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!

No comments: