these are just realities that we have to accept.

I think it’s easier for Bruin fans to believe the former, because at least that way we have a chance at “fixing” it and still having a great season. The reality is some mixture of both …
Now that’s profound. But, of course, it comes down to that pesky win-loss thing.
Sure, it points to a higher probability of a lesser season by W-L standards, but as has been said many times, I do not judge this season on Wins and Losses.
Right. Let’s forget about wins and losses. Perhaps, if this “nation” tells itself that it just doesn’t matter and “I told you so” over and over and over, it might lower expectations just enough to convince the rest of college football to subscribe to its delusions. But everyone knows this kind of “strategery” only works in the movies.

BTW, what's with all the names from Greek mythology at the "nation"? Menelaus, Telemachus. Tydides. Nestor. Are USC Trojans supposed to be intimidated by the names of mythological characters who defeated the fictional Trojans in the Iliad? It seems ironic – not to mention idiotic and sad in a D&D geek kind of way – that the "nation" uses fiction to get their digs on USC. Why use a name based on anti-Trojan sentiment, when they could just as easily create monikers that express allegiance to ucla? Why can't they just use their real names? But I digress …

Those of us who are actually dealing with (and enjoying) reality – rather than just talking about a biased version of it – are seeing signs that there are very few people buying what the “nation” and, more significantly, what Slick Rick is selling. We saw it earlier this year with the No. 1 recruit in the nation, and we saw it again this past week. Greg Biggins of ESPN’s West Recruiting Blog, gives us the kind of reality the “nation” doesn’t want to hear:
The "soft" commitment from Inglewood (Calif.) receiver Shaquelle Evans to USC is huge on several fronts. Not only are the Trojans getting one of the elite receivers in the West, it puts a dagger in to the heart of their cross-town rivals at UCLA.

Evans, 6-1, 205 pounds, told us just a few weeks ago UCLA was the leader for his signature. He grew up a Bruins fan and the coaches at UCLA were making Evans their top offensive recruit. While USC is loaded at receiver, the Bruins have lacked a big-play threat at the position for years and Evans was/is really the only elite national receiver they're currently in on.

Things changed dramatically with Evans following USC's demolition of Ohio State last weekend. The talented athlete was on the sidelines for the game, and the fact that the big win coincided with UCLA losing to BYU 59-0 pushed the Trojans over the top.
If you don’t think 59-0 – that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING – is something that can be explained away by a bunch of “I told you so” blog posts, you’re not paying attention to reality. We're talking about the actual reality, as opposed to the “nation” reality. Sure, Evans’s commitment is “soft,” but as Biggins points out …
… it's difficult to envision Evans signing with anyone else other than USC. The receiver has developed a relationship with several of the Trojans commitments, including quarterback Matt Barkley. He said he likes the idea of staying close to home and the team on the field appears to be rolling toward yet another BCS Bowl.

The irony is as good as Evans is, USC has several players just like him on the roster plus two other big-time receiver prospects already committed. For UCLA, Evans would have made its class.

Now we're not saying Pete Carroll and company recruited Evans just to keep him away from UCLA. We are saying the impact of his commitment to USC could have a greater impact on the Bruins than the Trojans in just how damaging it is in their desire to end the recruiting monopoly in Los Angeles Troy currently owns.
Now that’s what I call reality! We Are SC!

Fight On!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bye Week: Speaking of Reality

As we’ve mentioned here before, a bye week is a respite from the hype and anticipation of a regular game week. It also allows us to thoroughly enjoy the previous week’s win, and there is certainly much to enjoy coming off our domination of Ohio State.

Over the last few days we’ve had the pleasure of reading and hearing about the confirmed greatness of USC Football … how this year’s team could be Pete Carroll’s best, how our talent runs so ridiculously deep, how Mark Sanchez is a leading Heisman candidate, etc., etc.

Honestly, it gets kind of boring after a while. Not that we take anything for granted, but the greatness of USC Football is something we’ve been enjoying for years now – Win Forever – and there does come a point when it all starts to sound the same.

So, we remind ourselves that a bye week is also good for catching up on what’s happening on the other side of the tracks. Again, we must always remember to know thy enemy.

Now, I’m not pretending that we didn’t notice how ucla was stripped of its manhood during a 59-0 – that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING – reality check by the Mormons in Provo. How could we not?

But we didn’t bother to thoroughly investigate the details of 59-0 – that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING. And we certainly haven’t bothered to enjoy – that is, laugh and point at – all the PR spin and attempts to insult our intelligence during the post-game back-tracking from Slick Rick and the “nation” per Murshed. We haven’t taken the time, while basking in our own post-game glow, to notice the fools making fools of themselves again … until now.

The thing is, the funny stuff written about all the stupid stuff was easy to spot. No need to make up a catchy line or a play on Slick Rick’s words coming back to make him look silly. Chris Foster of our beloved Los Angeles Times did it for us:
Relentlessly optimistic ran into harsh reality Saturday.

There may come a day when the football monopoly in Los Angeles is over, but for now UCLA has enough trouble passing "Go."

An embarrassing 59-0 loss to Brigham Young was a big indication of that, and left first-year Coach Rick Neuheisel offering up his favorite catch phrase in a different light.

"We're going to test 'relentlessly optimistic,' " Neuheisel said after UCLA's worst loss since 1929. "But we knew it would be tested."

It was Saturday.

Tested and failed.
Ouch … or rather, LOL. Of course ucla’s even worse loss in 1929 was a 76-0 annihilation by USC. But I digress …

Notice the words “we knew” in that quote from Slick Rick. They “knew” this kind of thing – that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING – would happen. Just ask Nestor at the “nation.” He’ll tell you all about what ucla “knew” until he’s baby blue in the face, as if “knowing” ucla was going to get beat 59-0 – that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING – somehow lessens the disgrace.
We talked about the doses of reality we were going to have to deal with this year during the off season with a team with two injured QBs, a ravaged OL and an inexperienced defense with new starters sprinkled all over its lineup.
Oh, and did I mention all the excuses that apparently go along with “knowing” you’re going to be humiliated 59-0 – that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING – when you’re a member of the “nation”? But, I digress …
It’s not a surprise that we took one in the chin. […] This will be not be the last time we are going to take it in the chin either. There will be lot more tough moments rest of this season.
“This will be not be”? Anyway, it is obvious Nestor is trying to rally the “nation” to believe in its football program … I mean, brace for more embarrassment and disgraceful outcomes this season. That’s fine with me.

What I don’t get is how the “best coaching staff in America” allows 59-0 – that’s fifty-nine-to-NOTHING – to happen on their watch. It would be one thing if DeWayne Walker struggled during a 59-42 barn burner. And it would be somewhat understandable if Trader Chow offensively coordinated a close 17-13 defeat. But to get beat down to the point of humiliation on both sides of the ball – for Walker to allow five (5) TDs in the 2nd quarter and for Chow to put up a pathetic goose egg – well, I would hate to see what the second best coaching staff in the country can do ... or can't do, as it were.

All I know is, our man Pete Carroll lost by more than 11 points only once – 27-16 to the Domers during his first season in 2001 – the only double-digit defeat during his tenure.

That’s the reality of USC Football. We’re No. 1.

Meanwhile, we’ll let the “nation” and Slick Rick talk about filling a “passion bucket” and remaining “relentlessly optimistic” in order to declare that this “monopoly is over.” And, we’ll occasionally remind ourselves of the public promises “the best coaching staff in the United States” has made:

Know thy enemy.

We Are SC!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post-Game: Ohio State 2008

I work with this guy who grew up in Columbus, OH, but didn’t bother to go to “the” Ohio State University. He’s a graduate of one of those little eastern schools with a name that sounds like all the others – you know, Williams or Hamilton or Middlebury or Leland. Of course, Leland isn’t a real school but the fictional place where Alex P. Keaton went off to college after growing up in Columbus. Of course, Columbus is a real place, but we can’t be sure about the college football team that plays there. It can be kind of confusing sometimes when reality is mixed with fiction. But I digress …

Even through my colleague went to a school in the northeast, he remains an ardent Buckeye fan. So, early last week he offered to bet me on last Saturday’s game.

“I know the Buckeyes are 10-point underdogs, but I want to make this a straight up bet, because I know we’re gonna win,” he told me. Of course, I respected his delusional allegiance to Ohio State, but more than anything I didn’t have the heart to tell him it really didn’t matter what he thought.

“Sure,” I said, because I was, in fact, sure of the outcome. “What are you thinking in terms of stakes?” I figured he could come up with whatever it was he was going to pay, since there was no risk to me. It only seemed fair.

“Well,” he said, “how about the loser has to wear the jersey of the winner for week.”


“And, you have to wear a hat of the other team,”

By “you” I figured he meant him, of course. So, again I said, “OK.”

He continued, “And you have to sing the other team’s fight song.”

“Sounds good. I’ll take that bet. Anything else?”

“Hmmm. And the jersey needs to be two sizes too small.”

Now, this guy is not a small guy, and since I’m not one to intentionally embarrass my work colleagues undeservedly, I thought I’d try to let him off the hook a bit.

“Are you sure you want to bet all this?” I asked earnestly.

“Absolutely,” he said with a knowing chuckle. “My wife has an OSU jersey that will look great on you.”

I laughed along as I began to realize that this bozo actually believed Ohio State would … not just could, but would … win the game. So, I decided to take the gloves off just a little.

“You know, on second thought, I think we should raise the stakes a bit,” I said. “I won’t enjoy hearing you butcher USC’s fight song, so why don’t we decide that the loser has to sing the fight song of their hated rival.”

“Oh, that’s a great suggestion,” said the sucker … I mean, my colleague.

Of course, we all know what happened Saturday. And I’m sure many in the Trojan Family enjoyed the spoils of friendly office bets similar to mine. It was great to see my broken colleague (right*) singing in honor of USC in front of the whole office: “Hail to the Victor.”

Indeed, it’s fun when reality – that is, the current greatness of USC Football – is mixed with the fiction of our opponents’ delusional self-confidence. For us there is no confusion, whatsoever … We Are SC!

* Buckeye's face obscured to protect whatever dignity he has left.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Game Day: Ohio State 2008

Too much hype. Too much talk. There’s nothing left to it but to do it. Beanie or no Beanie, it doesn’t matter.

We are SC!

Win Forever!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Who Says 'To Hell' These Days?

This is a great week. Not only is USC at the center of the college football universe leading into our “biggest game of the season,” but people are saying stupid stuff all over the nation, which of course I find inspiring.

Sure, we’ve already seen some really stupid stuff before this week, but you tend to appreciate it more when the stupid stuff comes from a hated, albeit respected enemy.

Again, we’ve been away for a while, so I’ll clarify the Displaced take … USC has two primary enemies: Notre Dame, which is hated but deserves a level of respect, and ucla, which is hated and deserves no respect, at all. But I digress …

Not only is Charlie Weis (above) still struggling to figure out this head coaching thing, he remains clueless about how to keep his foot out of his mouth. It’s bad enough that his reputation as an offensive genius is turning out to be merely offensive to Domer fans, but his messed up sense of humor is dragging the Domers down further.

The AP serves up the backstory and the ensuing stupidity:
[Weis] was talking about his expectations for this season, saying his team would make a statement in its opening game against San Diego State.

"Then we'll listen to Michigan have all their excuses as they come running in and saying how they have a new coaching staff and there's changes. To hell with Michigan.” …

Weis said he knew his comment would come up this week. ...

"Anyone who is a Michigan fan should know and understand that that comment pays respect to Bo and his mentality versus when playing an opponent," he said. "So take it for what it's worth. But I think that's a very respectful comment toward Coach Bo's 'To hell with Notre Dame.'"
Actually, anyone who is a college coach should know that Michigan’s players (who weren’t more than four years old when Schembechler retired after the 1990 Rose Bowl) couldn’t care less about the Crew Cut’s historical tribute. “To hell with Michigan!” That’s all they’ll hear.

So, I have to ask: How can this stupid stuff continue to happen after more than three years? I ask only because I want USC’s wins over the Domers to mean something again. We can’t have our storied rivalry be tarnished like this by a loud mouth who does so little (three wins) with so much talent.

I can hear my anonymous Domer friend now … “To hell with Charlie Weis!” he says.

Anyway, I can’t wait until Saturday, and I’m hoping against all hope that Beanie Wells will play. We want no excuses.

Speaking of Beanies, I got a note from Beano this week. He said he noticed that we were posting here again and that Thursdays weren’t the same for him while we were out.

I apologized for the long break and said, “Well, Beano ... We’re Back!”

Beano’s response? “That’s awesome. To hell with Scott Wolf!”

Win Forever!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Southern Inferiority Complex: 2008 Edition

This college football season is not yet three weeks old, and already we see the Southern Inferiority Complex emerging from yet another highly-ranked SEC team. I guess the whining and crying, while beating up on 1-AA programs, isn’t exclusive to Tommy Tuberville and Les Miles. Mark Richt is getting into the act, as well.

Again, we’ve been away a while, so let’s review:

The Southern Inferiority Complex is a second cousin to the Domer Hype Machine, which is of course closely related to the east coast bias. Together these three subversive movements make up the larger Axis of East Coast Bias. But, I digress …

Apparently stunned and feeling under-appreciated in the wake of Georgia’s fall to No. 2 – following its home field 45-21 practice game versus Georgia Southern, and in comparison to USC’s road win at Virginia – Richt began monitoring SportCenter highlights looking for reasons to blame others, in case the Bulldogs do not fulfill their “destiny.”

Andrew Dasher of gives us the scoop:
Running back Knowshon Moreno was a hot topic of conversation during this week's teleconference with Georgia coach Mark Richt.

Moreno's 18 carry, 168-yard, three-touchdown effort in Saturday's 56-17 win over Central Michigan obviously wowed the sellout crowd at Sanford Stadium, but it was his hurdle of Chippewa safety Vince Agnew to complete a 29-yard run that dropped jaws.
OK. Let’s stop it right here. Who the hell is Knowshon Moreno? And, more importantly, who are the Central Michigan Chippewas? Oh, that’s right. They’re another no-name school against which Craig Sheppard could complete a “three-touchdown effort.” Who is Craig Sheppard? Exactly. But, I digress …
It was a play that Georgia fans will no doubt be talking about for quite a while, but it was one that many in the country watching ESPN did not get to see except for a brief glance during a quick preview of the Bulldogs highlights to come following a commercial break. Knowshon Moreno's hop over Vince Agnew wasn't the highlight fans thought it should be.

When the network did its Top 10 plays, Moreno's highlight was not included. Richt was asked about the omission.

"I think they missed the boat or didn't do their homework or something," Richt said. "Normally they do a good job with that, so it looks like somebody would have noticed that. It didn't make their highlights, but it's going to make ours for a long time."

A representative from ESPN's local online affiliate claimed that FOX did not put the highlight in its highlight package to other networks.

"You're kidding me," Richt said. "OK, so you're throwing FOX under the bus. I threw you under the bus now you're throwing FOX under the bus. That's the way it works."
If anybody should be thrown under any bus (figuratively, of course), it’s Richt. Who does he think he is … Roone Arledge? Perhaps if he did his “homework or something” he’d knowshon that much of the sports media knowshons that hurdling a Chippewa is hardly a challenge. Try hurdling this … or this … or this … then we’ll talk about highlights.

And while you’re at it, try doing it more than once, in a big game, against a rival program, on national primetime television. Then maybe we’ll all see Georgia’s highlights on ESPN, and we’ll knowshon who Knowshon is.

Until then, Richt should concentrate on the task at hand, rather than trying to make a mountain out of a Chippewa. Trust us, we know.

Beat the Buckeyes!