Sports, Politics, Popculture--From the Minds of Twenty-Somethings

Sports, Politics, Pop Culture--From the Minds of Twenty-Somethings

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Rivalry Article (USC vs. Notre Dame)

“Why I Love USC and Hate Notre Dame”
By, Sonny Hassan
“Why I Hate USC and Love Notre Dame”
By, Kyle McCann

(A two-part article between bitter rivals)
Why I Love USC:
- Tommy Trojan; what embodies the collegiate atmosphere better than our beloved Tommy Trojan?
- East coast tradition, only on the west coast. Can you name a better west coast college campus?
- Song Girls, also known as our cheerleaders. Classy, sweaters, sexy.
- Hardware; 11 National titles, 7 Heisman Trophies. I know you’re thinking about the Heisman Trophy Reggie Bush had to vacate, but come on, it counts.
- Walking through campus on game day. Nothing beats marching through campus, banging the lightposts, walking through the rose garden, en masse, and finally meeting at the L.A. Colisseum. If you’ve never experienced it, do it, trust me. You get to drink!
- School colors are the best in the nation; CARDINAL AND GOLD, BABY!
- Our football program churns out pros. We’ve turned out the most players in the NFL, 472, more than any other college. We’ve also turned out the most 1st round picks in the NFL, 74. Results, baby.
- Our fight song. The most recognizable song in college sports.
- Our band. The USC band is the most famous band in college sports. We’ve been in movies, played concerts with famous bands (Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones), and we also are the face of creativity and fun.
- Although we aren’t placed academically high as other universities, we develop recognizable alumni that succeed in the real world, unlike other universities who don’t.
- Will Ferrel, George Lucas, Neil Armstrong, Judd Appatow, Ron Howard...The list goes on and on.
- Football alumni; OJ Simpson, Reggie Bush, Marcus Allen, Troy Polamalu, Anthony Munoz, Clay Matthews, Carson Palmer, Lynn Swan, Junior Seau...The list goes on and on.
- The best rivalries in college football, we actually play real conference opponents with real Division 1 talent. UCLA, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Stanford. All great rivalries.
- Troy Polamalu’s hair
- John Wayne
- We consistently get top ranked recruits from all over the nation. Yes, we can go to Texas and take a 5-star recruit away from U of Texas.
- The chills that go up my back when I hear the start of our fight song on game day.
- 11 Pro Football Hall of Famers
- We have so much talent in the NFL that we can actually comprise an All-USC team with current NFL starters and not only make a team, but a team that can compete for a Super Bowl.
- 3 Quarterbacks currently starting in the NFL, more than any other school.
- We’re so good, our back-ups start in the NFL...ahem Matt Cassel ahem...
Most of all, I love USC because ever since I can remember, it has brought tradition and joy to our family. I remember being young and woken up by uncle (USC alumni), and dressing up for home games with my brothers. He made it a tradition to take us to at least one home game, and one away game every year. Sometimes we would go to Tommy’s Burger (an LA icon), then go straight to the Coliseum.  Sometimes we would drive to San Francisco to see USC play Cal; we’d head to Fisherman’s Wharf and go to traditional spots that USC fans and alumni would meet at to take over for the game weekend.
USC is more than a university, its a way of life. It is embodied in our Trojans Network, a network that is worldwide and always caring for one another. No other university can ever compete with the way we take care of our own.
Why I HATE Notre Dame
- Irrelevance. Notre Dame hasn’t been relevant in any college sport in years. It’s about time they get off their high horse and do something about it.
- Notre Dame hasn’t won a national title since 1988. 23 YEARS AGO!!!
- Touchdown Jesus. For those of you who don’t know, Notre Dame fans/alumni have the audacity to think that Jesus came down, put all of the hate/hurt in the world aside, and decided to throw up a touchdown sign for Notre Dame football. If that’s not elitist, what is???
- Stupid, ugly, vomit like Green jerseys. Every time Notre Dame wears those against USC, we DISMANTLE them.
- False numbers. Yes, Notre Dame has numbers that are comparable to other great football universities, but the thing is, many of these numbers come from before you were born! Half of their championships, Heisman winners, and football greats were playing prior to The Beatles!!!
- The dumbest fight song in college football. Its a mix of a church hymn and a child sing-a-long.
- Condoleeza Rice
- Lou Holtz
- Lou Holtz’s heavy lisp
- That stupid fighting leprechaun.
- The worst football turf in the history of college football. No football turf has injured more opponents than that nasty green grass at South Bend.
- Did you know you can’t take a plane directly into South Bend? You have to fly into Chicago, then take a train there. Talk about being stuck in the past.
- The fact that they think they still have an actual rivalry with USC. Yea, they won last year because of a wide open dropped pass. But before that our record against them was heavily one-sided.
My Predictions for this weekend:
Although Notre Dame does have better coaching, they do not compare with us talent wise on the gridiron. I predict a heavy dose of Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, and a steady running game to take a close win from Notre Dame. Barring crazy play calling from Lane Kiffen, we will win. 28-20, USC. FIGHT ON!!!

Kyle McCann
”Why I Hate USC and Love Notre Dame”

Why I Love Notre Dame-
-The golden dome; it glimmers, it’s golden, it’s beautiful.
-11 National championships, 7 Heisman trophies… hardware son.
-The fact that we actually value education and graduating our players; Notre Dame is in the top 3 for graduation rates every year (usually only beaten out by the service academies). This often gets lost in the shuffle of all the standard college football talking points (W/L, conference realignment, coaching changes, players giving back the Heisman trophy because they took illegal benefits for their entire career1, you know the everyday stuff), but it is actually one of the reasons I love Notre Dame so much. Not only are we a legit football team, but we are a legit establishment both on and off the football field.
-“Play a Champion today” sign and video of our team slapping it as they head out to the field.
- Joe Montana.
- Our independent status. Notre Dame does not belong to a conference; by choice. We have remained independent in football and this has allowed us to play a traditional schedule every year. - We don’t play any random cupcake teams that we don’t traditionally play.
- We don’t play the bottom teams of the WAC or Mountain West or SWAC or NCAA FBS teams.
- We don’t play teams that are half way across the country that we have no traditional ties to and are nothing outside of a cupcake-gimme win (teams like San Jose state, Minnesota, Virginia and Idaho, all teams SC has played in the last 4 years).
- The fact that our fan base demands winning. We hire big name, successful coaches because we are always looking for success. Nothing else is acceptable.
- Our Catholic tradition. As a cradle Catholic, I love the fact that Notre Dame embraces its.
- The Four Horsemen.
- I love the fact that we do not redshirt ANYONE.
-We have standards, want to create great human beings and don’t short cut this in order to try and be a better football team. That is why we do not accept junior college transfers. They usually do not have high academic standards or carry baggage not needed at Notre Dame.
-We travel. Our followers and fans travel all over the country in order to watch Notre Dame play. People are mad when we play in BCS bowls that we barely qualify. You want to know why that happens? Because we travel and fill up stadiums all across the country. Maybe your team should try and do this.
-Tim Brown.
- The fact that we still play the service academies; in case you haven’t noticed tradition matters.   
- Our distinct, classic and one-of-a-kind jerseys. They are simply beautifully.
- Lou Holtz.
- 49 College Football Hall of Fame inductees.
- Playing the Alma Mater, “Notre Dame, Our Mother”, after every home game. Win or loss.
- The Leprechaun! No one can claim a better mascot than a living, breathing, shortly-statured Irish man.
- Knute Rockne, one of the best college football coaches of all time.
- 10 NFL HOF inductees.
- The green jerseys that we only break out for special occasions. Having those in you back pocket is simply amazing. It is insane what jerseys can do for you (just look at Oregon).
- Our amazing fight song, known nationwide the minute you hear it.
-The classiness that our players, university and coaching staff conducts themselves with.
- The fact that we can go recruit anywhere and everywhere, with just the University of Notre Dame as a backdrop, and appeal to individuals across the nation.
-The beautiful campus and how it gleams on national TV.
- T-O-U-C-H-D-O-W-N-J-E-S-U-S. ‘nuff said.
Most of all I love the synergistic effect that all these factors have in creating an amazing university to play watch and consume college football. We have great tradition, great fans and though we are hated by many, we are one of the greatest teams in the history of the sports.
We have been up and down for the past decade and never able to push over that final hurdle to a national championship. But our recruiting classes have finally been pulling in the freak athletes necessary to win in today’s game, our coaching is on the highest level that it has been since the Lou Holtz era and we will be back in the National Championship game before USC is and that’s a guarantee that gleams as bright as our golden domes.
Why I Hate USC:
I must qualify this section by first stating that: 1. I reside in Southern California and 2. My Grandpa is USC alumni. This makes both my grandpa, mom and uncle big SC fans. I also had a friend of mine, Drean Rucker who was rewarded a full ride scholarship to play linebacker before his untimely passing prior to the start of his freshman year. I say all this to say that I have respect for the University of Southern California. I have been to more SC games than Notre Dame games (due to obvious geographic restrictions) and I respect the school… but that doesn’t mean I can’t hate them. With all that said, Why I hate USC:
- The arrogance.
-The spoiled rich children who overwhelmingly (my Grandfather excluded) make up their alumni.
- The fact that the Coliseum is in one of the worse parts of L.A.
-The fact that way too many kids who claim to be SC fans have only liked them since 2003.
- Tommy Trojan, the guy is just a douche.
- The fact that the majority of their fan base cannot name one of their Heisman trophy winners outside of Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.
- The fact that their cheerleaders wear those ridiculous sweaters in an attempt to appear classy.
-Their cheerleaders’ sweater (point cannot be emphasized enough). Cheerleaders do not, by definition, wear sweaters at a football game. This is sacrilegious.   
- That there band wears sunglasses and is always randomly popping up on some stupid YouTube video.
-The “Bush Push”.
- There recent string of pro QB busts (Matt Leinart, Matt Cassel, John David Booty, Marc Sanchez).
-  The ridiculous number of people in Southern California who claim to be SC “fans”. They wear brand new, like tags still on the jersey, new gear. They rooted for Pete Carroll’s teams starting in his second year. You know they year they went 11-2 and starting playing up the laid back, Hollywoodness of playing for USC. All the sudden I started seeing SC flags, Carson Palmer jerseys and people from Fresno to San Diego, from Los Angeles to Palm Springs claiming to be die hard USC “fans”. Where we these people when Paul Hackett was coaching? They were probably off rooting for a successful UCLA team. I strongly dislike Michigan, Michigan State and Navy. These are our other primary rivalries. I want to beat these teams every time we play. But I want to end USC’s season every time we play. I want a huge resounding victory that crushes any hope fo a decent season. Not because I hate their players more, but because their band wagon fans are THE WORSE. The worse. Period. They try and pretend like they have been fans for their entire life. However, right now, with USC’s struggles and the Reggie Bush scandal fallout, I would say their fan base that has lost 80% of its following. This did not, I repeat did not, happen to Notre Dame’s nationwide fan base, during the early to mid 2000’s when Notre Dame was having its worse stretch in decades.
- Because their fans they refuse to admit that Notre Dame consistently has a more difficult strength of schedule than USC does.
- Because their fans continually act like (prior to this season) that the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) was a top two conference when they consistently lost to the SEC, Big 12 and Big 10.
Those are the main reasons why I cannot stand USC. Much like my love for Notre Dame, my hate for SC is culmination of things. It’s the arrogance of fans that are overwhelmingly band wagoners that drives my passion in this rivalry. I love the Irish and can’t stand SC. Let’s go this weekend Irish and beat SC! Go Irish!!
My Predictions for this Weekend:
I still remember November 27 2010. The pass went up into the cool, drizzly Los Angeles sky. It was heading right to Ronald Johnson who, for lack of a better term, was freaking wide open. Not like he had a few steps on a corner. No. It was more like Notre Dame forgot he played for the Trojans or they didn’t have enough guys on the field open. That kind of open. But then something amazing happens. Ronald Johnson, USC’s best wideout, forgot to catch the ball. The best about this drop is that it made Notre Dame’s first win against USC in 8 years even sweeter. This drop, while unspeakable for many SC “fans”, isn’t unspeakable to me; I bring it up with SC fans all the time. Those band-wagon jumping, Hollywood loving, academically lacking fans who somehow seem to appear everywhere when SC is top on nowhere when there hovering around .500. I love bringing this drop/game up and in fact that’s why I did it right now. I believe it sets the mood for this weekend’s game, a game I couldn’t be more excited about.
   Let’s compare this year to last year. Notre Dame is now starting a sophomore QB with 11 starts under his belt, instead of 3. Last year Notre Dame was down their starting tight end, a running back and a linebacker, all out with injuries. This year there are no major injuries to report. The run game and O-line are much improved and have dominated most games. Our defense, playing well last year, is even better this year with increased experience at almost every starting position and an influx of athletic youth on the defensive line. Outside of our lack luster special teams (which have consistently been a problem) Notre Dame is improved on all fronts.
There are areas where USC seems to be slightly better than the Irish. QB is one, with Matt Barkley likely being a first round draft pick this year (as compared to Notre Dame’s sophomore, Tommy Rees). Robert Woods is a monster, but Michael Floyd helps balance the talent out for both teams at the wide receiver position. Notre Dame’s special teams have been disappointing and USC has an advantage here. Outside of those two spots, QB and special teams, USC is outmatched across the board.
Injuries and defense are problems for the Trojans as well. Marc Tyler and Marquis Lee are going to try and play with painful separated shoulders. Torin Brown and Anthony Brown, 1st and 2nd string corners for USC are out. They rank 105th in the passing defense when half their first three opponents have horrendous pass offenses (108th, 85th and 71st in the NCAA). They have been shredded by ASU and Arizona they only two good offenses they have played this season. They gave up over 500 yards of offense to a 1-5 Arizona team. On top of this, SC will start at least half a dozen freshmen on a road game in South Bend, for the first night game in 20 years. Yikes.
Needless to say I like Notre Dame’s chances. The matchups from this year to last year increasingly favor the Irish and the fact they we will be matching up against a team littered with individuals lacking in experience only makes me more excited for kickoff Saturday night. Notre Dame currently stands as a 9 point favorite. This seems about right to me.  It might stay close early, but more than likely I see Notre Dame coming out like they did against Michigan and putting up a quick 14 points. USC will do a decent job of keeping it close, but 21-10 at halftime is not an unrealistic lead for the Irish to take. Notre Dame stretches the lead to 3 scores before the end of the third. Despite giving up a late touchdown, Notre Dame, with its experience and superior defense, take the victory 31-17 and look to start an undefeated streak against SC after beating them in the each of the two most recent seasons.

1 comment:

  1. I recently was in south bend and had a chance to check out the school. It's not impressive. Also all the locals hate on ND because they ask so much from the community (i.e. put up with the college shit heads) but rarely give back to the city. Just reporting what I heard and saw