At first blush, it is pretty obvious that UCLA played about as well as it can on defense, and USC really did about as much as IT could on defense. Therefore you would have to conclude that UCLA's defense was, on this day, better than USC's offense.
There, that wasn't so hard.
There is no question about which program has the better players and coaches and depth and all that, but for one brief moment in time, it was the Bruins turn to win a game. One out of 8, or 9 out of 16 or something. The overall series is still staggeringly in favor of USC, and the fact remains the Trojans are still the 5 time defending conference champion, and are going back home to the Rose Bowl, where they need to put an end to an ugly little two game losing streak.
Things went wrong from the start, and when I look back on it, things had gone wrong all week. The last two times SC has played in Pasadena, I spent a few moments with a former elementary, Jr Hi and HS classmate (and former Trojan hoopster) Steve Umemoto. Two chance meetings, two losses. Paul wore a Hawaiian shirt, all right, but it was blue and gold, canceling out MY Hawaiian shirt efforts. Different people used the tickets, they got there late, there were a million little things that added up to the universe tipping slightly sideways and causing this odd spin in the space time-continuum.
It was a truly crappy weekend, all the way. Marshall lost to Eagle Rock in the city semi finals. Could not have played worse on the first half, and still had a chance to get back in that game on a 71 yard pass play where the Marshall pass catcher was tackled from behind while out of bounds, fumbled the ball back in bounds, and the ref gave it to the Eagles on their own 20, with the score 20-7. Eagle Rock promptly threw a 69-yard pass the other way, scored shortly thereafter and that was that.
Good run, first team in JMHS history to post ten wins in back to back years.
Then Sunday, SC loses to Cal on a goal with no time left in the NCAA water polo championship.
As the sun set Sunday, I thought to myself that it was taking all of the bad luck with it for the rest of the next several months, whether sports or job related.
Speaking of which, the head guy at what I had hoped would be my radio station says he is not interested in using me in any way. So that's a done deal.
I do want to say a big thank you to everyone who wrote on my behalf to try and say that it would be in our University's best interest to have the voice of the Trojans work fulltime at the Trojan flagship station. The effort did not go un-noticed by anyone.
You will be happy to know that, as a matter of fact, that every single employee of the station that I spoke with either feigned surprise or was actually surprised (as they said they were) as to why I hadn't been brought on board yet. So at least you are in tune with their sentiments and mine.
So, once again, thanks to everyone. It will NOT affect in any way the way nor the fact that I will continue to bring you the very best accounting of the Trojans on the gridiron that JJ, Paul and I can give to you each weekend during the season.
I speak to the Westside sports council tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, a day on which I celebrate the anniversary of my birth, in 1954 in Chicago.
And what of the Rose Bowl? A game that used to mean something, now relegated to runner-up status. How sad. BOTH teams used to dream of playing as conference champions against each other for the Rose Bowl championship, now they both wish they had been in another game and are playing in this game as a consolation prize. And another reason among so very many that screams for a playoff system including the bowls for at least four teams to advance from major bowls into the national semi finals. Simple to do, and LOTS of money to be made.
Fight ON! And don't let those wearing blue and gold for a few days get you down. They think they're actually good now all of a sudden. Well, they certainly were for 60 minutes on one day in December 2006.