Monday, October 17, 2005

Cocky, a bit?

Some USC fans piss me off. As a former USC student who went through the looking glass and has appreciation for both schools, I still cannot escape my feeling that USC's fan base right now is the most cocky and arrogant fanbase since the Miami Hurricane faithful of the 1980s. And that's putting Notre Dame's fanbase right up there -- at any time, ND's fans deserve to be ranked in the top 5 of arrogant and cocky fanbases. At the moment though, USC's takes the pole position in this race to overconfidence.

USC fans who dropped by our Water Polo food stand mused about how they would be "stunned" to see the game be closer than two touchdowns. Members of USC's band, which I had felt was full of nice people, kept chanting "31!" as they walked through the library lot tailgates. I bit my tongue and smiled at one Trojan who bought a bratwurst from us at the Polo stand and predicted Leinart would toss for 6 touchdowns. At the USC page of, the Trojan beat writer joked that "Charlie Weis has made Notre Dame better, which is why they will only lose by 28."

The taker of the cake in this regard for me though, has to be the blogger Becky

A sampling of her jewels of wisdom from Saturday's game (paraphrased):

The win feels like stealing candy from a baby, because the Irish played their greatest game and the Trojans were lackluster and SCstill won.

Because she's apparently clairvoyant, she felt doubly bad for the Irish fans because she predicted the loss with 2 minutes to play. As evidence of this fortune-telling ability, she remembers predicting how "Aaron Boon" would hit a home run to win the World Series for the Yankees in 2003. She apparently said, "He's the Cinderella".

I want to interject here with three point: one, his name is Aaron BOONE. Secondly, he did NOT win the World Series, his home run won the ALCS over the Red Sox. And third, seeing as how Boone hit that home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the 11th inning, she must've seen this coming during Fox's commercial break that night.

Tom Zbikowski made a terrible, cheap hit on Reggie Bush at the end of his 3rd-Quarter touchdown run.

I'll let ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski take the lead on this one:

It takes arrogance to do what Bush did during that same drive: bolting through the line, sprinting into the open field, grandly gesturing with one hand as he neared the end zone, and then slowing down just as he crossed the goal line. That's when Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski, who never gave up on the play, popped Bush with a hit the USC tailback so richly deserved.

"That was my fault," said a contrite Bush. "That was my way of showing off. Completely bad leadership on my behalf."

Who needs Reggie Bush to tell us what happened when we've got Becky?

I mean really, it seemed like Becky's objective here was to see how many backhanded compliments she could squeeze into one post. The trick for her was to figure out how condescending could she be and still sound nice. Why do Trojans and their fans find it so hard to believe that we were playing at USC'S level, rather than USC playing "down" to ours? USC reminds me of the Soviet Hockey Team circa 1980, totally dismissive of the idea that any team could actually DESERVE to win a game against them. It's going to happen, and it very well could have happened on Saturday and not because USC played like crap or because the officials gave the Irish a few early Christmas presents or because of "luck of the Irish" bounces. Our team played their friggin' minds out and all some USC fans want to talk about is how USC played sloppy and let the Irish toy with the idea that they could win.

Here's Becky's "crown jewel" though: The Trojans can play better. Notre Dame cannot.

Not that I want to delve into whiny-ND-student mode, because in the words of Tyler Palko "I am so f**kin proud of this team!", but the Irish had a far from perfect game. Had they played perfect, they would have won, and won somewhat easily. Playing perfect would have entailed:

-- Fasano NOT fumbling inside the 20 and taking away a likely score.

-- Quinn NOT overthrowing Samardzija after Jeff had his man beat, resulting in Jeff's landing out of bounds and the Irish settling for a field goal.

-- Quinn NOT overthrowing a wide-open Asaph Schwapp in the 4th quarter, cutting short a possible touchdown drive and leading directly to a MISSED field goal from DJ Fitzpatrick.

-- Derek Landri NOT committing a stupid personal foul call which allowed USC to face, rather than 3rd and 10 from the 19, a first and goal from the 9.

-- Maurice Stovall NOT having two dropped passes on third down.

-- Ambrose Wooden NOT playing soft coverage on third down twice during USC's drive for the score which made it 28-24.

I've got more, but you get the picture. BOTH teams played less than 100% error-free football. This lyricism and hero-worship about how USC is soooooooo gooooood, it was simply their destiny to overcome their own incompetence and defeat an Irish squad which played much better than their talent should have allowed does nothing except cheapen the game and insult the Irish. I was there too, and what I saw was two GREAT football teams, not an overachieving average team and an underachieving great team.

In some respects I hope USC doesn't lose, because head-up-where-the-sun-don't-shine fans like Becky literally will not know how to handle it.



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