Wednesday, January 05, 2005

10 Things I realized in Miami

Over the course of the day on January 4, 2005, there were ten specific incidents or ideas that I feel need to be addressed. These are in no particular order:

1. Auburn should not get a share of the national title.

The Tigers had a great year going 13-0 and beating ACC Champs Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl 16-13. They won the SEC and beat four top ten teams. Good job. I'm happy for them for their success, but I would abhor the idea of USC sharing the title with them.

It's nothing personal against Auburn, but this is the system we live with. The BCS decides who's in and who's out in the national title game, and this year Auburn was out. I understand that they won arguably the toughest conference in college football and went undefeated in doing so, but the Tigers also played some of the easiest opponents.

USC earned their spot in the national title game. They went wire-to-wire as the nation's top team. OU did the same from the No. 2 spot. After the Orange Bowl, it's easy to say that Auburn should have played 'SC instead of the Sooners, but that doesn't mean the Tigers should get a share of the national title. It could have been 55-19 USC over Auburn instead of OU.

Regardless, USC proved to the nation that they - and only they - deserve the honor of being called the 2004 National Champions.

2. OU fans are idiots

While walking around the pre-game tailgate party, an OU fan began talking crap to me and my friends. He mocked the fact that Trojan fans hold up two fingers - our victory sign - and kept saying "that's right, you're number two." Now, maybe it's was because that's just as high as the dumb Sooner could count or that was the number of teeth he had, but it was pretty clear after the game USC was not number two to anyone on that night.

Also, an OU fan sitting behind me at the game poked my shoulder every thirty seconds over the course of the first five minutes of the game, when OU had a 7-0 lead and the Trojans were stopped short on their first drive. "Is that what a Heisman winning quarterback is?" "What's up Trojan-boy?" "The Pac-10 sucks. Come to the Big XII and play real football!" I can take the taunting but don't keep poking me.

After grabbing the guys fingers and twisting his wrist - and USC's 55-3 run in the game - he shut up. Actually, he wasn't even there to see the whole thing. He left midway through the third quarter. Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye!

3. 'SC fans OUtnumbered

Looking around the Beach Bash, the pre-game tailgate and during the game, there were clearly more Sooner fans than Trojan fans. Potentially even a 2:1 ratio. Despite their strength in numbers, the massive collection of OU fans were quickly taken out of the game by a stronger USC defense that took the ball away four times in the first half. The Trojan offense converted all four turnovers into points and never looked back.

4. An OUtrageously large band

I always thought the USC band with more than 250 members was big. Then I saw the +360 member OU marching band. I just don't see the point in having a collection of more than 30 flute players in one place at any given time.

5. Snack bar smarts

Before the game started, I went to get some food from the snack bar outside my section. Three hot dogs and a small Sprite was all I wanted. Hot dogs were $4 each. The Sprite was $3.50. The guy rang me up: "$19.50" he said.

'Bullshit!' I thought to myself.

"Hold on," I told him. "This can't be $19.50. The hot dogs are $4 each, right?"
"And the drink is $3.50, right?"
"Well that's $15.50."
"The register says $19.50," he told me. Well thank you. I can see the register says $19.50 but I'm thinking you made a mistake on this one, buddy.

He entered my order into the register again. $19.50. I thought to myself, how in the world is he doing this? He called over another snack bar worker who helped him stare blankly at the register until yet another snack bar employee in the background noticed the commotion, did the math and got the problem straightened out.

Seriously, $19.50 for three hot dogs and a soda ... I don't need a cash register to know that isn't right.

6. 3rd and OUt

Before we were halfway through the third quarter, most OU fans were making their way toward the exits. That was a great sight after the majority of Sooner fans spent most of the morning acting completely classless and downright rude to numerous 'SC fans. One OU fan sitting one row in front of me, however, got up from his seat with just over six minutes to go, turn around, extended his hand and said, "Congratulations. Y'all earned this one."

I shook his hand thinking "FINALLY! An OU fan with a shred of class and decency."

7. Patchwork

I have never seen such a commotion over a patch. Any patch. Not a birth control patch nor a nicotine patch. But the Orange Bowl people must think that their patch is the antidote for cancer, AIDS and world hunger. I have never seen such an attempt to sell any product ever. Needless to say, mine came with the tickets I purchased.

8. No keys necessary

At the end of USC football games, my friends and I - along with the entire USC student section and really the whole LA Coliseum - will take out our keys and jingle them at the other team and their fans, letting them know that we've got this game wrapped up and they can leave now. Not at the Orange Bowl. OU fans were gone before an Trojan fan could reach into their pocket. Gotta love a blow out!

9. Ticket madness

With the game over before the fourth quarter started, my friend and I began wondering when to make the move from our nose bleed-inducing seats down to the lower bowl. With under seven minutes to play, we made our way down the long spiral ramps of Pro Player Stadium to the lower level. We walked up to the entrance to a lower section where an usher asked for our tickets.

With five minutes to go in the game, this guy was checking tickets to make sure we were in our section. I'm sorry, but come on now! Sooner fans are scrambling for the nearest exit. There are virtually half of the seats in the stadium empty, and this guy's not gonna let us in. Someone's on a power trip.

We walked down three sections and made our way into the lower bowl all the way down to the fifth row to watch time expire. After straining my eyes to make out which dot had the ball in the upper deck, I was front and center for the trophy presentation.

10. NFL: Now for Leinart

As sad as I am to say it, there is no way quarterback Matt Leinart is sticking around for another season at 'SC. Yeah, a three-peat would be great, and maybe it'd still be possible without him, but after a Heisman-winning season and back-to-back national championships, there really isn't anything left for him to accomplish.

He did great things for the Trojans' football program during his two years as the starters, winning all but one of his starts. He'll make a great quarterback in the NFL, and now is his time. As for the rest of the Trojans, with a young offensive line, and all stand out skill players returning, the USC offense has most the pieces in place to keep the tempo of a high scoring offense next season.

1 comment:

rob said...

Reasons why Auburn is the NCAA National Champion
* Beat then-No. 5 LSU, the undefeated defending national champions.
* Beat then-No. 10 Tennessee, in Knoxville by 24 points.
* Beat then-No. 8 Georgia in 24-6 slaughter.
* Beat, for a second time, the SEC West champions Tennessee in the SEC Championship.
* Beat No. 9 Virginia Tech, a team on an eight-game winning streak, in a pressure-packed, everybody's watching bowl game.
* Proven they are the best team in the SEC and the ACC, the NCAA's top football conferences.
* Has the 5th best total defense in the NCAA, ahead of No. 6 USC and No. 7 Oklahoma.

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