This is not what we signed up for. This is not the way to take care of unfinished business. This is not what we were led to expect from the USC football team this season.
Deal with it.
You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to keep your dissatisfaction to yourself (I sure haven’t). You don’t even have to pretend that we are national championship contenders anymore (we aren’t, for now).
But for crying out loud, you have to show up! And you have to care. And you have to support this team as vocally as you possibly can. In a nutshell, you have to Believe! You have to Believe this team is giving everything it has. You have to Believe they are making every possible sacrifice to perform their best. You have to Believe that they want this ten times as much as you do because the fact is they probably want this 100 times as much as you do.
Of course I’m not talking to the bandwagon fans here. I never am. They can’t be helped and besides we lost most of them after the third week. I’m talking to the people who consider themselves true fans but don’t bother to come to games unless there is a buzz. Otherwise they stay home and watch from the comfort of their couch. There were way too many empty seats in the Coliseum this past week for a team as highly ranked as USC. I guess the team doesn’t deserve your support any more because they lost one game. Some fan you are…
There are only SIX home games every season. That’s it. These guys train and prepare all year long but you, “USC fan”, can’t make it out to the stadium six times to watch the team you love? This isn’t baseball with 81 home games. This isn’t basketball or hockey with 41 home games. This isn’t even MLS soccer with 17 home games. We’re talking six games spread out over three months. Two of the remaining four games are already sold out, it won’t take much to sell the other two games out. Let’s do this!!! Your only excuses not to be there are for financial, familial or professional reasons. If those excuses don’t apply the only other valid excuse is that the game is sold out.
Now I’m not writing this blog to sugar coat anything. That would be disingenuous because you know we haven’t looked good on the field for most of the season. And after losing a big game to Stanford we didn’t get the reassuring bounce we expected against Cal.
But if you’ve stopped believing you are a fool! All you have to do is look back to last year. After four weeks we had three ugly wins and a disastrous loss. Just like this year, except this year’s loss to Stanford isn’t nearly as disastrous as last year’s early loss to Arizona State was.
Just four weeks into the 2011 season and all hope seemed lost. And then what happened? We eked out a narrow victory against Arizona which gave people even more reason to worry. All hope seemed lost. But then…
The next week was our bye week and after the bye we came back with a fury. The only thing that kept us from running the table was a heartbreaking triple overtime loss to Stanford. Even though we had two losses we finished the season ranked as the number five team in the AP poll (we fell to number 6 after the bowls since we didn’t have a chance to play a bowl game).
We finished the season 10-2 and were considered one of the best teams in the country at season’s end. This year we have a chance to go 13-1 so there is still A LOT left to play for including a Pac-12 South title, Pac-12 Conference title and a BCS bowl berth. All of those things are in our control, no help needed. And if we run the table we have a very real shot at winning a National Championship with just a little bit of help.
Remember, nobody went undefeated last year and one of the most unfair things about college football is that a late loss hurts you more than an early one (it shouldn’t). It’s almost inevitable that all the undefeated teams ranked ahead of USC will slip up at some point. And when they do USC will be on the rise and ready to leapfrog them! USC practically pulled it off last year with two losses. There’s no question when Matt Barkley and the team get their swagger back we can do it with just one loss!
I don’t know why this team always gets off to a slow start. USC always takes a few weeks and a disappointing loss to reach their full potential but they’ve proven to us that they can and will bounce back. They are going to come back from this bye week stronger than ever! So do not give up on this team! Do not count them out! Let other teams make that mistake. You, fellow Trojan, must Believe! You must show up at every game and when you do you need to make some noise! There is nothing more upsetting than watching football players jumping up and down on their bench begging their fans to get loud. Shouldn’t have to happen. Ever.
I hope you will keep supporting and believing in this team and I hope to see you at the Coliseum for our next home game against Colorado!
Now I don’t usually do this in my blog but I’m going to make a shameless plug for Syco Wear shirts. If you’ve been on USC Football’s Facebook page you may have noticed their #BE7IEVE graphic. I created the hashtag and they’ve taken great liberties in using it without giving me any credit. And I’m afraid they’re going to start selling shirts with the hashtag — if they do they’ll be hearing from me… But if you’d like a #BE7IEVE t-shirt now, to show you will always stand behind this team, you can buy one at www.SycoWear.com. As always shirt sales help support Psychogate which is the gameday home to countless USC fans (and even opposing fans) from around the country and even around the world!