Friday, May 18, 2007

UCLA’s “100” Championships

I thought I could make it to August without a single Displaced post. I was content to slumber through March and April without a care during Florida’s run to another basketball championship, not to mention USC’s Sweet 16 showing. I was thinking I could let USC Spring Football and the NFL Draft slide by as I continued my rest until the Trojans begin another season atop the college football world. But, I was wrong …

Instead, the “nation” and its fearless (read shameless) leader Mr. Zaheed … I mean, “Nestor” … thought they could make a big deal out of ugla supposedly winning its 100th national collegiate championship in a team sport.

At least two things struck me about this.

First, ugla won its “100th” championship in women’s water polo. That’s right, women’s water polo. Like many of its other championships -- 22 in men’s and women’s volleyball, 16 in men’s tennis -- the “nation” stakes claim to a “national” title in a secondary sport that no one really cares about.

However, since we here know enough to give credit where credit is due, a “national championship” as recognized by the NCAA is, in fact, a national championship. So, we’ll give the Lady Bruins water polo team as much as they deserve.

That said, what also struck me about all this was how -- in typically hypocritical and convenient ignorance -- “Nestor” and his “nation” forgot the fact that this win by the ugla women’s water polo team was actually the 101st time an ugla team had raised a “national” championship trophy.

As “Nestor” continues to post disparaging, biased remarks about the integrity of USC Football, he somehow forgets that ugla’s softball team was actually stripped of the national title it “won” in 1995. This for enrolling a ringer -- named Tanya Harding (above), of all scandalous monikers -- for one half season and one academic quarter, which she never finished. “A lack of institutional control” was how the NCAA officially described it.

Not only was the ugla softball team stripped of its title, it was also stripped of scholarships, placed on probation for three years and disallowed from playing in the 1997 post-season.

We’re not talking about alleged violations, about which the coaching staff or the school knew nothing. These are violations proven as fact, which resulted in near-death penalty punishment of a celebrated ugla sports team.

Typically, all this happened in 1995, while “Nestor” was a student at ugla. Just another example of the master of selective memory and hypocrisy at work. Speaking of work, what does “Nestor” do for a living? Does anybody know?

Anyway, I wouldn’t have had to write this post had anyone else remembered in any significant way that the 1995 UCLA softball team was, in fact, a fraud and a lousy bunch of cheaters.

But, perhaps this Displaced Trojan was never meant to sleep through three straight months. Maybe it’s time to get ready for the 2007 USC Football season. So much for the summer slumber …
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Song Girl Natalie Says: Farewell

WeAreSC.com does a nice job conducting what it calls “exit interviews” with outgoing senior football players. I like reading them because they help fill time between Signing Day and Spring Football, while also confirming that current student-athletes are learning what it means to be part of the Trojan Family.

However ... WeAreSC took a detour yesterday to interview (so to speak) Natalie Nelson about her thoughts (so to speak) regarding her career as a USC Song Girl. It was titled: “Exit Interview: Natalie.”

Of course, Beano read the article and cried. Me? I just about fell asleep.

No disrespect to the interviewer David Chung, but this is the fluffiest fluff piece that has ever been fluffed. In fact, the piece is so fluffy that Chung never mentions Nelson’s last name, as if she’s some sort of character in a reality TV show.

Not that we should expect much in the way of hard hitting issues here, but Chung could have asked Nelson at least a few questions that incorporate the words "bad timing” or “wedgy” ... just to keep things interesting.

After all, Nelson has been the quintessential (if not stereotypical) USC Song Girl for the last couple of years. She’s been a co-captain of the squad. She dated a captain of the football team, linebacker Dallas Sartz. She’s the daughter of Song Girl coach Lori Nelson. She's performed through injuries. She was on the cover of Los Angeles Magazine (left), and she’s posed toward the center of most Song Girl group photos, because -- let’s be honest -- she’s a strikingly beautiful blond who looks great in a Song Girl sweater and skirt.

However ... she is also responsible for this, ...


... and she is the inspiration for this ...


... and this, ...


... which subsequently led to these, ...



... the production of this, ...

... and the over-exposure (so to speak) of this ...


Not to mention her attendance in Senora Ross’s “Spanish III” class.

Yes, we know Nelson isn’t directly responsible for the “wedgy,” but she certainly set the precedent for the college football blogger geek frenzy that resulted from it.

Of course, we’re not complaining about this stuff. We always laugh with the Song Girls, not at them. So, again, you’d think Chung could ask at least one question that doesn’t read like a double pompom over the head waving thing (so to speak).

Instead, to her credit, Nelson mentioned her “bad timing” in response to Chung’s 31st fluffy question. This created the only part of the Q&A worth reading:
WEARESC: What are the toughest parts of being a Song Girl and what will you take out of it after you leave USC?

NN: One of the toughest things was definitely the Photoshopping. It was hard to see myself that way because none of the referees hands are up and I’m just there trying to get the crowd pumped up because everyone in the stands was nervous we were going to lose because they were right in front of us. What’s disappointing for me is that I really know football, maybe even more than anyone on the squad. I’ve grown up around football and I know the sport. It was hard because I know the sport and the picture was just taken at the wrong place, wrong time, and then Photoshopped.
“Photoshopped.” It almost makes you feel sorry for Nelson, if not for her other answers about focusing on a modeling career, doing charity work -- and anything else she might have said before I fell asleep -- all of which tells us that she’ll never have to hold down a real job … ever.

“Such is the life” (as Nestor puts it) of a infamous USC Song Girl. Just another thing to make the jealous “nation” more jealous … and bring Beano to tears.

Fight On!
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USC Hockey: It's All Fun and Games ...

Part of the fun of writing a blog is pointing out stupid stuff. Of course, it's funny when that stuff is perpetrated by the domers or the bruins. But, we’re by no means above (or below) mentioning any funny/stupid stuff that happens within the Trojan Family.

Take the curious case of USC hockey goalie Mickey Meyer. I say “curious” not because “USC” and “hockey” seem to form an oxymoron, but because Meyer, apparently playing out some sort of Slap Shot fantasy, decided it would be funny, if not appropriate, to show his bare ass to everyone during a 6-4 loss to BYU.

Now, if you’re in shock upon hearing this, you’re not alone … I too had no idea that USC had a hockey team. Turns out the “Ice Trojans” have their own Web site, play in the hockey Pac-8, and have won the league championship two years running. In fact, USC Hockey has won seven Pac-8 Championships, including four in a row, 2000-2003. But, I digress …

For an account of Meyer’s behavior there is a second-hand report from the AP or Utah’s Herald-Journal:
Mickey Meyer, the Trojan’s starting goalie, pulled his hockey pants down and exposed his buttocks during the final period of an afternoon game against BYU, according to reports.

Meyer, a junior from Clinton, N.Y., was ejected from the regional tournament game and cited by police. North Park Police Sgt. John Italasano said the County Attorney’s Office will now decide whether to criminally prosecute Meyer.

“To be honest with you, I really don’t know (why I did it),” he said. “I had my fill of these refs. ... I thought I’d take a little more control on our side.”
Of course, this stupid stuff is tailor-made for a site like Deadspin, which came through with a nice take.
Meyer is also the goalie who stopped a puck with his head in a 5-3 win over UCLA on Jan. 19. The Trojans play in the Pac-8 Conference, which they won this year, and from what we understand each player is required to put up more than $1,000 of his own money to participate. So we think Mickey earned his little moment.
Surprisingly (or not), ugla “nation” regular “Menelaus” chimed in, jumping at the chance to make some hay. But he, like Deadspin, missed the opportunity to point out the truly funny and/or disgustingly embarrassing element of Meyer’s stunt.

Thanks to the Sports Column blog, which took the time to read through comments left on the Herald-Journal post, we get this:
While the antics might have played well in Socal […] the folks in Utah are upset over the incident. Here is the last reader comment from the article:
“I've read a few of the comments since I explained that my little girls were shocked by what he did. When he "mooned" us, he showed us more than his behind (every one who was there knows what I mean). We're going to make sure that he is prosecuted and that he pays for what he did.”
Yikes. On everyone's parts.
Now, that’s offensive, inappropriate and something to be embarrassed about. Leave it up to us to point this out to the likes of “Menelaus” … but what the hell? We’re talking about freakin’ hockey … club-sport hockey … at USC.

As Allen Iverson says, “We talkin’ about [USC Hockey], man. I mean, how silly is that? … We talkin’ about [hockey], man. What are we talkin’ about, [USC Hockey]?

Fight On!

UPDATE: Ramona Shelburne of the L.A. Daily News adds this: "After Meyer skated off, he was replaced by - no joke - Matt Buttweiler."

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Jealous "nation" Attacks

As we’ve said here before, it’s funny when fools make fools of themselves, but perhaps it’s even funnier when they simmer in their own jealousy for everyone on the internets to see.

Apparently, it wasn’t enough last week for the “nation” to criticize its own amateur student “journalists.” They had to attack a sports writer from USC, as well. The difference being Arash Markazi is a professional journalist for SI.com, and he was writing about the emergence of USC “basketball.”

As usual, whenever anything threatens to expose its blind paranoia, the "nation" takes offense.

Never mind that Markazi is one of many, many journalists to notice the “Trojan Uprising” in hoops, the ever articulate “Tydides” decided to jump all over Markazi, accusing him of writing a biased piece.
There's another trOJan apologist on the loose, and he needs to be set straight.

As some of us are aware, SI.com's Arash Markaz is a trOJan alumnus, so it should come as no surprise that he is doing his best to turn lemons into lemonade, doing what he and his school does best: spin. […]

It's embarrassing that these writers try to devalue the only aspect of the game that truly matters: the final score.
As we all know, everyone is entitled to an opinion … but for the ugla “nation” this only applies when the opinion is in line with Nestor’s internal reality. But, I digress …

Actually, the most embarrassing part of the post by "Tydides" is classic “nation” stuff -- you know, the fool making a fool of himself sort of thing -- the kind of moronic humor that can only be delivered through the ironic hypocrisy that occurs at the “nation” on a daily basis. Quoting Markazi, our buddy “Tydides” writes:
Seriously, our conference is full of morons, from Marcus the Mouth, all the way to these two trOJan jackass (to borrow a term from N) "surrender monkeys".
"That's having more of a winning mentality," says Aaron [sic] Afflalo. "We know we have to do what we need to do to win a game."
The name's ARRON, Jackass [sic] Markaz. He's a Wooden award finalist, and probable favorite for Pac 10 POY. But his words are the bottom line. We know how to win a game. SUC does not. Spin that.
The funny part? While “Tydides” is attacking “Markaz” for spelling Arron Afflalo’s name incorrectly -- although one could argue that Afflalo misspells his first name every time he writes it – "Tydides" is also showing himself to be the fool he is by misspelling Markazi’s name … all this in a single five-word sentence.

Really, you can’t make this stuff up. It’s almost unbelievable, and yet it’s right there in the blogosphere for all to see. Sure, “Tydides” might tell us that misspelling Markazi’s name was intentional, but we know he’s not that smart. He even misuses a parenthetical “sic” in an apparent attempt to add sarcasm to his tired name calling. Pathetic.

Why all the hate for Markazi? Pure bruin jealousy is the guess here. Not only is Markazi free to write articles about his alma mater for a major publication and get paid for it, he also leads the kind of life the “nation” can only dream about.

We know this because the “nation” continually attempts to convince itself that ugla is “cool” by posting photos suggesting that bruins (even a sorry juggler) get “mad action,” as Nestor puts it. An example is a picture of Lorenzo “Pretty Boy” Mata sitting poolside among women with a certain “don’t-touch-me” body language

Again, we’ll let the “nation” speak for itself:
Yes this is our Mata. The Dude is so money. And look at him. He knows it:
Such is the life of a Ben Ball warrior.
Look at Mata, indeed. The “nation” gives a hat tip to Insomniac’s Lounge, which has a slightly different take on the poolside Mata. Regardless, if this is Nestor’s idea of “action” … well, who knows what kind of life the “nation” leads?

USC on the other hand has a full photo spread of the Trojan Marching Band with SI swimsuit models who aren’t afraid to touch them, in the most popular magazine issue of the year, no less.

And it wasn’t just a band geek thing. Back in August, when the Swimsuit photos were shot at USC, Markazi chronicled his “action,” as Nestor calls it, for SI.com. AOL’s Fanhouse over the weekend reminded us of Markazi’s account of the shoot.
Having graduated from USC two years ago and being the lone Trojan in the group of about a dozen photographers, assistants, make-up artists and editors, I lead the crew down from The Standard to campus, still somewhat surprised that there will be an SI Swimsuit shoot a few feet away from Chano's Drive Inn and the 901 Club as I drove down Figueroa Street. […]

There are probably a laundry list of reasons why hanging out with models is good way of passing the time (I highly recommend it if you have the means).
Obviously, Markazi has the means … or rather the luck. Either way, the point here is that if hanging out and taking photos with hot women is the measure of cool, USC has ugla beat, hands down. We know this criteria is trivial, but we’re not the ones overcompensating for shortcomings. We know it’s all fun and games.

Nevertheless, “such is the life,” as Nestor phrased it, of USC Band geeks and a graduate of the USC journalism program. Of course this, combined with the national attention of the “Trojan Uprising” in hoops, doesn’t sit well with the “nation,” which explains its attack on Markazi. (Note the correct spelling).

We know thy enemy … and they’re just so jealous.

Fight On!
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The ucla bruin Instinct

As we’ve stated here before, it is important to know thy enemy. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we must always engage in debate with our enemies, especially when they don’t want any.

But, we should know what they’re up to at all times, if for no other reason than the comedic value and general entertainment it provides us. Besides, you never know when they'll do something stupid, however frequently that may be.

Such is the case with the bruin “nation,” which continues to show a proclivity for attacking its own.

As it turns out, this ugla instinct is true to the nature of actual bruin bears, which -- according to at least one hunting Web site -- attack their own in the wild as a way of “population control.” An entry on “Calling and Hunting Bears” tells us that "adult male bears will kill cubs if given the chance ..." But, I digress …

Sure, we’re used to seeing the “nation” personally attack its head football coach and anyone else (especially fellow bruins) who don’t subscribe to its narrow points of view. But, last week, Nestor -- no, I will not post his real name again -- and his clan decided to attack a young bruin cub named Ben Azar, an ugla student who writes for the Daily Bruin.

Azar’s offense? He dared to disagree with dumpdorrell.com:
The dumpdorrell.com Web site has criticized Dorrell for every reason imaginable, including poor in-game coaching, failure to take responsibility, inability to recruit and insincerity. It makes some ridiculously baseless, LaRouche-like assertions that should serve as red flags to the people that actually put stock in the Web site. One assertion that really has me chuckling is that the assistant coaches that have left have mostly been forced out by Dorrell, who is using them as scapegoats to deflect responsibility from his “horrible” beginning as a head coach.

It won’t happen, but let’s say this movement actually got what it wanted and a new head coach was hired for this season. How ludicrous would it be to implement a new system and revamp the whole program in a season where they are prepared to be an elite team? It would make a rebuilding year out of what should be a great year for the program.
True to their nature, the bruin “nation” and dumpdorrell.com sought to discredit Azar -- as if an amateur journalist for the ugla student newspaper requires discrediting -- by pointing out and inflating the kid’s questionable reference to Lyndon Larouche.
The assclowns over at Daily Bootlickers are now comparing Dorrell critics over at DD to a known anti-semite and fascist. […]

That is, of course, just uncalled for on the part of these amateuer [sic] idiots at the Daily Bootlicker. Keep in mind though that this is not something new coming out from this so-called joke of a sports section from UCLA's student newspaper.
This from Nestor, who thought it appropriate to compare the buzz about USC “basketball” to opinions about the Iraq War and weapons of mass destruction. As much as Nestor protests the Larouche reference, perhaps the hullabaloo over the "accusation" is designed to distract from the other adjectives Azar used to accurately describe the dumpdorrell "movement": "ridiculously baseless" ... "red flags" ... "has me chuckling" ..."ludicrous."

Not to be outdone, dumpdorrell.com gives us this “not at all verbatim” account of its “conversation” with the Daily Bruin editor Jeff Schenck, during which “dd” professes not to care what Azar thinks … in the midst of demonstrating just how much “dd” cares what Azar thinks.
DD: Will you be printing a retraction or an apology for the piece?
JS: No.
DD: Why not?
JS: It was Ben’s column and Ben’s opinion and we don’t think he called you guys racist.
DD: We don’t care what he thinks about us. Anything printed in the DB reflects on the community. He equated us and critics of Dorrell with a nazi racist criminal. You don’t think LaRouche is racist?
JS: Ben never made that equation. You are reading into that. He said your arguments were like LaRouche’s arguments, silly and extremist.
Clearly, it's the Daily Bruin that couldn't care less what dumpdorrell.com thinks. Nevertheless, the “not verbatim” dialogue continues in a “silly and extremist” manner.
JS: We are sorry if you are offended but we don’t agree with you.
DD: It’s not about us, we could care less what the DB and Ben Azar think about us. Its the larger community that we are concerned about, and allowing this poisonous perception to exist is wrong.
JS: We are sorry if you feel that way. But it is Ben’s opinion and his piece.
As Nestor says, “this is not something new.” The “nation” also has been harassing another bruin student “journalist” named David Woods.

Apparently miffed that Woods wrote a piece criticizing ugla coach Ben Howland, Nestor went all Mike Krzyewski on Woods, comparing Woods to the great Bill Plaschke.
It's pretty clear that this student version of Bill Plaschke is as clueless about the sport as the one the Trojan Times subjects us to every week. […]

The clown ought to look at himself in the mirror, and he would discover that he is not capable of writing a concise, well thought out sports column.
Of course, we’re not above commenting on a student reporter’s bad journalism occasionally, but while it’s one thing to criticize a young student for writing something that the “nation” considers stupid (that is, anything that doesn’t fall in line with Nestor’s narrow point of view), it’s another thing to label Woods an “assclown” in a sincere attempt to embarrass the poor kid. True to form, Nestor goes even further, calling for Woods’ proverbial head:
If you want to write Daily Bruin about this idiot, I'd suggest you contact/email Daily Bruin's Editor-in-Chief Jeff Schenck at jschenck@media.ucla.edu (and at editor@media.ucla.edu). In addition, email sports editor Bobby Gordon at bgordon@media.ucla.edu. Fill up their email boxes folks.

It is just embarrassing that a "senior" sports writer of the student newspaper of the best public university in the country, featuring one of the greatest athletic program in college sports, can write such a misinformed, ignorant article on its hallmark sports program. Time to let them know how they have become a joke. Perhaps they can be chastened before they move on to real jobs. Maybe this could be a wake up call for them before they completely evolve into (it may be too late) the Bill Plaschke of next generation.
Now that’s what an alumni network is all about! LOL.

Of course, like Pavlov’s dogs, the usual suspects followed, led by typically abusive comments from our friend “Tydides”:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: David Woods is an embarrassment to UCLA. I hope he reads BN. I'd like to direct this comment at him: Find A New Career Path. […]

I'll say this right now: Howland did a much better job as a basketball coach last night than Woods did as a writer. […]
Adding his two pennies, “bluestreet” describes Woods as “a shitty sports writer who is clearly asking the wrong questions.”

Geez. It seems like common sense that a head coach of an esteemed basketball program would do a “much better job” at his profession, relative to an aspiring student sports writer … that is, an amateur without benefit of an actual journalism program!

Of course, USC Trojans don’t have these issues … one, because the Daily Trojan is produced by students who attend a real journalism school and who write articles even the ugla "nation" deems "intellectually honest" and "brutally accurate" … two, because we would rather support members of the Trojan Family, particularly our young student journalists, rather than kill them off.

Then again, perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on these bruins and this “population control” their supposed “nation” employs. It’s all instinct for them, after all.

Fight On!
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

USC Song Girls Are Lovely, But ...

So, it’s Thursday, and while Beano may be expecting the usual twirl, today we’re going pro. Turns out Sports Illustrated paid a visit to USC recently to take a few photos of the Trojan Marching Band for SI’s 2007 Swimsuit Issue.

Who's to say why the photo editors at SI decided to combine skinny (albeit beautiful, bikini-clad) women with geeky (albeit lucky as hell) USC Band members … on FieldTurf, no less.

But who are we to wonder about such things?

We ...

Are ...

SC!

We ...

Are ...

SC!

Fight On!
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

USC Football: Better Than It's Ever Been Done?

A funny thing occurred to me last night as I posted a take (on Conquest Chronicles) about the latest in a string of “controversies” to threaten the reputation of USC Football …

I’m getting tired of this crap.

Certainly, I understand it all comes with the territory. I know that unprecedented success on the field and on the recruiting trail, in a major metropolitan market with no NFL team, has created a “perfect storm” of heightened media attention and acute scrutiny of USC.

No doubt, I understand the fact that high-profile athletes and successful college sports programs are primary targets for muckraking journalists, jealous rivals and other gold-digging elements.

But this supposed residue of USC’s college football greatness is starting to wear the Teflon of success a little too thin for my taste.

I know that Hershel Dennis and Mark Sanchez were exonerated of sexual assault. I know Rey Maualuga has taken anger management courses and did community service to pay for his outbursts during a tough time in his life. I know Dwayne Jarrett catching a break on rent from Matt Leinart’s father was really a small issue in the overall scheme of things.

But after a while, this crap starts to become a burden.

Really, I understand that the NCAA won’t come close to proving that USC knew or should have known anything about Reggie Bush and his idiotic family’s dealings with crooked sports agents. I know that phone records will prove that Pete Carroll never set up a conference call between Bush and No. 1 recruit Joe McKnight.

But I have to ask … when is this crap going to stop? However alleged, non-factual, inaccurate, unwarranted, and flat-out-stupid it might be … is all of this completely out of our control?

Even if we can explain it all away with common sense scenarios, absence of fact, and third-party validation, we still have to acknowledge this crap and deal with it.

No doubt, I know that USC Football will emerge unscathed from all of this, and our national championship trophies are safe in Heritage Hall. I know there is every reason to believe that we will be adding more hardware to our historic collection.

But how many measured statements out of Tim Tessalone’s crisis communications handbook do we have to hear on our way to another BCS bowl game? How much fuel do we have to give the “nation” of hate and the inferiority-complexed south, while we defend another No. 1 ranking?

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in our man Carroll. I believe in his unique approach and his player's-coach style and the evolved philosophy that has brought unprecedented success to USC Football. I believe in the Magic Tennis Book!

But, I also know that Carroll's stated mission is to "do things better than it's ever been done before." I know it’s difficult, maybe even unrealistic. As Caroll has also said, “That stuff, it is kind of nasty. You just don't know where it's coming from and people are out to get you. It can get kind of hard.”

But if USC Football is to get there, if we really do believe as true Trojans that we will do this better than it’s ever been done before, we should acknowledge that perhaps we are falling short of that mission today.

It’s a noble thing for Carroll to aim higher than mere mortals. And we embrace the opportunity and added responsibility to transcend the common pattern of other highly successful programs like Miami … or Notre Dame … or U.C.L.A. Really, no disrespect to other college programs -- again, it’s tough -- but we think we can do better.

After all … We Are SC! Now, more than ever, this should mean something to us.

So, rather than explain away these minor issues with our common sense and the reassurances of non-haters, perhaps it’s time to ask our man Carroll -- however unfair it may be -- when will we stop having to deal with all this stuff in the first place?

Maybe it’s time to tell him we’re getting tired of this crap.

Fight On!

NOTE: There is a very slightly "cleaner," guest-blogger version of this post on CC.
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Friday, February 09, 2007

Designing Keyshawn Johnson

Ever since the 1995 season – the lone bright spot of the second John Robinson era – we’ve known Keyshawn Johnson is a true Trojan. The stories about Keyshawn growing up around the USC campus and serving as a ball boy for the Trojans during the Marcus Allen and Ronnie Lott years is the stuff of Trojan Family lore.

Say what you want about his mouth, his book, or his run-in with John Gruden … Keyshawn walks the walk.

Besides, wouldn’t any proper Trojan have issues with a Notre Dame-loving supposed genius coach, whose only claim to fame is winning a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s players? The contrived “Chucky” facial expressions and pseudo tough-guy mannerisms would drive any self-respecting player nuts. But, I digress …

As we should all know, Keyshawn won the 1996 Rose Bowl for USC (despite horrific play-calling by then USC offensive coordinator Mike Riley) and for that, Key will always get every benefit of the doubt from me. The thing is the man deserves props, regardless.

Keyshawn has always been more than just a football player. In fact, relative to other bozos, he’s a freakin’ renaissance man.

For starters, Keyshawn graduated from USC with a degree in history, and upon receiving his first pay check from the Jets -- after they took him first overall in the ’96 draft -- he opened a successful restaurant in Beverly Hills. He’s done all the standard charity/scholarship fund/community work in L.A. and the cities where he’s played (New York, Tampa, Dallas, Charlotte), but he’s also made a point of improving and maturing as a person.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the piece the Los Angeles Times ran yesterday about Keyshawn’s interest and flat out sophisticated know-how in the design of his various homes and other real estate.
"When you're an athlete, most people think you don't know or care anything about design," Johnson says. "That's like saying all actors are on drugs and crazy."

Having invested in spec homes and decorated personal residences in New York, Florida, North Carolina and multiple spots in L.A. since he went pro in 1996, Johnson has become as confident in a furniture showroom as he is on the gridiron. He developed an interest in design when he first became a homeowner, he says, and life experiences have since shaped his tastes.

"I've stayed in some of the best hotels in the world. I read House & Garden and Casa Vogue," says Johnson, adding that he's a fan of Fendi's and Armani Casa's home collections. "I spend hours at Hennessy + Ingalls in Santa Monica looking at architecture books like some weirdo."

Richard Landry, a Los Angeles architect working on a mansion for Johnson in Calabasas, refers to his client as not just an athlete but an aesthete and an entrepreneur, one who has a solid understanding of how design can enrich lives and bank accounts.

"Keyshawn can actually read architectural plans and see the finished work," Landry says. "He strikes me as a guy with a vision who is open to the process."

Other athletes may invest in cars, clothes and diamonds, but Johnson has developed a real estate portfolio — and acquired a hands-on education in design along the way.
Who knew back when Keyshawn was shagging footballs for Marcus and Ronnie that he’d turn out to be this fine example of a 21st century aesthete "metrosexual" dude … so to speak? As Key himself once said, “Talk about your damn Rudy stories!”

Sure, the ugla "nation" might call this a fluff piece initiated by Keyshawn’s PR team (which it is) but what’s wrong with that? It’s not like anyone wants to read a feature about the linoleum and Ikea entertainment center Cade McNown chose for his double-wide trailer in Hollister.

So, we end with the inevitable: Just give Keyshawn the damn ... wallpaper ... or color palette ... or whatever it is designers use for designing stuff! And, Fight On!

We Are SC!
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

ESPN Loves USC

Word out here near Bristol, Conn., is that ESPN.com wasn’t about to have a CBS-affiliated SEC school named No. 1 in recruiting yesterday … at least not without a fight.

So, the World Wide Leader -- perhaps with help from Beano Cook -- stacked the deck for its favorite ABC/ESPN-affiliated Pac-10 school (aka conference TV ratings darling USC Football), conveniently placing Trojan signees Joe McKnight, Chris Galippo and Mark Tyler at the very top of its ESPN 150 player ranking.

The result? Yet another top recruiting class secured for our man Pete Carroll. Of course, as we anticipated yesterday, Rivals and Scout have USC’s 2007 class ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. But who are we to argue with the World Wide Leader?

Just another No. 1 to add to the USC collection. Indeed the future is bright. Thanks, Beano …

We Are SC!
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

USC Signing Day Update: McKnight is a Trojan

Depending on who you talk to Joe McKnight is the top-ranked running back in the nation. Catching him on video, he runs more like Adrian Peterson than Reggie Bush. Either way, there's no doubt he looks great in cardinal and gold.


Welcome to the Trojan Family, Joe.

Fight On!

UPDATE: Bring it on, Dan Wetzel ... you stinkin' Yahoo!
UPDATE II (2/9/07): I thought this sounded funny:

McKnight said he was not at all worried about the prospect that USC may be penalized because of an investigation of whether Reggie Bush or his parents took improper payments from agents while Bush was playing there.

McKnight said USC coach Pete Carroll set up a conference call so he and Curtis could talk to Bush and ease their worries that USC might wind up under sanctions.

Not good.

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USC Football Recruiting: Quality is No. 1

If you take a look at the rankings for college football recruiting today, you probably won’t see USC Football ranked No. 1. But don’t fret.

USC’s recruiting class of 2007 is all about quality, and on that scale we’re looking like an undisputed champ. Based on projected commitments (as of 9:45 EST this morning) the incoming Trojans have the highest average “star rating” -- based rival.com’s one to five scale -- at 4.25. The next highest is Florida at 3.88, followed by Texas at 3.75. No other school has an average above 4.00.

Looking at it another way, USC will welcome five-star players at virtually every position, including studs ranked at or near the top at defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, safety, cornerback, running back, quarterback, offensive tackle, and center

But for whatever reason, USC doesn’t have as many scholarships to award this year, compared to other schools ranked among the Top 10 in recruiting.

Scout.com, Rivals.com and any other measure of the best recruiting classes, all take into account quantity as well as quality, which explains the “disadvantage” USC is facing this year in terms of overall ranking. In fact, Florida, the projected recruiting No. 1, has at least 10 more scholarships for the 2007 class than USC, for example.

No matter. Having less scholarships to give means that the Trojans remain stockpiled with the talent our man Pete Carroll assembled over the last four years. It means that USC’s very young team in 2006 is maturing and ready to start the 2007 season as the pre-season No. 1. And, it means we’re welcoming athletes who have supreme belief in themselves, kids who are willing to compete on Howard Jones Field with the best this game has to offer.

Of course, top-10 recruiting classes are no guarantee for success, but as Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline points out, it certainly helps.
CBS SportsLine.com went back to 2002 and added up rankings of the top classes from Rivals.com and Scout.com through 2007 (as of Tuesday). Each year the No. 1 class got 10 points, No. 2, got nine points, etc.

Not surprisingly, the list is topped by Southern California. Since 2002 (Pete Carroll's second year), the Trojans have had six of the 12 No. 1 recruiting classes. They had consensus Rivals/Scout No. 1s in 2004 and 2006.

It isn't even close. During that time period, no coach or program has done more with its recruits than USC, which has a record five straight Pac-10 titles, five BCS bowls and two national championships (and played for another).

The other nine teams combined for three national championships, 13 conference titles and 18 BCS bowls since 2002.

Proof again that Carroll is college football's reigning alpha male when it comes to recruiting. Yes, I know: Water is also wet and the sky is blue. USC already is everybody's preseason No. 1 (on the field) in '07.
Dodd also quotes Steve Sarkisian, who provides a little insight into what gives USC a recruiting edge … and perhaps why he chose to remain a Trojan, rather than become a Raider.
"One is [Carroll’s] energy," USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said. “He’s not afraid to get on the road and recruit. He wants the kids to see him. No. 2, it's our history of playing freshman players. It's not just talk. Not only are guys playing, they're playing significantly. Those are the two areas where it really stands out."

In one three-year period (2003-05) Carroll bragged of playing 40 true freshmen. How many teams have done that? The same amount that developed one Heisman winner (Carson Palmer) and recruited two others (Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush) in a five-year period. […]

Nothing fazes Carroll […] He has lost Heisman winners and All-Americans only to replace them with more Heisman winners and All-Americans. […]

Nothing stops Carroll, not even turnover. Only two coaches remain from his original staff. He has gone through three offensive coordinators and produced three head coaches off his staff. The Trojans went 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl in '06 -- a rebuilding year.
Again, this is how we do it.

So, no overall recruiting title for USC this year? Not a problem. It’s all about quality in 2007 … and the positive hype and good vibes of the Trojans’ pre-season No. 1.

We Are SC!
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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Beano Missed The Song Girls

Well, we took a little break from the usual routine last week to chronicle an important issue, and old man Beano got all upset.

So, we're back to the "twirling" business today, this being a Thursday.

Not that I give a darn what the east coast biased, Domer Hype Machine influenced Beano has to say. I just want him to leave us alone ...

Hmmm ... maybe USC "basketball" really does deserve some attention.

Fight On! Beat the Beavers ... in hoops!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Judge Says: Pass the Mayo

Although we’ve had our gripes about east coast bias and the Gray Lady in particular, it’s clear that the New York media know their basketball.

Rather than jump the gun on this O.J. Mayo matter, the New York Times waited for the story to develop and, as we did here earlier, allowed the inevitable video evidence to appear, in an effort to ensure accuracy in its reporting.

Even better, Pete Thamel provided the proper context in the lead of his story on Mayo in yesterday’s Times, along with some quotes from people who actually know what they’re talking about:
O. J. Mayo, a West Virginia high school senior considered the country’s best guard prospect since LeBron James, has been suspended and is not expected to play tonight in a national showdown game.

Mayo’s team, Huntington High School, ranked No. 2 in the country by USA Today, will play No. 11 Artesia High School of Lakewood, Calif., in the Hoophall Classic in Durham, N.C.

More than 5,000 fans are expected at [Duke's] Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game is part of a tripleheader featuring some of the best high school teams in the country. […]

“It’s an amazingly bizarre story,” said Dave Elkins, the director of marketing partnerships for the Basketball Hall of Fame, which is putting on today’s event. “This is the team that’s making so much history in that region.

“To have something like this come up, it’s intriguing.”
Most importantly, Thamel relies on his own eyes, rather than second-hand accounts, using the video to help provide an objective interpretation of what happened.
Mayo picked up his first technical foul for taunting after a dunk late in the second half of Friday’s victory against Charleston’s Capital High School, the No. 2-ranked team in the state. Mayo caught the ball after it went through the net and strutted toward the free-throw line still holding the ball.

After being whistled for the technical, he walked to midcourt, where players from both teams had gathered and were jawing. Mayo then walked away, tucking in his shirt and looking at the sky.

The second technical was called after Mayo walked back toward the players gathered at halfcourt. On the video, he did not appear to say or do anything.

But when the official Mike Lazo walked over to the scorer’s table to report the technical, Mayo followed him. Mayo appeared to make subtle contact with Lazo, his shoulder brushing up against Lazo’s back. Lazo then dropped suddenly to the ground. On the video, it appears that little contact was made and that Lazo’s fall was exaggerated.
Apparently, Thamel isn’t the only one who thinks the ref’s fall was “exaggerated,” as a circuit court judge in West Virginia yesterday ordered an injunction that allowed Mayo to play in the HoopHall Classic at Duke.

According to USA Today’s Christopher Lawlor, Mayo, “considered the nation’s top player,” drove with a family friend for six hours to get to Durham, just in time to “spark” his team to a 73-66 win. Combined with a loss yesterday by the nation’s current No. 1 team (St. Benedict’s of Newark, N.J.) the win should give Mayo’s Huntington High the No. 1 spot next week.

The funny thing is Mayo fouled out of last night’s game with 2:40 left and the score tied at 63. So, we can’t be sure what Lawlor means by “spark,” but I’d say Mayo must be one helluva good player if he can “spark” his team to a win against another nationally ranked team without even playing in the game.

Then again, I don’t know a lick about hoops.

Fight On!

UPDATE: Insomniac's Lounge has yet another take, not to mention a second and third camera angle, pulled from ESPN's PTI. The best part of the clip is Michael Wilbon's comments about Mayo's behavior. Again, we'll see for ourselves soon enough.
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Monday, January 29, 2007

O.J. Mayo: Not So Fast My Friend

As we concluded yesterday, none of us really know what the hell happened when USC's top-ranked basketball recruit O.J. Mayo was ejected from a high school game last Friday night.

But now we have video -- worthy of another Zapruder film reference -- which brings into question the "thug" label being placed on Mayo by those who are supposed to know their hoops.

Take a good look at the clip, from WSAZ Channel 3, the local Huntington, W.Va., TV news station.

Do you see Mayo taunting and jawing excessively with the opposing team and their fans? And, how in the world does a grown man fall to the ground as a result of the supposed contact Mayo made with the ref?

Judging from what we see in this clip -- and again, we don't know what was said or what else happened at this game -- it appears that Mayo may have a right to be upset about the double-technical called on him. In fact, one might conclude from this video that Mayo showed restraint, given all that was going on around him, and that perhaps he deserves the benefit of some doubt.

Make no mistake. The the opinion here remains that Mayo could be coming to USC for the wrong reasons, but perhaps everyone should step back and see this kid first-hand, in action on and off the court, before we fully form our conclusions.

In the meantime, we've got this highlight clip of the game in question, which shows us what all the on-court hype is about.


I guess they don't play much defense in West Virginia.

Fight On!

Hat Tip: AO via Conquest Chronicles.
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

USC Hoops: One Year Wondering

Again, I have to ask: Is this how we're supposed to build a basketball program?

Apparently, USC's prized basketball recruit O.J. Mayo got himself caught up in a little on-court, two-technical foul incident that may put him on his high school team's bench for a couple games.

Here's the second-hand account in today's Los Angeles Times:
USC signee O.J. Mayo faces a two-game suspension after being ejected from a game Friday night involving his Huntington (W.Va.) High team in which he received two technical fouls and reportedly initiated contact with an official.

Mayo received one technical foul for taunting after scoring on a breakaway dunk, then a second technical for a verbal confrontation with players from the opposing team.

Mayo reportedly followed an official to the scorer's table to dispute the call and made contact, after which the official dropped to the court.
The opposing team's local paper has a slighly different account, but the The Huntington Herald-Dispatch (W. Va.) reported this:
Mayo received the first technical foul for taunting Capital player Tyrone Goard after a breakaway dunk that gave Huntington a 61-43 lead with 5:15 left in the game. Mayo did not react to the call and walked to the opposite end of the court but was followed by Capital players. A verbal confrontation escalated between Mayo and Capital players before Lazo assessed the second technical foul to Mayo but none to a Capital player. After the second technical foul, Mayo followed Lazo to the scorer's table to object. When the referee stopped, Mayo bumped into him from behind, and then Lazo fell to the ground.
Whatever. We weren't there, and the newspaper and radio accounts of what actually happened are supposedly varied, so who's to say what actually happened. We don't know whether or not Mayo had a legitimate reason to jaw with the opposing players and fans, and we don't know to what extent he made contact with the official.

What we do know is that Mayo will most likely be one-and-done after next season ... a year in which he supposedly thinks he can bring USC to national prominenance the way Patrick Ewing did at Georgetown.

We also know that USC head coach Tim Floyd didn't actually recruit Mayo. The kid decided that he wanted to become a Trojan, thinking that Los Angeles would be a good place to market himself for his entry into the League.

As Tom Purfield of the Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftan pointed out recently, Mayo appears to be a basketball mercenary.
Scanning the wire every working day in this profession reveals many eyebrow-raising stories. But every once in awhile, something small emerges that sheds light on a larger issue in the world of sport.

When Mayo signed his letter of intent to attend USC in November, his comments in an Associated Press story were striking, not so much for their arrogance but for the role he expects USC to play in his life.

"Coach (Tim) Floyd has been an NBA coach and the city of Los Angeles is a great marketing city," Mayo said. "Hopefully if everything goes well, I can market myself for the next level.

"I plan on making a living at this," Mayo said in another AP story. "I feel that's why I was born and put on this Earth, to be a leader, to be one of the greatest basketball players to ever play and to be a great example and role model for the kids and for different people out there who look up toward me."

[...] No excitement about becoming a part of the Southern Cal community. Not even a hint of plans to major in political science or economics.

It's all about making this one year of exclusion from the millionaire club of the NBA as productive as possible - not for the Trojans, mind you, but for O.J. Mayo's pro hoops future.
Leave it to someone who "scans the wire" for news because there is none in his own town to point out what many of us seem to be missing ... this Mayo kid may not be worthy of our Trojan Family.

Remember when Harold Miner (aka Baby Jordan) left USC early to begin his ill-fated career in the NBA? Remember Dwayne Jarrett's presser a few weeks ago announcing his early entry into the NFL?

They were crying, torn up emotionally because they were leaving USC. And we've seen it in other Trojans who understood what it meant to be part of the Trojan Family, what it means to be a Trojan for life.

We'll see what Mayo does, if and when he gets to USC. We don't know him well enough to pass judgement on him just yet. But something ... a few things actually ... tell us Mayo won't be crying when he leaves.

Fight On!
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Yahoo Report: Trust in Reggie, Part III

We've been critical of Scott Wolf here in the recent past, but the Los Angeles Daily News' USC beat writer showed his non-hack chops yesterday.

First, Wolf didn't bother to file a story about the new Yahoo! report. Then, he posted this on his "blog":
There's a lot of focus on the Reggie Bush investigation right now. But what does it mean? The existence of tapes does not necessarily hurt USC because the university could challenge the veracity of them if the NCAA used it to punish the football program. Not to mention that taping conversations like that is illegal.

Even if the tapes are correct, without USC's knowledge or complicity, it would be hard to hold the university liable. That doesn't mean USC is off the hook regarding the chance of getting stripped of a national championship, but we're referring more to probation for the program.
Exactly.

Also, in response to a few emails I received about yesterday's Displaced take on Reggie, I'll again reiterate the position here regarding the validity of the Yahoo! "reporting."
Yahoo! Sports is trying to make a name for itself. It sees this “story” as its Woodward and Bernstein moment.

The problem with [commenting on the Reggie Bush issue] is that [doing so] inadvertently gives too much credit to the Yahoo! reporting. As Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso [...] said on College GameDay outside the Coliseum [in September]: “IF … IF … IF.”

One of the reasons why none of the established, reputable news outlets are investigating this story is that many of the sources involved are scheming sleaze balls, several of whom have already been convicted of white collar crimes.

The other aspect of the story is that all the parties involved are in some form of litigation against each other, which brings into question whatever statements they make. Never mind what that says about the judgment of Reggie and his family in picking their associates, but no real news outlet is going to push this story … unless it is seeking to make a name for itself.
To say it another way, we go to TrojanWire's Rory MacDonald, who further illustrates the point:
[...] the Keystone Kops of investigative journalism continue to treat the testimony of known extortionists as perennial fact, conjuring up retroactive repercussions for USC [...]

Back to those jokers at Yahoo! [...] may we suggest refocusing your efforts on I don't know, technology? Congratulations on finally getting your much-delayed ad targeting software (Panama) done. It's probably every bit as good as Google's (heh), making your stock well worth paying over 2 times growth for (YHOO currently has a PEG Ratio of 2.10).

(Full disclosure: dumped all my YHOO stock yesterday.)

Perhaps someone should investigate the journalism skills (if not the ethical practices) of Yahoo! Sports and its reporters. We've seen the ugla "nation" do as much, when Yahoo! ran a story the bruins didn't like.

Funny how ugla's belief in the reporting at Yahoo! Sports is a matter of convenience. I suppose that's typical of Nestor. (Again, I will not post Nestor's real name, no matter how many times you ask.) But, I digress ...

Regardless of the motive and journalistic quality of the Yahoo! hacks, the fact is that neither the would-be agents involved nor Reggie Bush's family have shown us much in the way of quality, either.

A comment on yesterday's Displaced post from Jonathan Tu of 82 Sluggo Win, sums it all up:
I put my faith in Reggie back in April. An entire season later I feel that my trust can now be withdrawn as the evidence mounts. I don't consider the evidence in the area of "completely, utterly damning" yet, but I do consider it pretty overwhelmingly in favor of the Griffins doing bad things. I'm not sure where I stand on Reggie but it appears he had knowledge.

It's pretty obvious to me that USC had nothing to do with it. The Griffins may be that dumb to cavort with a guy named Michael Michaels (wearing a bolo tie, no less) but Carroll, Garrett and the rest are definitely not. In that sense I'm not worried about sanctions. Some idiots (i.e., Bruins Nation) will probably toss around terms like Death Penalty but if Alabama of the late nineties/early millenium wasn't hit with the Death Penalty no one will be. I doubt USC even gets a slap on the wrist unless the Todd McNair connection has more meat to it.

Frankly, the worst thing about this whole ugly ugliness is thinking back to Reggie's acceptance speech at the Heisman ceremony. He pointed out LaMar and thanked him (LaMar) for teaching him (Bush) how to be a man. I won't lie: that got me a little teary eyed. To think that these infractions were going on at the same time as this speech makes me want to throw up.
Precisely.

Now, let's move on ... or rather, Fight On!
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Yahoo Report: Trust in Reggie, Part II

Once again Yahoo! Sports breaks a bit of “news” about supposed Reggie Bush improprieties, and the majority of USC bloggers hesitate to comment, let alone acknowledge the piece. We’re quick to jump all over the “good news,” but bad news … not so much.

As I wrote back in September, this less than punctual response is understandable. And, really, when you read the new Yahoo! “story” there isn’t much to say in response, except to assess the actual impact this may have on USC Football, all of which was stated several months back. For a quick re-take on this we’ll try a less partial source in the blogosphere, The Wizard of Odds:
What does this mean to USC? The NCAA would have to show USC either knew or should have known about the alleged wrongdoings. At the moment, that's a longshot.
A “longshot.” Not reassuring enough you? Me neither.

Perhaps the most telling element of the Yahoo! piece is the last two paragraphs, which includes quotes from a radio interview Pete Carroll did with T.J. Simers one day after the Rose Bowl.
According to a report first published by Foxsports.com, Bush requested a sideline pass from his alma mater for the 2007 Rose Bowl but USC declined, stating that it had already distributed its allotment of VIP passes.

USC coach Pete Carroll was questioned about Bush's absence from the Rose Bowl on a Los Angeles radio program on Jan. 2, the morning after the game. Radio host and Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers asked Carroll: "You saw the reports that Reggie was told not to come to the Rose Bowl, to stay away from USC. Do you buy that? Do you have anything to do with that?"

Responded Carroll: "No. I know that through this investigation, because he's not cooperating the way they'd like it, there's some issues about that. Reggie gets to do whatever he wants to do. He's not part of us anymore and we can't control any of that. But there's some, I think some opinions from the NCAA that they're mad at Reggie. And, you know, they would not like him to be associated with us. But I don't know what's going on with all that. But there is some stuff.

"I did call Reggie and he didn't hear from anybody about any of that kind of stuff. We're just going to keep working along the best we can and try to keep our head above water and do the right thing and stay out of that stuff. But that stuff, it is kind of nasty. You just don't know where it's coming from and people are out to get you. It can get kind of hard."
“Reggie gets to do whatever he wants to do. He’s not a part of us anymore.” Now, let’s not take this out of context or over-examine the words, but these two sentences say a lot.

Indeed, it is hard. Hard to get to the truth. Hard to know what it all means for USC Football. Hard to trust those allegedly involved, including Reggie.

But, until this thing plays out fully, what else can we do? What else can we say that hasn't already be said …
We can over-think this thing and convince ourselves that it doesn’t matter. Or, we can circle the wagons and trust in Reggie:
I'm not worried about any of these allegations or anything like that, because I know what the truth is, like I said from day one. Once the smoke clears, everybody's going to see we did nothing wrong.

Obviously it does affect you just because it is out there. But at the same time I know there's nothing to worry about. It makes you want to go out there right away and tell your side of the story. Show everybody the facts, the truth. But you can't do that. That wouldn't be the right way to do it

I told [USC] the same thing, don't worry about anything. If there was something to worry about, then I would tell you. But there's nothing to worry about.

Okay, Reggie. We’ll trust you. Just like we did at South Bend last year. Just like we did versus Fresno State in the Coliseum. Just like we did when you pitched a lateral to no one in the Rose Bowl … ?
We’ll trust you, Reggie. We’ll trust you ...
... but we have to admit, it may be harder to do so today.


Fight On!
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Lane Kiffin to Raiders

Steve Sarkisian turned down the opportunity to be the Raiders head coach last week, so crazy Al Davis took the next best thing ... Lane Kiffin (left). Just saw this "scoop" on an ESPN update.

The early take here: USC got ... or rather kept ... the better coach.

Fight On!
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

USC Song Girls vs. 'Every Man, Woman and Child'

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of sitting too close to the ugla alumni section during a bruin football game, you’ve seen him. His name is Geoff Strand, and he’s an idiot.

Strand is the annoying guy (if you can call him a guy) dressed like an ugla clown, commanding the bruin alumni (“every man, woman and child”) to cheer on his cue, as if ugla grads are too stupid to know when to make noise for their team. I’m certainly willing to give bruin alums more credit than that, I suppose.

As for the fact that Strand is a fool, the evidence is irrefutable:



The funny thing is this video was posted on the “nation” in reaction to a post by Orson at EDSBS, who used Strand as evidence that ugla fans are apathetic Republicans … or did he really mean Nationalists? I’m not sure what to make of Orson’s point, but the comments it spurred are hilarious (and telling), and the cannibalistic thread that followed the “nation” post illustrates the nature of the ugla fan. Rather than defend their man Strand, the bruins give us this:
If I didn't go to UCLA or was not a Bruin football fan, I'd be clowning that freakinsh show too.

And I would also hurl all kinds of insults.

This is just pathetic. I can see some arguments about having a juggler as part of the band show. But this dude is just a clown. He doesn't belong in a college football game.

Go Bruins!
Never mind the comedic value of comparing a “freakinsh show” to a “juggler” at your own college football game, the irony in this post by “bluestreet” is classic. He says his bruiness prevents him from insulting and making fun of Strand, and yet that’s exactly what he does.

Anyway, “MIMBruin” led off the comments with this:
Do we need some new blood? Abso-freakin-lutely. Student yell leaders of recent years haven't been all that creative or distinctive in their style. I think the last good shtick I saw was the crew that brought a toilet lid with the words "FLUSH 'EM!" or "FLUSH IT!" to spur the crowd onto noise.
Hmmm … I don’t know about you, but toilet humor never got me to cheer at a college football game. Then again, I didn’t attend ugla. Someone else who presumably did is “razksig,” who restored my understanding that at least a few people with brains call themselves bruin fans.
Strand bugs the hell out of me
I just think that the crowd is somewhat apathetic anyway, but having a guy up there saying "don't cheer now, wait till I say to cheer" is so bush league. Fans should be on their feet screaming the entire time our defense is on the field, not just after the opposing team's offense breaks its huddle. Football is one sport in which the home crowd can have the greatest effect on the outcome of a game, and this geriatric clown is one thing holding back an already tame crowd. […] I hardly remember Strand leading our section during the SUC game, which was not the case for every other home game I attended. I appreciate his intentions, but he is terrible.
“Bush league” … “terrible” … that’s a good way to put it. But “bluestreet” was even more to the point in his second go around.
[Strand] is a nice guy and all. I am sure he is a good guy.

But he dresses like a freak. He looks creepy along the sidelines. Frankly I think its kind of embarrassing.

He should limit his little routine to alumni gatherings. But even then, his routine is just silly and embarrassing.
“Freak” … “creepy” … “silly” … “embarrassing” … LOL. Of course, you can’t have a thread at the “nation” without some Trojan bashing, and “babyblue98” delivers on cue:
That guy [Strand] has always kind of annoyed me. i've always said who's to say he gets to be the voice who represents the bruin fan? but whenever that guy gets on my nerves, which is every game i attend, i just think that at least he's not as gay as that trojan wearing a skirt riding that white horse around the coliseum.
We know being gay has nothing to do with this, but really, who is this “babyblue” trying to kid? Anyway, “abby8065” gets the thread back on track, attempting to kill two birds with one stone … or tomato, as it were.
pathetic!
I am sorry but that guy is pathetic! I don't need someone to tell me when to cheer or not; and I never cheer when someone tells me to!

He looks like a circus clown and his voice is too damn annoying. I couldn't even watch the entire video, because I wanted throw something at him.

Now he could definitely get the crowd excited if he wore a Trojan t-shirt and let people throw tomatoes at him!

I would just go to the games to get a chance to peg him.
The fun goes on for a few more comments, until the aptly named “True Blue and Gold” points out the truth (if not correct spelling) to fellow ugla fans …
It's really embarassing the way you go after your own. Geoff hasn't done any harm to anyone. If anything he promotes spirit and entusiasm. I don't know if you've noticed but he manages to get the press box side to yell Bruins while the student yell crew doesn't even tell us that it's going on.
Whether or not Strand “hasn’t done any harm” is certainly up for debate, but it is interesting to see how these bruins turn on one of their own.

USC Trojans, on the other hand, don’t have such issues. We’ll have fun here at the expense of our spirit section any day of the week, especially Thursdays.

But rather than use words like pathetic and freak and creepy when presented with video evidence, USC fans use words like lovely and hot … and wedgy.

Fight On!
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