Thursday, October 19, 2006

USC Bye Week: Thursday Twirl

I don’t know if I can do this Thursday Twirl thing. Really, I was only half-serious last week. After all, USC Football is 6-0 and ranked No. 2 in the BCS. Even during a buy week, there is too much going on to waste this corner of the blogosphere posting random photos of Song Girls, right?

A few Trojans have suggested that posting Song Girl photos along with Beano Cook’s name might lure the old man here, so we could properly educate him about USC Football. That would be okay, I guess. But it’s not like reading any Displaced posts will undo 80 years of being an idiot. Besides, Beano (left) would only be coming here for the pictures anyway, right?

He wouldn’t bother to read our take on David Leon Moore’s piece in yesterday’s USA Today, which provides a strong dose of reality to address all the messed up perceptions about the Trojans. Of course, Leon Moore doesn’t point out much that USC blogs and beat writers haven’t already addressed, but it’s nice to know that at least a few keepers of the east coast bias – you know, the ones like Beano who fall asleep before 11:00 pm ET – will read and learn from Leon Moore’s piece.

Certainly, Beano wouldn’t see our reference to a nice article in the Daily Trojan written by Zain Shauk, a kid one-fifth Beano’s age (given that college kids are about 20 or so) and five times as smart. We know Shauk is bright, because he points out an aspect of John David Booty’s game that we’ve all noticed, but that no one has bothered to fully examine and write about. We’ll let the kid show his skills
Is it just me, or are a lot of John David Booty's passes being batted at the line of scrimmage?

Yes, you know you've noticed it too: those crowd-deflating plays that seem to leave everyone in the stands emotionless and confused.

It happened on the second play of Saturday's win over Arizona State, when Booty snapped the ball, then took three quick steps back before firing it off the arm of a defensive tackle.

You quietly turned to the person next to you, then shrugged and turned back to the silence on the field.

It happened later in the game too, when a ball glanced off the arm of ASU defensive end Dexter Davis and into the hands of cornerback Keno Walter-White, who scampered up the sideline for a frustrating touchdown.

You weren't as emotionless after that play.
Shauk goes on to illustrate how and why Booty’s passes seem to be batted down more than those of USC’s two previous quarterbacks. The kid does this through analysis and quotes from Trojan QB coach Steve Sarkisian and Seattle Seahawks QB coach Jim Zorn, as well as Booty himself. These sources break down the ins and outs of the issue, including the distance and quickness of Booty’s three-step drop, his height and release point, and his ability to find throwing lanes.

As a Daily Trojan veteran and a graduate of the USC School of Journalism (now part of the Annenberg Center for Communications), it makes me proud to see such fine work from young Shauk. This is an excellent little piece of journalism that could teach old man Beano a thing or two.

Lastly, it is possible that Beano would catch on his own yesterday’s Myrtle Beach Sun News, which had a column written by Steve Moore describing a blog that answers an amusing question, “If your favorite college football team were a superhero, which superhero would it be?” Moore wrote:
"The Church of Albert," a sports blog devoted to "analysis, commentary and humor on Florida Gators football and basketball," has some fun with the idea. The blog casts Michigan as Wolverine (obvious), Notre Dame as Superman (peaked in the 20th century) and Miami as Luke Cage (a thug who can wring some necks).

As for USC and UCLA, would you believe ... the Incredible Hulk and She Hulk?

The blog explains: "The Incredible Hulk is an unstoppable force of nature that you do not want to get angry. He sometimes turns into a meek little man that gets pushed around for a little while, but eventually the Hulk bursts out and separates arms from shoulders.

"USC often puts forward meek-scientist-type efforts for three quarters, followed by a city-destroying fourth quarter that puts opponents away."

Riffing on UCLA, the blog continues: "Lots of Superheroes have a female version of themselves that no one takes seriously. She Hulk fills that role for the Hulk, and since USC is the Hulk ..."
This is kind of funny in a nerdy way. But what’s not funny, and certainly not nerdy, is that Moore provides no hyperlink to the blog he describes. Even worse, a Google search on “church of albert” and a click on reveals no such post.

I checked five times, clicking all over Albert's blog … nothing.* I know Moore doesn’t work for the New York Times, but perhaps he should read a post that can be found on Albert’s blog titled “It’s called Fact-Checking.”

Of course, without visiting us Beano would be completely lost, lacking the benefit of the warning we provided here. Perhaps without our help, he would lose his faith in these internets and never come back. Hmmm …

But, I digress …

* If Albert's site has changed since I published this post, or if you can find the super heroes, please let me know, and I’ll apologize to Mr. Moore. Until then, he’s an idiot.


JOHN said...

Noticed those batted passes myself. Think it's cuz Leinart was taller and put more air under his. Also, last year's line was a little stiffer and opposing teams feared the running game.

That, and everything Booty throws, he throws on a rope.

P.S. Thanks for the Songgirls.

Displaced Trojan said...

Agreed. Leinart was taller, probably even more so than the heights listed on the roster. Plus, it seems like Matt stands up more straight when he throws.

Booty's performance thus far (albeit good), coupled with what Leinart showed Monday night, has me thinking that even us Trojans took him for granted a little bit, especially last year.

Tim Kraft said...

Go here for the superhero post:

Displaced Trojan said...


Excellent. Thank you. I also figured out that you can find it by clicking Albert's October archive and scrolling down to Oct. 3.

But, thanks for the link.

So, my apologies to Mr. Moore.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I write Church of Albert. Thank you for the link and pointing out an article that mentioned it without a direct link. The reason the Superhero article wasn't on the front page of the blog is because I wrote it weeks ago, but it was just recently Farked. So inbetween my writing it and Moore noticing it, I had plenty of time to fill the front page with less interesting crap.

Still, it would have been nice for him to provide a direct link to the article if he was going to quote from it. That said: it hardly matters, my potential readership is pretty narrow (rabid nerdy gator fans who don't mind sloppy grammar), and his neglect hardly changes anything.

Again, thanks, and good luck.

Displaced Trojan said...


You are welcome. Glad to call out anyone who doesn't know how to link to good stuff on the Web.

Keep up the great work.