Good grief, my little brother and father are amongst ‘em. My Nephew and his two kids were lost to the dark side at a young age, as his dad married my Trojan sister (talk about a mixed marriage!) and the boy came out blue! His kids never had a chance.
Well my other brother is a Trojan grad; my late Mom was a huge Trojan, as, of course, are my ex-wife, our kids, my girlfriend and her two kids. And, as far as I know, our cats. And most of our friends.
Being politically charged on one side or the other is important, but not nearly as much so as where you stand on the Bruins, Irish, Giants, Yankees, and Celtics among others.
My memories of this game go way back into the 60's just like the ND series. Here are some random thoughts on some of the games that have come our way through the years:
I had heard the stories of some of the games that occurred before my time before I started attending.
My dad was a kid hawking papers and programs at the Coliseum in 1939. He was 8. He got to keep some of the money from each sale, and sales around game day were brisk, as the paper had lineups in the front section. He got in to at least some of the game, and watched as the Bruins got down close to the Trojans goal line late in a tie game, but disdaining a field goal that would have won them the conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl for the first time in school history, they went for it on 4th and goal. The pass was batted down, SC had "won" a 0-0 tie, won the Rose Bowl and with it the national Championship, shutting out previously undefeated, untied and unscored upon Tennessee on New Year's day, 1940.
I always took great pride in the fact that the first time the two schools met, SC won 76-0, then the following year 52-0. Never mind the Bruins had just moved from what is now L.A. City College. They were so humbled by the experience, they cancelled the series for the next five years.
In the first one that mattered for both teams, 1952, SC won14-12. It figured that in 1954, UCLA would beat SC badly, but due to the old "no-repeat" rule, they could not go to the RB and could not win the national championship as SC did it's part in ruining UCLA's big moment ever in football, losing to #1 Ohio State in the RB.
1965: My first big game in person. Due to my dad's UCLA/KMPC 710 ties we had tickets in like row two behind the Bruins bench on the press box side. I wore an SC sweatshirt. I got on TV on some special done by Ch. 7 that is in some vault somewhere. I have seen it once. The Trojans led, had the game won, 16-6 when mother-f***ing Beban threw to G**-d***ed Altenburg, denying Mike Garrett a chance to go the Rose Bowl. Worse yet, I was becoming increasing ill during the course of the game with clogged neck glands, and by the time I got home I was in pain and crying. My dad thought it was from being a p***y after my team lost, which made me feel persecuted, which made it even worse. I stayed home for a week I think. Pretty sick, and very upsetting.
The next year, I don't think I went as some guy named Norman Dow beat filled in for Beban. The Heisman Trophy favorite was not going to play, how could we lose? By a score of 14-7. Still had a better record somehow went to the Rose Bowl, went for two (guts!) and lost by one to Purdue.
1967: Everyone knew how big a game this was when it was coming. The build up was only derailed momentarily when SC lost in the much in Corvallis. Contrary to popular belief, SC, as a result of said stumble, was #4, UCLA was #1. Bill Hayhoe is my hero, and so is Zenon Andrusyshun. Or however you spell it. 32 blast, 64 yards, 21-20. SC won it all, the city, nation and Heisman. Biggest game ever of the big games. We won. Yah for us!
1968: I had great seats, and ended up on the field somehow, BEFORE the end of the game, helping to hoist OJ on our shoulders. I was actually right there, helping lift the guy up! How cool was that, at the time?
1969: For some reason, I struggled in getting a seat for this one. Finally, a guy on my JV basketball team Bill Studdert, who ended up going to M-I-T got two, and we sat in like row two of the SC student section. Jimmy Jones couldn't hit anything for 58 minutes. Danny Graham hit Sam Dickerson too soon on what today would be an "uncatchable ball". No such rule then. And that my friends, is pass interference. Jones fires a strike to Sam in what is now the Dickerson corner. Bruin fans still swear he was out of bounds. The picture in the Times the following day proves otherwise if you happen to have it or can find the microfilm. Dickerson is on his knees, having already caught the ball, with the back end zone corner flag standing straight up, connoting that he has not hit same yet. TD!!!
1970: Maybe the worst thumping I have ever seen SC take from UCLA. Good thing we weren't any good.
1971: The worst game ever. 7-7 Tie. Ugh.
1972: The capper on the perfect regular season for the best college football team of al time.
1973: This could be another of my all time favorites. Bruins fans were so SURE they were gonna win this one. The wishbone and Pepper Rogers. They had been blowing people out. The Bruins came out carrying Roses and had Rose stickers on their jerseys. One of the SC coaches turned to McKay when he saw this and said "lookit John, those silly bastards think they actually have a chance"
What a lovely day. I mean it just shut them up so hard and fast.
1974: So UCLA was out for revenge!! Boy were we in trouble! It was over by half time. 34-9 SC.
1975: Maybe we could fumble again, just to be good sports. If McKay had kicked field goals every time down, SC wins by 15. Lost by 3. If you could ever say, "we gave ‘em one" it would be this one.
1977: This is, officially when I ruined my vocal chords, giving me this basso profundo that I have today. I can thank Frank Jordan for this. Bruins thought, again, they had it won on a late TD. Not late enough. 0:02, and Jordan kicks it through. We yelled and screamed and hugged and cheered and went on the field and it was just so much fun, I can't stand it. Even the memory makes me smile today.
1978: The first SC-UCLA game I called. Sure it was on KSCR the campus radio station, but I still have the tape, somewhere in some box. SC won 17-10, I don't remember much.
1979: Jay Schroeder. It might has well have been Schroeder from the Peanuts cartoon. 49-14. Are you kidding me? Bruins fans left at half time. Life is good.
1980: you know, if Jeff Fisher had just gone for the bat down instead of trying to be a hero and get a game ending pick, the ball does not get tipped and Freeman McNeil is an afterthought. Sometimes, secretly, I root against the Titans when I think of this.
1981: I have a tape of old great finish calls of SC-UCLA games. Fred Hessler, the late Bruins announcer was so sure they had this one. Norm Johnson was about to kick a game winning field goal from fairly short range. He was setting it up perfectly for a dramatic finish.
Enter George Achica. Hessler could barely utter the words that came out after that. As an announcer, when I listen to it, it makes me cringe. As a fan, I love it.
1982: If there is one thing that all quarterbacks are taught from an early age it's this: when it's 4th down, and the game is on the line, and there's no time left, no matter what, you do NOT go down with the ball You fumble, throw it up in the air, anything but get sacked with the ball game in your hands. Scott Tinsley learned this rule again. He HAD to see Karl Morgan, he was right in front of him.
Anyway, to make myself feel a LOT better, I asked John Robinson about the game later. SC, you might recall was on probation and ineligible to go to the RB. In normal years, all SC had to do was tie this game, and they would win the conference and a spot in Pasadena. He said, when asked, that he would, had they been eligible, kicked the PAT rather than go for two, and tied it, and gone on. Good to know. Sort of.
1985: Afholter. He caught his, too!
1987: Rodney Peete did a fine job on the last play of the first half, and also late in the fourth quarter. Measles and all. Aikman never did beat SC did he? Too bad for the best quarterback of all time.
1989: The first one I got to call professionally. Alfredo Velasco's last second field goal is long enough, high enough, but it hits the crossbar and bounces back on to the field of play!! Today it would have been overtime. Then, just a tie.
1990: It started out crazy with an interception return on the game's first play, and continued right the end. In Todd We Trust. Johnnie Hero catches the pass. If the Bruins had another 10 seconds maybe they win. One of the most fun games I had every broadcast, perhaps until last year's ND game. Most exciting game in the series from my perspective.
1992: Norman Dow meets John Barnes. Only on the Bruins supposed game winning TD to JJ Stokes, they CLEARLY have backfield in motion. I called it as such on my live call. The TV replays show the same, the TV announcers wonder out loud why it was ignored. The official starts to reach for his flag, and then decides not to throw it. SC still has a shot, but misses a late two-point try.
1996: I took KC to this one. SC led by 17 in the third quarter, and since my daughter Stephanie had a soccer playoff game, we felt pretty good about leaving for that family event. So, we missed the crazy finish. We listened on the radio. If a game happens, and you don't like the result, and you were there and things were good, but then you left and did not experience it, did it really happen? I know that when I think of this game, I don't feel badly, cuz when I was there, things were great. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but the mind is funny that way.
The streak of 8 dark years ended in 1999. The sky has been a lovely shade of cardinal and gold ever since.
2001: a freakin' shut out. First time since the 40's. So impressive some guy made hats that say 27-0, and I still wear it out to do stuff!
2005: 66??!! 66!!?? Hahahahahahahahahahahahha. On cold dark nights, when I feel weary, I think of 66-19.
As a matter of fact, when things in life get sour, I often think of the moments in this specific series that have brought me, and us so much happiness, and suddenly things don't seem so bad.