Well well well the Bruins are really living up to their Baby Blue color. UCLA is stooping to some selfish, and idiotic, lows to make this Saturday’s game against their big town LA rival, USC, a safer and secure environment to promote more sportsmanship among fans. Well if that is the case, then why is UCLA pulling out all the stops to make USC look like the bad guy? Why is UCLA making empty threats to USC, challenging and undermining their long-held traditions?
I’ll tell you why. UCLA is falsely promoting sportsmanship when in fact it is mere disguise to wipe out the integrity and pride of USC. UCLA told USC that their drum major, Tommy Trojan, would not be allowed to stick the sword in the midfield “UCLA” logo during USC’s pregame band performance prior to kickoff. The routine, which always goes to Tommy Trojan (the drum major), has been a part of USC’s pre-game routine for decades…i dunno, like 40 YEARS. An individual in the UCLA athletic department told Chris Foster of The Los Angeles Times that should the drum major choose to stab UCLA’s logo, the USC band will not perform at halftime. Well, that sounds mature.
“In the spirit of cooperation and sportsmanship and at the request of the UCLA athletic department, the USC marching band drum major will not stab the field before the game Saturday,” USC said in a statement released Tuesday. I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that UCLA has lost 12 of 13 to the Trojans, including a 50-0 loss last November that sealed Rick Neuheisel’s fate. But …..oh have the times have changed: UCLA is 8-2, atop the Pac-12 South Division, ranked higher than the Trojans and USC is no longer allowed to just stab away at the Rose Bowl’s field like Michael Meyers in Halloween.
The only dignity USC has left this season is being a lousy 4 point favor and upholding their traditions, their pride, their school spirit. What is a college team without tradition? Probably not a fun one. What are UCLA’s traditions again? Putting the F in UCLA right? Oh wait, that is USC’s…my bad.
I guess there is somewhat of a back story to how all this absurdity came to be. When the game was played in 2010 at the Rose Bowl, multiple brawls in the parking lot erupted before the game, and two people were stabbed. It was one of several high profile fan violence incidences in Los Angeles, a list that unfortunately continues to grow and grow.
Earlier this year, both UCLA and USC, as well as professional sports teams, institutions and venues, adopted the Los Angeles Sports Council’s Southern California Code of Conduct. It is outlined on the UCLA athletics website. Go figure…..all of this violence occurred at The ROSE BOWL, not the Coliseum, all this violence is outlined on the UCLA website. I hate to point fingers but UCLA is making it really hard not to.
Yes, the planting of the sword is a violent act itself but it is tradition. Would you tell Colorado that they are no longer allowed to run out with the Buffalo on the field or the Oklahoma Sooners to shoot their muskets? I don’t think so. Just because the Trojan represents a warrior who happens to rock a sword and shield, why punish a school for the tradition that only harms the groundskeepers? Interestingly enough, all of this violence has only went down under UCLA’s watch.
There were no brawls on USC’s home court Coliseum last year or the times before, so why punish the Trojans when they come to the Rose Bowl? Yes, fans will get rowdy especially when they are home town rivals and it is hard to blame one side or the other for the violence because it is probably equally instigated by fans decked out in cardinal or baby blue. But UCLA is taking this sportsmanship to extreme and quite possibly dangerous lengths.
A school so dedicated to making their sporting arena a friendly place and endorsing sportsmanship is sure making a decision that WILL create more violence and intensity among fans. Taking away your rival’s traditions is not the answer. It is merely going to piss everybody off. You sure as hell aren’t going to bring out the best in both teams. The rivalry should be held with graciousness and class but come on! This is Football not the Chess Club, it is going to get nasty among the players and the fans because it is one of the most violent sports in this country.
Does this prove that UCLA are babies? Maybe. Maybe not. I just don’t get why there is so much sensitivity all of a sudden. Has this been an oppressive action that UCLA has been living with these last 40 years and just haven’t said anything? Are the complaints mounting and mounting to the point where UCLA’s Athletic Director Guerrero has to do something to appease the whiny alumni? Or is this possibly a PR ploy to get the fans and media all riled up for the big rivalry.
Hate to break it to you Bruins, but you are ranked higher than USC this year, you actually have a real shot of BEATING the Trojans and basking in the glory of being Los Angeles’ college football team. The Trojans are on the decline and UCLA knows it. This Trojan fan just wants to put the blame on UCLA because it’s easy and it feels just too damn good. But safety is always an important issue in any sporting event and measure should always be taken into great length to ensure everyone’s safety, both players and the fans. The Bruins are just making this a “ME” issue and taking it away from the Trojans.
This isn’t about defacing or disrespecting UCLA, it is about USC’s pride and football tradition. It is to get the band going and get the fans excited to watch their team take the field. The sword is planted in the center of the field, it has nothing to do with the placement of the logo…that would just get too complicated. It is a shame to reduce the rivalry to this. Hopefully this new sportsmanship resonates with all the fans….because it is the ultimate lesson to be learned in any sport…but realistically, it seems like the USC fans will instead tear the Rose Bowl apart. I just wish i could be there to hear the “U-C-L-A Sucks song,” it is going to be beyond loud and roaring all throughout Pasadena.
“FIGHT ON…..but safely (and without swords)