Who’s the Biggest Troy Polamalu Fan?

January 4, 2011

I am giving away a women’s Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers jersey to the biggest Troy Polamalu fan who is also a USC fan!

To win the jersey just submit a reply to this blog telling me why you think you are Troy’s biggest fan — and a USC fan. Do not reveal any identifying information (such as your name or Twitter username); I want to be completely objective in selecting a winner. Feel free to include links to pictures or videos proving how big of a fan you are but do your best to remain anonymous. If you are looking at this from my blog index page you have to click here to submit a contest entry.

The size of the jersey is women’s medium. If you win you must be willing to give me your shipping address so that I can send the jersey to you in time for the playoffs!

GOOD LUCK!!!

DISCLAIMERS:

  • I may post contest submissions/parts of submissions on the blog but I will keep them anonymous.
  • I may reveal the identity of the winner but if I have published any part of your submission I won’t connect your name with your submission.

The USC Homecoming Red Out, ESPN Gameday & DESPICABLE Duck Fans

October 28, 2010

If you read this blog regularly then this entry probably isn’t for you. If you’re a loyal reader to this blog you’re probably going to USC’s Homecoming game, you probably know about the Red Out and are going to wear cardinal for the game and you probably know ESPN College Gameday is going to be at the Coliseum and you’re planning to be there.

But you probably have lots of friends who don’t know about all this. And they have friends who don’t know. So what I’m hoping for is that you will tell EVERY USC fan you know and ask them to tell EVERY USC fan that they know.

The goal of the Red Out is to turn the Coliseum into a sea of cardinal for the Homecoming game. We reached a ton of people via Twitter and Facebook but the Coliseum seats 92,000 and we need everybody’s help to get the word out to make sure every last person knows about the Red Out and Gameday taping.

To help get the word out we have an official Red Out Website. Please share this site with your friends!

I am really motivated to see USC fans represent with passion for a few reasons. One of them is that the loyalty of USC fans has been questioned since our return to glory. People say that we’re fair weather fans and that we only support the team when it’s winning. Well we’ve had our struggles lately and this game against Oregon is as big as it can get while we’ve got sanctions. So I hope that we’ll come out in droves and show unity through the Red Out.

The ESPN Gameday crew has challenged USC to have a strong turnout for their taping. Meanwhile the Duck fans are organizing a “green out” for Gameday. Duck fans are trying to outnumber USC fans at Gameday. WE CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN! I know 6am is early but if you really love USC you will do it. Bottom line is that some fans will be there and those are the ones who love USC most. The USC fans who don’t show up will justify it to themselves with excuses. Meanwhile the most dedicated fans won’t let anything stop them from being at Gameday. So you decide, are you a die hard fan? Will you be at Gameday to support the Men of Troy? Will you find a way to make it? Or do you have a convenient excuse not to be there?

The final reason I’m motivated to beat the snot out of Oregon is because of their despicable fans. They are really evil and mean-spirited people. I’ve been to USC games in over 20 states and there is no question Oregon fans are consistently and reliably the most unpleasant people I have to deal with. Last year Oregon fans threatened to defecate on a friend of mine who is the tiniest girl you can imagine. I’ve blogged about how horrible the Duck fans are here. And believe it or not it’s the most popular entry in my blog.

If you are active on Twitter you’ve seen first hand how nasty these people are. Constantly trolling USC fans night and day. No other school we play against does this. And it’s suspected that Oregon fans were involved in a cyber attack resulting in the shut down of the Red Out & USCFootball.com facebook pages.

You may know that the Red Out had a Facebook page at one point. We had well over 2,000 members in under a week. However we were victimized by a cyber attack which led to the Facebook page’s demise. The long-standing USCFootball.com facebook page with 41,000 members was victimized the same day. There’s little doubt that Duck fans were behind this.

You might think that, for some reason, I am just biased against the Duck fans. I assure you that’s not the case. In my blog statistics I can see the search engine terms people use to find my blog. The unedited results are below. It is shocking. Apparently there are A LOT of people who think that Oregon duck fans are despicable people! These search terms are listed in order from most used to find my blog to the least used (minimum 2 views):

(blog continued below)

usc jagermeister
usc streaking naked
oregon ducks worst fans
worst college football fans oregon
usc psycho
worst fans in college football oregon
taylor mays
oregon worst fans
oregon fans worst
oregon ducks bad fans
********** (removed for privacy)
stadium fans
oregon duck fans worst
oregon duck fans rude
oregon duck noise maker
oregon fans rude
ducks worst fans
ohio state rose bowl
ohio stadium
filled stadium
duck fans are the worst
duck fans obnoxious
university of oregon fans rude
oregon duck fans
********** (removed for privacy)
university of oregon rude fans
ohio state horseshoe
usc coliseum
usc fans rude
oregon ducks noise maker
university of oregon worst fans
oregon worst college football fans
rude duck fans
osu horseshoe stadium
usc football teams never played a lower
what to wear at a usc game
********** (removed for privacy)
oregon ducks fans worst
stadium
ohio state fans cheering
duck fans worst
oregon ducks rudest
“usc” shoe
ducks fans rudest
fans at coliseum
cheer stadium
usc jager
uw fans- football field
usc ohio state loud
oregon ducks obnoxious fans

The Red Out started started as a grassroots movement by a handful of people on Twitter. But it is now supported by everyone from USC Athletic Director Pat Haden on down. The movemnt has been fully adopted by USC which is awesome! So please come to the homecoming game — there are still some seats remaining through the USC ticket office!!! Come early for the Gameday taping at 6am at the Coliseum!!! Be loud!!! WEAR CARDINAL!!! LAST BUT NOT LEAST — SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!

Fight On!

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

USC at Washington State – StreakGate

October 15, 2010

Washington State is one of the two USC road games I dislike the most. The other is the University of Oregon. But I dislike them for totally different reasons.

I don’t like going to Oregon because the experience is miserable. Their fans are the worst and they make visiting most unpleasant. I blogged about this last year here.

On the other hand, the fans at Washington State are pretty innocuous. The worst thing that happened to me was getting some sarcastic thumbs-down from the WSU cheerleaders who were nice enough to pose for a picture.

The problem with going to games at WSU is that the trip is a huge bore. WSU is in Pullman, WA which is in the middle of nowhere.

Getting to Pullman usually means three to four hours of plane travel to get from Los Angeles to Spokane. Then a two hour drive to get from Spokane to Pullman. Because my usual traveling crew abandoned USC this year I expected to go on this trip alone and I was not looking forward to it. Going to remote areas like Pullman makes for a very boring & lonely trip. And once you get to Pullman it’s not like there are tons of USC fans to party with. So few USC fans go to this game that the regional alumni club doesn’t even bother hosting any functions for the game.

Luckily my friend Hilary (@ohilary for those of you on Twitter) decided to join me for the trip to Pullman at the last minute. This was her first USC road game so she was more excited about the trip than I was. Going to Pullman with someone who wasn’t sick of Pullman turned out to be a good thing because it made everything seem less mundane than it actually is.

After landing we had dinner in Spokane and didn’t start the long drive to Pullman until after 10pm. When I entered our hotel’s address into my GPS navigation I was surprised to see a screen that I didn’t even know existed.

I wanted to take the route with unpaved roads but Hilary insisted I don’t try that at night in a sedan. I thought taking dirt roads would have made for a more interesting journey but I agreed to skip the off-roading.

By the time we got to the hotel it was after 1am; we were both tired and ready to get some sleep.

Saturday morning I got up early and went for a run as I usually do the morning before road games then we headed to WSU. I was worried about the weather because it can be cold in Pullman but the weather was really nice. I’ve watched USC games in Pullman in the snow but it was hot & balmy for the game. No complaints!

In the days leading up to the game I saw that USC was favored to win by 24 points. Based on how poorly our defense had been playing and our inability to cover the betting lines I joked that I would streak across the field naked if USC covered the point spread. I made the mistake of saying this on Twitter but I tweet a lot so I didn’t think anyone would remember this one tweet by gameday!

I was very wrong.

USC played poorly enough in the first half that I actually thought we could lose the game. Then in the second half USC turned on the heat and as our lead grew people started sending me all kinds of tweets about streaking naked. I tried to diffuse people’s expectations throughout the game but the tweet bombardment continued. People expected me to not only run across the field but to do it naked.

Crazy people…

So I decided to go along with it. And Hilary was a good accomplice. I sent one last tweet that I was about to streak and then Hilary started sending tweets with details about my capture by WSU security and her ordeal in locating me. I didn’t think anyone would believe this stuff but people must think I’m not just Psycho but a total nut job because everyone seemed to fall for it.

Hilary thought I should just let people believe that I really streaked but I couldn’t let people think that indefinitely. Eventually people would figure out that I didn’t streak and then my credibility would be forever shot. (I was actually shown on TV during the postgame interviews fully clothed. Some people pointed this out on Twitter but few noticed.)

At the end of the night I decided to come clean. So before going to bed I sent a tweet that said “A lot of people asked for a pic of me streaking at WSU. Someone emailed me this pic. Here’s your proof http://twitpic.com/2s4mht.” Twitpic tracks how many times a picture has been viewed. A popular photo for me will be viewed a few hundred times. But this picture was viewed over ELEVEN THOUSAND times. I have no idea how that happened, I don’t have nearly that many people following me on Twitter. Can’t imagine that many people really want to see me naked but I guess the Internet really is full of perverts, even if they’re USC fans. LOL!

Fight On!

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

Why I Was Banned From Tweeting at USC’s Monday Morning Quarterback

September 28, 2010

Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) is a weekly event where USC fans are able to review game tape with Lane Kiffin and ask him questions about the previous or upcoming games.

Regular attendance can get expensive and is in the middle of the day at USC’s Galen Center which makes it difficult for people to be there.

Last year and this year I regularly attended MMQB and live tweeted for the benefit of those unable to attend. This week I was at MMQB and was told to stop tweeting. I wasn’t identified by name but right before Lane Kiffin took the stage (after John McKay and John Jackson made their remarks) a comment was made by the host to the effect of “We know that there is someone tweeting from here right now, we’re monitoring it and we know who it is. So stop tweeting.”

So from now on I won’t be tweeting from MMQB.

The reason given at MMQB was that Lane Kiffin can speak “more freely” if he knows the info won’t get out. But anyone who’s a regular at MMQB knows that’s just not true. The vanilla questions are all answered by Kiffin — same info that shows up in the media. But if you ask a sensitive question that could help an upcoming opponent Kiffin will not answer that. That happened this week, Kiffin refused to answer a question because he was afraid it would get out and give Washington a competitive edge. So the people attending MMQB do not get access to any special information. Kiffin would be crazy to assume what he says at MMQB will stay at MMQB. But Kiffin’s not crazy so he doesn’t say anything he doesn’t want getting out.

In my opinion, the real reason USC doesn’t want tweeting is because this event is a fund raiser and they’re worried about losing money. MMQB is promoted as an exclusive event with no access to the press. USC tries to create the illusion that attendees are in on some classified information. So if people are allowed to tweet directly from MMQB I suspect USC fears this would A) Devalue the aura of exclusivity and B) Could have a chilling effect on attendance if people can get the same info online. So by keeping the info off of Twitter USC thinks more people will want to pay to attend.

I think this is flawed logic. The vast majority of people go for lunch (I don’t, the lunch is expensive & optional), to review the game tape, have the opportunity to directly ask Kiffin questions and to interact with Kiffin. None of these things are possible via Twitter. People attend MMQB for the experience and the experience cannot be replicated on Twitter. Allowing me to tweet from MMQB would not discourage a single person from attending. I can only give people a flavor of what’s happening in 140 character bursts, I can’t recreate the experience on Twitter.

By the same token, preventing me from tweeting will not motivate a single person to go to MMQB who did not previously attend. If anyone reading this blog wants to go to MMQB here is the info: http://www.usctrojans.com/blog/2010/09/monday-morning-quarterback.html.

A lot of people on Twitter are upset that I was forced to stop tweeting and voiced their displeasure. Thank you to all who chimed in and let USC know how you feel. Here is USC’s official response:
http://twitter.com/USC_Athletics/status/25728427827
http://twitter.com/USC_Athletics/status/25729780527

USC says that MMQB is a media-free space but I am not a member of the media/press and I don’t publish the info in any long-form media. I don’t see what the problem is but even though I disagree with the policy I will respect it and refrain from tweeting during MMQB. However, from the countless tweets of support I received regarding this matter I think this policy does more harm within the Trojan fan base than good.

What do you think about this? I’d love to hear your comments!

Fight On!

Stop by my tailgate before all USC football home games – https://uscpsycho.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/usc-homegame-tailgate-information/

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

USC Homegame Tailgate Information

September 28, 2010

**UPDATE 2** This blog post has pretty much been made obsolete by the tailgate website which has more & better information. The tailgate’s website is www.psychogate.com. Visit the website for all tailgate details. You can also follow @psychogate on Twitter for gameday updates or things we might need on gameday.

**UPDATE** I have started selling t-shirts to help cover the costs of the tailgate. Please support the tailgate by buying a shirt from www.SycoWear.com. They are cool shirts and your purchase will help ensure that the tailgate continues to meet the high standards you expect!

If you attend any USC home football game please stop by my tailgate to say hello, have a drink and do a little pregame partying.

My tailgate has a satellite dish, two HDTVs and a Jagermeister tap machine. So we’ll be having a good time and watching college football all day long. The tailgate is on the strip of grass in the middle of Trousdale, in front of Bovard Auditorium and about 150 feet north of Tommy Trojan. Right against the second lamp post north of Tommy. See the map below to find us (click the map to enlarge it) and if you have any trouble finding the tailgate tweet me at @uscpsycho.

The tailgate always starts at 6am and goes until the band plays their pregame concert right in front of us about one hour before kickoff.

The tailgate has gotten pretty big so we’d appreciate it if you could BYOB if you plan to drink. If you want to make additional contributions click here for a list of things we can always use at the tailgate.

Fight On!

tailgate_map

Click map to enlarge.

License plate marks tailgate location. About 50 feet north of Tommy Trojan.

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

USC vs Minnesota; Home of the Mall of America and stuff

September 21, 2010

So, Minnesotta… Gotta say this isn’t a trip I’ve been looking forward to taking. When you think of Minnesota what do you think of? I think of cold cold cold. And boring. Lots of USC games have been in cold & boring places like South Bend and Omaha. But at least those games are against storied football programs so there is still something to look forward to. That is not the case with the University of Mnnesota, there is nothing storied about it and nothing to look forward to. So while it’s always nice to watch USC play in new a new city this trip had little appeal.

The trip got off to a rough start for me because my flight departed at 6am. I never fly that early but wanted to explore the Mall of America on Friday so I made sure to get to Minneapolis early enough for that. 6am takeoff meant I should be at LAX at 4am. Bleh. Making matters worse I went to a concert Thursday night and got home well after midnight so I decided to just stay up a few more hours and headed for the airport at 3:30. Turns out 4am is too early to get to LAX no matter what time your flight is. TSA wasn’t even set up at that hour (why do they bother breaking down each night just to set back up the next day?). So the handful of nut jobs like me who were at LAX waited as we watched TSA employees file in and set up the line barriers.

By the time I got to the gate it was a challenge not to fall asleep right there and miss my flight. The flight wasn’t full, which was nice, but I could only identify two USC fans by what they were wearing. That wasn’t so nice, I like to see lots of people flying out to support the team. At that hour I’m sure most of the people flying to Minnesota were dreaming about beating ucla while I was fighting sleep deprivation.

When I started my USC football streak I went to nearly all the games with my best friend Mike who now lives in Las Vegas. During the most painful of the Hackett years I travelled mostly alone. People didn’t even want to go to home games back then, let alone road games. The last few years I’ve had a pretty reliable group of friends who I tailgate with at home games and travel with to road games. This year, for a number of reasons, they’ve all stopped traveling so I’m back to hitting the road on my own unless I can find someone to join me. This week I was joined by my friend Marc who I met on Twitter (@TheCoster). We were on different flights so we met at MSP airport and began our Minnesotan adventure.

The one thing I looked forward to seeing in Minnesota was the Mall of America and ironically that was probably the least interesting thing I did on the trip. Nothing wrong with the place but it’s just a mall. It’s a really, really big mall, but after spending a couple of hours walking around there I could’ve been in any city at any mall. Some memorable things about the mall are the parking structure, the amusement park and the fact that quite a few stores have several locations throughout the mall. The parking structure is enourmous; probably seven levels tall and as wide & long as two football fields. Seriously the size of a large office building, I’ve never seen a parking structure so massive. And smack in the middle of the mall is a seven acre amusement park with legitimate rides like a corkscrewing, looping roller coaster. The coolest part of the mall to me was the sealife aquarium but by the time I got to it there was no time to explore it.

A friend recently introduced me to the TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so this season I’m making an effort to explore unique eateries as I follow the USC football team. My first meal was at Minneapolis’ 5-8 Club, famous for the Juicy Lucy which is a cheeseburger with the melted cheese inside the hamburger patty. It was fantastic!

After dinner I went to the USC Alumni pregame party at a great bar in Minneapolis called Stella’s Fish Cafe. It has a rooftop bar with a great view of the city and the weather was surprisingly nice for a Minnesota night. The party was only $15 and included a very nice appetizer buffet. Met some great people there including a couple of former USC band photographers. They said they have lots of pictures and video clips of me and promised to send me some. I hope they do because I hardly ever get to see the pictures people take. (Ahem… Hint to anyone that has pics and would be nice enough to share them with me.)

The next stop was Billy’s On Grand which was recommended to me by Twitter user @GaryKarr. Good call Gary! Great vibe, fun crowd, lots of TVs and a big selection of beer.

Saturday morning I sacrificed an hour of sleep for a brisk morning jog. Internet said it was 46 degrees and sunny outside. Wrong. It may have been 46 but the wind chill created by running made it feel a heck of a lot colder. And it was not sunny, in fact it started raining on me as I ran. That’s probably the coldest I’ve ever been while running. So cold I couldn’t even break a sweat!

Breakfast was at Victor’s 1959 Cafe which was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It was definitely a dive. Tiny little shack looking joint with writing ALL OVER the walls inside. It looked like someone let 100 kids go wild with 1000 crayons. Except some of the things I read could not have been thought up by the innocent mind of a child.

The food was OK. I read that their mango pancakes were great but mine was so bad I had to send it back for a banana pancake. My egg concoction was tasty but not worth going back for. Overall I wasn’t too impressed. I’ll give the show’s host Guy Fieri a few more chances before I permanently write off his recommendations. I wonder if he’s ever been to next week’s USC destination Pullman, WA? He’s probably never even heard of it! lol

After breakfast we headed to the stadium for pregame tailgating. This is where my gameday frustrations began. One thing I’ve learned while going to all these games is that some states have very weird laws with respect to the buying and consuming of alcohol. That was the case in Minnesota. After buying my bottled beer I learned that its illegal to drink from of a bottle outdoors. You have to drink out of a can or out of a cup. So I had to buy a pack of plastic cups which was conveniently overpriced. It was like a tourist trap for tailgaters. And unlike most states you can’t drink alcohol in any parking lot or private area. You can only drink in designated tailgate parking lots and if you aren’t a local it’s pretty hard to figure out where those are. So there I was with bottled beer, an entire pack of plastic cups and no idea where to go with it. I ended up walking around until I found locals drinking and figured it’d be safe to drink my beers there.

I heard a lot about how friendly the people in Minnesota are but I did not find that to be the case. They were no more or less friendly than people you’d run into in any city. I got my fair share of taunts from the Minnesota fans and was called a Cheater more times than I can count. This is something I’m just going to have to get used to thanks to Reggie Bush. I expect the “cheater” taunts to get much worse once Pac-10 play begins. No matter that USC never actually cheated, that is what USC is considered — a rogue program that cheated its way to all the success we enjoyed under Pete Carroll. I hate it. I can never forgive Reggie for a couple of reasons. One is that he has hurt the university, the current players, the fans, our reputation, everything! The other reason is that, well, he’s not sorry.

By the time the game started the weather warmed up and it was a very sunny, nice day. Not anything like I expected it would be. In fact the sun was so bright I was afraid I might get sunburned.

As for the game… What can I say. You probably saw it and you’ve probably read about it already. For three quarters we couldn’t pull away from a team that lost to South Dakota the week before. Through three quarters there was a very real possibility Minnesota could pull away from us and win the game. Oh the pain that would cause… USC was only favored to win by 12 points and before the game I remember thinking placing a bet on USC would be easy money and if I had a way to place a bet on the game I would. Well, I thought wrong, we only won by 11 and I would have lost the bet. It’s a good thing I’m not a gambling man.

During the Hawaii game a picture of me appeared on espn.com. At the UVA game I got on the jumbotron in the coliseum and had a picture on scout.com. At Minnesota I got on TV for the first time this season. Twitter user @chygga was nice enough to offer to send me a DVD of the game with the commercials stripped out so I could see myself on TV (I rarely ever see myself on TV). Very nice guy. He has tons of USC games on DVD and says if you want any to contact him on Twitter.

After the game we had a blast exploring the Minneapolis bar scene while meeting people from all over the country and catching bits and pieces of a very exciting night of college football. One notable stop was Alray’s Bar which was recommended to me by Twitter user @dlegas05. He referred to the bar as one of the Twin Cities’ hidden gems. If it was a gem it was a diamond in the rough and it didn’t leave much hidden to the imagination. No, it’s not a strip club or gentlemen’s club. Think Hooters but better. Or worse. I don’t know…

Sunday morning I got up early to hit one more breakfast spot before my flight back home. This time I went to a place called The Little Oven and it was fantastic. One of my favorite things about it is that they give each table their own pot of coffee, just like IHOP does. I’ve never understood why more restaurants don’t do this. They should. Anyway, if you’re ever in the Twin Cities I highly recommend this place.

On the flight back I realized how the Lakers got their name. Before coming to Los Angeles the Lakers played in Minneapolis and from the plane I could see countless lakes. I mean there are tons and tons of lakes all over the place. Fascinating.

So, Minnesota… I misjudged you. On this weekend you were nothing like I imagined or feared. The weather was very nice and the weekend was jam packed with fun! I doubt I’ll be back until the next time USC plays there but next time I won’t be so apprehensive… Unless the game is in November.

Fight On!

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

USC vs UVA (aka USC Psycho vs the Jager Tap Machine)

September 19, 2010

USC’s game against Virginia was the first home game of the season and also the first tailgate of the season. I’d been looking forward to it because tailgating on campus is so much fun and my tailgate team had a lot of new things in store for this season.

I was also excited because I was expecting quite a few people I’ve only met on Twitter to stop by and I was really looking forward to meeting them.

As usual we started setting up our camp at 6am and as usual I went to bed so late that I only got a few hours of sleep. Being sleep deprived on a day featuring 13 hours of tailgating, a blender, a Jagermeister tap machine and a USC football game is a bad idea. A very, very, very BAD idea!!!

So there was a tailgate…

There was a cardinal margarita making blender…

There was a full day of college football…

There was a Jagermeister tap machine…

There were tweeps…

There was a USC football game…

USC won the game…

I apologize for the picturebook blog this week. I promise next time I will use more words and less Jager.

Fight On!

(Read about the next game and my trip to Minnesota HERE.)

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

USC vs Hawaii — Football in Paradise

September 18, 2010

Apologies for not updating my blog sooner. So many things happened this offseason that I could have made a full time job of writing about Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, Stafon Johnson, Joe McNight, Mike Garrett, NCAA Santions, Lane Kiffin, Norm Chow, Dillon Baxter, Heisman trophies, Seantrel Henderson, Pac-10 expansion… And that just scratches the surface.

However, I didn’t neglect any of these things. I’ve expressed my opinions in both serious and light hearted fashion via Twitter. If you’re a Twitter user I invite you to follow me @uscpsycho. If you’re a USC fan and don’t mind some non-USC banter in your Twitter feed you may enjoy my tweets. Especially on game days and road game weekends when I bring you along for the ride. If you’re not a Twitter user you can still read my tweets at http://www.twitter.com/uscpsycho. But you won’t be able to share your thoughts with me if you don’t have a Twitter account, and I love to hear from USC fans.

If you’re new to reading my blog it’s a bit different from other blogs about USC football. My USC football blog skews autobiographical. I’ll tell you my experiences with opposing fans, what it was like on gameday on a rival’s campus and even how inept the TSA might be in a given city. If all you want is a breakdown of X’s and O’s this is not it. (For that I recommend Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the LA Times or just about anything but Scott Wolfe’s Daily News column.)

Hawaii was the opening game of USC’s 2010 campaign but it is different than any other season opener. Usually the anticipation of opening day is nine months – from the last game of the previous season until the first game of the next. But when USC plays Hawaii the anticipation starts building from the last time we played in Hawaii. So in this case I’ve been looking forward to the game for the five years since we last played in Hawaii in 2005.

As the number of weeks before the game shrunk I wanted time to speed up so I could get to Hawaii and the start of football season. But as soon as the ball was kicked off I wanted time to slow down because I knew my time in Hawaii was growing small. I’ve been to Hawaii four times in my life and three of the trips were to watch USC football. USC will keep playing in Hawaii every few years for the foreseeable future and It never gets old for me. I’m thrilled that I only have to wait three years for the next trip to Hawaii! 2013 will be an interesting travel schedule because it looks like I’ll also be going to Colorado or Utah and Notre Dame that same season.

I arrived in Hawaii on Tuesday, two days before the game. What I remember most about the first moments after landing is the excitement I had about sharing my love for USC with thousands of Trojan fans while in paradise in the middle of the Pacific. If you’ve never been to a USC game in Hawaii it’s unlike any other road game. It’s different because of the concentration of so many fans in such a small area. When USC plays Stanford, Berkeley or Notre Dame thousands of USC fans make the journey but they’re spread out across a huge city; you can sense our presence but the Spirit of Troy doesn’t permeate the air. In Hawaii it permeates the air. Trojans literally paint the town Cardinal & Gold. You can’t go anywhere without seeing USC fans everywhere. It’s a very cool vibe!

The first night I went to Duke’s, which is the defacto meeting spot in Waikiki but it’s also a place I grew to despise. I spent part of almost every day at Duke’s and with each passing day got more and more frustrated with the place. They under-pour every mixed drink. I complained and was told they “serve responsibly.” They don’t serve responsibly they rip you off. Even Long Island Ice Teas taste like they don’t have alcohol in them. If you’re ever in Waikiki my advice is to use Duke’s as a meeting spot but don’t waste your money on drinks there unless you stick to beer because they can’t mess that up.

I was eager to meet a lot of people in Hawaii that I had only talked to on Twitter  and I definitely did. On my second day in Hawaii I met a bunch of my Twitter friends at the tweetup. We talked about football, our plans while in Hawaii and just got to know each other over drinks. It’s always fun to meet people in real life after getting to know them online.  I have to give a special shout out to @trojansigma, @hmartin4sc, @DLTrojanFan, @Mumm24, @MiniMumm, @ls12288 and @scottenyeart. These are the tweeps I hung out with the most and we had such a blast! They live all over the country but I know I’ll stay in touch with them and hopefully tailgate with them again!

Right after the tweetup was the official USC pep rally which was attended by 2,200 USC fans looking to get fired up for the game and for the season. If I’m being honest I have to say that this event was just OK. Admission was $45 which got you bratwurst, chips, a variety of rice crackers and non-alcoholic beverages. A lot of people were complaining; for the price the food should have been a lot better than what was offered. Of course the band played and they were typically great. It was also fun to see Pat Haden let loose dancing on stage with hula girls and thanking the fans for making the trip. In all my years of going to USC football games I can’t remember Mike Garrett ever addressing the fans at a tailgate or pep rally even once. I don’t know how common Pat Haden appearances will be but he is a breath of fresh air.

My third day in Hawaii was Thursday and it was finally gameday. FINALLY! All the months of anticipation were finally over. I boarded a bus at noon and made the short journey to Aloha Stadium. Once there I went to the official USC pregame tailgate luau. This was much better than the pep rally on Tuesday. The luau was $35 and included lots of great food, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and two alcoholic beverages. There was an appearance by the band  and even, coincidentally, cardinal & gold port-a-potty’s. I had a great time at the luau!

It was great to finally watch USC football for the first time since the end of December. I miss all of it, the band, the song girls, the spirit leaders, the fans, the excitement of the game… All of it!

Couple of notable things about Aloha Stadium is that they have artificial turf even though you’d think growing real grass wouldn’t be a problem in Hawaii. And Aloha Stadium is one of the last few stadiums that still sells beer for college football games.

If you’re a USC football fan you probably know by now that the game was a mixed bag. The offense looked great, Ronald Johnson and Matt Barkley were unstoppable, the kicking game was as good as it’s been in a long time and the defense… Well the defense was despicable. The explanation provided by the USC coaching staff for the poor play of the defense was Hawaii’s use of the “pistol” formation on offense. USC had no idea Hawaii would be doing this because no game tape was available from this season. USC’s coaches didn’t find out about the pistol until the day before the game and tried to make all kinds of adjustments. This may have been what caused us to falter on defense; Lane Kiffin said that the defense would have been better off if they stuck with there original defensive game plan instead of trying to make so many last-minute adjustments.

Regardless, USC won the game and that’s the most important thing. But the team clearly has a lot of work to do on defense.

The people in Waikiki were very friendly and largely indifferent about the game. I didn’t hear a single barb or jab from opposing fans during the entire trip. I don’t think that’s ever happened at a road game other than in Hawaii. I don’t think any of the Hawaiians thought Hawaii had a chance to win and I never got the feeling they cared. I can’t help but wonder if they are just as passive when opposing WAC teams come to Hawaii.

The rest of the time in Hawaii was spent relaxing, hiking Diamond Head, going on biking & snorkeling tours, runs along the beach, dining, relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.

Coming back home was a bit bittersweet. I had such a great time in Hawaii and made so many great memories. But I also looked forward to seeing friends back home and getting back to my real life. But that didn’t last long; once I was back it didn’t take much time before I wanted to escape reality again and go back to paradise!

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

And I Have A Winner For USC-VA Ticket!

September 10, 2010

I want to thank everyone who submitted an entry for the ticket to the Virginia game. You guys made it really hard to pick one person!

I wish I could take everyone to the game. There are four people I considered my “finalists” that I really wish I could take to the game and several more who were worthy contenders. I won’t have tickets to any future USC games (unless you go to a road game) but I also have Dodgers & Kings season tickets so I’m going to offer to take some of the people who entered to one of those games. I can also get an extra ticket to just about any road USC game so if you’re ever in the same place as USC and want to join me for a football game just let me know! (This goes for all USC fans!)

Some people wondered about my motivation for giving this ticket away. Well, a very good friend asked to go to this game with me. This usually isn’t possible but with some effort and some luck I was able to get an extra seat. But it turns out my friend didn’t really care all that much about going to the game or having a good seat so I wasn’t going to waste this ticket on someone who wouldn’t appreciate it.

After all the effort I was pretty annoyed and figured a stranger would probably be more appreciative than my friend. And that’s how I got the idea to do this. I had an amazing seat on my hands and wanted to make sure it went to the person who would appreciate it most, even if it was a complete stranger. And so I’m taking a complete stranger to the game, but one who I’m confident will appreciate it as much as anyone out there.

In the end it came down to a lifelong USC fan who’s never been to a USC game and a recently graduated USC band member attending his first football game as a civilian. It was a tough call but I am giving the seat to the band member because I know how much he sacrificed for USC over the last four years. And he’s not just a USC football fan but lover of all USC sports. And an all around sports fanatic.

And if you’re wondering, yes I made sure that the winner was in no way related to a USC athlete. I don’t want to be responsible for any more NCAA violations!

If anyone reading this blog ever has an extra seat for a USC football game please let me know!!! I would love to make it possible for the person who’s never been to a USC game to go to a game! Let’s share some love!

I hope everyone will stop by my tailgate on Saturday to say hello! Especially everyone who entered for the free ticket! If you are reading this you probably already know how to find my tailgate but in case you don’t I’m about 50 feet north of Tommy Trojan on Trousdale. Here’s a map with the exact location – https://uscpsycho.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/usc-football-tailgate/

Fight On!

Here is the winning entry:

I actually want to “submit” for this ticket on behalf of my boyfriend, so perhaps this can be overlooked? 🙂

My boyfriend and I both just graduated from USC this past spring and since we spent the entirety of our college careers in the TMB, this weekend will be our first home gameday out of uniform (I hardly know what to do! How do I even get into the Coliseum?). Technically we both have tickets through a band friend, but I will be happy to find someone else to bring if you select him as your winner!

Once upon a time, the band stood in the stands along the sideline with the student section. They were recently relocated to a more (or less – depending on your perspective) central location. Unfortunately, the timing of this relocation coincided with our freshman year in band, so we’ve only ever known what the view from the sundeck is like. I think it would be really cool if for his first home game as both a band alum and USC alum he would get to be on the 50 rather than back in the sundeck in the same place he’s been for the last four years. Think of how symbolic this would be! I know he would be most appreciative for this opportunity and would get more out of it than your typical USC fan (I figure it was safe to assume you wouldn’t ever consider bringing a virginia fan).

Regardless of where the seat is, I also think it would be cool for him to spend his first home game out of uniform with the biggest USC fan out there! Having been in the band these last four years, I’ve really appreciated your constant presence at every home and away game.  I’m a huge fan and am eternally grateful for the beers that you may or may not have let the band “take” from you. Though if I were you I’d probably be creeped out by the fact that so many people know who you are and you don’t know them! (I guess that basically makes you a celebrity?)

My boyfriend is a HUGE SPORTS NERD, so you two will have PLENTY to talk about (hahaha I awkwardly feel like I’m trying to set you guys up on a date? Lol). He’s from Connecticut so he’s always loved the Jets, the Rangers, the Knicks, and the Yankees. I know it’s sometimes viewed as overrated to be a Yankee fan (though I guess the same could be said for USC?) but his passionate loyalty for crummy teams like the Knicks shows that he is not “one of those” bandwagoners. Even though he is in Laker Band he will still cheer for the Knicks when they play the Lakers and lose. Although he has his teams like any good sports fan does, he really values the sport itself and is not one of those people who get into silly fights and arguments over whose team is better. He humbly accepts his (many) losses across all sports and can still have civil discussions about the game, the league, the sport – anything and everything related to sports.

Even beyond his particular “teams,” he truly appreciates all sports and is immensely knowledgeable about them.  He reads and watches sports news religiously and his dream job is to be a college athletic director. In high school he was the coxswain on the rowing team. In college he hosted the sports radio show on KSCR (now KXSC) and made sure that they not only covered the major USC and professional sports, but also international events and women’s sports, though maybe not the WNBA (ouch). However, two years ago he did give up opportunities to play with the band at the men’s Pac-10 tournament to fulfill his commitment working the women’s tournament through his internship with the sports information department. There is no way I can do him justice in trying to explain just how big of a sports enthusiast he is, you just gotta trust me on it!

MOST IMPORTANTLY, my boyfriend loves any and all USC sports. We’ve given up winter and spring breaks to stay in LA and support our basketball team. Unlike 99% of the student body, we’ve probably been to all the home volleyball and basketball games for both men’s and women’s in the last four years. We also go and support water polo, tennis, track, baseball and women’s soccer. Whenever I have a chance to go home to Hawai’i he checks to see if there are any USC/UH match-ups that I can attend. I got him an Xbox this summer for our three year anniversary and the first thing he did was customize the USC sounds on NCAA 11 so that the correct TMB songs played for each type of action.  Of course this meant the band has to play “In the Stone” at every time out, just like in real life. Ugh.

Of course I will not dare to say he loves USC more than you do (how could anyone?), but I am willing to bet he is pretty damn close.

Anyway, if you really don’t have anyone else to take to the game, please consider my boyfriend! Hope this wasn’t too awkward haha. (I think this all would have been less awkward if I could just call him by name and make him a normal person rather than referencing him in relation to myself, oh well).

Cool blog and twitter.

Fight On and beat the cavaliers!

USC vs Virginia Front Row 50 Yard Line Ticket Giveaway!

September 8, 2010

I have one extra ticket for this Saturday’s USC game against Virginia and I’m trying to find someone worthy to give it to.

The seat is in the front row, right behind the USC bench, near the 50 yard line. And you’ll be sitting next to me which means you won’t be sitting at all but standing for the entire game and you’ll be my guest of honor at my tailgate. You may also get on TV, it happens sometimes 🙂

How to get the ticket? Submit a reply to this blog telling me why you think you should get the ticket. Do not reveal any identifying information (such as your name or Twitter username). I want to be completely objective in selecting a winner. Nobody but me can see your reply after you submit it. If you are looking at this from my blog index page you have to click here to send a reply/entry.

Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/uscpsycho

DISCLAIMERS:

  • I may post submissions/parts of submissions on the blog. They will be anonymous since I won’t even know who wrote them (but your WordPress username may be revealed).
  • I may reveal the identity of the winner.
  • You have to supply a valid method of contacting you — preferably email — so I can notify you if you win. You have to respond quickly or I’ll move on to the next best entry so give me something you check regularly.
  • I may get cold feet and decide not to go through with this. Sitting with a complete stranger makes me kind of nervous but I really do intend to give the ticket away. If I don’t end up giving the ticket away I will not publish anything that is submitted. That wouldn’t be fair.
  • Winner has to send me a $25 deposit via PayPal to make sure you don’t flake out (if the winner doesn’t show up this very valuable ticket will go to waste). If you show up you get your $25 back.

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